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Banquets are also depicted in life size on sarcophagus lids. Though this format would naturally lend itself to three-dimensional sculpture, here too the Palmyrene sculptors preferred working with an upright stone slab from which the figures project in relief. There are only few examples of truly free-standing statues inside tombs.

This preference for relief work is also mirrored in the religious sphere where cult images of deities are often worked as reliefs rather than statues. This includes many unpublished pieces, e. Each photo comes with annotations by Ingholt and additions by Ploug. The PPP has digitised this archive and will make it available to a larger public online. Furthermore the information contained in the archive is currently being entered into the database as well and in this way a concordance between the archive and the database holdings is made.

At the end of the project it will become clear how many of the pieces in the Ingholt archive are not in accessible collections anymore. They can shine a light on different formats beside the ubiquitous loculus reliefs. It is easily forgotten that there was a wide variety of alternative formats, even though their numbers are far smaller than those of loculus reliefs.

Also, thanks to the corpus, it will be possible to verify e. For instance, scholars have remarked that reclining banqueters who are, without exception, always males often favoured the richly embroidered Parthian garb. Such suggestions which specialists have so far only been able to report anecdotally, based on their individual knowledge of the material, will be proven through reliable numbers and percentages.

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New patterns will emerge, detailing which elements of clothing are worn for specific contexts. This would mean that Palmyran artists adapted their style depending on the kind of image they were asked to produce: for a banquet scene, in which the host wears Parthian costume and often priestly paraphernalia, it was apparently considered appropriate to use a portrait style that was furthest removed from the conventions of Roman portraiture.

If true, one could establish a connection between context —costume— portrait style and quantify the occurrence of various combinations of these elements. The groundwork of the corpus will hence allow broaching questions that could not be addressed previously for lack of specific data. These figures need to be compared to measurements of loculi in tower tombs and hypogea. This will in turn give a better idea of how workshops and their production were organised. If standard measures were consistently applied, one does not need to assume that the relief slabs were custom-made and fitted for each individual tomb.

These precise dates are invaluable fix points for the study of key features. Although this framework was entirely based on busts from the art market and museum or private collections, all devoid of archaeological contexts, it is by and large still valid. The result is a remarkably close-knit net of dates with a number of chronological fix points, a feature that in its scope and precision is virtually unmatched in the arts of the Classical world. It has e. The ability to discern such chronological discrepancies between text and image raises fundamental questions about how funerary portraiture was used and conceived, and it provides vital clues to the production process s.

Only a small minority of sculptures were found in situ in controlled excavations. The bulk of museum collections consists of pieces from the antiquities market whose precise origin cannot now been ascertained. In addition, the excavation diaries of Ingholt will lead to contextualisation of further pieces.

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It will no doubt emerge more clearly that none of the artistic developments described above, be it in style or iconography, occurred in entirely linear fashion, one after the other. The mere fact that at any one moment different generations of artists worked together masters and apprentices and different generations of people had their portraits made grandmother and granddaughter etc. All of these aspects are still awaiting extensive study. Parlasca has convincingly analysed. NCG , Ploug , no. Similar hairstyles were used by women in other Syrian cities, e.

The importance of this style in Palmyra lies in the fact that it is exceptional; whereas Palmyran women typically cover at least part of their heads with a veil, these examples show the entire head exposed. Is this a transitory fashion, devoid of deeper meaning?

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Is it a visual statement that articulates a cultural change in how women saw their role in society? Is it correlated with changes that we can discern in Palmyran society, or particular historical events? The corpus will provide further data and new relevant examples to tackle such questions, confirm the proposed chronology and yield more insight into the correlation and significance of a variety of factors responsible for innovations in style and form. In addition, the discovery of textiles on Palmyran mummies has shown that the sculpture does in fact represent actual costumes worn at Palmyra.

The fabric used is mostly wool. Besides, one finds some linen, cotton and even Chinese silk. The textiles, together with rare Palmyran tomb paintings, also give an idea of the colouring that is now largely lost on the sculpture. As mentioned above, the men on funerary busts are often dressed in Greek manner with chiton and himation, while the full-length banqueters are depicted with richly embroidered garments consisting of a knee-length tunic, baggy trousers and soft leather boots.

Priests are distinguished by their shaven heads and faces and their cylindrical hat modius fig. Early 3rd c. But the identification as priests cannot be in doubt due to the attributes, the shaved heads, the explicit labelling on tesserae, and the obvious parallels from neighbouring regions.


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The cylindrical shape of the Palmyran modius is somewhat surprising, since the closest parallels to hand, from Hierapolis to the north and Dura to the east, consistently show priests with tall conical hats. Priests frequently wear a chlamys tied to one shoulder rather than a larger himation. They hold a bowl of incense and a jug, the tools of their trade. This is not necessarily a clue to their specific occupation, but a token of education.

Different costumes are not mutually exclusive. It is not unusual to find a man in Greek dress side by side with a man in eastern embroidered costume. It may be possible to ascribe a particular meaning to each costume depending on the context. As elsewhere in NE, in visual representations as well as in onomastics, women tended to stick more closely to tradition than men. As for attributes, spindle and distaff were especially popular symbols of their domestic tasks in early portraits, but fizzled out in the second century.

Other women held keys, calendars or children. The jewellery of Palmyran women is especially rich. The corpus will document not only changing fashions but also patterns of clothing among particular social groups such as tribes and families. They have left behind mortal affairs and reached out to eternity. In brief, Malraux found in Palmyran portraits a mystic depth and spirituality that Roman art lacked. At this point, Palmyra was in fact considered a critical forerunner of Byzantium.

In the meantime, it has been shown that this connection is rather feeble. Furthermore, as mentioned above, with the intensification of research in the wider region, the art of Palmyra now appears as less of an isolated and solitary phenomenon, and is hence less likely to be responsible for general stylistic trends of late Roman art.

These remarks show how much the academic approach has shifted in recent years. The fascination with Palmyran portraits remains unbroken, but few archaeologists or art historians today would feel inclined to comment on the spirituality and transcendence of their object of study. In the framework of the PPP, the striking style and iconography of Palmyran portraits shall rather be analysed with verifiable criteria as an art-historical phenomenon whose emergence and significance still await further exploration.

Finally, the banqueting scenes too are perhaps ambiguous or multivalent: Do these images show banquets past when the deceased enjoyed the pleasures of life?


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  5. Or are they funerary banquets in the company of the souls of the deceased? Or feasts taking place in blissful afterlife? It is worth quoting the astute observations of one of the greatest specialists of the Roman Near East, H. The deceased are instead represented as they would have liked to be seen in real life, enjoying worldly pleasures. Rather than spiritual inspiration, what singles out Palmyran portraits and asks for an explanation is their striking down-to-earth character and omission of direct references to death and afterlife.

    This labelling suggests that Palmyran portraits, like Egyptian ones, follow imperial styles and fashions. But this is hardly even a half-truth. On the contrary, Palmyran portraiture stands out for its own distinct, de-individualised style which owes little to imperial Rome.

    One hardly finds e. Beside these exceptions, the style and iconography of Palmyran portraits diverges from the conventions of Roman portraiture in significant ways. Rather than portraits in the usual sense, these sculptures show conventional types, man, woman young and mature boy, girl. Even the signs of old age are reduced or avoided. This stylisation contrasts not only with Roman portraiture in general, but even with neighbouring regions in Syria itself.

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    This is at least one clear case where the customers were obviously happy to buy two sculptures that did not depict the woman in question, or any particular woman at all. Did imperial fashions simply not reach Palmyra, or do the portraits reveal a different approach to the purpose and function of portraiture? It is almost impossible to imagine that Palmyra lacked skilled sculptors or that they were simply ignorant and cut off from prevailing trends in the empire.

    Instead, this type of portraiture expresses a choice for different, un-classical principles for representing men, women and children. Rather than diminishing the value of these portraits as historical documents, this ostensive renunciation of artistic conventions that were so common at the time demands an explanation. The apparent indifference of Palmyran sculptors towards individual characterisation is therefore a key theme that our research needs to address. The main difference is that at Palmyra, self-representation was constructed with different tools.

    The exploration of Palmyran portraits promises to yield insights into collective civic values. On the loculus slabs, the field beside the head normally carries a brief inscription, almost exclusively in Palmyrene, identifying the deceased and thereby insisting that each bust is meant to represent one specific individual.

    Does this mean that the close friends and family members who visited the tombs and who could easily identify the deceased through the inscription were indifferent to the specific facial features?

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    The funerary inscriptions hardly ever mention the public office of the deceased, even when he is patently depicted as a priest performing ritual functions. What they do proclaim instead are their distinguished pedigrees. Almost uniquely in the Graeco-Roman world, Palmyrans list their ancestors sometimes up to the fifth generation. This is clear evidence for the great importance of family bonds over public office at Palmyra.

    One will have to examine to what extent these generational bonds are reflected in the choice of style and iconography and whether these distinct social attitudes could be linked with the exceptional character of Palmyran portraiture.

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    From early on the term was applied to stones or monuments in memory of the deceased. In the fifth cent. It seems that in Roman times a drastic semantic widening of the term nefesh took place, as it could be applied to humble gravestone as well as a full-fledged tomb. The de-individualised style of the relief busts may hence express a fundamentally different attitude to portraiture in general, and a different conception of how to represent and commemorate the deceased in particular.

    Explanations of the distinct Palmyran style of portraiture therefore require looking beyond aesthetic and art-historical questions and considering funerary customs and religious beliefs that were apparently still intact at Palmyra despite the impact of Graeco-Roman culture. The project promises to bring incremental progress towards a deeper understanding of the phenomenon that is the portraiture of Palmyra. Butcher K. Charles-Gaffiot C. Exposition , Milan. Colledge M. Dentzer-Feydy J.

    Drijvers H. Gawlikowski M. Gubel E. Heyn M. Walden n'est ni un roman , ni une autobiographie , ni un journal naturaliste. Ne disposant pas d'une fortune personnelle, il tire l'essentiel de ses revenus de sa plume. Plus qu'un simple loisir, la peinture est pour lui un refuge dans les moments difficiles.

    Anne a alors treize ans environ. La vague gothique avait pris naissance avec The Castle of Otranto de Horace Walpole , puis Vathek de l'aristocrate William Beckford , pour trouver un sommet avec les ouvrages de Mrs Radcliffe Il publie quelques articles, sans effet majeur. Mais la rumeur enfle. Il est principalement connu pour ses romans Le Hobbit et Le Seigneur des anneaux.

    Il prend sa retraite en Son ami C. Alors que M. Tolkien paru en et Tolkien en Bliss et Le Fermier Gilles de Ham. Hammond et Christina Scull , avec cinq illustrations de Tolkien