"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

Today's Elites


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yes Virginia, the Roman Pantheon Was Purified Evil

Remarkable that a civilization that had such a refined degree of inventiveness could at the same time devolve into such a thoroughly evil empire.


The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are collaborating on the research and conservation treatment of the Berthouville Treasure, the extraordinary Roman silver hoard from the Bibliotheque’s Cabinet des Médailles.
Antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin with the Mercury statuette in the antiquities conservation studio at the Getty Villa
Antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin with in the antiquities conservation studio at the Getty Villa with the statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure (Roman, 100 B.C.-A.D. 200. Silver, 14 5/8 in. high. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques, Paris).
Almost one hundred objects arrived at the Getty Villa in December 2010, and technical examination, analysis, and photography of the individual artifacts continued throughout 2011.
One of the most intriguing objects is a small silver statuette, about 14 inches high, of Mercury, the Roman god of travel and commerce.  The statuette was found in fragments, which were entrusted in the 19th century for restoration to Alexi Joseph Depaulis, a well known artist who worked in metal.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure - pre-conservation view
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa
Knowing what has been done to the sculpture over the years, and what is inside it, is the first step in understanding how to properly conserve it. Close visual analysis along with X-radiographs have revealed much about this history.
X-rays revealed that Depaulis employed an armature of small metal rods with twisted wire. Wax was used to construct a stable support structure to hold the individual silver fragments. Analysis by our colleagues at the Getty Conservation Institute has established that the wax is natural beeswax.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure - X-ray view
Our study also suggests that the silver used to create the Mercury statuette was manufactured by hammering silver to a thin gauge sheet, but the left hand is solid and seems to have been made separately and to have been attached to the wrist of the right arm by sliding its wrist portion into the hollow arm. Traces of gilding on the wings of the god’s helmet are also preserved. The support rods appear to be solid and stable, so we have no plans to remove them.
Our work on this statue was one of what we hope to be many more interesting findings with this project.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa
   |   Trackback   |   Permalink
 
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, ortrackback from your own site.

One comment

  1. January 22nd, 2012 at 7:49 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Remarkable that a civilization that had such a refined degree of inventiveness could at the same time devolve into such a thoroughly evil empire.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive