Archive | March, 2011

The subject of a gem finally identified!

Engraved banded agate, 20mm long I have owned this gem for years; an intaglio carved of a domed banded agate, depicting an athletic young man holding a discus in his lowered left hand and an strings in his raised right. When I bought it it was unset, and I put it in a ring of my own making, with a heavy 22k gold bezel around the stone on a silver ring. Unfortunately the stone is cracked, but it is otherwise complete and quite beautiful in quality. The detail of the musculature is remarkably fine and precise for such a tiny image, and the intensity of the gaze is remarkable in how readable it is even though on such a tiny scale. This is a masterpiece of the glyptik arts, but what exactly are we looking at? What is this beautiful young man doing, and is this ancient or a Neo-Classical gem inspired by antiquity? The impression taken with Sculpey The first bit of information I got was when researching for parallels, I found an almost […]

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Springfield Museums again

Last week I found myself heading to my conservator in Holyoke to pick up a piece, and decided to also pay a quick visit to the Springfield Museums, as I really enjoy them. This time I made it to the Springfield History museum, which turned out to be quite a treat. Widow Seated with Her Dogs, 1640attributed to Frans Luycx, Flemish, 1604-1668 For some reason this dour picture captured my attention. Beautifully painted the elderly lady is enshrouded with luxurious black satins, with two adorable dogs beside her, one of which reaches up to sniff her hand. This is a great portrait painting, which manages to be both intimidating and somehow sympathetic. At first formidable in appearance upon a closer look, the lady is seemingly almost approachable. The dogs betray her humanity. Detail of the Portrait of a Widow While not pretty, and pretty scary still, I think I detect the hint of a smile on her lips. Maybe she is not so mean really. The real treat this trip though, because the last times […]

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