Temple of Apollo: Delphi, Greece
The seed of virtue is found in the famous Greek maxim, ‘Know Thyself,’ inscribed at the Delphi Oracle in the Temple of Apollo, calling for critical self-examination. It refers to the right and wrong way of living, and an awareness and responsibility for one’s actions.
St. Foy Church, Conques, France
Artists were given free rein to portray sin and hell in any extreme of hair-raising horrors. The terror of hell was medieval man’s most constant concern. Nothing could be more horrific than the scenes depicted on church tympanums portraying the damned thrust by demons into the jaws of hell, where they are to undergo the most gruesome tortures.
Aphrodite, Museum at Epidaurus, Greece
According to myth Aphrodite was born from the seeds of the god Uranus, and is depicted as rising from the sea on a shell carried by foaming waves, off the island of Cyprus. Enchanting all who set eyes on her, she features in the legend of the Golden Apples. By handing Aphrodite the golden apple, Paris chooses her over Hera or Athena, considering her the most beautiful of the three goddesses. Aphrodite reciprocates by granting Paris the love of Helen of Troy – a gift that lead to the outbreak of the Trojan War.
Mosaic at San Vitale: Ravenna, Italy
The early medieval art style removes any illusion of space and depth. The extended and flat figures of the Ostrogothic Empress Theodora and her cortege, as can be seen in this mosaic work at Ravenna, Italy (on left), are aligned without the illusion of space.
Pont du Gard: near Nimes, France
The barbarian invasions and put an end to the physical dwarfing of man by the awe of Rome's colossal edifices. Instead, solitary man, whether of high or low birth, when gazing skywards, no longer peered at the overwhelming arches of triumph and mammoth aqueducts, but sought the City of God, in his quest for salvation.
Angel Gabriel, Reims, France
One of the famous 'Gothic Smile' sculptures created in the mid-thirteenth century can be seen at the central portal of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Reims, northwest France. An almost free standing, naturalistic Angel Gabriel reclines towards the Virgin Mary with a warm smile.