July 28, 2009

At the Critter Cafe...

DSC01582

... you are so delightfully creepy.

(Knoxville readers should recognize this bas relief.)

24 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Now that's cool - without qualifiers.

The Macho Response

blake said...

It's always best to arrive early before the critters start eating the food.

Chip Ahoy said...

OMG! That reminds me of the outer sarcophagus of Djehutynakht (first half 20th century BC between 11th and 12 Dynasties. ) now at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where the creatures on the offering table set before the principal are rendered with astonishing detail and can be read as virtual glyphs, one of the most splendid examples where glyphs and figures are integrated and complement each other. What appears at first as chaos is actually quite a careful study in the division of space. The entire scene revolves around a central lotus plant and is traversed by two diagonal lines that intersect. It contains even an attempt at perspective where the figures at the right side are drawn smaller than the figures on the left thus appearing more distant, as comparing the two bunches of onion will show, which with the blending of white portion blending into orange at the stem, themselves show an attention to detail not often seen in Egyptian painting.

Methadras said...

I love that. I'd design a whole house around something like that. Beautiful.

Maxine Weiss said...

"a buzzing hive of interactivity in which the solitary seeker at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore is upgraded to the collective mentality of an online "community." And yet this community can't help but operate according to its own hierarchy -- a fact we confront any time a book is de-ranked on the website or electronically deleted. "


http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ulin28-2009jul28,0,6189272.story

traditionalguy said...

That reminds one of God's orders given to Peter three times for emphasis..."Rise up Peter.Kill and eat. You must not consider unclean what I have cleansed". The next morning the Jews let the gentiles into the Christian religion. We have been trying to return the favor ever since.

Big Mike said...

@Chip, one difference being that the Egyptian sarcophagus does not depict a mantis as large as a squirrel. If that's how large the bugs are in Knoxville, I'm staying east of the Blue Ridge!

rocketeer67 said...

Is that a sheep I see? Would that make it a baaa-relief?

traditionalguy said...

The Communist Critters in the State Department under Obama/Clinton leadership are going to war to defeat the free republic of Honduras for resisting slaughter by Marxist thugs disguised as election winners. Is there any reason other than a Communist Conspiracy in our presidency to explain that? We need Jeremy and L E Lee and Garage to point out an answer to that. We now favor Marxist thugs while we dis-favor the Israeli Democracy, out of Principle. OK, What principle?

Triangle Man said...

Something about the cafe today makes me want to sing.

However, I'll spare my co-readers by inquiring instead about an inconsistency I perceive in the health care reform debate. From one perspective, it is a bad thing to spend a huge percentage of our GDP on defense. Military spending is put forth by some as a sign that our priorities are all screwed up. Now I hear that the growth of health care costs as a percentage of GDP is a bad thing. Would those who oppose having high military spending want the nation to spend more on health care. So, what's up with that?

I'm sure I am missing something here, but again, I am trying not to sing.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Oops. Made a mistake.

Big Mike, The deer as well. But what is scale to an artist? Nothing, that's what. Or lots of things.

I should have used Photoshop to isolate and correct the portion of Djehutynakht's sarcophagus I was referring to. It does show on close examination, not possible with the link I provided, that geese are drawn on equal size to bulls and three antelope are drawn smaller than birds, onions drawn larger than bull hindquarters, etc.

‹pedantry alert›

To ancient Egyptians relative size is symbolic, contrary to the significance of size in modern work, it also anticipates the use of perspective. Consider the squirrel and deer up there to be farther from the viewer than the insects which perforce are nearer for closer examination. Size can signify importance or prestige. Usually sameness in size in art denotes equality of status, especially height.

It wouldn't do to paint a king gazing down upon a god, nor vise versa. So whereas (a statue of) a god is depicted on a plinth in a painting, he is drawn on a smaller scale so that their heads and eyes are equal. Likewise Hathor standing on a plinth of a seated king is drawn to a smaller scale so that their heads and eyes are also at the same level. People of lesser social stature within the same register are depicted smaller because of their status. All Egyptian funerary painting follows this rule and conventions of scale. In other instances scale is altered purely for purposes of composition, for instance bulls the size of dogs are led on ropes in offering scenes to make use of available space and to emphasize the gift-giver and not the gift.

See the famed statue of the dwarf Seneb and his wife. (You might be surprised how many images of this statue there are on the internet, almost as many as the Geese of Meidum fresco.) In a block-stle statue, Seneb is depicted with his legs drawn up and his upper body elongated unnaturally to achieve isocephaly that connotes equality. The space where his legs would be in an ordinary statue is taken up by depictions of their two children in order to conform to canon.

‹/pedantry alert›

Big Mike said...

@Chip, I didn't know that. Thanks.

rhhardin said...

To ancient Egyptians relative size is symbolic, contrary to the significance of size in modern work, it also anticipates the use of perspective.

"Go up into the low hills, and find the first point of prospect you come to from which to regard the road along - and up - which you have come , and the higher hills far around and beyond. Look across at the hills : consider the graying and bluing that goes on in the water color of what you see, the array of tints that makes for layer on layer of distant height. Then look down along the path you have taken : observe the three tiny walkers, at various removes behind and below where you are now, one moving like a bug as seen from above, the others strokes of moving color at a level distance.

Now is the time to take out your [rhetorical category] utensil to cut up the appearances into portions of truth. Is the bluing of the hills then a metaphor for distance? Or a metonymy? What of the conventions of perspective that shrink your following travellers to miniscules or even dots? They alter by trope, but which one? And the ultimate question that emerges from these, the question that reigns over all such subjects : does the two-dimensional world of drawing make its representations three-dimensional space by metonymy, the two for the three? ...

Carry the question home with you from your walk. The question itself - preserved from the rotting of easy answer by your botanizing care - will be more fruitful than a dozen dry verses or a dozen dry deconstructions. Keep such questions : the poet will taste of their sweetness, long after they have dried. The rhetorician will experience their bitterness, and his own acute indigestion."

John Hollander "The Poetry of Everyday Life" _Raritan_ I.2 Fall 1981, p.16-17

Penny said...

I'm not sure why those ginkgo leaves appear, but I am pleased that they were included.

JAL said...

I'm with you TG on Honduras.

I think the State Department and the President have lost their collective minds. The article I read described the "president" installed by the coup.

What COUP?

I heard Zelaya's computer had the results of the election which had not taken place yet on it.

Anything in US papers? Not. A. Word.

We sure are riding a high horse when we trash Honduras and overlook the sins of the world.

I think Obama & Co. need to get some more useful type information before they go trashing our friends, neighbors and democracies with a rule of law All Their Own.

I'd like to unleash some super sized female praying mantises in DC, particularly Foggy Bottom.

NKVD said...

Obama's pal Skilly told him it was a coup, so that's that.

I work in nature and still don't understand why Ann insists on calling nature's denizens creepy.

But as a hillbilly, I don't expect I will ever understand city slickers and their neuroses.

kentuckyliz said...

East of the Blue Ridge won't help you. The most nasty giant flying cockroaches I ever saw were in Florida. Positively freakout disgusting.

I don't generally have issues with any of God's critters but roaches and their ilk creep me out to no end. EEEEEewwwwwWWWWWWW

traditionalguy said...

Ky Liz ... The evolutionary/ creationist (chose one) raison d'etre for husbands in today's world are the creepy insects in the house that need killing. We call them job security. I do wonder if all those Palmetto Bugs in Florida have driven people there over the edge lately.

Big Mike said...

@Liz, yup. My wife and I were vacationing in the Caribbean to celebrate our fifth anniversary (it's amazing what you can afford before you have kids!) and she encountered one in the bathroom of our unit.

What traditionalguy says is absolutely true! She's kept me around for another 30 years since then, just in case another one shows up.

RLB_IV said...

When living in Florida one must have cats to eat the palmetto bugs. Our cats could always be counted on to devour those creatures. The dogs were not interested.

knox said...

I keep watching for Knoxville readers... was I the only one??

Christy said...

Knox, nope.

knox said...

I had no idea... I thought you once mentioned living near the beach. I must be thinking of someone else.