Antaeus was a giant, the son of the goddess of the earth, famous for his abilities as a wrestler.  He was unbeatable until Hercules realized that he gained his strength from contact with the earth, at which point Hercules lifted Antaeus into the air and squeezed him to death.

Though the word "antique" is commonly used to describe ordinary objects of less than considerable age (25 years or older, perhaps), in an art historical context the word is used to describe something that survives from antiquity, particularly artifacts surviving from Greek and Roman civilizations (between about 1300 B.C. and A.D. 500).

A burin is a small, pointed metal rod, usually with a diamond-shaped cross section and a rounded wooden handle, used by an artist to incise lines into the surface of a metal plate to make an engraving. 

Bronze Casting
Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, has been used by generations of sculptors because it is relatively easy to cast, it can be colored to produce a variety of finishes, and it is also relatively durable.  Most bronze sculptures are made by using a process known as "lost wax casting."  First, a clay model is made in the studio, which is then cast in plaster.  From the plaster cast, a wax version of the sculpture is made around a heat-resistant core, and a mold, also heat-resistant, is constructed around the wax model, with pins going through the wax to connect the outer mold and the inner core.  The entire assembly is then heated until the wax melts and can be poured out, leaving an empty space between the core and the mold, which is then filled with molten metal.  When the metal cools and solidifies, the core and the mold are removed, and a hollow bronze statue is the result.

The word "chiaroscuro" derives from the Italian words for light (chiaro) and dark (oscuro).  Chiaroscuro woodcuts involve the use of two or more blocks of wood, each of which prints a different tone. When the blocks are printed in the correct order, highlights, mid-tones, and darker areas are produced, which make the finished image look more three-dimensional.  

Engravings are intaglio prints made from metal plates into which lines of varying depth have been incised.  An artist presses an engraving tool known as a burin into the metal and continues to push it just below the surface, removing a thin sliver of metal.  The artist can vary the depth of this incised groove by varying the pressure on the burin.  Shallow grooves appear in the printed image as fine lines; deeper grooves hold more ink and print as thicker, darker lines.  Curved lines (like many of those in Goltzius's prints) are made by pushing the burin through the metal in a straight direction while turning the plate.  When all the lines have been engraved, the whole plate--surface and grooves--is covered with ink, and excess ink is then wiped off the surface with a muslin rag.  Dampened paper is placed over the plate, and plate and paper are passed between the heavy rollers of a printing press.  The paper is pushed into the incised grooves and consequently picks up the ink, though it remains white where it presses against the cleaned surface of the metal. 

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek hero Herakles.  In a fit of madness, Hercules killed his own children and was required to perform Twelve Labors as penance.  One of these Labors was to gather the golden apples that grew on a tree guarded by a terrifying dragon in the garden of the Hesperides.  These Labors earned Hercules a reputation for great courage and superhuman strength.  He is typically represented as powerful and muscular. 

Herod the Great, king of Judaea from 37 B.C.-A.D. 4, was a tyrannical ruler, according to Christian teachings. A friend of the Romans, he had great influence over the people in his kingdom and ruthlessly punished those who opposed him while rewarding those who were loyal. At the birth of Jesus, said to be the "king of the Jews," Herod sought to protect his own authority by ordering that all children under the age of two be put to death.

The Hesperides were a group of nymphs who lived in a garden in which a fabled apple tree produced golden fruit.  They are associated with the setting sun and the evening stars.  Collecting the golden apples of the Hesperides was one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules. 

Intaglio prints are printed from metal plates into which lines have been cut, scratched, or etched with acid (the Italian word intagliare means "to engrave" or "to cut into").  See engraving for a description of this process.

Massacre of the Innocents
At the birth of Jesus, according to Christian teaching, Herod the Great, king of Judaea, plotted to have the child killed, ordering the massacre of all children in Bethlehem two years old or younger. The event is now known as the "Massacre of the Innocents."

Mars, the Roman god of war and husband to Venus, was also the father of Romulus, the founder of Rome. 

An engraving or etching plate is usually a thin, flat, polished piece of metal into which an artist incises or etches lines that will then hold ink.  Copper is an ideal metal for engraving and etching plates: it can be polished, it is soft enough to allow an artist to push a burin into it without too much resistance, yet it is hard enough to withstand the pressure involved in the printing process so that numerous prints can be made from a single plate without damaging it.

Pluto was the god of the underworld and the dead.  He was also the god of wealth because he controlled the precious metals hidden below ground.  His cap, or helm, made anyone who wore it invisible.

Printmaking is a technique for producing multiple copies of an image on paper or another smooth surface, such as fabric or ceramic tiles.  These images are made in a variety of ways (see also woodcut and engraving).  When a design is printed from a woodblock or from a metal plate, it is laterally inverted so that the details on the right of the block or plate appear on the left on the paper.  Consequently, any words must be written in reverse to be legible in the finished print.

When artists work on a print, they will often make a test print to see how the image is progressing.  These preliminary prints are called proofs.  Once the artists are satisfied, an "edition" of identical prints can be produced, either by the artists themselves or by specialist printers.  If any changes are then made to the plate, any further prints are described as being taken from the plate in its second "state."

Woodcuts (sometimes called relief prints) are made by cutting into the smooth, flat surface of a wooden block or plank with a sharp knife or gouge.  If ink is rolled onto the surface after the block has been cut, it will stick to any area that has been left uncut.  When the printer presses the inked block against a piece of paper, only the untouched, inked surface will leave a mark; the areas that have been cut away will appear white.


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