History : Apr-May 2015
48 APRIL 2015 THE SEVEN WONDERS Eternal Fascination This mosaic in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice features one of the earliest representations of the pyramids in European art. It depicts an intriguing legend in which the biblical Joseph became the pharaoh’s vizier (adviser) and used the pyramids as granaries to ensure supplies during the seven lean years. 5. the great pyramid at giza PHILO OF BYZANTIUM said of the pyramids built on the Giza Plateau, “With works such as these, men as- cend to the gods, or the gods descend to men.” The Great Pyramid, built by Khufu, a 4th-dynasty pharaoh, was the first and largest of the three Giza pyramids erected during the third millennium b.c. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders and the only one still standing. At about 480 feet tall, this royal tomb took 20 years to build and incorporates mil- lions of blocks of stone, ma- ny weighing several tons. It was originally covered with polished white limestone so that it gleamed like gold in the bright desert sun. THIS IVORY STATUETTE OF KHUFU IS THE ONLY SURVIVING PORTRAIT OF THE PHARAOH WHO BUILT THE GREAT PYRAMID. SCALA,FIRENZEAKG/ALBUM THE PYRAMIDS AT GIZA HAVE STIRRED ARTISTS’ IMAGINATIONS FOR CENTURIES. THIS 18TH-CENTURY IMPRESSION OF THEBES AND THE PYRAMIDS IS BY ANTONIO BASOLI.