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Some of the European art in the University of Oklahoma's Fred Jones Museum of Art is striking. This Wedgewood vase is unlike anything around it. It is an homage to more ancient ceremonies, which makes it look exactly like what it is - a modern (1840) version of ancient Roman and Grecian traditions.
There is a great deal of religious art in the area in addition to this great urn. On a nearby platform sits another, entitled David, a sculpture that depicts the "man after God's own heart" in an incident that occurred before he became king.
When David was only a boy, he saved the army by faith more than through his ability. Taking some stones and a sling, and with no armor, the boy faced a giant of a man who identified himself as Goliath. David spun his sling around and released one of the roundish rocks. The stone struck the giant in the head and knocked him out cold, at which time David approached the body and cut off the Goliath's head (The Bible is replete with all kinds of violence and blood if you care to read more of that kind of thing.).
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The sculpture here is quite a departure from Michelangelo's white marble statue of David. Here, David resheaths his sword and rests his naked foot on the forehead of the mighty Giant (which is more than a little weird). He also seems to have adopted the turban of a different culture than his own, though that choice was made by an artist rather than through historical accuracy.
Nearby, once again, is a painting of a balding gentleman somewhere around the turn of the 18th century. I had to consider the paining of St. Peter, the precocious apostle of Jesus, knowing that if it was hanging in the right place at the time, the likes of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington could have looked at it, too.
More interesting art was created for more than just the appreciation of the observer, though. Not so nearby - in fact, way in the back of the museum on a completely different floor - are these "icons", considered by the Orthodox Christians to be sacred. You can read more about these treasures in the photograph here.
I don't pretend to know anything about these panels or the beliefs associated with them, and I certainly do not subscribe to the idea that these objects would ever be imbued with miraculous powers, but I did appreciate the care it took to try to replicate the scenes and people depicted. The vibrancy of the paintings bring a rich and bright color to the panels, as well.
I'll close this report by just allowing you to gaze upon these works of art. The first photo below offers three different paintings of the same event. They are each titled St. George Slaying the Dragon.
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