Sunday, January 3, 2010

Archaic Statues

When I look back at my university years, I now realize that learning new stuff was only a duty for me. I had to get good grades, graduate from the university and start working. OK, I admit that I had so much fun at that time but learning was not definitely on my fun list.

I think I started to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of learning new things after 30 and since then I am always seeking new seminars and classes. Thru the years my main interest areas developed in history of arts and history of religions. Since September, I started to take archaeolgy and history of arts classes at a nearbt private art academy. Nowadays I am learning so many new and astonishing things and I am enjoying it immensly.

To give you an example, I learned to appreciate the beauty of archaic sculptures. I have been to Istanbul Archaeology Museum several times, but these sculptures never really took my attention. After seeing so many photos of them at the class, I had to see the real deal myself. So on of the last days of 2009,hubby and I made the last excursion of the year. Our aim was to see the statues of the archaic period (7th-6th cc BC)

In this period monumental statues were made for the first time in place of the small figurines produced in the preceeding ages. These statues are called Kore ( dressed female) and Kouros (naked male) As they are very rare, they are among the most valuable assets of museums, and to find a complete one is a difficult issue. There are probably only a dozen in the world
Unfortunately there is not a complete Kuros or a Kore in Istanbul,but the kouros head displayed was a masterpiece of its time. Its really something fabulous. If you wonder what happened to the rest of his body, we are lucky to know that it did not disseapear in the dark corridors of history but found himself a home in the Samos Museum.
Here are some very simple tips for you to identify these statues.

- Frontal upright stance with the body weight balanced on the feet.
-Calm smile on the lips
-Almond shaped eyes
-Beaded style hairs.

I learned that there are two complete Kouros statues in Turkey, one in İzmir, one in Bergama. I am intending to go and see them this coming summer but in the meantime,to give you an idea here is one from Athens..


  1. Fascinating! New interests keep us youthful!

  2. Great post, and I know exactly whre you are coming from. There is a big difference in learning because you HAVE to and learning because you WANT to. At 62, I continue to new courses, love reading, all the stuff I disliked when in school.

  3. Thanks for this lesson on the exquisite statues.
    At age 48 I went back to college for 2 years of full time translation studies and LOVED it--the teachers, the classes, our group, the university campus, and even the homework. So I know how you feel. Great that you can do it.

  4. When I was younger I didn't appreciate the "art of learning". It wasn't until I returned to college as an adult that I understood. I also enjoy learning now and delve into subjects that didn't interest me when young. Wonderful post. I enjoyed reading about the Kuros and Kore.

  5. I hope to go back to take classes for the sake of learning instead of just getting my degree one day in the near future. I'd love to take anthropology courses and literature courses for starters.

    Thank you for the very educational post. My boyfriend spotted the photo of the kouros head out of the corner of his eye and immediately wanted to read. :)

  6. Amazing! How fortunate you are to be able to see these amazing relics - and how smart you are to study art history in the cradle of history.

  7. You're certainly living in a wonderful place to study history! I've thoroughly enjoyed learning about Turkey, both historical and contemporary, since the day I first began reading your blog. You are a wonderful teacher yourself.

  8. I feel the same about learning and study. I did what I had to do to graduate from college, but it wasn't until I was older that I came to love learning. A university education is wasted on the young! Now I'd love to go back and study--archaeology and European history and prehistory.

    I know of two Izmir photo blogs. Let me know if you want the urls.

  9. Very interesting post! All new to me.

    It still amazes me how much more classes and new info mean once your are an adult.

  10. Hi Aysegul;
    Here are the Izmir blogs. The first is Özgür's. I've only seen it a couple of times and I don't know him; I think he collects photos of Izmir to post, taken by other photographers (he always credits them).

    Selim is my friend. A dear and lovely man, a brilliant photographer. He travels quite a bit and often posts photos of his destinations. An artist and a kind soul.

  11. Aysegul, I too love learning at this time in my life, in my 40's I have more patience and a strong desire to learn new things. You are so blessed to be surrounded by such history that you can study.
    thanks for teaching us new things

  12. these are quite gorgeous..i learned much thru you today! sometimes just having the smallest point of interest makes for the most interesting travel. you find things along the way that you never would have seen otherwise!

  13. Your photos are lovely, as usual. And I think I can say, too, that I didn't begin to appreciate the importance and pleasure of learning until I was in my late 20's or early 30's. But we have to forgive ourselves for that. Every age has its joys, after all!


  14. Glad to know of your interest. Like Nevine, every age makes us look at things in different perspectives. Joys come in different forms.

  15. aysegul,
    i think with age comes patience and the wisdom to appreciate many things. have fun... those are amazing

  16. HI Aysegul
    You know I've always been fascinated by learning, but I hated school!! haha... I admit I probably enjoyed 'formal' learning more in later years... These statues are interesting but as you say it takes on a whole new dimension when you have learnt about the history and details...

    You know I have been to Izmir... but my pursuits there were less scholarly!! he he When I was staying in Selcuk [spelling?] a group of us went to the international trade fair in Izmir and enjoyed a fabulous meal and then,.. a rollercoaster.... and old wooden rickety rollercoaster.. things you do when you travel... take care xx Julie

  17. It's so cool that you are studying this. They are such interesting and fascinating subjects.

  18. How interesting!!! I love history, I love museums... I really want to go to Istambul some day :) and I want to study also something related to history and art... This is so great!

  19. I went back to college in my early 50s and loved it, wish I could go back and take some more classes. I was studying graphic design and took three art history classes. Loved them!

    This post was so incredibly interesting and hope you will share similar ones in the future. Like you, I love learning new things. Looking forward to your museum trips this summer.

  20. These statues are gorgeous! Great information too.
    Happy New Year!



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