CORRECTION made 6/30/13, added the photo of the bust. (3rd photo.)

This is for Lesley Carter’s travel theme.

Paris sculptures:

Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo 2
Venus de Milo

This draped bust, displayed near the Venus de Milo, was sculpted around the same time (first century BC). The bust was adapted to a lower block that was carved apart, and which included the pelvis and sculptured legs. (I think… relying on Google translation.)

Bust at the time of Venus de Milo

This next one is amazing. Here is what the info sheet said (emphasis mine):

Discovered at Ain Ghazal during the joint Jordanian-American archaeological excavations carried out in 1985 and subsequently restored in Washington at the Smithsonian Institution Conservation Analytical Laboratory from 1985 to 1996, the statue has been loaned to the Louvre for a period of 30 years. At 9,000 years old, this is the oldest work presented at the Louvre.

Ain Ghazal (the “gazelles’ spring“) was founded in the eighth millennium BC and prospered for 2,000 years.

The statue belongs to what is known as the pre-Pottery Neolithic Period, a Neolithic culture which existed during the seventh millennium BC throughout the whole Fertile Crescent. Structures dating from this period were produced using plaster obtained through the calcification of the local gypsum, with the aid of primitive pyrotechnics.

New practices emerge from new ways of thinking: skulls from certain bodies — possibly those of local leaders — were preserved separately and modelled with an outer layer of plaster or clay, which seems to suggest the existence of some form of ancestor worship. Almost 30 plaster statues, including this one, were discovered in shallow ditches at Ain Ghazal. These take the form of standing figures or busts, which can be either single or double headed.

All of these effigies were designed to stand upright vertically. They were buried in small groups, on several occasions.

We do not know their meaning, with their purpose probably being an imaginary or ritualistic one, although we can assume that they were intended to encourage the cohesion of the community.

The Ain Ghazal statue is presented at the Louvre thanks to an agreement with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. this is the first time that a work belonging to a Middle Eastern country, which retains ownership of the item, has been exhibited along with the Louvre’s permanent collections. In Exchange, the French Museums Department and the Museum of the Louvre have contributed to the restoration and preservation of a monument in Jordan, a limestone and painted stucco sanctuary built during the second century BC and replaced by the Roman temple, which can be seen there today.

Ain Ghazal

10 thoughts on “Travel theme: Sculpture

    1. Thank you, Leanne. I’m happiest in museums that let me click. The D’Orsay didn’t but I snuck 2 photos, which I will be sharing soon. I was practically in a sweat, so scared I’d get caught, but Len watched out for the “cops” and encouraged me to snap a couple. No flash of course!!


      1. Haha, only if you want to photograph a sunrise. LOL
        I get up early but I don’t like to leave the house early. I like sitting around in pj’s for a while, you know hour or two, drink coffee and just take it easy before the day starts.


      2. Sounds compatible, then! By the way, I left off the photo of the bust that I talked about on the post. I just noticed. I added it if you wan to see what the heck I was talking about. 😉


      3. I find sculptures breathtaking, the work that goes into them, and you know if they stuff it up, back to the start they go. I don’t think I could do this. I would be so scared to ruin it,


      4. LOL! I love that, must be Australian, “stuff it up.” Oh yes, another Australian friend said that’s what it means when I reported I was making stuffed pork chops for dinner. (Which I totally stuffed up, by leaving them in there to warm for 2 hours while I went to my reading group meeting, which I had forgotten until Google reminded me.)


      5. P.S. I have a friend (who lives in Australia! What ‘s up that?!), who is a sculptor, among other things. She does sculpture. I should introduce you two in a Google hang out so you can talk about it, if you’re interested. I think these marble carved ones are really hard, like you said. I think the self portrait my friend did (which is incredible) is something else. Clay, I think. More forgiving.


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