Rome, Nov 20 (AP/UNB) — Archaeologists have found a fresco in an ancient Pompeii bedroom that depicts a sensual scene of the Roman god Jupiter, disguised as a swan, and a legendary queen of Sparta from Greek mythology.
The figure of Leda being impregnated by the god in swan form was a fairly common home decoration theme in Pompeii and Herculaneum, another town destroyed in A.D. 79 by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius near present-day Naples.
But Pompeii archaeological park director Massimo Osanna praised this fresco as exceptional since it was painted to make it appear Leda was looking at whoever saw the fresco upon entering the bedroom.
"Leda watches the spectator with a sensuality that's absolutely pronounced," Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA.
The fresco's details include a depiction of Leda protecting the swan with her cloak as the bird sits on her lap.
Osanna noted the fresco's context of the Greek "myth of love, with an explicit sensuality in a bedroom where, obviously beside sleep, there could be other activities."
The fresco, with its colors still remarkably vivid, was discovered Friday during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city's structures after rains and wear-and-tear in past years caused some ruins to collapse, the tourist site's officials said.
The bedroom is located near a corridor by the entranceway of an upscale domus, or home, where another splendid fresco was discovered earlier this year, said the archaeological park, which is part of the Italian Culture Ministry.
Leda is an important figure in Greek mythology. She was said to have borne children fathered by the god Zeus, the Greek version of Jupiter, and by a mortal king of Sparta. According to myth, her children included the beautiful Helen of Troy and the twins Castor and Pollux.
Osanna said one hypothesis is that the home's owner was a rich merchant who wanted to give the impression he was culturally advanced by incorporating myth-inspired frescoes. It appeared the artist was inspired by a 4th century B.C. sculpture by Timotheos, he said.
Because of safety concerns, unexcavated parts of the domus will probably remain that way, ANSA said. Archaeologists are considering removing both frescos found in the home to a place where "they can be protected and shown to the public," Osanna was quoted as saying.
Pompeii's sprawling, partially excavated grounds are one of Italy's top tourist attractions.
Hohhot, Nov 19 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Flying the traditional Chinese eagle-kite every morning has become a habit for the 69-year old Tian Yutang. "It's better to fly kites in spring as the wind condition is ideal, but the eagle-kite is special, because I can fly it in a calm environment, even indoors," Tian said.
Tian started flying kites eight years ago in Baotou in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, when he just retired and needed something to kill time. "At first, I flew the kite quite high in the sky, just like many other kite flyers. But this kite has specific demands for wind conditions, and I even lost several kites when the wind was too strong," Tian said.
Eagle-kite flying attracted Tian's attention in 2013. The traditional Chinese eagle-kite is not only designed in the shape of an eagle, but also mimics the flight path of a real eagle.
"The size of the tail, the length of the wing, and the anchor point of the kite string are all decisive factors. The eagle-kites with small tails are more suitable for indoor flight or in low-wind conditions," said Tian.
Tian's eagle-kites has a strong, lightweight frame, and he glues the eagle-shaped silk to the frame and then paints the eagle feather on it. All of Tian's eagle-kites have four numbers on the back, "That's the kite's birthday, as I would write down the date when I finished it," he said.
Tian does morning exercises with his fellow eagle-kite flyers and sometimes joins kite-flying festivals in China. "Eagle-kite flying is quite suitable for middle-aged and elderly people, as it requires the hand-eye coordination, and it is not so intense," said Tian.
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) - Famous Belarusian publisher Dmitry Kolas presented another book of translations, the collection of the poems by 1913 Nobel Prize winner for Literature Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, in Belarusian language.
The book titled ‘Gitanzhali: Song Offerings’ was published in Minsk in November 2018, said a press release issued Sunday.
The book is off 128 pages while number of circulation is 250 copies. The poems were translated by Republic of Belarus State Prize winner Alexander Ryazanov.
Gitanzhali is one of the nearly four dozen books published in the series Poets of the Planet. The translations were conducted from English - London edition Gitanzhali (Song Offerings) in 1913.
Although Tagore, being an Indian poet, playwright, philosopher, artist, composer, public and political figure, wrote in Bengali, the collection of his song offerings Gitanzhali was written in English during his boat trip to the UK in 1912.
A few months later, the collection was published as a book. And in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European poet-laureate of the Nobel Prize.
The series Poets of the Planet already includes Belarusian translations of the poems by Sappho, Francesco Petrarca, Pierre de Ronsard, William Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Gabriela Mistral, Omar Khayyam, Charles Baudelaire, Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich Gainy, Guillaume Apollinaire, and many of the poets of Europe, Asia and America.
Among the interpreters - Max Schur, Lavon Borshevsky Yuri Golub, Gregory Borodulin Andrey Hodonovich, Eugene Belasin, Yuri Gavruk, Vasil Siomuha and other artists of the words who have been working on the “reincarnation” of different artistic cultures, different national landscapes into the Belarusian language, it said.
Dhaka, Nov 17 (UNB) - Las Migas from Spain made the audience of Dhaka spellbound with their soulful song and fascinating blend of Flamenco and Mediterranean style.
They performed at the Bangladesh Army Stadium in the capital on the final day of ‘Dhaka International Folk Fest’, the pioneering international folk music festival of the subcontinent, in the capital’s Army Stadium.
Response from audience proved that their hour long performance will prevail in the heart of Bangladeshis for a long time.
The Mediterranean music was totally able to vibrate the metro listeners and connect city audiences.
The sound from the soft voice of Bego Salazar, the singer of the band with charming rhythm touched the heart of the folk lovers who gathered to listen to the folk in the stadium.
The stage was the main attraction for the audience during their pleasant performance as the less known rhythmic sound was forcing them to stay with the stage.
The vocalist Bego Salazar expressed his extreme happiness to be a part of this festival during her short speech and excited to share their song with the Bangladeshi audience.
“Really we are very happy to be part of this. It is big festival for folk singers. We hope you will enjoy our emotion, songs and do not hesitate to dance with beat our songs,” she added.
Las Migas is unique among Spanish music groups, a fascinating blend of Flamenco and Mediterranean styles that combines classic and contemporary rhythms.
The four women of Las Migas come from four different cities that span not only geography but also the cultural diversity of Spain: Barcelona, Sevilla, Córdoba and Lérida.
Las Migas was formed in 2004 in Barcelona, Spain. They come with the breeze of the Mediterranean Sea and bring their soul and heart into their music.
Some claim their songs to be Mediterranean or soulful song but labeling their song to a particular genre would be difficult. They play rhythmic songs.
At present Las Migas have Bego Salazar as the vocalist, Marta Robles and Alicia Grillo on guitar, and Roser Loscos on violin.
These four band members have different perspectives towards music and the incorporation their thought to a single thread makes the band unique.
Las Migas perform Flamenco music, giving this beautiful genre a new definition.
The band was nominated for the 18th Latin Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best Flamenco music’ in 2017 for their album ‘Vente Conmigo’.
New York, Nov 16 (AP) — A painting by the British artist David Hockney fetched $90.3 million at Christie's on Thursday night, easily breaking the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction.
Among his famous "pool paintings," ''Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" is considered one of his premier works. The previous record by a living artist was set by Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog," which sold for $58.4 million in 2013.
The 1972 painting by Hockney, now 81, is "the holy grail of his paintings, from both the historical and the market perspectives," Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, said in September. He noted that it reflects both the European and the American perspectives of an artist who came to live in sunny California in the '60s, and saw himself as living on both continents.
"It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting," Rotter said in an interview. He noted that writers have referred to the swimming pool as being sort of a self-portrait of Hockney, though he never confirmed that, just saying he was fascinated to paint moving water.
The painting, whose buyer was not immediately revealed, had been long held by a private collector.
A depiction of two men — one swimming the breaststroke underwater, the other standing by the pool looking down — the painting was originally inspired, according to background provided by Christie's, by two photographs Hockney found juxtaposed on his studio floor, one of a swimmer in Hollywood in 1966, and another of a boy staring at something on the ground.
The rocky landscape is in southern France, and the standing figure is said to represent Peter Schlesinger, whom the artist met in 1966, when the younger man was a student in one of Hockney's art classes at UCLA. For the next five years, according to Christie's, he was both "the great love of Hockney's life" and one of his favorite models.
The relationship ended in 1971. Hockney had already begun the painting and he abandoned it, starting again the following year.