83 out of 234: Mirror Imagery

While visiting the Met last week to catch Chroma before it closed, I snapped a pic of this little figurine to remind me of it. Then last Friday I got to see a former mentee, Hannah Lynch, present on the hair as a form of communication at a conference (she was amazing and I was so proud I could almost burst) and this came rushing back to mind.

Met link

What I liked a great deal about it was that the statuette was in the same room as some gorgeous mirror cases, which in turn show off some pretty elaborate hair styles:

Met link to search results

The statuette in turn made me think of this poly chromatic terracotta sarcophagus in the BM. Notice the woman pulls away her veil to check her hair in her mirror. It is almost a play on the pudicitia gesture. (For what it’s worth, when I think of ancient statues as painted I always then to call to mind these terracottas to render an image in my mind. I find them more satisfying than many modern reconstructions largely I think because of the shading in the drapery and other modelling.)

BM link

There is perhaps a similar humor? or play on the meaning of the gesture on this mirror box below. Notice how instead of pulling on a veil the woman grasps a tendril of her own rather wild hair.

I love how listening to smart students and junior scholars lets me look with new eyes on material I’ve known for so long.

I like mirrors esp. hinged mirror boxes because of how the image of them were misidentified as shackles on the Papius control marks and I (still) find that deeply amusing.

update 1 Apr 2023:


Self Accountability Section

I already sent one necessary email there is another one to go. Spring is tempting me into the garden, but I will mostly resist. I think after that email, I circle back to a book proposal and grant before trying to do some writing. The logistics for visiting the Nemi material in the UK got complicated because airline prices went through the roof. I need not to put my head in the sand on that and take some action. RACOM paper could use some drafting. But I need a gentle day and am going to do all of this slowly, slowly. The goal is to wake up tomorrow wanting to work, rather than having to work. Overall the most important part of this sabbatical, is not what I publish but to recharge my batteries such that I fortify the determination to keep engaging with my disciplines.

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