Friday, April 20, 2007

Back when I was an undergrad (lo, those many years ago), I had 2 minors - BritLit and Art History (my major was Humanities). When I was a sophomore, I took an upper level class on Greek Art and it was brutal - the only grade in the class was the final, and that was 50 slide identifications. But it was absolutely fascinating and thrilling. And yes, I got an A. :)

Maenad "or Bacchante. A wild woman, the votary of Bacchus, who took part in his orgiastic rites, the Bacchanalia."

bacchus "(Gk Dionysus), popularly the god of wine, originally a fertility god worshipped in the form of a bull or a goat, whose rites were accompanied by frenzied orgies, when the animal was torn to pieces and its raw flesh consumed, a symbolic eating of the god himself. In Greece the cult seems to have had a particular attraction for women; the Maenad...with her typical swirling drapery, her figure expressing physical abandonment as she beats a tambourine, is first known to us on Greek drinking cups of the 5th cent. B.C..."

I love this image, because even without her limbs you can see how much movement there is here, how vibrant it is. I wonder what her arms were doing. I also wonder if we would find sculpture like this as compelling if it were complete.

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