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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Winged Cupid and Psyche ... More Canova

Posted on 2005.08.27 at 19:15

Comments:


Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2005-08-28 03:05 (UTC) (Link)
That's what I call art! Now, I'm definitely no art connoisseur, but something like that just reaches out and grabs me. I'm amazed at the fine detail that has been etched out of the stone. I would love to be able to go to see something like that "in the flesh" so to speak.

I'm with you when it comes to some modern "sculptures". To me they just aren't art at all.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-08-28 03:43 (UTC) (Link)
Maewyn, you wrote,

I would love to be able to go to see something like that "in the flesh" so to speak.

I know what you mean. I made a joke about it in a comment in Pearl's entry about the other Cupid and Psyche of Canova's, but I really meant it.

I think part of appreciating such lovely work in stone (or wood, or whatever, if the work is sculpture), is to feel it. How can one not long to reach out and touch such a work of art? I know I sound as though I am dripping innuendo (and I usually am, LOL), but I am speaking literally. I would love just to stroke the surface of the marble of these works, they look so beautifully crafted.
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2005-08-28 04:02 (UTC) (Link)
Um... I just noticed something. In the earlier pictures, Cupid appears to be wearing a fig leaf, and in the illuminated picture, he isn't. Does this mean there are two sculptures, or does he have a removable fig leaf?
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-08-28 04:59 (UTC) (Link)
Maewyn, with my phallic eye, I noticed that *immediately* myself. But, thinking, "why should I imagine EVERYONE has the same perspective?" I did not point it out. I do not know for sure, but this is my theory.

On the Google images search engine, I also found some images of (pitted and not very good) plaster casts of Canova's piece, without the fig leaf. I am thinking that the fig leaves have been affixed, after the completion of the sculptures. When I was little (ages ago), I remember my parents taking me to an amphitheatre in Rome. It was ringed by huge statues of naked athletes. I heard my parents snickering over the guidebook materials, that the statues, which now had their genitals covered with stone fig leaves, had been carved fully-nude, but, that later administrations and public moods had found the fully naked statues to be lewd. Artists were hired to "cover them up," just as painters had "draped" the crotches of figures in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel murals.

I am thinking that the statue is wearing a fig leaf that was added after it had been created, which was removed, many decades later, for the casting. Just look at the fig leaf in the full side views. It really does look, "affixed."

After all, Canova was carving at a time when women had their muslin gowns sprayed with water, so that they would cling, resembling statues of women from antiquity. A Borghese heiress posed topless for Canova, for a reclining portrait in stone. It was a blip, but a naked blip. Afterwards, everyone covered up again. Perhaps they covered up the statues, too.
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