October 12th, 2005
|06:45 pm - Etruscan Reliefs and the Priest|
I'm looking at a few Etruscan reliefs today. The first has intrigued me since I first saw it: two young men wrestle a stag to the ground, the first with his arms around the animal's muscular neck and the other with one hand on an antler and the other on a back leg. The scene amazes me with action.
The second is a set of reliefs about the transit of the sun. I'm staring at them, seeing the story but unable to articulate it. The rising sun from the sea, the dawn, the transit, the morning star that precedes him, the stars that shine above, and the hero who this myth centers around.
When I see these reliefs, I see the stories. I watch them dance through my mind, scenes shifting and shaping before my mind's eye. I catch fragments of rituals that enact these scenes, these myths that the icons portray.
The Priest is slowly waking up.
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "Railroad Lady", -JB
The first one is beautiful. So dynamic. The one hidden behind the bull really catches my attention, as he is so obviously exerting himself. You can see the strain in his muscles and the grit in his teeth. However, for whatever reason the one grabbing the antler and the leg does NOT look like he is actually pulling, but rather holding on. And if you look at it logically, isn't his hand positioned to push the antler the opposite way the man holding the neck is pulling? If he were pushing it the same direction, his fingers would be on the other side. Hmm, maybe I am just overanalyzing. Or maybe I just happen to be one of those people who occassionally dislikes people they see portrayed in art with no understood reason.
As for the second one, I thought it was a woman. Maybe I am just completely unfamiliar with anything Etruscan. It's really dynamic, too, though; all of the lines and shading in the background become all sorts of things in my eyes. Sometimes the white looks like daggers, sometimes the bones of wings or fins, sometimes rays of light.
Heh, of course, my perception is probably vastly different from yours, since you understand the context of the culture and I can only begin to guess.
Thanks for sharing. :)
|Date:||October 13th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)|| |
As far as the first one goes, it looks to me like the left figure is holding the antler back so the man trying to pull it to the ground doesn't get gored by it. I think I've seen something like that before demonstrated with real people, and what the rear guy is doing is trying to protect the guy up front and make the quadraped less sturdily balanced, so that the guy in front can actually have a chance to pull it over.
The leg makes sense, but the antler still has me. You say he's keeping him from being gored...? Hmm, that would make the direction his fingers are facing much more sensible... yes, I could run with that. Especially since you have apparently witnessed deer-wrangling in person (WTF?) It's just that he doesn't look like he's TRYING... if the deer were really trying to gore him, he would have to be straining to keep that antler from ending up in our other friend's eyes/stomach/whatever. Unless the deer is trying really hard to stand up but not to gore anybody. In which case, it's not very smart.
Ah, well. Watch it turn out that the figure on the left is a god and he's going to exchange severe words with me for publically criticizing his wrangling technique. :P
|Date:||October 13th, 2005 01:20 am (UTC)|| |
Yeah, I see what you mean... but with how far the antler is pulled back, I think that it may be beyond the strength of the animal to pull back.
And I believe I saw it on TV, like Discovery or TLC or the National Geographic chanel.
Ah, I see.
I had the strangest mental image of you at some sort of weird hillbilly rodeo, touting a frothy beer and watching men in hunting camo wrangling stags. I don't know, I figured it must be some sort of folk custom or something.
Now I want to try it.
|Date:||October 13th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)|| |
We could go on a month long backpacking trip, eating only what we can forage and catch (and wrestle to the ground). It'd be great.
|Date:||October 13th, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)|| |
Hey, sounds good to me.
I get to to be the one who grabs the leg and the antler (and does it right!)
Etruscans are vastly different than the IE cultures that appeared later around them. They will seem a bit strange and unfamiliar.
The most basic response to that is probably, "Well, they aren't IE." But really, the Etruscans are a bit of a mystery. We don't know where they came from, nor do we have a lot of writing. A lot of stuff, we just guess about, really.
But we have some pretty good guesses. I generally find inspiration from them, not fact, though. I make a far fluffier Etruscan than I do Celt.
I did once hear a very intersting talk about Situla art, though. Unfortunately, what I remember most is that the guy speaking talked for far, far too long.