Day 119. London

День 119. Лондон
British Museum. Renaissance drawings exhibitions. Greek marble. Pre-historic art.
Ain Sakhri lovers figurineThis is the oldest known representation of a couple making love in the world. It was found in a cave in the Judean desert. The pebble depicts a couple face to face. One person has wrapped their arms around the shoulders of their lover in an embrace. The knees of one of the figures bend up over the legs of the other. The pebble has been ingeniously carved so that, whichever way you look at it, the shape of the figurine is phallic but the genders of the couple are not revealed.
What was the sculpture used for?
The people who made the figurine are known as Natufians and are among the first people to domesticate sheep and goats. Selectively breeding animals required an understanding of the male role in reproduction and the sculpture's phallic shape may reflect their interest in fertility. Was this work of art used for rituals focussed on fertility or is it simply a reflection on human love? (Ain Sakhri lovers figurine)
Parthenon sculpture: Centaur and LapithThis sculpture from the Parthenon shows a Centaur rearing triumphantly over a dying human Lapith. This focus on human suffering epitomises the intense humanism of Greek art. The sculpture also represents Greece's struggle to resist being absorbed into the Persian Empire. The Greeks had a strong notion of their own identity and regarded the Persians as barbarians like the Centaurs. The Parthenon was completed in 432 BC on the site of an earlier unfinished temple destroyed by the Persians. (Parthenon sculpture: Centaur and Lapith )