Arsi ring

Apr. 1st, 2007 03:41 pm
jademermaid: (Narcissus-mirror kiss)

We saw one of these in Umrao Jaan (though hers did not flip open), and I want to make one.  I have a big ring that I never wear, and it should be no trouble to transform it.

 

Because I need yet another project on my pile!

 

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Arsi (Thumb Ring with Mirror)

The simple ring was not ignored in the vast array of larger ornament forms. Fingers are believed to function as a medium between the physical body and the spiritual body. Rings thus are an important part of the physio-metaphysical value of jewelry.

Arsi - Thumb RingThe thumb is the king of the palmar kingdom. According to anthropologists, the development of the thumb marked an important step forward in the anatomical and cultural evolution of the human race. In Chinese palmistry the thumb is considered so important, that often the whole character, state of health and future are read from the thumb alone. In Western Classical world the thumb was regarded as sacred to Venus and in hand-gestures it still has a phallic significance.

This special ring with a round format has set in its center a small, usually round but sometimes heart-shaped mirror. The ring part, meant to fit snugly round a thumb, is broad so as to bear the weight of the rest of the piece.

Arsi - Thumb Ring

 

 

Among all the rings worn on the hand, the arsi occupies a special place in a woman's heart, not only because of its impressive size, but because of the function it performs. With the mirror set into it, the young maiden wearing it (most often a bride), can look and check, by just turning the thumb, if all that was adorning her head, or her hair, was in place. Thus this unique piece of jewelry acts as a sentinel over the other ornaments contributing their efforts towards the embellishment of both a woman's physique and psyche. Much delight is associated with this ornament. Understandably, therefore, it features in songs and proverbs; and one comes across it in paintings too.

jademermaid: (Diana)
By Jorg von Uthmann

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Mighty Aphrodite, or Venus to the Romans, wasn't always nude. It was the Greek sculptor Praxiteles who first portrayed her without drapery -- much to the dismay of his customer, the city of Kos.

Several versions of the lady can be admired at the Louvre, which has organized a rare Praxiteles exhibition. Most of his works survived only in the form of Roman copies. The originals were destroyed by the ravages of time, natural disasters or Christian zealots who, like the Taliban, wouldn't tolerate images of pagan sensuality.

One of the rare exceptions, a bronze Apollo Sauroctonus (``the lizard slayer''), which may have actually been produced in the Praxiteles workshop in Athens, is conspicuous by its absence. Greek authorities said they wouldn't loan works for the show if the statue was exhibited, claiming the Cleveland Museum of Art bought the bronze on the black market.

The Cleveland museum denies any wrongdoing, yet the Louvre preferred to play safe and crossed the exhibit off its list. Instead, the lizard slayer is represented by two copies in marble.

Praxiteles, active from about 370 to 330 B.C., had an ideal of male beauty that was different from that of his predecessors. His gods and satyrs were no longer majestic, stiff bodybuilders. They were svelte boys of gentle grace and sensuous charm.

Personally, Praxiteles was very much a ladies' man. His mistress and probably the model for the scandalous Aphrodite was Phryne, a courtesan famous for her beauty and wit. Accused of blasphemy, a capital charge, she defended herself so effectively that she was acquitted.

A Night With the Goddess

The show has a marvelous picture by the French 19th-century ``pompier'' artist Jean-Leon Gerome, depicting the climax of her plea: She bares her gorgeous body to the stunned jurors.

The naked Aphrodite that shocked the good burghers of Kos eventually ended up in Knidos (Cnidus) in Asia Minor where she became one of the great tourist attractions of the ancient world. Guides showed the visitor a stain on the inside of one thigh -- the vestige of a passionate admirer who had himself locked up in the temple to spend the night with the goddess.

Among the 100 or so sculptures at the Louvre, Aphrodite appears in various states of undress.

The influence of Praxiteles was considerable and long- lasting. Elegant figures standing in graceful, sinuous poses, leaning lightly on trees or other supports were favorites with sculptors well beyond the Hellenistic age. The show includes examples of ``Praxitelism'' up to the 19th century, some with false signatures of the master.

Painted Lady

The most surprising piece is a monumental marble head which the organizers say belongs to a statue of Artemis (Diana) and attribute to Praxiteles himself. If true, we would have to rethink our image of the sculptor, who was perhaps made of sterner stuff than the softie his delicate creatures seem to suggest.

At any rate, the visitor should keep in mind that, to Praxiteles's contemporaries, his sculptures looked quite different: They were painted by artists of the day. Praxiteles himself valued most highly those of his works ``to which Nikias has put his hand.''

Ancient Greece was more colorful than your college professor told you.

The show, sponsored by Fimalac, runs through June 18.

(Jorg von Uthmann is a critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
jademermaid: (Default)
So here I am, I've been up since 4:00 a.m., and I'm waiting for [livejournal.com profile] mezzanotterose so that we can leave to drive to Knoxville. Today is the day I will be getting the Neptune part of my tattoo. I am somewhat nervous, and the three hours of sleep I've had have left me in a hazy, easygoing state, so I think I am less nervous than I would be normally. I know it is going to hurt quite a bit, but that bothers me less than I thought it would.

Here is the sketch I am going to bring. )

Sunday Rose and I are doing the Vestalia ritual, we moved it so that we could go right into the flamekeeping afterward without worrying about unattended flames. So for the next week we will be keeping a flame burning in honor of Vesta and her attendants. This is the third year we have done this, it just feels natural now. I baked a loaf of my honey bread to give as an offering yesterday.

Then it is getting the place ready for the Neptunalia. It has become a public ritual, which means more preparations, but on the other hand it means things have a solid goal. Corey and I hope to get the fenceline moved out this week, and I have to work on the area in the front of the door so that it looks presentable.

lots of work!
jademermaid: (Default)



It's on crappy paper, and I need to redraw it a couple of times before I actually put it on my body, but you get the idea. I want her eyes to be like mirrors, I think. I tried cat eyes, snake eyes and human eyes, didn't like any of them.


It would be very cool to add a pegasus flying up behind her later on. Someday when I have more money I guess.

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