Τέμενος / Témenos
(‘sanctuary, sacred area’)
or I Bandisti in Delphi
oil on canvas (linen)
65 × 140 (30 + 80 + 30) cm
The name témenos refers to a sanctuary, in this case of the deity Apollo. Games were organised every eight years, which included not only athletics, but also recital and rhetoric, music performances and dance – going back to an ancient tradition connected to the primeval concept of light defeating darkness, later associated with the Greek muse. This was the centre of the world, for Zeus sent two eagles from both ends of the world, and they met over Delphi.
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I Bandisti was the name of a wind ensemble. The name refers to members of a banda, in this case wind orchestra. Usually, however, the name was jokingly written as I Bandi(s)ti. This group also constituted a close-knit circle of friends in the 1980s. It is in this light, probably, that the thought arose to go to Greece with the whole gang. It never happened, but . . . everything is possible, in our imagination.
The scene is also imagined. The Apollo temple of Delphi, the fifth one on this spot, was built at the end of the sixth century BC. What must have been a marvelous building was destroyed by an earthquake in 373 BC, but was quickly rebuilt. It was not until 392 AD that Emperor Theodosius made an end to all pagan practices ‘worldwide’, which was the beginning of the end of Delphi’s temple complex and its associated oracle. The temple depicted here has been subject to looting and earthquakes, and it lies in ruins these days: only parts of six pillars remain.
Reference (Thales of Milete):
The most difficult tasks of all are ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Nothing in excess’.
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