|William Etty -the English painter|
On a night, Candaules, the king of Lydia in ancient Greece, betrayed his beautiful wife Nyssia, by showing her in nude to his bodyguard Gyges. The king devised a plan that Gyges would hide behind a door in the royal bedroom and watch on the nude, unaware queen while she undresses herself before going to bed.
The tale, which is from the accounts of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus is the root for the psychological term 'Candaulism' which denotes a man's sexual practice of exposing his wife to a peeping Tom.
|Stalin with his book Grekka Kalai Marabu|
“ Led by my passion for Greek history, philosophy and art, I purchased a plenty of books and enjoyed reading them. When I thought their new ideas would interest readers, I decided to write a book on them” says Stalin, who has penned a number of Tamil books on Greek literature and philosophy.
|Leda and the Swan|
Nevertheless, his new book Grekka Kalai Marabu is the first of its kind in Tamil to depict the world of ancient Greek painters, sculptors and architects. The articles in his work were already serialised in Om Sakthi, a Tamil monthly magazine founded by the late industrialist and philanthropist 'Pollachi' N.Mahalingam
“The magazine's editor and popular 'Vanambadi' poet Chidamparanathan of Coimbatore encouraged me to write in the periodical every month, for he felt my write-ups on Greek art would interest many Tamil readers” he informs.
Stalin's book explains a number of pieces in Greek art in the background of interesting tales and mythologies as Echo and Narcissus, Leda and the Swan and Hercules' freeing of Prometheus.
The book has been published by 'Agaram' a Thanjavur-based publishing company, run by Kathirarasan, a son of the late 'Vanambadi' poet Meera, popular for his collection of modern Tamil poems Kanavugal+Karapanaikal= Kakithangal, which appeared in 1971.
|Narcissus loves his own image reflected in a stream|
“ The tradition of Greek art dates back to over 2000 years. Though its roots are from Phoenicia, an ancient region corresponding to modern Lebanon, with adjoining parts of modern Syria and Israel, the Greeks later theorized and systematized them” Stalin informs.
“In Tamil, there are many books on Greek thinkers and philosophers including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. But, my new work is an attempt to introduce ancient Greek painters, sculptors and architects to Tamil readers” he avers.
Link to my article in The New Indian Express: http://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/13477294