Seaspiracy; A Look Behind The (Net) Curtain!


Please don’t get chilled when you see the word: “Spiracy” up there. I haven’t put the “con.” before that but “Sea”!
Although, As if the meaning will be the same in the end. As we will learn more and more, slowly but surely, it seems that we are sawing the branch on which we sit!

In the last days of our trip, our son Raphael sent us a pic from reportage on Netflix with a note; “you might like to watch”. And we did it two days ago.

Ali Tabrizi
Popular Bio

It is a documentary made by Ali Tabrizi, a 27 Youngman from England (with Persian origin) who dared to create this stunning one and a half-hour film as a disclosure. (Additive: We can see hardly any intellectual one staying in Iran!)

If you have subscribed to Netflix, watch this well done and, at the same time, horrifying reportage. I mean “horrifying” only because of the bitter truth hidden before our eyes.

That is worth watching disclosure about something that rarely comes to the topic. It makes our eyes open and expands or broadens our thoughts.

I am almost sure that our adorable friends, Pam Lazos and Susan Scott, and others who have some activities to keep life safe on this planet, will be interested in watching it.

Seaspiracy is a 2021 documentary film about the environmental impact of fishing directed by and starring Ali Tabrizi, a British filmmaker. The film examines various human impacts on marine life and advocates for ending fish consumption. Wikipedia

Initial release: March 24, 2021

DirectorAli Tabrizi

Produced byKip Andersen

Production companies: A.U.M. Films; Disrupt Studios

Music byBenjamin Sturley

Distributed byNetflix

I don’t want to say I hope you’ll enjoy it, but I hope you will watch it!

Today afternoon, we are invited to a small birthday party of our granddaughter, Mila (she became three years old last Thursday). I will go there and hug her and congratulate her anniversary, though, in the back of my mind, I wonder how her future will look like, and it worries me!

Have a lovely weekend, friends. 🤗💖🙏

The Beatles and its Focal Point; Billy Preston.


First, I must mention it is not any birthday or other anniversary of someone! My mind engaged with The Beatles these days because of their new documentary movie: Get Back. Although unfortunately, it’s on the Disney channel, and I can’t watch it because I’m not registered there. However, I watch the video clips from that movie now and then and remember my youth as we grew up with them.

Of course, it is not something new, but what hit my mind to write this post is remembering Billy Preston and his influence on The Beatles.

Billy Preston was one principal emphasis in the Beatles works, especially in the later albums. Some people say he was the fifth Beatles, but I believe George Martin was the fifth Beatles and led their songs in such magnificent and tuned sound for many years. Notwithstanding, Billy Preston gave a unique soul to the songs, notably, their latest works despite all of these.

He had a turbulent life, as many artists should have? He worked with so many famous musicians. In addition to his successful solo career, with several funks and R&B hits, Preston gigged for a host of all-time greats: Ray Charles, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones…the list goes on.

He also had intoxication problems, and I think he had suffered a lot too under his sexual orientation;

As an adult, Preston’s star was tarnished by addiction, arrests and self-sabotaging behaviour that his manager, Joyce Moore, and half-sister Lettie, said was most deeply rooted in his mother’s refusal to believe that he was being sexually abused by the pianist of summer touring company, and later a local pastor.

It’s part of a lurid, longer tale, calling to mind other promising, oft-prodigious young talents who never managed to get out from under damage inflicted by adults when they were children.

He was 9.

What a cruel world we have!

Like a genius in childhood prodigy who never took a music lesson, by 10, he was backing gospel luminaries like Mahalia JacksonJames Cleveland, and Andraé Crouch.

A year later, he entered America’s living rooms. He appeared on The Nat King Cole Show, below, to duet with TV’s first national Black variety show host on “Blueberry Hill,” a 40s tune Fats Domino had popularized earlier in the decade. Which I never knew!

“You have a very excellent career ahead of you,” Cole predicts, following their performance.

Daughter Natalie Cole later enthused that the celebrated crooner “lets this kid have all the glory,” though the self-possessed pre-teen holds his own ably, alternating between organ and his own impressive pipes.

Within the year, Cole and Preston shared the big screen, and a memorable part, when they were cast as “The Father Of The Blues” W.C. Handy, as a child and adult, in the 1958 movie St Louis Blues.



A Trip in the Canary Islands (Lanzarote) P1 César Manrique

César Manrique pintando en el estudio de su casa de Tahíche. Lanzarote, 1985


Yes! That’s me, back again from my vacation. However, it was an adventure more than a holiday journey. Because, as you already know by now, we both, my wife and I, are not that good and submissive! Therefore, regrettably, I would say; that was a brave act of ours!

(“PS 2 times in millions!!: I had been dreaming that I had turned off my M. Phone for suspected two last days in our holidays, just for a breathe. I tell you, when I came back, there were thousands of Emails and notifications and… Hush; it wasn’t a dearm!”) 😭

On the other side, It’s beautiful and, especially for me, an unusual Silvester time under such a clear sky and warm (ca 22 C.) climate. And as we’d noticed, how easily the Spanish people do with the new crisis. It was also outstanding. Of course, as I have promised, I will share my pictures and experiences about this short trip, but let me begin with a visit to the house and museum of a great artist, Cesar Manrique, whom I’d honestly never heard of before.

First, I must add here that something saddened and aggrieved me after I read his biography, to know that he took part in the Spanish Civil War end of the 30s but to my surprise on the side of Franco! Perhaps that could be described as his youthful naivety. I would do that because the arts and artists can never belong to or even exist in any fascist regime. With that, I calm my heart and dare to say that he was a great artist in a suitable place and at the right time.

In his biography, the writer describes his feeling as follows:

He participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. His war experience was atrocious, and he refused to talk about it. In the summer of 1939, once the war was over, César returned to Arrecife. He bore still wearing his military uniform. After greeting his mother and siblings, he went up on the flat roof, took off his clothes, angrily stepped over them, sprayed them with petroleum and burned them. (From his Biography.)

What piqued my interest was the way of life those days (in the 70s) and how people with art and artists could live so happily and free.

I think it was how I always wanted to live, and luckily, despite residing in Iran and being so far away from the centre of the events, I had got a lot of that and could dream of being there. When I was looking at his works and the pictures, and the fascinating architecture of his house, made into volcanic mountains and chilled lava, I was just fascinated and stunned!

Here is an excellent recording of this house.

And his way to approach the art:

César Manrique Cabrera (24 April 1919 – 25 September 1992) was a Spanish artist, sculptor, architect and nature activist from Lanzarote. Wikipedia

Anyway, as I was enjoying this loving life, I wondered in the back of my mind how unlucky is the new generation didn’t experience this wonderful life.

I will continue for sure, after I’ve got the pictures taken by the master of photography, of course, my wife. 😉🤗

Portrait of a Distinguished Woman from Fayum


There are lots of such portraits! (s. here) It seems that it was a favourite pastime back then. Or a try to leave a beautiful reminder behind? Here is one of these beauties; let’s enjoy reading this brilliant explanation by Marie Grillot. 🙏💖

Portrait d’une femme distinguée du Fayoum via

Mummy portrait of a distinguished woman – encaustic painting on linden and gold leaf
Roman Egypt – 2nd century (160-170)
Provenance: Er-Rubayat – Acquired from Theodor Graf by Robert Ludwig Mond
who bequeathed it in 1939 to the British Museum – EA65346 – photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Her “class”, distinction, and nobility have stood the test of time: beautiful and elegant during her lifetime, she will remain so for eternity …

Her gaze is frank and straight, even if, on scrutinizing it more closely, his large brown eyes seem to hide an unfulfilled question deep within them. The round, dark iris stands out from the white gaze, which looks slightly damp. It is animated by a subtle dot of white paint, giving it a spark of life. Thin and short eyelashes are treated individually. The eyebrows, with well-defined implantation, follow the shape of a circumflex accent.

The nose is delicate and straight; its edge is underlined by a more marked paint touch. The furrow’s hollow leading to the lips is surrounded by a light white line.

Mummy portrait of a distinguished woman – encaustic painting on linden and gold leaf
Roman Egypt – 2nd century (160-170)
Provenance: Er-Rubayat – Acquired from Theodor Graf by Robert Ludwig Mond
who bequeathed it in 1939 to the British Museum – EA65346 – photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

The mouth is attractive with its lips with a cupid’s arch asserted and with their fine labial commissures. Tinted with a discreet pink, they seem to want to sketch a smile …

The brown hair, nicely wavy, leaves the part of the forehead visible. It’s gathered certainly, in a bun at the neck’s nape and is adorned with a thin gold crown or a tiara. This is not the only adornment. Indeed: “The woman wears square emerald earrings set in gold with pearl pendants. Around her neck is a heavy necklace composed of a large emerald in a rectangular frame and a large one. Red oval stone, possibly carnelian, flanked by two rectangular gold plaques. All the frames are made in gold leaf “.

Portrait of a mummy representing a distinguished woman: detail of the necklace and clothing
encaustic painting on lime and gold leaf – Roman Egypt – 2nd century (160-170)
Provenance: Er-Rubayat – Acquired from Theodor Graf by Robert Ludwig Mond
who bequeathed it in 1939 to the British Museum – EA65346 – photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

This distinguished woman, who poses elegantly three-quarter length, obviously had as much taste for choosing her dress as her jewellery… “Her clothes are most unusual: a blue-purple tunic, with a golden clavus that continues in a decorative band under the neck where it is edged with gold leaf; and over the shoulder, a creamy white coat, almost the same colour as the background, is draped in the manner of contemporary statuary “(extracts from” Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt “, Susan Walker and Morris Bierbrier).

She lived in the 2nd century AD and undoubtedly belonged to a wealthy class, perhaps even the elite. Indeed, only the wealthiest could afford quality funeral rituals. After having been Greek, Egypt became Roman… and cosmopolitan: Egyptians, Greeks and Romans mingled. The new “masters of the land” adopted the funeral customs of Pharaonic Egypt, and the Romans introduced the art of portraiture.

Mummy portrait of a distinguished woman – encaustic painting on linden and gold leaf
Roman Egypt – 2nd century (160-170)
Provenance: Er-Rubayat – Acquired from Theodor Graf by Robert Ludwig Mond
who bequeathed it in 1939 to the British Museum – EA65346 – photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

This type of portrait was produced during the model’s lifetime by itinerant painters who never signed their works … Even if they remained in anonymity, have been they then “known”, renowned? We whispered the name of the best, the most talented; was it “good taste” to be “immortalized by so and so? These questions keep their question marks …

The support for these portraits – which will, during mummification, be placed on the face of the deceased – is most often a plank of wood (lime, fig, cedar or sycamore) which has been smoothed and coated beforehand. The sketch is then executed in red or black. “Then, the portrait was carried out using mineral and vegetable pigments bound with heated wax (encaustic), which allows a slow and meticulous work resulting in small close touches for the face. On the other hand, the neck, the hairstyle and the clothing are treated with broad strokes of the brush “.

Mummy portrait of a distinguished woman – encaustic painting on linden and gold leaf
Roman Egypt – 2nd century (160-170)
Provenance: Er-Rubayat – Acquired from Theodor Graf by Robert Ludwig Mond
who bequeathed it in 1939 to the British Museum – EA65346 – photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

44.2 cm high and 20.7 cm wide, painted “with encaustic”, on a linden board, this portrait called “of Fayoum ‘” comes more precisely from Er-Rubayat, north of Hawara. In “Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt”, the authors specify that: “The portraits associated with the cemetery of Er-Rubayat were mainly acquired in the 1880s by the Viennese merchant Theodor Graf, who exhibited them in several places in Europe and America, acclaimed by the public, selling them to various institutions and private collectors… “.

Sir Robert Ludwig Mond
(September 9, 1867 – October 22, 1938)

This is the case with the generous patron Robert Ludwig Mond (Farnworth, UK, 9-9-1867 – Paris, 22-10-1938), then bequeathed to the British Museum. He entered it in 1939 under the number EA65346.

Marie Grillot


Mummy-portrait – EA65346

Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum Paperback, 2001, English edition, Editing by Edna R. Russmann

Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt by Susan Walker, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The mute apostrophe – Essay on the portraits of Fayoum, Jean-Christophe Bailly

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Don’t wonder that the picture above is in French. Since my childhood, I have known Santa Claus as Papa Noel! Maybe because French significantly influences our Persian language.

I was unsure if I could post anything this weekend, but I know that I will be in Spain next weekend! 😮 Therefore, I try to do something.
Oh yes! My adorable and crazy wife had dared to keep her habits (travelling in every condition) and booked a flight to Lanzarote; even though there is big chaos in the world, let’s see. Life is not that easy, and we must make the best of it.

Of course, I will try to share my experiences and give a travel report if all goes well, and wishing you all my friends a nice, cosy, and warm-hearted celebration with all my heart.

And I’ve just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on
! With love. 🙏💖🙏💖

Ethel Lina White: The Abergavenny Writer Who Inspired Hitchcock!

Ethel Lina White
Alba Editorial

I have always been excited about ticklish or prickly stories or movies. Therefore, I have seen all the Alfred Hitchcock’s, almost all the movie series Dracula’s and many other creepy films, and read a lot of thrillers like Agatha Christie’s or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s.

I am amazed at how many women there are as thriller authors, Agatha Christie (as mentioned), Dorothy L Sayers, Ann Cleeves, Ruth Rendell, and many others for sure. Even Metta Fuller Victor’s The Dead Letter, published by “Seeley Register” in serial form between 1866 and 1867, is widely recognised as the first detective novel written by a woman. And, of course, I must add J. K. Rowling to this list.

But I have never had heard about Ethel Lina White, whom I have coincidentally read on BBC News Page.

As we read; She was favourably compared to Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.

Sheffield Hallam student Alex Csurko, who is embarking on a PhD into Ethel, believes her father’s invention may have been the genesis of her brilliance.

“The amazing thing about Ethel is that, despite writing all her life, she wasn’t truly recognised until she was in her 60s,” he said.

“Maybe it took her move to London before she was introduced to the right people?”
“We know from the 1911 census that, aged 35, she was still living at home with her parents – by which time she’d already had dozens of poems and short stories published in the press – over 100 in her lifetime,” he said.

That is something that seldom happens to men; I might not wonder? Since when did it all go wrong? I can still remember it!!

She was not so successful as Agatha Christie, may because she was, as Mr Csurko said: “Ethel simply wasn’t prepared to play the fame game which made stars of other writers.
“In an interview with critic Peter Cheyney, she said: ‘I was not born. I have never been educated and have no tastes or hobbies. This is my story, and I’m sticking to it.”
He said that in many reviews, Ethel was alternately described as “spikey”, “witty”, and “sarcastic”.
By 1938 she hit stardom when Alfred Hitchcock chose to adapt her detective thriller The Wheel Spins – about a young woman on a train and her missing companion – into his film The Lady Vanishes.
“The Lady Vanishes was Hitchcock’s last British-made film, and I think it’s fair to say it was the one which made Hollywood studios sit up and take notice of him. Said Mr Csurko.

However, while the legacy of other writers such as Agatha Christie has lived on, Ethel’s reputation has faded into the background.

“I think there is an easy explanation for this,” said Mr Csurko. “Ethel simply wasn’t prepared to play the fame game which made stars of other writers.

“She was brilliant in her own time, but when you consider the likes of Agatha Christie started a decade before her and carried on until the 70s, there’s just not the volume of work to compare them fairly,” Mr Csurko said.

Ethel would have two more novels adapted for the big screen – Midnight House was filmed as The Unseen, and The Spiral Staircase was based on her novel Some Must Watch.

Ethel died of ovarian cancer in 1944. Intriguingly and quite macabrely, her will demonstrated her lifelong fear of being buried alive, which can be read in her 1935 novel The First Time He Died.

The will read: “I give and bequeath unto Annis Dora White [her sister] all that I possess on condition she pays a qualified surgeon to plunge a knife into my heart after death.”

Thanks, this girl and the others, for giving us men something to consider!

PS: Next week is the birth of an extraordinary one. Therefore, I must see if I find an opportunity to post something new… Have a great time, everyone. 🙏💖👍🙏💖


The Dead. A Short Story by James Joice.

The Dead (1987)
Virtual History
The Dead (1987)

That was in the early 70s when I read “Dubliners.” A collection of James Joyce’s short stories from 1914. Of course, it translated into the Persian language because my English was not so good so far as now is (if we’d call it good now!), and I was thankful for that.

One exciting thing that I can mention here about Iranians is that despite the majority of the population being illiterate, we had a significant part in one of the most famous streets in Tehran, full of bookshops. All the books from everywhere globally, written by well-known or known or unknown writers, and all translated!

To translate books is an art in itself; The excellent translator must have many abilities to do their job: Knowing both languages perfectly and having enough writing skills. We had a few of that kind and many who were not convincing. And this Dubliners was, unfortunately, one of the latter.

I know reading Joyce is not easy; maybe that’s why the good translators didn’t want to try this one. Notwithstanding, I have read it, excruciating but to the end. Of course, it is a great book, as I reread it in the original language some years ago. One of the stories is “The Dead“. It is by far the most extended story in the collection and, at 15,952 words, is almost long enough to be described as a novella.

The name: “The Dead” is an interesting choice by Joyce; I mean, the story could have another name: a family fiesta, or the people among themselves, or whatsoever. It deals with themes of love and loss and raises questions about the nature of the Irish identity. But he has chosen this name for it. He could want to show us how people are so busy with their everyday lives that they forget there might be an end! At the end of the story, Gabriel Conroy’s wife, Gretta, tells him about a boyfriend from her youth and his early death, and Gabriel has an epiphany about life and death and human connection.

T. S. Eliot called “The Dead” one of the greatest short stories ever written. And Joyce biographer and critic Richard Ellmann wrote: “In its lyrical, melancholy acceptance of all that life and death offer,  ‘The Dead’ is a linchpin in Joyce’s work.

Anyway, my purpose is that I have recently watched the made movie from the story.

The Dead.

In 1987, it was adapted into the film The Dead, directed by John Huston, starring Anjelica Huston as Gretta Conroy and Donal McCann as Gabriel Conroy. One can expect an excellent adaptation from Huston, who had many brilliant works, like The Misfits, The Man Who Would Be King, Moby Dick, etc.?

Lately, when I suggested to my wife that we’d watch this movie together, she was confused and thought it would be all about dying, but it wasn’t that gruesome, and she liked it. Anyhow, it is highly recommended, and you might like it too.

Fifty+Years Loneliness XI


The born protester!


I’ve just thought that I’ve shared some of my inner feelings and complaints about the conditions these days lately (I heartfelt thanks for your supports); I might tell you that I have always been in that way! Of course, it was my brother Al who opened the door of my locked soul with his own rebellion.

He is Sagittarius, could have already on December 9th his 69th birthday, and he’s a typical Sagittarius, with all his pride, intelligence and firmness. He started his revolt from childhood when he started building his world. I was still dumb!

As I remember, we played downstairs, and our father was working (writing) upstairs, and when we became louder than usual, he came downstairs from his room and beat Al with his belt. I don’t know why he did nothing to me, only Al. Then, Al had beaten me as revenge! I was the latest child, and there was nobody else after me. Therefore, I learned to forgive.

My rebellion began after our father’s death when I found out that my mother had kept it secret from us almost a year later. I was skin and bones those days, and one could see and count my ribs. Then I began to eat! I have had many competitions with the adults and always won!
Of course, I got rounder but stopped in my puberty because the girls didn’t like it. 😉😁

But the proper outbreak happened many years later when Al and I were often alone at home, and we had some long conversations on our different views of life. Honestly, I had no idea or opinion; my problem was Al’s unusual behaviour towards the world, which confused me. Al had not many chances to cause me to understand his view of life; (I was so dumb!). Therefore, he only told me that his world is full of mad people!
One day, the turning point came when I was under the shower: ‘Eureka! Eureka! I cried out like Archimedes and jumped out of the bathroom! Of course, it was not the number Pi that I found out, but only that I didn’t know! I just have found out that I was still not understanding Al’s world, but it’s a challenge for me to think about it. That was my first step!

For sure, it is a never-ending way to get knowledge and to understand everything. But I am so thankful to take the first, and in my opinion, the hardest, step.

I have written the rest of my protesting time in my blogs: here and here. If one is interested.

Anyhow and in fact, I have deep gratitude to Al, who never stopped believing in me and let me suffer in my ignorance until I forced my brain to work. Happy and glorious birthday, buddy.

Finally, I would like to share two enjoyable songs from a Master of “Jazz/ Blues Fusion”; John Mayall, with whom we have had a lot of joy. This LP is more remarkable because there is no drummer in this album. Have a peaceful weekend, everybody. 🤗💖🙏🙏

A beautiful Roman from Antinoe who became “Lady of the Vatican.”


She is just gorgeous! Even if we do have not this image in a complete form, still it is a unique Masterwork.

Shroud of the “Lady of the Vatican”

This linen canvas, known as the “Lady of the Vatican”, belongs to a particular type of female burial shroud. There are only six known specimens dispersed in various museums.
The portrait of the deceased is not limited solely to the face but instead depicts the full life-size figure of the woman. She is reclining, as may be seen by the position of her feet, which are elongated and rest on a cushion. She wears jewellery, executed in relief using plaster and gilded.
The figurative panel is divided, in the upper part, by a series of concentric frames and friezes and, in the lower part, by a frieze divided into rectangular areas with figurative illustrations, of which two are conserved: in the first, there is a scene of philosophical instruction with a teacher and young pupil, probably the deceased herself; in the second, of a doubtful interpretation, there is what appears to be a fight between a young man and a lion.
The shroud was discovered in 1900 by Albert Gayet in the site of Antinopolis and donated to Pope Leo XIII in 1902 by Émile Guimet, along with the corresponding mummy. The archaeological context of origin and an iconographical study of the portrait would date it from the third century A.D. The robe and jewels are typical of the Roman context, and the hairstyle, in particular, is inspired by the fashion of women of the Severian imperial house.

Here is a brilliant description of the find and its story by Marie Grillot. 🙏💖🙏

Une belle romaine d’Antinoé devenue “Dame du Vatican” via

The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century AD. J.-C.
Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet
Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902
Toile funéraire de femme, appelée aussi “Dame du Vatican”.Antinoé – IIIe siècle après J.C.

“It is the first mummy with a painted portrait that M. Gayet brought back from Antinoe. I thought it was Christian, and I gave it to the Vatican Museums with all the fabrics with Christian symbols around it. “indicates Emile Guimet in” The portraits of Antinoé at the Guimet Museum “.

This is how this fragmentary shroud, 1.73 m high, 13 to 52 cm wide, representing a lady of good Roman society from the beginning of our era, took, in 1902, the route of the Holy See, under the pontificate of Leo XIII. She was then, in a beautiful way, “assimilated” to her new “home” since she was very quickly called the “Lady of the Vatican”.

The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century A.D. J.-C.
Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet
Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902 – Photo of the Museum

“She is part of a typology of female funeral canvases of which only six examples are known in museums worldwide. The portrait of the deceased is not limited to the face, but the woman is represented life-size, full-length. . She is stretched out, as can be seen from the position of the feet stretched out and resting on a cushion. She wears jewellery, made in relief, in plaster and gilded, “specifies the Museum …

The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century A.D. J.-C.
Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet
Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902

Her face, of beautiful symmetry, is lit by large eyes edged with kohol. The iris, round and black, stands out against the white of the eye, which seems wet with tears. The eyebrows are nicely arched, while light circles mark the lower eyelid. The nose is small. The palate is small, with a marked cupid arch and slightly raised corners.

Her brown hair, styled in a short “square”, is separated by a central part and adorned with a pearl tiara. The hairstyle slightly returned to the back, revealing beautiful pendant earrings adorned with pearls.

The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century A.D. J.-C.
Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet
Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902

She is wearing a purple-orange tunic embellished with a thin white border at the neckline and purple clavis that: “fall on her forearms and reach just above the knees; the one on the right is stopped on the dress by a pin. The nails go down from the arms and delimit the central part, occupied by a shawl. At the height of the belt, the abdomen and the legs up to the knees are, in fact, covered with a rectangular fabric or fringed and with two large purple medallions applied to the centre, “says Lorenzo Nigro in his excellent study” The portrait of the ‘Lady of the Vatican’ on the linen cloth by Antinoe: a new interpretive analysis after the restoration. “

Necklaces of gold and precious stones adorn her neck; her wrists also are adorned with bracelets embossed in gold leaf. We admire the elegance of the gesture she sketches with her hand with long tapered fingers, which perfectly highlights the ring she wears on her left ring finger.

“The presence of the ring is particularly significant because this attribute indicates with good reliability the belonging of the woman to an aristocratic family. In fact, it is not a simple personal ornament. Still, an indicator of the social rank of The set of precious ornaments described makes the ‘Lady of the Vatican’ one of the most richly decorated female figures in the available presentations of the same series of works, in particular, thanks the jewellery is worn around the neck “(Lorenzo Nigro).

The canvas of the “Lady of the Vatican” – Painted linen – 3rd century AD. J.-C.
Provenance: Antinoé – Excavations by Emile Guimet directed by Albert Gayet
Vatican Museum – Inv. 17953 – Gift of Émile Guimet – 1902
published in “Les portraits d’Antinoé au Musée Guimet”, Emile Guimet, Librairie Hachette et Cie, Paris

The rest of the canvas, unfortunately incomplete, presented one: “series of frames and concentric friezes and, in the lower part, a frieze divided into small rectangular panels, of which only two are preserved: in the first one we have to distinguish a scene of philosophical instruction with a master and a young pupil, probably the deceased herself; in the second, less readable, one indicates a fight between a young man and a lion “.

The hairstyle, clothes and adornments have made it possible to date this shroud from the 3rd century, particularly from the Severan dynasty, founded by Septimius Severus in 193 AD. J.-C …

The ruins of Antinoe today extend into a village called Sheikh ‘Abade (Middle Egypt)

The city of Antinoe where it was discovered is located in Middle Egypt, on the eastern bank of the Nile, 300 km south of Cairo. The city already existed in the New Kingdom, but Hadrian renamed it in the 1st century from the name of his handsome lover Antinous. Its ruins today extend into a village called Sheikh ‘Abade.

Illustration representing Albert Gayet’s excavations in Antinoopolis (published in the Petit Journal – 1904-686)

From 1896, in agreement with the Direction of the Antiquities Service, Emile Guimet will become, for many years, the patron of the excavations directed by Albert Gayet. This Dijon Egyptologist arrived in Egypt in 1881 with the Permanent French Archaeological Mission in Cairo created by Gaston Maspero. This last will push him towards “a direction still little known: the archaeology of Egypt of late antiquity”. This is how he will become a specialist …

Antinoé will reveal the secrets of his necropolises throughout the missions: painted portraits and fabrics and clothes are certainly their most beautiful treasures. They make it possible to “revive” a whole cosmopolitan society rich in various influences; this “lady” is a perfect example …

Anonymous, Monsieur Guimet reading an Egyptian inscription
Ink on paper – Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts

How not evoke this excellent analysis made by Emile Guimet? “Was the ‘Vatican Lady’ ‘idolatrous’ or was she ‘Christian’? We won’t know. She was a bit isiac (of or about the goddess Isis or her worship), because of the Egyptian temple door that surrounds her face; she was a bit Buddhist, by the windings which adorn the medallions of her dress; she was a little Syriac, by the miniature painting which adorns her shroud and represents two figures seated to the right and the left of the tree of life; she was a little Christian, by the gesture of her right hand which the lady with the golden cross will imitate, by her spiritual aspirations, by the symbols spread on the fabrics found around her. Ensured all paradises “.

The “Lady of the Vatican” was registered at the Museum, which gave her name under the inventory number 17953.

Marie Grillot

Sources:–costumi-funerari-dellantico-egitto/telo-della-_dama-del-vaticano-. html
Il ritratto Della ‘Dame du Vatican’ sul telo linteo da Antinoe: Una Nuova Analisi interpretative Dopo il restauro, Lorenzo Nigro
(excerpts translated by Marc Chartier)
The portraits of Antinoé at the Guimet Museum, Emile Guimet, Librairie Hachette et Cie, Paris
“Exploration of the ruins of Antinoe and the discovery of a temple of Ramses II enclosed within the walls of Hadrian’s town”, Albert Gayet, editions E. Leroux (Paris), 1896
One day I bought a mummy – Emile Guimet and Ancient Egypt – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon – Exhibition from March 30 to July 2, 2012