FEATURED ITEM: Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Roman Marble Statuette Idol of Greek goddess Nike Presenting Herself Sexually

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

This Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike (as of 07 / April / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1060
Civilization:  Roman, 200 C.E.
Size: H. 21.5 cm
Condition: Tips of the wings and neck rejoined, otherwise in fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: The Baidun Collection

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/roman-marble-statuette-idol-of-greek-goddess-nike/
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/4rmCKp

 

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Nike – The Greek goddess of Victory

Nike was a Greek war goddess who personified victory.  Her Roman equivalent was Victoria.  The Greek goddess Nike was variously described as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal).

Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace (also known as “The Winged Nike“). Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.

 

Equivalents in the Mesopotamian (Sumerian / Akkadian) Pantheons

The Greek goddess Nike is most likely a Greek adaptation of the Babylonian/Assyrian goddess Ištar (Ishtar), the Mesopotamian East Semitic (Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian)) goddess of fertility, love, war, sex, and power.  She is the counterpart to the earlier attested Sumerian Inanna who was the goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat. She was one of the most widely venerated deities in the ancient Sumerian pantheon.  Ishtar is the cognate for the later attested Northwest Semitic (Aramean/Canaanite) goddess Astarte (Ashtoreth),* as well as the Armenian goddess Astghik. Ishtar was an important deity in Mesopotamian religion which was extant from c. 3500 BCE, until its gradual decline between the 1st and 5th centuries CE with the spread of Christianity.

Equivalents in the Egyptian Pantheon

Among equivalents to- or influences upon- the Greek goddess Nike from the Egyptian pantheon, there are several candidates who are described as goddesses of war (in various capacities).  They are 1.) Bastet; 2.) Menhit; 3.) Neith; and 4.) Sekhmet.  The uniting of Egyptian cultures of Upper and Lower Egypt had also united deities that shared similar roles and usually the same imagery.  In Upper Egypt, Sekhmet was the parallel warrior lioness deity. Often similar deities merged into one with the unification, but that did not occur with these deities having such strong roots in their cultures. Instead, these goddesses began to diverge.

These Egyptian goddesses of war are:  1.) Bastet, who was the goddess of warfare in Lower Egypt, the Nile River delta region before the unification of the cultures of ancient Egypt; 2.) Menhit, whose name depicts a warrior status, as it means “(she who) massacres”; 3.) Neith, goddess of war and of hunting; and 4.) Sekhmet (or Sachmis – also spelled Sakhmet, Sekhet, or Sakhet, among other spellings, means “the powerful one”) is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing.

 

The Egyptian war goddess Neith ~ Nike

The Egyptian war goddess Neith (also spelled Nit, Net, or Neit) provides an interesting example.  There are possible (probable) linguistic similarities of the name Nike (pronounced “Ni-ke” or “Ni-kay”; “Nee-ke” or “Nee-kay”) with the name Neith (pronounced “Nith” or “Neeth”; “Nit” or “Neet”).

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

For the ancient Greeks – among their pantheon of gods and goddesses – the Greek goddess Nike (in the anthropomorphized form of a young, winged woman) personified victory in war.  In this outstanding example of ancient Greco-Roman art, the Nike portrayed here is represented standing here on a base with an inclined surface (perhaps on the summit of a hilltop or “high place” of worship) with her wings unfolded and outstretched upright towards the heavens.  She is dressed in a peplos fastened at her shoulder and tied with a cord just below her bosom.

The young woman’s pose, the movement of the peplos, and the position of the wings may indicate that she has just alighted on the ground.  The Nike portrayed here is standing in an upright position (almost at attention) while a strong wind blows from directly in front of her, therefore causing her peplos to cling against the front of her body (as well as lift the dress from behind as wind will do).

Upon first glance, the rendering of the face may seem a bit impersonal and idealized (indeed her traits recall several portraits of Faustine the Elder, the wife of Antoninus Pius).  The large folds of her peplos are reminiscent of the sculptures in the local style of the Levant (Syria and Jordan), whence this piece probably originated.

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/4rmCKp

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FEATURED ITEM: Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

This Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish (as of 04 / April / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1103
Civilization:  Roman, Pompeii 3rd Period, 100 C.E.
Size: L. 31 cm x H. 36.5 cm
Condition: Fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Ex. Private Swiss collection, Acquired 1980s.

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://www.baidun.com/roman-pompeian-wall-fresco-with-aquarium-like-swimming-fish/
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/wTg4uY

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

 

Fresco Wall Painting

The origins of fresco painting are unknown, but it was used as early as the Minoan civilization (at Knossos on Crete) and by the ancient Romans (at Pompeii). The Italian Renaissance was the great period of fresco painting, as seen in the works of Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Correggio and many other painters from the late 13th to the mid-16th century.

Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly-laid lime plaster.  Water is used as the vehicle (or medium) for the pigment, and with the setting of the plaster the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco – 3rd Style (Period)

This extremely fine fresco is an exquisite example of ancient Roman art, originates from Pompeii in ancient Rome, and is of the 3rd Pompeian Style that was popular 20-10 BCE. This 3rd Pompeian Style (and Period) emerged and developed as a reaction to the austerity of the previous period.

It leaves room for more figurative and colorful decoration, with an overall more ornamental feeling, and often presents great finesse in execution.  This style is typically noted as simplistically elegant.

One who beholds this fresco today wonders if the ancient Romans were making a first proto-attempt to illustrate the conceived notion of an aquarium before the advent of modern glass and other technologies that would make the invention of aquariums actually possible in the 19th century CE.  It seems that the artist who painted this fresco was attempting to create a calm and relaxing environment for those who sat in the room whose walls were decorated with this fresco of swimming fish in an Aquarium-like motif – which was extremely innovative and insightful to have the foresight in his/her day 19 centuries before the advent and invention of glass aquariums.

Pompeii Destroyed by Volcanic Eruption of Vesuvius

On 24 August 79 CE, the city of Pompeii was destroyed by the violent eruption of the volcano Vesuvius.  The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash.  The circumstances of their destruction preserved their remains as a unique document of Greco-Roman life.  Pompeii supported between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants at the time of its destruction.  Fortunately for this Fresco, it also has survived and has remained intact in Fine Condition.  Provenance is excellent:  acquired in the 1980s, Ex. Private Swiss Collection.

The ruins at Pompeii were first discovered late in the 16th century CE by the architect Domenico Fontana. Herculaneum was discovered in 1709 CE, and systematic excavation began there in 1738 CE.  Work did not begin at Pompeii until 1748 CE, and in 1763 CE an inscription (“Rei publicae Pompeianorum”) was found that identified the site as Pompeii.  The work at these towns in the mid-18th century marked the start of the modern science of archaeology.

Mount Vesuvius erupted 24 August 79 CE.  A vivid eyewitness report is preserved in two letters written by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus, who had inquired about the death of Pliny the Elder, commander of the Roman fleet at Misenum.  Site excavations and volcanological studies, notably in the late 20th century CE.

Just after midday on 24 August, fragments of ash, pumice, and other volcanic debris began pouring down on Pompeii, quickly covering the city to a depth of more than 9 feet (3 metres) and causing the roofs of many houses to fall in.  Surges of pyroclastic material and heated gas, known as nuées ardentes, reached the city walls on the morning of 25 August and soon asphyxiated those residents who had not been killed by falling debris.  Additional pyroclastic flows and rains of ash followed, adding at least another 9 feet of debris and preserving in a pall of ash the bodies of the inhabitants who perished while taking shelter in their houses or trying to escape toward the coast or by the roads leading to Stabiae or Nuceria.

Thus Pompeii remained buried under a layer of pumice stones and ash 19 to 23 feet (6 to 7 metres) deep.  The city’s sudden burial served to protect it for the next 17 centuries from vandalism, looting, and the destructive effects of climate and weather.

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/wTg4uY

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