Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The artist and the jockey

We seem to have started on a "people" theme this week, so I see no reason not to continue with it.

I took this image in a museum. The museum was quite busy, and there were more than a few people gathered near this bronze statue, so I figured it might be important. When looking for an opportunity to photograph it, I noticed this art student making a pencil drawing of the statue. She was all set up with an easel, and her work was really quite good, so I thought that I should include her in the picture.

The museum was the Athens Museum in Greece. The statue is "The Jockey of Artemision", which was probably made in the third century BC. The jockey was discovered by fishermen in an ancient shipwreck off the Greek coast in 1927. The statue was only completely restored in 1972 after the recovery of the horse. It seems that the jockey would have originally been holding the reins in his left hand, and a whip in his right. The detail in the figure of the horse and the body of the jockey was really quite extraordinary. I took the original photo in 1986 and it remains one of my favourite images.

When I went back to Athens twenty years later, I was pleased to see "The Jockey" was still there (left).
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, since it had already survived for over 2300 years, many of those underwater.

EXIF: Sorry, unknown (main image). Canon A620; ISO 200; 1/100 sec; f2.8 (small image).


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