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Posts tagged ‘Middle East’

Royal Revisions in Assyrian Art

We sometimes forget that beautiful works of art may have been created with ulterior motives.  Think of a pharaoh using a heroic frieze to solidify his power, an elegant Renaissance chapel donated to erase the sins of the patron, or a lovely oil portrait sent to encourage a royal marriage.  Sometimes the circumstances behind the message change and the image must be adjusted.  I notice one such major revision in Chicago and was surprised to hear about some political turmoil that led to the defacement of a glorious royal sculpture.

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (Photo: American Lady, Flickr)

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Seriously Warding off the Evil Eye

evil eye and tourists

So are the blue glass evil eyes just tourist kitsch?

You’re probably seen this symbol before: the light blue and white circles set in a dark blue glass base.  This stylized eye is meant to ward off the “evil eye”.  Transcending culture and religion, there is a belief throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East that because of jealousy someone could wish bad luck on a person.  This ill-will is passed through a focused glance or “evil eye” hence the need for charms to ward off the bad will.

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