Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ancient Eyes

Kylix (Drinking Cup) / Greek / 4th century BCE

In the pottery of ancient Greece, a kylix (Ancient Greek: κύλιξ, pl. κύλικες; pronounced /ˈkaɪlɪks/, "keye-liks" or /ˈkɪlɪks/, "kil-liks", also spelled cylix; pl.: kylikes /ˈkaɪlɪˌkiːz/, "keye-luh-keez" or /ˈkɪlɪˌkiːz/, "kil-luh-keez") is the most common type of wine-drinking cup. It has a broad, relatively shallow, body raised on a stem from a foot and usually two horizontal handles disposed symmetrically. The main alternative wine-cup shape was the kantharos, with a narrower and deeper cup and high vertical handles.

The almost flat interior circle of the base of the cup, called the tondo, was generally the primary surface for painted decoration in the black-figure or red-figure pottery styles of the 6th and 5th century BC, and the outside was also often painted. As the representations would be covered with wine, the scenes would only be revealed in stages as the wine was drained. They were often designed with this in mind, with scenes created so that they would surprise or titillate the drinker as they were revealed. (image source) (text source)

Eye Idols / Syria / 3500BCE

This type of figurine known as an eye idol, made of stone and having incised eyes, has been excavated at Tell Brak, where thousands were found in a building now called the Eye Temple. They were probably dedicated there as offerings. Many are incised with multiple sets of eyes, others with jewelry, and still others with representations of "children"—smaller eyes and body carved on the body of the larger idol. Wide eyes demonstrate attentiveness to the gods in much of Mesopotamian art. (source)
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