The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

5 May 1778   Tuesday
Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume II

Perspective view of the other ancient candelabrum that can be seen in the Cavalier Piranesi Museum
To Mr. Carlo Morris, English Knight
This Candelabra or Lord was found in Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli in the place called Pantanello. The elegance and finesse of its carvings, and the parts that make up the whole, are of an admirable proportion.
As a sign of respect, the Knight Gio. Batt(ist)a Piranesi
Cavaliere Piranese designed and engraved

25-26 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1784
Collezione delle piu belle statue di Roma

Niobe with one of her daughters. Group of statues from the Granducale gallery, formerly from the Villa Medici
Perhaps it comes from the original by Praxiteles since the style combines with the Vatican Venus, recently discovered a copy of the famous statue of this Goddess, admired by Gnido, and sculpted by that author
To His Excellency Mr. Baron de Sparre Senator of Sweden Grand Governor of Stochholm Knight of the Orders of the King most liberal protector of the fine arts
Francesco Piranesi D.D.D.
Tomasso Piroli drawn     Francesco Piranesi engraved 1784.

5 May 1812   Tuesday

Morning without a cloud, wind violent NW. Temperature at 5 38, rise is rapidly under a clear sun, at 10 48. Wind NW, rose finally 10 66. The weather moderated. James began to add to the early potatoes in NW field a large patch. Evening clouds appeared in the SW as if a wind were coming thence. There was ice this morning in several places. I have carefully examined the blossoms. but cannot yet see that they are injured by it. The apples are not sufficiently advanced to cause much fear.

5 May 1821
Death of Napoleon in exile at St. Helena Island.

5 May 2005
ideal academic project?
Looks like a lot of you like oxymoron architecture. Anyone into onomatopoeia architecture?
Chronosomatically, the present Zeitgeist is the transverse section of the male and female human body slicing through the lowest two tips of the rib cage. Study the morphology and physiology within that corporal slice (including a developing fetus within the female body) and there's the essence of the present Zeitgeist. Lots of transverse colon, thus assimilation in the extreme; two kidneys, thus osmosis and some specific metabolism; the very dualistic beginning of a peripheral webbed structural system; etc., etc.

5 May 2006
Protonike on May 3rd
Last weekend I started reading John Curran's Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century from the beginning. I've owned the book for a few years now, but I've only read the ""Constantine and Rome: The Context of Innovation" until now. While reading "Conservator Urbis: Maxentius in Rome" I was constantly thinking of Eutropia, Maxentius' mother, and thinking how Maxentius seems to have learned much from her (except who his real father was). Then (on 2 May), while reading "The Christianization of the Topography of Rome, AD 337-384" I learned how Athanasius (St. Athanasius of Alexandria) is integral to the Pope Liberius / Antipope Felix II affair. [Yes, "Is there more "evidence" here of an imperial law of silence regarding Helena and the Cross?" is a question also now in my mind.] To be honest, all I really know about Athanasius comes from the five pages on Athanasius in Butler's Lives of the Saints, which I've read a few times over the last seven years.
On May 3rd I again go to read Butler's 'Athanasius' and I'm pleased to find 2 May is the feast of St. Athanasius of Alexandria (he died 2 May 373), but since it was 3 May I first checked to see what are the feasts 'today'. Aha, the quondam feast of The Finding of the Holy Cross, and a new passage of interest:
"Another apocryphal story which bears, though less directly, on the finding of the cross, is introduced, somewhat as a digression, into the document known as The Doctrine of Addai, of Syrian origin. What we are told here is that Protonike, the wife of the Emperor Claudius Caesar, less than ten years after our Lord's ascension, went to the Holy Land, compelled the Jews to reveal where the crosses were hidden, and distinguished that of our Saviour by a miracle wrought upon her own daughter. It is contended that this legend has suggested the story of St Helen and the discovery of the cross in the time of Constantine."
Immediately, I want to know more about Protonike, but there is nothing in Encyclopedia Britannica on her. Since it's already late at night my computer is off, so a web search will have to wait till 'tomorrow'. I'm nonetheless wondering if the Syrian-wife-of-an-emperor Eutropia knew about Protonike. Anyway, on to Athanasius, and another (re)new(ed) passage of interest:
"Upon his arrival [at Constantinople] he [Athanasius] accosted the emperor in the street in the attitude of a suppliant, and obtained an interview. So completely did he seem to have vindicated himself that Constantine, in reply to a letter from the Council of Tyre announcing that Athanasius had been condemned and deposed, wrote to the signatories a severe reply summoning them to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some reason which has never been satisfactorily cleared up, the monarch suddenly changed his mind. Ecclesiastical writers naturally shrank from attaching blame to the first Christian emperor, but it would appear that he took umbrage at the outspoken language of Athanasius in a further interview. Before the first letter could reach its destination, a second one was dispatched which confirmed the sentences of the Council of Tyre and banished Athanasius to Trier in Belgian Gaul."
So, I wonder, did Athanasius trespass a law of silence actually face to face with an Imperial?
Alas, yesterday I quickly find out that Protonike is a fictitious character. I had no idea historical fiction had such an old history--it wouldn't surprise me though if Eutropia occasionally dabbled in writing some historical fiction herself. And now I see that there is also a thin line between historical fiction and imperial laws of silence.

5 May 2014
Building the Picture: Architecture in Painting review a show to change the way you look at art

The most intriguing aspect of Masolino da Panicale's The Annunciation stands right in the middle of the painting.

5 May 2017

5 May 2023   Friday

Rise of the Flower Moon

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