Friday, January 9, 2009

The Flying Trapeze

Acrobats have been performance artists for thousands of years. They were depicted in Egyptian art, circa 2000 B.C., standing on the backs of charging bulls. Acrobats have been a part of Chinese culture for 2,500 years, when they first performed in villages across the countryside as part of harvest celebrations.

The word acrobat comes from the Greek: akros, meaning high and bat, which means walking. By the Middle Ages, in Europe, acrobats included singing and juggling and they were a popular diversion at court. Originally, acrobatics in circuses referred to tightrope walking, but has evolved to include aerial tumbling, trapeze work, human pyramids and a host of other variations, sometimes even including motorcycles.

The above hand colored lithograph was produced by the Calvert Lithograph Company in Detroit, Michigan in 1890.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

Love the lithograph and the bit of history.