Vincemt van Gogh: Sprig of Flowering Almond Blossom in a Glass. From the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam: "To Van Gogh’s enormous surprise, deep snow lay on the ground when he arrived in Arles. The warm climate had been one of his main reasons for moving to Provence. This sprig of almond blossom – which Vincent painted twice – ... It was because of the weather that Van Gogh had to paint indoors when first in Arles, concentrating particularly on still lives and portraits."
700BC-650 BCE Tridacna squamosa shell carved with a human head on the apex and two incised winged sphinxes in a register on the edge of the inner side; lotus buds and flowers in the space above the sphinxes with a band of hatched or plain triangles framed by parallel lines defining the inner edge of the field; assembled from fragments; the shell served as a container for cosmetics. E.MED -PHOENICIAN found probably in Vulci Italy, exact production site unclear British Museum