THE HUMAN-HEADED BIRD FIGURE IN PAINTING FROM THE BRONZE AGE TO EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY.

Authors

  • Rania Elhelw Lecturer at the Painting Department - FFA - HU

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47436/jaarsfa.v1i1.47

Keywords:

Ba, Siren, Harpy

Abstract

The avian humanoids always seemed like fantastical creatures that mediate between heaven and earth by having human and avian features together. They mostly referred to the souls lingering between the living and the divine. There are many types of them, and this paper is specifically concerned about the human-headed bird imagery; and how it is depicted in different ways and what are their symbolic meanings in many cultures. This specific imagery appeared in many different mythologies along history; such as the ‘Ba’ in the Ancient Egyptian, ‘Sirens’ and ‘Harpies’ in the Greek and the Byzantium, the ‘Humayun’ in the Mesopotamian and perhaps in the Islamic too; and eventually, the ‘Alkonost’, the ‘Sirin’, and the ‘Gamayun’ in the Slavic mythology. An analytical comparative study of this imagery in different mythologies and in the paintings by different artists, such as P. Rubens, J. Pasch, V. Vasnetsov, and M. Vrubel; will be followed.

References

Aldrovandus. (n.d.) In TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved from https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Aldrovandus

Ashliman, D.L (Ed.) (2013). Swan Maidens in Pitt.edu. Retrieved from https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/swan.html#gaster

Bane, Theresa. (2016). Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth, Legend and Folklore, North Carolina: McFarland.

Bestiary. (n.d.). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/art/bestiary-medieval-literary-genre

Gimbutas, Marija, & Dexter, Miriam R. (Ed.) (2001). The Living Goddesses. (1st ed.). California: University of California Press, LTD

Soutekh67. (2014, October 11). File:Ba ombre sortie tombe.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ba_ombre_sortie_tombe.jpg

Kazakh. (2016, September 17). File:Gamaun.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gamaun.jpg

Cyrun, Marcus. (2016, October 27). File:Louvre assiette sirene barbue.JPG, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louvre_assiette_sirene_barbue.JPG

Skripnik, Alexei. (2019, August 28). File:Tsarevna-Lebed by Mikhail Vrubel (brightened).jpg, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tsarevna-Lebed_by_Mikhail_Vrubel_(brightened).jpg

Nguyen, Marie-Lan. (2012, December 11). File:Queen of the Night BM ME 2003-7-18.1 n01.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY 2.5, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Queen_of_the_Night_BM_ME_2003-7-18.1_n01.jpg

Bakharev, Alex. (2005, July 8). File:Vasnetsov Sirin Alkonost.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 20 April 2020, Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vasnetsov_Sirin_Alkonost.jpg

Halcyon. (2018). Your Dictionary. Retrieved April 24, 2020, from https://www.yourdictionary.com/Halcyon

Harpy. (2018). CLASSICAL ART RESEARCH CENTRE, University of Oxford, Retrieved from https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/dictionary/Dict/ASP/dictionaryBody.asp?name=Harpy.html

Harpy. (n.d.). In New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Harpy

Harpy,mythology. (2019) In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Harpy

Hill, Jenny. (2011). The Ancient Egyptian Soul. Ancient Egypt Online. Retrieved April 24, 2020, from Ancientegyptonline.co.uk website: https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/soul/

Invaluable. (2010). A RARE AND IMPORTANT FATIMID LUSTRE DISH, EGYPT OR SYRIA, 12TH CENTURY, 12TH CENTURY. invaluable.com. Retrieved from https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-rare-and-important-fatimid-lustre-dish-egypt-or-131-c-402188a8d2

Jacson, Lesley. (2018, October-November). Spirit Bird. NILE (issue 16) 29-39. Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/547abd24e4b0780d55c0bb4a/t/5d29a8ad91f0fb0001ddbbee/1563011265236/Nile+Magazine+No.+16%2C+Oct-Nov+2018-Spirit_Birds-R.pdf

& https://www.nilemagazine.com.au/nile-subscriptions/nile16-october-november-2018-single

Johan Pasch. (n.d.). Riksarkivet. Retrieved from https://sok.riksarkivet.se/sbl/mobil/Artikel/8046

Keating, Kathleen Diane. (2016). Romantic Nationalism and the Image of the Bird-Human in Russian Art of the 19th and early 20th Century. Retrieved April 24, 2020, from Bard Digital Commons website: https://digitalcommons.bard.edu/senproj_s2016/285/

Jones, J. (2017). How Arabic Translators Helped Preserve Greek Philosophy … and the Classical Tradition. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from Open Culture website: http://www.openculture.com/2017/06/how-arabic-translators-helped-preserve-greek-philosophy-and-the-classical-tradition.html

Mark, J. J. (2017). Ereshkigal. In Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ereshkigal/

Museo del Prado. (n.d.). The Persecution of the Harpies. Retrieved from https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-persecution-of-the-harpies/aceb2daf-7be9-42b2-b2c6-d89f60aea2ad

Nationalmuseum - The ´Hen Picture´. (2018). Retrieved April 24, 2020, from http://collection.nationalmuseum.se/eMP/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=15471&viewType=detailView

Olderr, Steven. (2017). Symbolism: A Comprehensive Dictionary, 2d ed. North Carolina, McFarland.

Peck, E. H. (1980). A “KUBACHI” PLATE AND RELATED ISLAMIC CERAMICS. Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, 58(2), 65–66. Retrieved from JSTOR database. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41504653?seq=1

Siren. (n.d.). in CLASSICAL ART RESEARCH CENTRE, University of Oxford. Retrieved from https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/dictionary/Dict/ASP/dictionarybody.asp?name=Siren

Siren, Definition, Legend, & History. (2019) In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Siren-Greek-mythology

Tretyakov Gallery. (2020). Princess swan. Retrieved from https://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/collection/tsarevna-lebed/

Tsar Saltan - Swan Princess Russian fairy tale. (n.d.). Russian American Company. Retrieved from https://www.russianamericancompany.com/tale-of-tsar-saltan-the-swan-princess/

V and A Collections. (2017). Bowl | V&A Search the Collections. Retrieved from https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O85361/bowl-unknown/

White, T.H. (Ed.). (1960). Book of Beasts. UW Digital Collections. (2019). Retrieved April 26, 2020, from Wisc.edu website: https://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/histscitech/bestiary/

Zabkar, Louis V. (1968). A Study of the Ba Concept in Ancient Egyptian Texts. SAOC 34 Uchicago.edu. Retrieved from https://oi.uchicago.edu/research/publications/saoc/saoc-34-study-ba-concept-ancient-egyptian-texts

Downloads

Published

2020-06-21

How to Cite

Elhelw, R. (2020). THE HUMAN-HEADED BIRD FIGURE IN PAINTING FROM THE BRONZE AGE TO EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY. Journal of Art & Architecture Research Studies - JAARS, 1(1), 186-200. https://doi.org/10.47436/jaarsfa.v1i1.47