WTF Art History

For everyone interested in art history who has asked, WTF?


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  1. I Spy 18 Breasts, umm, or Bull Testicles

    One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. The Ephesians had a unique way of representing the goddess of nature and mistress of beasts, and her image is the perfect I Spy for mature audiences! The most obvious if puzzling detail are what appear to be up to eighteen breasts, which some scholars argue are bull testicles that would have been strung around her neck as offerings. WTF right? Can you even imagine scholars debating those egg-like breast/testicles at a conference? Enjoy looking at the sculpture and “read more” to make sure you spy every awesome detail!

    Artemis of Ephesus, 2nd century A.D., Roman copy of a Greek original, alabaster with 19th-century bronze head, hands, and feet. Museo archeologico nazionale, Naples

    Check out that neclace around her neck: a garland wreath, acorns, and in the center are two pairs of winged female figures bearing palms and crowns (symbols of victory). Take an even closer look to see signs of the zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo.  The disk around her head has alternating lions and gryphons. On her head is a crown in the form of city walls.  And on her arms are lions.   The tunic (chiton) is covered with even more incredible details: lions, gryphons, horses, bulls, roses, and bees.   And finally, the decoration on the sides of her tunic include a number of winged figures and sphynx’s (really, sphinges… weird right?).  You’ll never forget the Artemis of Ephesus will you?

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      The ancient word was absolutely tit and testicle mad.
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      Finally! Someone who has more trouble bra-shopping than *I* do… ..
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