Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Archaeology of a Smile







Kore, c. 530-515 BC
from Richter, A Handbook of Greek Art (Phaidon Press, 1967)












Angel, Riems Cathedral, about 1240
from Focillon, The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, Volume II: Gothic Art (Phaidon Press, 1963)













La Gioconda (Mona Lisa), Leonardo Da Vinci, completed ca. 1519

5 comments:

  1. I happened to be leafing through the Richter and Focillon texts yesterday morning, and my eyes landed on these images within a few minutes of each other. The smiles, separated by centuries,seem to share a certain enigmatic quality. Of course, the da Vinci, while not one of my favorite paintings, is celebrated for its "mysteriousness", and is included here for comparison.

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  2. ...I am resisting the temptation to describe the smiles as mocking.

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  3. ... knowing, perhaps? :-)

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  4. Yes! I think you've nailed it.

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  5. Salve,
    Ho visto con interesse le sue belle immagini di sorrisi statuari. Mi sono ricordato di quest’altro famoso sorriso romanico. Si tratta del profeta Daniele del Portico de la Gloria (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela). E’ anteriore al suo esempio di Reims (ca. 1180) e la sua precocità cronologica (un sorriso nel arte religioso romanico?) ed stranezza ha originato molte teorie e dicerie popolari. Resta comunque, soprattutto perché attorniato di compagni severi, una bellissima risata.

    (J’ai trouvé intéressants ses images de sourires dans la statuaire . Ils me rappellent cet exemple-ci du art roman . il s’agit du prophète Daniel du Portico de la Gloria (Cathédral de Santiago de Compostela). Ça précède l’image de Reims (ca. 1180) et sa précocité chronologique et rareté (un sourire dans l’art roman) a été source de nombreuses théories et légendes. Il reste de toute façon, surtout parce qu’il est entouré de sévères compagnes, un très beau rire…



    http://www.guiarte.com/noticias/feria-de-turismo-cultural-en-malaga.html

    http://gl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:Santiago_Catedral_P%C3%B3rtico_da_gloria_GDFL6.JPG

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