I’ve nothing worthwhile to say on tumblr, so I’m back on twitter.
Watch TCGS #91 - We Will Predict Your Future by The Chris Gethard Show on Blip
Why didn’t I bother to watch this before? New favorite show.
The Farnese Cup (Tazza Farnese) is a 2nd century BC cameo cup of Hellenistic Egypt in four-layered sardonyx agate. It is 20 cm wide.
After Octavian’s conquest of Egypt in 31 BC, the Farnese Cup was acquired by the Treasury of Rome. It was later brought to Byzantium, then back west after this city was sacked in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. By 1239 it was in the court of Frederick II, from which it then reached the Persian court of Herat or possibly Samarkand, where a contemporary drawing documents it; thence it found its way to the court of Alfonso of Aragon in Naples, where Angelo Poliziano saw it in 1458. Lorenzo the Magnificent finally purchased the famous “scutella di calcedonio” in Rome, in 1471. From there it came into the possession of the Farnese family through Margaret of Austria and thus into the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
“The bottom of the interior of the cup is decorated with a Sphinx upon which sits a female figure with ears of wheat in her hand; to her left, on a tree, there is an imposing male bearded figure with a cornucopia; at the centre a young man stands and leans on the shaft of a plough and holds a sack full of seeds in his arm. To the right are two seated female figures, one of whom holds a phiale, while above there are two male figures transported by a cloak blown by the wind. On the bottom of the external surface is a large gorgoneion, which reflects the tragic and grandiose tone of baroque Hellenism; the Gorgon’s nose has a small hole in it, already noted in the Farnese inventory of the sixteenth century, and has been interpreted as the trace of a support for display purposes. The presence of the Sphinx provides a direct reference to Egypt, and marks the point of departure for all the interpretations of the iconography proposed up till now. According to the traditional interpretation, the scene alludes to the flooding of the Nile, Eutheneia, which can be identified as the female figure in Isiac vestments, to the fertilising power of the river, symbolised by the imposing bearded figure on the left, and to the beneficial effects for Egypt, represented by the Sphinx. Subtler attempts at explanation have also been put forward over time aimed at identifying the seven characters as the main deities of the Egyptian pantheon, even though in a moment of religious syncretism in which traditional cults were assimilated with the Eleusine mysteries, or at interpreting them as historical figures linked to a specific event, of which the cup preserves the memory. According to the first interpretation, the Sphinx represents the symbol of the Ptolomeic kingdom dominated by Isis, who can be identified by her hairstyle and clothing; on her left stands her brother-husband Osiris and the centre Horus-Harpokrates; the two female figures on the right, behind whom can be seen crops, are the Horai, the deities of the seasons and the harvest, or the personification of cultivated land and dew; the two gliding figures above are the Etesian winds which blow from the North.
The reference to historical characters and events, undoubtedly a fascinating suggestion, cannot go beyond the identification of the three central figures with the three figures of the family of the Ptolemies (the female figure can be probably be identified as Cleopatra I, as is demonstrated by the comparison with her portrait in the Louvre). The association between the serene depiction on the obverse and the terrifying image of the Medusa on the reverse has been interpreted as a reference to the royal family, which knew how to govern peacefully but would adopt an inflexible approach when necessary.
Some help with the chronology of the object is provided by comparison with glass objects painted in gold of Alexandrine production which indicate the presence, between the third and the second century, of a plate with an everted rim morphologically very similar to the cup. Other fundamental indicators are stylistic analysis, which associates the cup with forms of early Hellenistic date, and the type of inlay, which is extremely complex comprising least four layers, with relief engraving on both faces. As regards its function, it seems certain that it was not used for banqueting: it is more plausible that it would have been used for ritual libations.” - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
Daft Punk - Get Lucky ft. Nile Rodgers & Pharrell Williams (by Peter Serafinowicz)
Feeling this on every level.
I’m gonna side with Daft Punk for a sec and say, lose yourself to dance, guys.
Oh my godddd
Still can’t get over Trouble Will Find Me.
Most moth species are very small and are active only at night, so we don’t often get to examine them up close. But in our current photo exhibition Winged Tapestries: Moths at Large, you can pore over the insects in glorious detail.
Banded tussock moth © Jim des Rivières