Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Book review: Mysteries of the Snake Goddess

In Mysteries of the Snake Goddess, subtitled Art, Desire and The Forging of History, scholar and assistant curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum Kenneth Lapatin, sets out to trace the origins and prove or disprove the authenticity of the one of the world’s most recognizable antiquities -- called alternatively the Boston Goddess or the Minoan Snake Goddess. Hailed as the apotheosis of Minoan art, the Boston Goddess has a place of honor at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and has fascinated people since her arrival in Boston in 1914. Made of ivory and gold, she looks surprisingly modern with eyes set to the natural depth and stands bare breasted with a snake in each hand. The statuette did much to increase interest in the Minoan culture being unearthed on Crete and more specifically, at Knossos, by Sir Arthur Evans, a famous archaeologist.

The introduction expands into a complete review of the book which commends the research but finds the tone somewhat slow. See the above for the entire review.