Monday, January 30, 2012

DRAGONS AT THE ART GALLERY

Here are some of the dragons Mom saw and took pictures of at the art gallery on Friday night.  This first one is called Zoomorphic Spiral, and it's from the 9th century BCE.  I know these things because this piece of art has its picture in Mom's museum catalog book.  I had to look up zoomorphic, because the book does not explain what it means.  And it turns out that it means the use of animal figures or symbols in art and literature.  So now we all know a new word.



Here is another dragon, and it's a very cute little guy who seems to be walking along in a jaunty way.  This dragon is only about 4" tall.  He is not in Mom's book, so I don't know what he is called, but I think "Ralphie" would be a nice name for him.  What I do know is that this dragon is made out of bronze, just like the zoomorphic one is.



In case you are wanting to make your very own bronze, here's how you can do it.  First you need some copper ore and also some tin ore.  Then you smelt them together, and that makes bronze.  Before people figured out how to make bronze, they used stones as tools and weapons, and that was called the Stone Age. Then they started using copper, but it was a pretty soft metal, so it was always bending and breaking.  After that, people mixed arsenic with copper, and that made the copper a lot stronger.  So the first kind of bronze was made of copper and arsenic.  But arsenic was poisonous, and probably it made a lot of people sick, so when somebody figured out that tin would work better than arsenic, everybody was happy.

The Bronze Age started in different places at different times, which is confusing for art historians, but the National Gallery of Art in Washington says that the Chinese Bronze Age was the "period between about 2000 BC and 771 BC."  This means that the people in Mesopotamia were already making bronze for quite a while before the Chinese started doing it.  Maybe the first bronze was brought from Mesopotamia to China, but maybe the Chinese just figured out how to make it all on their own.  Nobody knows for sure.

Anyway, that's enough about that.  Here's another dragon that Mom found in the museum, and it is carved into a stone that goes above the door to a tomb.  I like this dragon quite a bit because it has interesting curlicues and polka-dots.


This Ritual Disc is carved from jade.  Mom and I thought it had dragons on it, but the museum catalog says the animals are tigers instead.  I think it's a mean trick for them to make tigers that look like dragons, so that people can't even tell them apart.  And I've decided to just pretend that they really are dragons and put them in my dragon-themed blog anyway.  So there!


Now we have a couple of urn things, and they might have been made to put inside a tomb, but Mom can't remember for sure, and they aren't in the book.  This first one has a typical sort of dragon, with scales and all the regular dragon stuff.



And this second one is really different, because it looks more like it's a girl dragon with a softer shape and flowers on it.  I think this girl dragon is smiling at the boy dragon, and if they got together, they could make a bunch of baby dragons.



I don't know who all those guys are on the urn.  Maybe they are just people who like to hang out with dragons in the hopes that some of the good luck and majesty of the dragons will rub off on them.

And now that I've been inspired by the power of all these dragons, I think I will go take a power nap!

4 comments:

  1. I'M A DOG!!! WOOF!

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  2. iam atipenn with da paws.woof!

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  3. ooh, dragons! I can't wait to find out more about them but the bunny posts were more interesting to read about because I AM a bunny of course ☺

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you can be an honorary dragon this year, since the Year of the Rabbit won't be back again for 12 years. I think Fluffy would be a nice name for a dragon!

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