Friday, November 17

Arles November 2017 - Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques



My dear friend, the good Dr. Bones, complains that when we go on holiday together, I force her to '...look at walls and stones..'. It's a shame she's not here as Arles is just perfect in that regard. Walls and stones all over the place.

With my trusty 'Guide Vert' in hand,  I was spoilt for choice. However, La Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques is the only place in town with three stars, so I started there. Apologies in advance for the photos, I took them on my 'phone and I'm still struggling with the photo editing on my new Mac.

I was rather taken with this lion. I wasn't sure what his expression was...


This beautiful bust was discovered under the mud in the Rhone in October 2007. Whether it's Julius Caesar and dates from around 46 BC (and chucked in the river when he was assassinated in 44 BC) is debatable. It's quite astounding, although this pic. doesn't do it justice.


I loved this reconstruction of a column...


...the delicacy of this carving...


...and the detail on this capital (and I do like a capital).


This 102 ft long Gallo-Roman barge, from 1st C AD almost defies description. it's stunning, and in a amazing condition (the restoration work in and of itself is astonishing).


The condition of the boat is...insert the superlative of your choice, I've run out...


...the steering oar and mast are still intact! Again the river mud did excellent preservation work.


The supposition is that the barge sank in an accident, which would explain why most of its contents were recovered too. The cargo included these lead ingots...


...cat oil lamp...


...and doggy vase.


There are also some lovely mosaics...


...and a super collection of Christian sarcophagi, including this panel depicting the story of Jonah.


If you look carefully, you can see his pert posterior about to disappear into the rather dragon like whale's maw.



This horse in a hunting scene looks rather worried...


...and this hunting hound appears filled with ennui.


This carving brought me close to tears. It's Jesus washing his disciples feet. It's carved with great love and attention to detail...ripples on the surface of the water, flexed toes and a discarded sandal.

A fab-u-lous museum - get thee hence.



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