Friday, January 21, 2011

Brief About Angels

Angels are messengers of God in the Hebrew Bible, the new testimony and the Quran. The term "angel" has also been extended to various notions of spiritual beings found in many other religious traditions.

Other roles of angels include shielding and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks.

The theological reading of angels is known as angelology. In art, angels are frequently depicted with wings, ultimately reflecting with the descriptions in the Hebrew Bible, such as the chayot in Ezekiel's Merkabah vision or the Seraphim of Isaiah.

In the postexilic period, with the development of unambiguous monotheism, these divine beings- the "sons of God" who were members of the heavenly council- were in effect demoted to what are now known as "angels," understood as beings created by God, but everlasting and thus superior to humans.

One of these "sons of God" is "the Satan", an outline depicted in, among other places, the story of Job. The concept of angels is best understand in contrast to demons and is often thought to be influenced by the ancient Persian religious tradition of Zoroastrianism, which viewed the world as a battleground between forces of good and forces of evil, between light and darkness

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Greek Panel Paintings

Panel painting is very old; it was a very high-status medium in Greece and Rome, but only very few examples of ancient panel paintings have survived. A series of 6th century BC painted tablets from Pitsa (Greece) represent the oldest surviving Greek panel paintings.

Wood panels, especially if kept with too little humidity, often damage and crack with age, and from the 19th century, when reliable techniques were developed, many have been transferred to canvas or modern board supports.

Wood panel is now rather more useful to art historians than canvas, and in recent decades there has been great progress in extracting this information - and many fakes discovered and mistaken datings corrected. Specialists can identify the tree species used, which varied according to the area where the painting was made. Carbon-dating techniques can give an approximate date-range, and dendrochronology sequences have been developed for the main source areas of wood for panels.

In theory, dendro-chronology gives an exact felling date, but in practice allowances have to be made for a interest period of several years, and a little panel may be from the centre of the tree, with no way of knowing how many rings outside the panel there were. So dendro-chronological conclusions tend to be expressed as a "terminus post quem" or an earliest possible date, with a tentative estimation of an actual date, that may be twenty or more years later.

The supposed called Panel Paintings Initiative is a multi-year project in collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Panel Paintings Initiative is a response to the growing recognition that significant collections of paintings on wood panels may be at risk in coming decades due to the declining numbers of conservators and craftspeople with the highly specialized skills necessary for the conservation of these complex works of art.