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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Winged Cupid and Psyche ... More Canova

Posted on 2005.08.27 at 19:15


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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