Artistic Metamorphosis 

Fada Legend 

Appennine Colossus by Giambologna


Appennine Colossus by Giambologna carved around 1579 inside the garden from the Villa Medici in Pratolino, Italy. The statue was built in the request from the Grand Duke Francesco I de Medici who wish to satisfy the wishes of his concubine.


This magnificent super colossal statue also features a maze, fountains, water pipes, and caverns














Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great Pyramid of Giza


The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.


It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (often Hellenicised as "Cheops") and was constructed over a 20-year period. Khufu's vizier, Hemon, or Hemiunu, is believed by some to be the architect of the Great Pyramid. It is thought that, at construction, the Great Pyramid was originally 280 Egyptian cubits tall (146.5 metres (480.6 ft)), but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion, its present height is 138.8 metres (455.4 ft). Each base side was 440 cubits, 230.4 metres (755.9 ft) long. The mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5.9 million tonnes. The volume, including an internal hillock, is roughly 2,500,000 cubic metres (88,000,000 cu ft). Based on these estimates, building the pyramid in 20 years would involve installing approximately 800 tonnes of stone every day. Additionally, since it consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks, completing the building in 20 years would involve moving an average of more than 12 of the blocks into place each hour, day and night. The first precision measurements of the pyramid were made by Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie in 1880–82 and published as The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh. Almost all reports are based on his measurements. Many of the casing stones and inner chamber blocks of the Great Pyramid fit together with extremely high precision. Based on measurements taken on the north eastern casing stones, the mean opening of the joints is only 0.5 millimetres wide (1/50th of an inch).

Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th-century stereopticon card photo

The pyramid remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years, unsurpassed until the 160-metre-tall (520 ft) spire of Lincoln Cathedral was completed c. 1300. The accuracy of the pyramid's workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimetres in length. The base is horizontal and flat to within ±15 mm (0.6 in). The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points (within four minutes of arc) based on true north, not magnetic north, and the finished base was squared to a mean corner error of only 12 seconds of arc.The completed design dimensions, as suggested by Petrie's survey and subsequent studies, are estimated to have originally been 280 Royal  cubits high by 440 Royal cubits long at each of the four sides of its base. The ratio of the perimeter to height of 1760/280 Royal cubits equates to 2π to an accuracy of better than 0.05% (corresponding to the well-known approximation of π as 22/7). Some Egyptologists consider this to have been the result of deliberate design proportion. Verner wrote, "We can conclude that although the ancient Egyptians could not precisely define the value of π, in practice they used it". Petrie, author of Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh concluded: "but these relations of areas and of circular ratio are so systematic that we should grant that they were in the builder's design".Others have argued that the Ancient Egyptians had no concept of pi and would not have thought to encode it in their monuments. They believe that the observed pyramid slope may be based on a simple seked slope choice alone, with no regard to the overall size and proportions of the finished building.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leshan Giant Buddha


The Leshan Giant Buddha  is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built during the Tang Dynasty. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet. It is the largest stone Buddha in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world.

The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

At 71 metres (233 ft) tall, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. His shoulders are 28 metres wide and his smallest toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person. There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.

Construction was started in 713, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels traveling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. After his death, however, the construction was stuck due to insufficient funding. About 70 years later, a

Apparently the massive construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were indeed altered by the statue, making the water safe for passing ships.

A sophisticated drainage system was incorporated into the Leshan Giant Buddha when it was built. It is still in working order. It includes drainage pipes carved into various places on the body, to carry away the water after the rains so as to reduce weathering.

When the Giant Buddha was carved, a huge thirteen storey stone structure was built to shelter it from rain and sunshine. This structure was destroyed and sacked by the Mongols during the wars at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. From then on, the stone statue was exposed to the elements.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pietà by  Michelangelo Buonarroti


The Pietà (1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by that time in France but not yet in Italy. Michelangelo's interpretation of thePietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture. It is an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism.

Sculpting of the work took less than two years. Following completion, the Pietà's first home was the Chapel of Santa Petronilla, a Roman mausoleum near the south transept of St. Peter's, which the Cardinal chose as his funerary chapel. The chapel was later demolished by Bramante during his rebuilding of the basilica. According to Giorgio Vasari, shortly after the installation of his Pietà, Michelangelo overheard (or asked visitors about the sculptor) someone remarked that it was the work of another sculptor, Cristoforo Solari, whereupon Michelangelo signed the sculpture. Michelangelo carved MICHAELA[N]GELUS BONAROTUS FLORENTIN[US] FACIEBA[T] (Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, was making this) on the sash running across Mary's chest. The signature echoes one used by the ancient Greek artists, Apelles and Polykleitos. It was the only work he ever signed. Vasari also reports the anecdote that Michelangelo later regretted his outburst of pride and swore never to sign another work of his hands.

In 1964, The Pietà was lent by the Vatican to the 1964–65 New York World's Fair to be installed in the Vatican pavilion. Francis Cardinal Spellman, who had requested the statue from Pope John XXIII, appointed Edward M. Kinney, Director of Purchasing and Shipping of Catholic Relief Services - USCC, to head up the Vatican Transport Teams. People stood in line for hours to catch a glimpse from a conveyor belt moving past the sculpture. It was returned to the Vatican after the fair.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia






The Sistine Chapel  Michelangelo.


The Sistine Chapel (Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Roselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Mosesand the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, a masterpiece without precedent, that was to change the course of Western art. In a different climate after the Sack of Rome, he returned and between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgement for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel, ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

The Brugge Madonna and Child by  Michelangelo.


Although there are many different adaptations of the Madonna and child, whether it is a painting or sculpture, it represents the very core of Christianity. It represents the Virgin Mary and son Jesus together. The most famous of all is the Michelangelo sculpture made of marble named Madonna of Bruges. The rich history behind this sculpture is fascinating.


Created in Italy and exported to Belgium in 1504, Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child is significantly different from other adaptations. It does not show a kind and warm mother gazing at her child; rather it depicts a mother who is sorrowful at what is to become of her son. Many people believe that Michelangelo created this sculpture for a church however it never reached its destination.


Michelangelo’s Madonna and child has been protected for hundreds of years. Although it was taken by soldiers in both the French revolution and in World War II and hidden from everyone, it was later found and returned to Belgium. It is a sculpture that is revered by millions of people who travel from all over to world to view it. Today it is on display in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges Belgium. It is protected by a wall of glass that is bullet proof, and can only be seen from a distance of fifteen feet.



Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
























Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (/ˈrɛmbrænt, -brɑːnt/; Dutch: [ˈrɛmbrɑnt ˈɦɑrmə(n)soːn vɑn ˈrɛin] ( listen); 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age whenDutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization."


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bathsheba at Her Bath by Rembrandt

the storm on the sea of galilee- Rembrandt

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci, (Italian: [leoˈnardo da ˈvintʃi] ( listen); 15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519) was an Italian polymath. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, cartographer, botanist, historian and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived in the Western world. He is referred to as the Father of paleontology alongside Georges Cuvier. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote".Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.



Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mona Lisa - Leonardo da Vinci  1517

The Last Supper -  Leonardo da Vinci 

The Glider -  Leonardo da Vinci 

Oscar-Claude Monet

(/moʊˈneɪ/; 


French: [klod mɔnɛ]; 14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

Monet's ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property, and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Sunrise - Monet  1872

Monet



Field of Corn , 1881 painting - Claude Monet

Salvador Dali

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí (/ˈdɑːli/;[1] Catalan: [səɫβəˈðo ðəˈɫi]), was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.


Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.


Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes"to an "Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.


Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics.


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

























Queen Nefertiti


Neferneferuaten Nefertiti - or Queen Nefertiti - was the wife and 'chief consort' of King Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharoah during 14th century BC, one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, era in Ancient Egypt. 

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti - or Queen Nefertiti - was the wife and 'chief consort' of King Akhenaten, an Eyptian Pharoah during 14th century BC, one of the wealthiest era in Ancient Egypt (bust pictured)

She and her husband caused a 'religious revolution' in Egypt - worshipping only one God, Aten, the sun disc. 

It is debated as to whether she alone ruled Egypt for a short period before the man who is thought to be her son, Tutankhamun (King Tut), rose to ruler. 

A bust of her head, attributed to sculptor Thutmose, made her famous for her regal beauty.

Nefertiti was hugely powerful during her husband's reign, and she may even have had equal power to her husband. 

It is unknown how Nefertiti died, however, and theories include that she died of a sudden plague in her mid-30s or early-40s in the year 1340 BC.

To date, the mummy of Nefertiti, her parents, or her children has not been found or identified. 

For a while, the mummy of Akhenaten's mother, Queen Tiye, was thought to be Nefertiti, but teeth and DNA testing proved otherwise. 

Another mummy, also found in Amenhotep II's tomb in the Valley of Kings, has been theorised as being Nefertiti, but experts say its impossible to tell for sure. 

Egyptologists say that without DNA of Nefertiti and some of her children, it will likely be impossible to definitively identify Nefertiti.

It's unclear why Nefertiti's tomb hasn't been found, but she's not the only royal likely buried in the Valley of Kings who remains missing. 

Neither Akhenaten nor Smenkhkare, who ruled after Tut and whom some think is really Nefertiti with a different name, has been discovered.

Despite huge interest in finding her tomb, large swaths of the Valley of the Kings still haven't been explored.


Source: Daily mail




Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect theChinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century bc; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 bc by Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty.

Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.

The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi).


Source:   Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia