Saturday, November 04, 2006
MELTZOFF'S PAINTINGS OF ANCIENT GREECE
In 1963, Life Magazine commissioned artist Stanley Meltzoff to illustrate an article about ancient Greece. The result was a set of glowing masterpieces that brought ancient Greece vividly to life.
In addition to the beauty of the images, Meltzoff labored long and hard to make his paintings historically accurate. A meticulous craftsman, he even distinguished the uniforms of the Persians from the uniforms of the Scythians and the Medes.
His illustrations conveyed everything from the pathos of an a individual dying in the streets from the plague...
...to the grand sweep of the world's largest army storming across the Hellespont to invade Greece.
These are works of enduring value. They appeared for one brief moment in a 25 cent weekly magazine, then disappeared as Life moved on to a different topic the following week. They aren't displayed in a museum or gallery for the public to admire.
And yet, having appeared once, they are not gone. I can personally attest that these dramatic images were seared permanently into the memories and imaginations of ten year old boys of that time. I am reproducing them here in the hope that there is another generation out there watching.