Beauty and meaning in a Roman villa’s paintings

Nobody knows who the villa belonged to except that they were wealthy, Roman, and keen to dazzle guests with their lavish residence on the flanks of Mount Vesuvius.  Not far from Pompeii in the town of Torre Annunziata, the 1st century villa was consumed by lava in the eruption of 79, an eruption so violent that it altered … Continue reading Beauty and meaning in a Roman villa’s paintings

Mirroring Devotion

One of the things I love about religious art is the occasional blurring of the line between an object intended to inspire devotion and the depiction of devotion itself.  This happens in pretty much all religious traditions, but for whatever reason it struck me recently at "Buddhist Art of Myanmar," currently on view at the Asia Society Museum … Continue reading Mirroring Devotion

Unearthed treasures

Okay, I admit it, I have a predilection for terrifying creatures whose sole job is to frighten away demons and evil spirits.  These two tomb guardian beasts (or zhenmushou for those of us who try to learn these terms...not that we always succeed in remembering them...) are typical in form but pretty rare in terms … Continue reading Unearthed treasures