Tuesday, 18 April 2017

But is it art?

Keeping up with the historical (and artistic) theme, here's a short film I made while out-and-about this Easter.

It's of the 'Rudston Venus' - a Roman mosaic from a villa situated at Rudston, East Yorkshire, depicting (rather crudely) the Roman goddess Venus (Greek Aphrodite).

She's holding the apple awarded to her by Paris in the beauty contest between her and the goddesses Athena and Hera - the one that started all the fighting over Helen and led to the siege of Troy (see last post!). She is also attended by a 'merman' (one of the traditional companions of Aphrodite).

So although she might not be your ideal of beauty, this voluptious figure is the goddess of just that.

The mosaic is now in the care of Hull Museums; there's nothing left of the villa itself but a field.

Some think the depiction is naive, almost childish. But I think it's remarkable - not only as an example of the vibrancy of Roman culture in one of the remoter parts of the Empire, but also the style - a blend of classical and Celtic influences that creates something unique and fascinating.

But is it art?

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