We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea. Jūratė forgot that immortal ones are not allowed to enjoy simple human happiness, she fascinated the young man to the bottom of the sea into her amber castle, and there the couple in love lost count of days and nights. On hearing this, the lord of gods Perkūnas decided to punish them: bolt of lightening stroke mortal lover, and disobedient lady was chained within her precious possessions for all eternity. Since then, the grieving goddess cries dropping yellow tears, and waters of the Baltic carry them to the shore for others to enjoy.
Lithuanians cherish amber so much that they even created a museum in spa capital of Palanga, housed in the palace once owned by the family of Count Tyszkiewicz. Fifteen spacious rooms host nearly five thousand units collection. But this is only visible part of the precious mountain. Store rooms preserve about twenty thousand of various items made from amazing organic gemstone or containing it.
Pride of the collection is the Sun Stone. It weighs three and a half kilos. Criminals tried to steal it for several times, but to no avail, to the delight of the museum personnel. Many exhibits on display contain visible pieces of insects or plants. One may take a closer look of treasures through a magnifying glass, and the guide will tell you difference between real and fake amber. It turns out that nature-born stone can float in salty water, and burn if set on fire, uttering sweet pleasant smell. Imitations do not have same properties.
The museum has a lot of items made from sunny stone or, as it is also called, honey stone: jewellery, household items, interior things, tableware, clocks, decorative panels, and even medicines made on the basis of this fossilized tree resin. Historians and archaeologists claim amber to be 100 million years old.
Bright stone has been venerated since ancient times. In ancient Rome it was believed that decoration can treat prostate and mental disorders. And surviving medical advice of XVII century says: Rinse made from sunny stone removes blockages in blood vessels. The Greeks rubbed it into dust and mixed with honey and rose water. This drug was used to cure eyes. Smoke from burning amber eased pain in heart and joints. Modern scholars believe that amber prevents haemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and blood clotting disorders.
The colour of this half-precious stone can vary from red to milky white. The richest deposits are located along coast of the Baltic Sea and in the Dominican Republic. Interest in amber is high in Ukraine. So, a few months ago at one of the local websites kilo and something heavy honey stone from Indonesia was sold at 16 thousand Hryvnias (1000 $). That amber was Brandy-beige colour and size of 20x15 cm, aged about 23 million years.
Interesting facts about amber:
Blue amber is mined in Mexico, Nicaragua and Dominican. The first European to see this amazing stone was Christopher Columbus.
Baltic amber adorned the crown of Tutankhamun. It is mentioned as one of the first gems.
Transparent amber of cherry colour is particularly revered in Japan and China. This stone is worn by members of the imperial family.
Due to the tiny air bubbles frozen inside amber pieces 80 million years ago, scientists obtained data on the Earth's atmosphere in the era of dinosaurs. They found that at that time Earth's atmosphere contained two times more oxygen than today.
The largest honey stone was found in Burma. It weighs more than 15 kilos. The unique finding is kept in London.
The Column Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration on June 11 welcomed guests of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Ukraine on the occasion of a national holiday. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, representatives of the government and its agencies, partners of the embassy, the business community and the media lined up to congratulate the head of a foreign diplomatic institution and express their greetingss to friendly Argentina.
Walking along the Kyiv Landscape Alley, you always notice amazing benches created by Ukrainian masters. My favorite one is with a blanket and a pillow, because it seems comfortable even in inclement weather. Sitting on it, I remembered a picture from my childhood: the grandmothers take a long board out of the house, put it at one end on the stump, the other - on the railing of the entrance, and it turns out to be a bench. Wasn't it a design miracle?
Today we are spending precious crisp green note that depicts an outstanding American finance expert Alexander Hamilton. What it is worth in a cozy Vilnius of Lithuania – read further in OUTLOOK. Nowadays Vilnius, just as the whole Lithuania, is in the state of gradual and steady economic growth...
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The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
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- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all. Shadow alone is enough.
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
Anime admirers would never pass by contemporary Japanese art. Especially if this trend is directly related to manga comics. Artist Takashi Murakami was the first to think about how to dub an art that catches inspiration in every new anime, but speaks of eternal values, interlacing with the ethnic canvases of Western artists.
Exclusive glass vases and Christmas tree decorations that only exist in one or two samples, aside from high price, most often also have in common unique production technology that is mastered by representatives of a rare profession – glass-blower. The history of the craft has lasted for a couple of millennia with some old secrets of handmade production still kept under seal.
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
The artist from New Zealand Hayley King working under the brand FLOX is well-known all over the world for the fascinating pictures showing the enlightened beauty of wild nature. Her colorful birds, picturesque landscapes, and fairy-tale-like animals remind us about the necessity to get united with the primordial nature. Hayley King creates the type of art giving inspiration and vitality. She is concentrated onto recognition of ancient heritage of the sacral places and making it spread among the wide publics. In the interview the artist told us about her social projects, travels and the modern cultural trends inherent to New Zealand.
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in Outlook.
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.