UPDATE! This post was originally published on April 4th, 2013. American football season is in full swing and the players are back in the news for their behavior on and off the field. As the NFL grapples with scandal, the game goes on and fans all over the country are gathering each week, suiting up in their best team apparel, breaking out the tailgate, switching on the big screen or even traveling to the stadium to cheer on their favorite players and teams. We thought this would be a perfect time to republish this post about the similarities between our modern sporting celebrities and the ancient heroes of the gladiatorial games. You’ll be amazed to learn how much our modern athletes have in common with their ancient counterparts. And don’t miss Part 1 of this 2-part series, Super Bowl XLVII and the Superstars of Ancient Rome, which illuminates even more fascinating comparisons. Continue reading
Tag Archives: art history
Invisible ink, such a simple and yet crafty way to keep secrets. You may know that it was used in wars such as the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War and both World Wars, but did you know it was being used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations? In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History, an early encyclopedia, about how the milk of the tithymallus plant could be adapted as an invisible ink. Ovid spoke about secret ink in his Art of Love. Ahmed Qalqashandi, a medieval Egyptian writer and mathematician, described several types of invisible ink. And recently an article published in LiveScience explored a startling new discovery at Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple regarding invisible ink. Ancient invisible ink didn’t always start out as invisible and in this case the ancient artists probably had no idea that their stunning works would one day be hidden to the naked eye. Continue reading
In honor of AntiquityNOW Month, our Artist-in-Residence Dan Fenelon has created a paint by number activity using one of his paintings inspired by the Minoan “Fresco of the Dolphins” on the island of Knossos. The fresco is from the Palace of Knossos located just south of modern-day Heraklion near the north coast of Crete. The palace was built by the Minoans around 1950 BCE, but was damaged by an earthquake in 1700 BCE and had to be rebuilt. Commissioned by King Minos, the palace was the creation of the ancient architect Dedalos and was said to have been so complex in its design that no one placed inside its walls could ever find its exit. The second palace built on the remains of the first continued this labyrinthine structure, but included several changes. In his book “Architecture of Minoan Crete”, John McEnroe writes,
In the second Palace, much of the monumental bulk of the earlier building would be lightened through structural innovations and intricate details, and the taste for colored stone would be partly replaced by representational wall paintings. Continue reading
The dragon has a long and esteemed history in Chinese lore. In honor of Chinese New Year, AntiquityNOW’s Artist-in-Residence Dan Fenelon has recast this legendary figure into phantasmagorical creations that fuse the ancient and the modern with a whimsical turn—a Fenelon trademark. Continue reading
Dan Fenelon, AntiquityNOW’s Virtual Artist in Residence, looks to the past to feed his boundless imagination. He reaches in to antiquity and plucks inspiration from many ancient cultures to create a new art that is both modern and timeless. Two of the civilizations that inspire him are the Mayas and the Aztecs. Both flourished for thousands of years and created some of the most beautiful and recognizable works of art and architecture. Continue reading
Influenced by cartoons from the time he was a child, his art has a whimsy and fantasy that can be embraced by children and adults alike. The viewer becomes lost in a phantasmagorical world of dancing figures and prancing animals, floating skulls and geometric faces, curvilinear lines and mosaic-like backgrounds, ancient symbols resonating with a post-modern sensibility. It’s a tangled web of delight and astonishment that lures you deep within this art form, and you emerge breathless from the netherworld of Dan’s imagination.
Look for upcoming announcements regarding our partnership with Dan. And take a look at the video below to see Dan’s unique view of ancient imaginings.