Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, one of Japan's Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry, lived around the year 700 and is heavily represented in the first great Japanese anthology the Man'yōshū. This carving was done around the year 1600, and now resides in the Saint Louis Art Museum. Look how the grain of the wood suggests the folds of his robe.
The Kalevala is the central body of Finnish myth. Elias Lönnrot assembled the epic poem from traditional songs in the 1830s and 40s and it rapidly became the core text of nineteenth-century Finnish nationalism. It inspired Finnish artists including the composer Jean Sibelius, and painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela who in the 1890s created many of the most famous images associated with the poem. Sammon puolustrus (The Defense of the Sampo) was painted in 1896 and now resides in the Turku Art Museum. The Sampo is not the ship but the cargo lashed down in the lower right corner. The poem is not that clear about what the object is exactly, beyond a kind of all-purpose mill. I think it's a replicator myself.
Go to the National Museums Scotland website and read up on turkey red, the favoured red dye of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and a mainstay of the Dunbartonshire textile industry. There are hundreds of samples to peruse.
The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg has a remarkably good collection of netsuke. [Remarkable in so far as it's not in Japan. But it turns out that many of the world's museums have extensive collections of these little, highly portable, carvings.] This one represents a tayo, the chanter of the bunraku puppet theatre. Source.
Five prehistoric Scottish carved stone balls. They are held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
It's the Scottish Cup, Round Five. Last night Rangers beat Dunfermline 4 - 0. Match of the Day today is between Celtic and Aberdeen, the #1 and #2 teams in the Premiership. A victory by Celtic would keep alive the possibility of an Old Firm final. There has not been one of those since 2002. Aberdeen and Inverness are still in the running for the Scottish domestic treble, but Celtic's league lead gets wider all the time.
Altogether seven Premiership, three Championship, and five League One clubs are involved in this round, plus Albion Rovers from League Two.
Morton are off.
[Aberdeen knock out Celtic! Raith knock out Hibs!]
Yesterday US Boulogne visited Colomiers in Haute-Garonne and won 1 - 2.