Tags: art, Culture, funny things, picture of the day
People are asking, prompted by a new special on Mermaids, whether mermaids exist or not.
A look over the years shows that many people around the world have sighted or even directly experienced mermaids. Here’s a timeline of some of the major sightings and experiences, including Christopher Columbus, John Smith, and William Shakespeare.
First Century AD: Pliny the Elder writes about Nereids, or women with rough, scaly bodies like fish. They are “sitting upon dolphins, or ketoi, or hippocamps,” in some cases, he writes in Natural History.
Pliny describes how the legatus of Gaul wrote to the late Emperor Augustus about “a considerable number of nereids” being “found dead upon the seashore.” Further, “I have, too, some distinguished informants of equestrian rank, who state that they themselves once saw in the ocean of Gades a sea-man,” Pliny writes, according to a translation by the University of Chicago.
Fifth Century AD: In the book Physiologus, which is said to have been written or compiled in Greek by an unknown author, there is a portion dedicated to “The Nature of the Mermaid” that is translated by graduate student Mary Allyson Armistead as follows:
“In the sea there are many marvels.
The mermaid is like a maiden:
In breast and body she is thus joined:
From the navel downward she is not like a maid
But a fish very certainly with sprouted fins.
This marvel dwells in an unstable place where the water subsides.
She sinks ships and causes suffering,
She sings sweetly —this siren—and has many voices,
Many and resonant, but they are very dangerous.
Sailors forget their steering because of her singing;
They slumber and sleep and wake too late,
And the ships sink in a whirlpool and cannot surface anymore.
But wise and wary men and are able to return;
Often they escape with all the strength they have.
They have said of this siren, that she is so grotesque,
Half maid and half fish: something is meant by this.”
Sometime between 1040 and 1105: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, or Rashi, describes mermaids in the Talmud.
“There are fish in the sea with which half is in the form of man and half in the form of a fish, called sereine in Old French,” he wrote.
Also, not too long after, the Moshav Zekeinim, a commentary on the “Torah” by the medieval Tosafists, explains mermaids while calling them sirens, according to the book Sacred Monsters.
“This refers to the creature in the sea which is similar in part to a person, from the navel upwards, and it is similar to a woman in all aspects, in that it has breasts and long hair like that of a woman, and from the navel downwards it is a fish,” it is written in the commentary. “And it sings beautifully, with a pleasant voice.”
13th Century: Bartholomew Angelicus, in De Propietatibus Rerum, describes a mermaid, and tells of her stealing sailors from their ships.
Middle of 13th Century: Speculum Regale, or The King’s Mirror, is written in Old Norse, a translated version appearing several centuries later.
In the book there is a description of a creature found off the shores of Greenland.
“Like a woman as far down as her waist, long hands, and soft hair, the neck and head in all respects like those of a human being. The hands seem to be long, and the fingers not to be pointed, but united into a web like that on the feet of water birds. From the waist downwards this monster resembles a fish, with scales, tail, and fins. This shows itself, especially before heavy storms. The habit of this creature is to dive frequently and rise again to the surface with fishes in its hands. When sailors see it playing with the fish, or throwing them towards the ship, they fear that they are doomed to lose several of the crew ; but when it casts the fish from the vessel, then the sailors take it as a good omen that they will not suffer loss in the im-pending storm. This monster has a very horrible face, with broad brow and piercing eyes, a wide mouth and double chin.”
1389: The book Eastern Travels of John of Hesse is published, in which many perils during a voyage are relived. At one point the author writes: “We came to a stony mountain, where we heard syrens singing, mermaids who draw ships into danger by their songs. We saw there many horrible monsters and were in great fear.”
1403: A mermaid drifts inland through a broken dyke on the Dutch coast during the heavy storm. She was spied by some local women and their servants, “who at the first were afraid of her, but seeing her often, they resolved to take her, which they did, and bringing her home, she suffered herself to be clothed and fed with bread and milk and other meats, and would often strive to steal again into the sea, but being carefully watched, she could not.”
The mermaid later learned how to sew but never spoke. She died 15 years after she was discovered. John Swan, an English minister, describes the story in the 1635 book Speculum Mundi.
The book also includes the following describing mermaids:
“Transform’d to fish, for their bold surquedry :
But th’ upper half their hew retayned still,
And their sweet skill in wonted melody
Which ever after they abused to ill,*
T’ allure weake travellers whom gotten they did kill.”
1493: Christopher Columbus spots three mermaids rise high from the sea. Columbus wrote in his ship’s journal: “They were not as beautiful as they are painted, although to some extent they have a human appearance in the face.” He also noted that he had seen similar creatures off the coast of West Africa.
1560: According to Curious Myths of the Middle Ages by Sabine Baring-Gould: “Near the island of Mandar, on the west of Ceylon, some fishermen entrapped in their net seven mermen and mermaids, of which several Jesuits, and Father Henriques, and Bosquez, physician to the Viceroy of Goa, were witnesses. The physician examined them with a great deal of care, and dissected them. He asserts that the internal and external structure resembled that of human beings.”
1590: William Shakespeare is believed to have written Midsummer Night’s Dream between 1590 and 1594. In it, he writes:
“I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid’s music.”
Soon after, he continues. “Come over here, Puck. You remember that time I was sitting on a rocky coast when I head a mermaid? She was riding on a dolphin’s back. Her singing was so sweet and pure that the rough sea grew calm and stars sot madly about the sky on hearing the sea-girls song.”
1608: Explorer Henry Hudson recounts an experience in the ship’s journal that happened on June 15, while sailing through the Bering Sea off the top of Norway.
“This morning one of our company, looking overboard, saw a mermaid, and calling up some of the company to see her, one more came up, and by that time she was come close to the ship’s side, looking earnestly on the men. A little while after a sea came and over- turned her. From the navel upward her back and breast were like a woman’s, as they say that saw her ; her body as big as one of ours ; her skin very white, and long hair hanging down behind, of colour black. In her going down they saw her tail, which was like the tail of a porpoise, and speckled like a mackerel. Their names that saw her were Thomas Hilles and Robert Rayney.”
Later, in the mid 1800′s, in an analysis of the incident in The Romance of Natural History, naturalist Philip Henry Gosse says that the usual claim of sailors mistaking manatees for mermaids won’t work here.
“Whatever explanation may be attempted of this apparition, the ordi-nary resource of seal and walrus will not avail here. Seals and walruses must have been as familiar to these polar mariners as cows to a milkmaid. Unless the whole story was a con-cocted lie between the two men, reasonless and objectless, and the worthy old navigator doubtless knew the character of his men, they must have seen some form of being as yet unrecognized.”
1614: Captain John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, sees a mermaid off the coast of Massachusetts.
He writes that “the upper part of her body perfectly resembled that of a woman, and she was swimming about with all possible grace near the shore.” It had “large eyes, rather too round, a finely shaped nose (a little too short), well-formed ears, rather too long, and her long green hair imparted to her an original character by no means unattractive.”
1619: Two senators in Norway capture a merman, according to Adventures in Unhistory. The senators, Ulf Rosensparre and Christian Hollh, decided to release the merman back into the sea.
1739: The Gentleman’s Magazine describes in an issue an experience with a creature.
“Some fisherman near the City of Exeter drawing their nets ashore, a Creature leap’d out, and run away very swiftly, not being able to overtake it, they knock’d it down by throwing sticks after it,” the description reads, according to Adventures in Unhistory.
“At their coming up to it, it was dying, having groan’d like a human creature: Its feet were webb’d like a duck’s, it had eyes, nose, and mouth resembling those of a man, only the nose somewhat depress’d; a tail not unlike a salmon’s, turning up towards its back, and is four feet high.” It was publicly shown in the city.
1797: William Munro, a schoolteacher in Scotland, writes a letter to a Dr. Torrance in Glasgow, which is published in The Times of London on Sept. 8, 1809.
“About twelve years ago when I was Parochial Schoolmaster at Reay, in the course of my walking on the shore of Sandside Bay, being a fine warm day in summer, I was induced to extend my walk towards Sandside Head, when my attention was arrested by the appearance of a figure resembling an unclothed human female, sitting upon a rock extending into the sea, and apparently in the action of combing its hair, which flowed around its shoulders, and of a light brown colour. The resemblance which the figure bore to its prototype in all its visible parts was so striking, that had not the rock on which it was sitting been dangerous for bathing, I would have been constrained to have regarded it as really an human form, and to an eye unaccustomed to the situation, it must have undoubtedly appeared as such. The head was covered with hair of the colour above mentioned and shaded on the crown, the forehead round, the face plump. The cheeks ruddy, the eyes blue, the mouth and lips of a natural form, resembling those of a man; the teeth I could not discover, as the mouth was shut; the breasts and abdomen, the arms and fingers of the size in which the hands were employed, did not appear to be webbed, but as to this I am not positive. It remained on the rock three or four minutes after I observed it, and was exercised during that period in combing its hair, which was long and thick, and of which it appeared proud, and then dropped into the sea, which was level with the abdomen, from whence it did not reappear to me, I had a distinct view of its features, being at no great distance on an eminence above the rock on which it was sitting, and the sun brightly shining.”
“Immediately before its getting into its natural element it seemed to have observed me, as the eyes were directed towards the eminence on which I stood. It may be necessary to remark, that previous to the period I beheld the object, I had heard it frequently reported by several persons, and some of them person whose veracity I never heard disputed, that they had seen such a phenomenon as I have described, though then, like many others, I was not disposed to credit their testimony on this subject. I can say of a truth, that it was only by seeing the phenomenon, I was perfectly convinced of its existence.
If the above narrative can in any degree be subservient towards establishing the existence of a phenomenon hitherto almost incredible to naturalists, or to remove the scepticism of others, who are ready to dispute everything which they cannot fully comprehend, you are welcome to it from,
Your most obliged, and most humble servant,
1801: Dr. Chisolm recounts a visit four years prior to the island of Berbice in the Carribbean. The residents call mermaids mene mamma, or mother of waters. Governor Van Battenburgh gives the following description to Chisolm:
“The upper portion resembles the human figure, the head smaller in proportion, sometimes bare, but oftener covered with a copious quantity of long black hair. The shoulders are broad, and the breasts large and well formed. The lower portion resembles the tail-portion of a fish, is of immense dimension, the tail forked, and not unlike that of the dolphin, as it is usually represented. The colour of the skin is either black or tawny. The animal is held in veneration and dread by the Indians, who imagine that the killing it would be attended with the most calamitous consequences. It is from this circumstance that none of these animals have been shot, and, consequently, not examined but at, a distance. They have been generally observed in a sitting posture in the water, none of the lower extremity being discovered until they are disturbed; when, by plunging, the tail appears, and agitates the water to a considerable distance round. They have been always seen employed in smoothing their hair, or stroking their faces and breasts with their hands, or something resembling hands. In this posture, and thus employed, they have been frequently taken for Indian women bathing.”
1822: A young man, John McIsaac of Scotland, testifies under oath that he saw an animal that had a white upper half with the shape of the human body, while the other half was covered with scales and had a tail, according to a story in the London Mirror. The sighting took place in 1811. McIsaac describes the creature as having long, light brown hair, being between four and five feet long, and having fingers close together.
“It continued above water for a few minutes, and then disappeared,” according to the article. “The Minister of Campbeltown, and the Chamberlain of Mull, attest his examination, and declare that they know no reason why his veracity should be questioned.”
1830: Villagers at Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland saw a small woman on shore. They tried capturing it, but failed, so they pelted it with rocks. A few days later,its corpse washed ashore, according to Hidden Animals. They then examined it. “The upper part of the body was about the size of a well-developed child of three or four years of age, with an abnormally developed breast. The hair was long, dark, and glossy, while the skin was white, soft, and tender. The lower part of the body was like a salmon, but without scales.” The creature was buried in a coffin later on.
1842: Phineas Barnum, of Barnum and Brothers fame, got connected with what was said to be a mermaid who had been caught near the Feejee Islands in the South Pacific. There is much debate whether the mermaid was a mermaid or something else.
On the supporting side, the New York Sun had a review which in part said: “We’ve seen it! What? Why that Mermaid! The mischief you have! Where? What is it? It’s twin sister to the deucedest looking thing imaginable—half fish, half flesh; and ‘taken by and large,’ the most odd of all oddities earth or sea has ever produced.”
In a portion of an autobiography written by Barnum, published by the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, Barnum says that he obtained the specimen from the estate of a dead sailor, who had purchased it from Japanese sailors.
Barnum recounts going to his naturalist to ascertain the “genuineness of the animal.” His naturalist tells him that he cannot conceive of how it was manufactured, “for he never knew a monkey with such peculiar teeth, arms, hands, etc., nor had he knowledge of a fish with such peculiar fins.”
Writes Barnum: “Then why do you suppose it is manufactured?” I inquired. “Because I don’t believe in mermaids,” replied the naturalist. “That is no reason at all,” said I, “and therefore I’ll believe in the mermaid, and hire it.” Barnum showed the animal in his museum in New York and got out of it quite a bit of money.
Others say that the whole thing was a hoax, and that it was created by Japanese artisans.
1857: The Shipping Gazette reported that Scottish seaman had spotted a creature off the coast of Britain.
“We distinctly saw an object about six yards distant from us in the shape of a woman, with full breast, dark complexion, comely face, and fine hair hanging in ringlets over the neck and shoulders. It was about the surface of the water to about the middle, gazing at us and shaking its head. The weather being fine, we had a full view of it and that for three or four minutes,” said John Williamson and John Cameron.
1947: A old fisherman in Scotland reported that he had seen a mermaid in the sea about twenty yards from the shore, sitting combing her hair on a floating herringbox used to preserve live lobsters, according to Sir Arthur Waugh in The Folklore of the Merfolk. “Unfortunately, as soon as she looked round, she realized that she had been seen, and plunged into the sea,” he writes. “But no questioning, says Mr Maclean, could shake the old fisher- man’s conviction: he was adamant that he had seen a mermaid. So one never knows!”
2008: A sighting of a mermaid happened in Suurbraak, a village in the Western Cape of South Africa, reported Aldo Pekeur, a correspondent for the New Zealand Herald. A resident of the village, Daniel Cupido, said he and his friends were next to the river around 11:30 p.m. when they heard something like someone “bashing on a wall.” Cupido went toward the sound, and found a figure “like that of a white woman with long black hair thrashing about in the water”.
Cupido said he tried to help the woman but the woman made “the strangest sound,” which Dina, Cupido’s mother, said was so sorrowful “my heart could take it no more.” The creatures are described as Kaaiman, or half human and half fish creatures living in deep pools. Suurbraak tourism officer Maggy Jantjies said she knew the people who saw the Kaaiman well, and that they did not misuse alcohol.
2009: The reports from dozens of people of seeing mermaids spurred the town council in Kiryat Yam, near Haifa, to offer $1 million to anyone who can prove by photo or capture that mermaids do exist.
“Many people are telling us they are sure they’ve seen a mermaid and they are all independent of each other,” council spokesman Natti Zilberman told Sky News. “People say it is half girl, half fish, jumping like a dolphin. It does all kinds of tricks then disappears.”
2012: An official in Zimbabwe said that mermaids were hounding government workers off dam sites in several different areas. Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo told a senate committee in March that traditional chiefs were going to perform rituals to get rid off the mermaids believed to live in reservoirs in Gokwe and Mutare, where workers are afraid to go, according to Voice of America. Some workers reportedly went missing while others have refused to go back to install water pumps.
Traditional leader chief Edison Chihota of Mashonaland East told the media outlet that mermaids exist. “As a custodian of the traditional I have no doubt,” chief Chihota said. “For anyone to dispute this is also disputing him or herself.”
Daniel He contributed research to this article
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Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Puerto Rico’s little known art museum has a surprisingly important art collection
Though Puerto Rico is known as “the jewel of the Caribbean” for its good food, warm weather, and sandy beaches; it is not often thought of as a destination for European fine art.
However, in the heart of its second largest city, the Museo de Arte de Ponce is home to a very important collection.
Despite the building’s relatively small size, the collection is comprised of over 4,500 works of art.
Its walls are hung with Lord Leighton’s iconic painting of “Flaming June,” Edward Burne-Jones’ “The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon,” and his fully worked out studies of the “Briar Rose” series, William Bouguereau’s “Le Collier de Perles,” and “Loin du Pays.”
Continuing around the museum you’ll find major works by William Holman Hunt, John Evert Millais, Frederick Sandys, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustave Doré, James Tissot, Jean-Leon Gerome, Jusepe de Ribera, and Konstantin Makovsky.
Other artists included in this museum are Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Baptistes’ “Carpeaux”, Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun, as well as many other fantastic works by lesser known artists.
With a collection this important, it is surprising more tourists have not heard of this museum and more visitors do not take advantage of this treasure trove of art.
The museum’s founder, Luis A. Ferré, first traveled to Europe in 1950 where he fell in love with European paintings and sculpture. By 1956, he had started his own collection.
He wanted to allow all the people of Puerto Rico to have access to high quality works that the majority of residents would never get to enjoy otherwise.
He started collecting with this greater vision in mind and his dreams were realized beyond his expectations.
The museum has loaned many of its works to important museums around the globe and it has become part of the island’s heritage.
Although the museum’s collection spans from the early Renaissance to the present, Ferré fell in love with what was considered in the 1950s through the 1980s as “unfashionable” art; that being the classical art of the 19th century.
Leading artists from the era include artists such as Frederick Lord Leighton, William Bouguereau, and many of the other names listed above.
At the time, the greatest works of the period could be purchased for only a few thousand dollars or less. During the 1980s this period of painting started to attract more attention from collectors and today many of these artists are considered masters alongside artists from earlier centuries such as Rembrandt, who was at one time also a forgotten painter.
Ferré, although his choices were unfashionable at the time, trusted his instincts and had the foresight to put together a world class museum of forgotten painters who have now been brought back into the public light.
As the reputations and love of these artists are expanding every year, their re-appreciation still being only recent history, there is no doubt that the museum’s fame and reputation will grow as more and more people become aware of its importance, not only to Puerto Rico, but the world.
You can find more information on the Museo de Arte de Ponce on the museum’s official page.
Kara Lysandra Ross is the director of operations for the Art Renewal Center and an expert in 19th century European painting.
Tags: art, Chinese culture, exhibition, Falun Gong
”The Arts of Zhen Shan Ren”
(The Art of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance)
http://www.theartofzhenshanren.org (In Chinese, English and Spanish)
The Art of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance consists of works from over twelve artists. Their backgrounds are varied and diverse in terms of professional experience, artistic styles and cultural upbringing. What they have in common in their practice of Falun Gong is united in an effort to express the myriad of experiences of living in it.
It was the release of Professor Kunlun Zhang, arrested for his belief in Falun Gong, from a Chinese brainwashing center in 2001 that spurred communication between the artists, many of whom have never even met face to face. In the course of sharing experiences and understandings over three years, the ideas for the exhibit began to take shape. Realist oil painting, or New-Renaissance, was chosen as the style for its narrative capabilities, accessibility and, above all, its simplistic purity. The exhibit would encompass four main themes: harmony, adversity, courage and justice.
The exhibition is displayed at the Gothenburg Public Library June 30 – 15 July
Open: Mon-Fri 10-19.30, Sat 11-16.30
Read more: Falun Dafa Art Center
Tags: art, beauty, classical music, Culture, film, Music
Was it with sadness or joy Mother Mary saw her son Jesus do the ascension? Sadness at having to part from her beloved son or joy that he ascended into the Light? Or both?
Anyhow, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is so beautiful…
Have you seen The Philosophy of Beauty? Very watchable film in six parts on YouTube:
Here in the sixth section, you can see the philosopher Roger Scruton speak about Stabat Mater and Pergolesi. Starts at 03:51.
Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives. In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert. Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation.
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
New Waterhouse Found: An undiscovered Waterhouse painting was recently found in a Canadian farmhouse called Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Experts estimate that it will sell for around $7 million when it goes up for auction at Christie’s in London in November. The title comes from a Robert Herrick poem:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying;
And the same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Tags: art, Culture, exhibition, photo, picture of the day
Exhibition: Cooper & Gorfer My Quiet of Gold
February 25–May 15 2011
HASSELBLAD FOUNDATION The work of Gothenburgbased artist duo Sarah Cooper (USA) and Nina Gorfer (Austria) belongs to a narrative tradition within photography, with roots in 18th and 19th century painting. Their staged photographs hold distinct reference to fables and myths. Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer are choreographers behind their images. Their working process is intuitive and organic. Curiosity attracts them to unknown places where they tactfully and sensitivelly observe the surroundings. Ideas come about and are realized in close collaboration with the people they portray. The exhibition at the Hasselblad Center focuses on the photographs from a journey to Kyrgyzstan, which depict the collective memories and folk tales of a people. The images are processed digitally, forming picturesque collages in which the stories are never linear. Instead they suggest multifaceted and dream like realities.
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Tags: art, Culture, Leonardo da Vinci
I wonder how long the artists at that time were working on their paintings? The details and attention that they have shows an inner calmness, I think, and an inner patience. They wanted to convey beauty and purity.
This is really art at a high level! Art in its best form should be uplifting and beautiful, I think, speak to the soul and give us inspiration and freedom of mind. Talk to us with their pure aura.
I once heard that the artist’s mental and emotional mark remains as a form of energy in the image he created. Many artists today are using art as a therapy to get out their darkness. What happens to us when this “dark therapy” hangs on the wall? For what we take in is still there. And the longer we take in something, the more rooted it become within us. Although it unconsciously…
Myself, I am very careful with what I put up on the wall and what I choose to surround myself with.
Masterpieces reveal their innermost online
Deep within many of history’s art treasures are subtle painted details that hardly can be seen without a magnifying glass. But now everyone can see them online. Advanced imaging technology reveals how masters like Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci would have done to create their immortal works.
Excerpt translated from this Swedish article: Mästerverken avslöjar sitt innersta på nätet | SvD
Masterpieces in a closeup: haltadefinizione.com
See also: The Importance of Beauty in Art
Tags: art, Culture
The philosopher Roger Scruton presents in a series of six parts a perhaps provocative attempt to explain the importance of beauty in art and in our lives, which aims to restore the beauty as a significant concept again in our culture and civilization.
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Anne-Francois-Louis Janmot (1814–1892) worked for 40 years on a series of paintings and drawings entitled “Le Poème de l’âme”, or “The Poem of the Soul”. This is one of them, called “L’Idéal”, “The Ideal”.
Tags: art, Culture, picture of the day
Tags: art, Buddha, nepal, Paubha paintings
Art which has been hidden in a Buddhist temple in Nepal for ages is presented today by Lok Chitrakar, an artist from Katmandu. 110 canvases of ritual art and more than 70 sculptures are now on exhibit in one of Saint Petersburg’s cultural centers.
All of the exhibits are a master and his pupils’ works, in the Newar Paubha technique.
The main topic for Paubha paintings are Buddhist and Hindu deities.
All the canvases are made from cotton. The paints are traditionally made from crushed stones and vegetable dye.
Here’s a famous Buddhist story. Buddha Shakyamuni under the bodhi tree at the moment of his Enlightenment.
Many such stories have never left temples before.
Tags: art, exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael
With the start in Sweden, Gothenburg, a unique art exhibition open its doors with the works of the Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, displayed in a different and innovative way. The exhibition will then tour around the world for 8! years. So why not schedule a visit this summer to the beautiful country of Sweden? The exhibition will run between 20 March to 15 Aug 2010.
The exhibition includes original pieces by three Italian Renaissance masters, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rafael. These three Masters lived at the same time, knew and influenced each other, and were even rivals for the same contracts.
[Alessandro Vezzosi, Exhibition’s Artistic Director] :
“The Renaissance was influenced by ancient cultures and civilizations including Greece, Rome, India and China. In particular for Leonardo, the idea of a Renaissance civilization is a model for today.”
The most spectacular piece in the exhibition is ‘La Bella Principessa’ which was recently confirmed as a genuine Leonardo. This is the painting’s first public appearance and it is now valued at a hundred million euros. But the painting was first thought to be painted by a minor German artist.
[Pascal Cotte, CTO Lumiere Technology]:
“I have a new knowledge about painting because I have what we call the multi spectral knowledge. It’s a new way to investigate inside the pictorial layer to investigate the painting or a drawing. I discovered one piece of the puzzle and after one another piece and after that another piece, at the end when you have completed the puzzle you realize that all the pieces fit exactly each one together. The final touch was of course the fingerprint. When I discovered the fingerprint on the top left of the drawing, we made a comparison with a fingerprint found on Saint Jerome, another famous painting by Leonardo, and it matched perfectly. It matched historically and it matched scientifically, so it’s proved now, it’s a da Vinci.”
A big part of the exhibition is dedicated to the genius of Leonardo’s visions and inventions 500 years ago. It also includes around 50 original pieces from the renaissance, which most are privately owned and have rarely or never been shown in public. The exhibition called “And there was Light” is planned to tour around the world for several years, and where it will go from here is still unknown.
Bolette Ebertz, NTD News, Gothenburg, Sweden.