Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Shipment Just In!

Our container from France arrived early this morning! We have been anxiously awaiting its arrival, eager to unveil all the treasures we found over the summer and this past September.

Despite the morning drizzle (no complaints about the rain!!) the truck driver was on time and cracked the seal at 8 am sharp!

Thank you to Moving 4 Word for all their manpower – and good humor! 
We were able to unload this in less than 2 hours – record time!
Can’t wait to see all the new stuff!!!

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 09:04:00 PM
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life in Ancient Etruria

An extraordinary exhibit opened on September 18th at the Musée Maillol in Paris:

“Etrusques: un hymne a la vie”

A Hymn to Life. The grand title is well merited. The Etruscans were a people-group who inhabited central Italy from the ninth-century BCE up until (and into) the time of the Romans. Their political structure, similar to that of ancient Greece, was based on a confederation of powerful city-states, whose “golden age” began in the 7th century BCE. The later Romanization of Etruria, beginning in the early 4th century, was a gradual process, and the Etruscan people had a significant influence on Roman culture and artistic traditions. (The name “Tuscany” comes from the Latin Tusci or Etrusci.)

This exhibit intends to showcase the lesser-known side of Etruscan art: the art of daily life.

As the description for the exhibition states, our ready recognition of Etruscan work comes mainly from exposure to their funerary art, which belies its purpose with a lively, often colorful, style. Perhaps the most famous piece of Etruscan funerary art comes from the Cerveteri necropolis, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a sarcophagus for a married couple with an elaborate sculpture rising from the lid, portraying the husband and wife reclining together on a couch partaking in a banquet. The moment captured is an intimate one. What gives the couple their “happy” expressions is what historian call the “archaic smile,” found on almost all human figures in Archaic period sculpture, not just in Italy but also in Greece. 

(A similar sarcophagus lid, though not as elaborate, for a single burial can be found right here in Texas at the San Antonio Museum of Art!)

Etruscan tombs have also yielded beautiful finds such as this polychromatic fresco from the so-called Tomb of the Leopards from Tarquinia.

But the Etruscans’ funerary art tells only part of the story of this fascinating culture.

“It is precisely the different aspects of daily life of this happy and peaceful civilization that will be highlighted in this exhibition, through the exploration of the great cities of this confederation: Veii, Cerveteri, Tarquinia and Orvieto. Religion, writing, weapons, painting and sculpture, craftsmanship in gold and silver, bronze and ceramics will be on display” (Musée Maillol). The exhibit will also focus on architecture, especially its development over time.

This drawing of an Etruscan temple shows how the edges of the roof would have been adorned with terracotta figures (acroteria) such as this dynamic figurine of Apulu (Apollo) from Veii, sporting the familiar archaic smile.

This exhibit offers a fascinating and unprecedented immersion into Etruscan life and thought and into the legacy that remains of almost 6 millennia of cultural existence. It will run until February 9th.

The exhibit is a must-see on any trip to Paris in the near future!

Musée Maillol
Adresse : 59/61, rue de Grenelle
75007 PARIS
Tél. : 01 42 22 59 58
E-mail :

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 11:02:00 PM
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Holiday Shopping Card 2013

Oct 24th-November 3rd, 2013
Support the American Cancer Society and Save 20%!

Get 20% off your purchase when you use your 2013 Holiday Shopping Card*. Cards are available in our gallery ($50), and valid at all participating Austin merchants. 
100% of card proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

This is a perfect time to start your holiday shopping and make a difference. 

Shopping cards available now.

Support the American Cancer Society today. 
*Fine art excluded.
Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 08:02:00 PM
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