Poseidon, trident in hand, duels the Giant Polybotes during the Gigantomachy. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, name-vase of the Painter of the Paris Gigantomachy (circle of the Brygos Painter); ca. 475-450 BCE. Found in Vulci; now in the Cabinet des Médailles, Paris.
Unknown artist. White marble. Pergamon Museum. Berlin, Germany. Reconstructed west front of the Altar of Zeus. Featuring a 70 foot long staircase and peristyle colonnade in the Ionic order. The Altar’s formidable size does not take away from it’s extreme attention to detail. Following the trends of the Hellenistic period, dramatic expressions and extreme naturalism is seen in the high relief narrative frieze wrapping around the entire building. The frieze depicts the Gigantomachy to symbolically allude to the Greek Victory over the Gauls.
By the late 6th century BC, black-figure artists had become so masterful in their work that they were successfully able to create compositions with complex spatial relationships, with large numbers of figures in action. As one might expect, the ideal subject for this was battle scenes: one such example is shown above, on the obverse of the work, depicting the the Gigantomachy (battle of gods and giants). As the MET state below, the scene on the reverse is handled equally sophisticatedly.
The presence of Athena identifies the combatants here. The arms and armor are those that contemporary Greek soldiers would have used. Dionysos and his followers on the reverse could, potentially, create similar din and confusion. Here, they appear sprightly but orderly.
Terracotta column-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water). Archaic, ca. 540 BC.
The battle of the Gods and the Giants (the east frieze of Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamon; the battle of Zeus and Porphyrion), the first half of the 2nd century B.C. Germany, Berlin, Museum Island, Pergamon Museum
March is Women’s History Month! In honor of lovely ladies, I’m posting solely female musicians this month.
Artist: Cake Bake Betty
Album: To the Dark Tower (2008)
Cake Bake Betty is Lindsay Powell, a multi-instrumental singer-songwriter from Millstone Township, New Jersey. Her other musical projects include Festival (with her sister Lex on Language of Stone Records) and SkyBlazer (with the boys of Jeff on Infinity Cat Recordings). CBB uses piano, violins, synthesizers, and everything in-between to craft original songs which are sometimes quirky, sometimes deeply emotional, but all with an undeniable endearing quality.
Powell is now performing as Fielded, plus as the vocalist of Ga'an and one half of Festival.
A scene from the Gigantomachy: Ares and another figure (usually identified as Phobos, less often as Hermes) ride into battle in a chariot, trampling a Giant beneath them; Athena fights alongside. Side A of an Attic black-figure amphora, in the manner of the Lysippides Painter; variously dated to ca. 530 or ca. 510 BCE. Found at Vulci; now in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich.