Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lion and Lioness in the Medieval Sculpture

The antique Benedictine Abbey in Cava dei Tirreni (Salerno, Italy) I visited about a week ago had a surprising peculiarity I wanted to show you. Unfortunatelly, I have not all "collection" of photos, have to make them when I have the possibility. But what I have is just interesting. If you want to read my reports about this visit (and it was very nice), you can read my posts Reinforce Your Spirituality in an Antique Monastery and Christian Pilgrimage to Antique Abbey

Лев и Львица

We have just discussed the strange period between Roman Empire and Medieval times (yes, you are right, those were early Middle Ages but...) when, at least it seems so, the craftsmen forgot many of their knowleges. If we confront ceramics -Greek and Roman, you know, it was splendid- with early Medieval pieces found in the castle of  Salerno, for example, where you can see only a curve line as a picture, and in it's maximum expression -spirals and a kind of stilized leaves. Ceramics is the most easy to remember confront.

Лев и Львица

Лев и Львица

Now, you have to know that people in early Middle Ages (locals were called "Romans" else, and they continued to follow the laws of Roman Empire) remembered something from those "glorious" times but did not know the details. One of the memories were, probably, the battles of gladiators. And the grandparents transmitted to the grandchildren stories about the terrible beasts. One of them was the lion.

Лев и Львица

Well, this is my personal interpretation. It can be that the artists knew about the lions from the stories of the pilgrims and travelers that visited Holy Land, even if I think that the poor beasts were extincted since unmemorable time in North Africa in that period because we know that Romans had grave problems to obtain new beasts for their gladiatorial shows.

Лев и Львица

Лев и Львица

Remains the security that the artists did not know precisely how the lions look. The lionesses. But Christian church adoptet the figure of the lion as a sign of the power of the church (in one interpretation) or as a custodian (in an other interpretation that seems to be not confirmed by the sculptures). And the artists had to represent them.
Look at my photos. First 6 are from the Dom of Salerno. First are the lions that had to meet the believer for the entrance in the atrium (XIII more or less) and had to remember him that the Church is powerful as the Lion but loves it's followers as the Lioness loves her kittens. Look at that Lioness.

The second couple is for the main entrance in the basilica. About XII century. Those seem both lions.

Finally, this last photo of the lower part of the ambon (XII century) in the Abbey (an other is in the Dom of Salerno, the others are in Amalfi and Ravello and probably in other cities, too).  Now, look at the second lion. It's a lioness! (by the way, there was nobody except me that noticed it).

Лев и Львица
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Male Dancers' Ballet

Classic Ballet is one of my favourite from the times I was a schoolgirl. Our parents, our school and our music school -all were very busy to take us in the capital, Vilnus, to show us all the possible ballets and other performances. So, "Giselle" by A. Adan I've seen at least 100 times. "Swan's Lake" was more difficult to find there, probably it was more complicated ballet and they did not had it in Lithuania, I don't know, but it was very often in TV and I know it good enough.

But what you will see here, in these video (and I advise you to watch other videos of this company, «Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo» or «The Trocks») is absolutely unique. Great male dancers that parody the famous ballets. I do not remember when I laughed so much. You don't need to be an expert to understand the very high class of the dancers. The most famous theaters probably envy this company so much...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spring in Italy is Just Begonnen

Winter in Sud Italy is really a relative conception. We have just the signs of spring for some days.

Весна пришла

I decided to visit Badia di Cava dei Tirreni, a very antique and spectacular abbey on the mountains in front of our hill, on Saturday. They have Millennium this year (the monastery was founded in 1011) and everybody who comes at 9 in the morning can visit the underground part of the abbey. You can imagine that it was mandatory for me to visit it, because it's important for my studies of the Medieval history of the region. (By the way, do you need a guide for your visit of Italy? Or a travel agent that knows the situation in Italy personally? Contact me "Travel and Cruise Deals")

There are 3 km of viewroad from the Abbey, and I wanted to make this walk till the under the mountain situating town after the visit. So, I can show you the photos of our zone from opposite side than my "regular" photos are.

The first amazing view is that of the sea and the zone of Salerno. I said you, the next sea is about 10 km far from our hill (Vietri sul Mare) and you can see a "mirage" of sea in some clear days. But here is the real "mirage" of the sea (because it's similar to fog here).

As you can see, the hills are not very high. I don't think they are higher than 700 meters over the sea.


And, finally, I can show you the hill where I'm sitting now and writing this words. If you look left from the center, there is a "trasversal" hill. It's not too high, only about 300 m but it's position allows to see the Vesuvius from one side and the sea from other side.

Вот с подножья этого холма я пишу тебе...

Well, it's the high time to begin the controls in the garden!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tango on the Stick

Tango is a great show in it's "normal" variety. If you read my blogs, you will surely remember that post about the tango-shows in the streets of Buenos Aires (Tango In The Streets)These shows are surely organized by the owners of the locals, I think, but it not makes them less interesting and spectacular. Specially for those persons that come by and stop in that locals, maybe waiting that the artists come for their dance.

Here is an other video of the tango performance. I would like to see it with my eyes, you know. It is delightful, what some persons can do with their bodies. I admire all my life athletic shows. But this one gratifys all the senses.

This other performance is about tango, too. I would say, it's a psychological novel, and, sincerely, I do not like the theme. Why I wanted to add this video here is the great work of the artist. I like great shows and this is one of them.


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