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Posts tagged ‘sculpture’

Royal Revisions in Assyrian Art

We sometimes forget that beautiful works of art may have been created with ulterior motives.  Think of a pharaoh using a heroic frieze to solidify his power, an elegant Renaissance chapel donated to erase the sins of the patron, or a lovely oil portrait sent to encourage a royal marriage.  Sometimes the circumstances behind the message change and the image must be adjusted.  I notice one such major revision in Chicago and was surprised to hear about some political turmoil that led to the defacement of a glorious royal sculpture.

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (Photo: American Lady, Flickr)

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The God of Mozia, Sicily

coastline of Mozia, Sicily, Italy

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing great sculpture!  You can find links below for the group’s posts this month.  The summer heat has got me thinking about Sicily and so I’m going to introduce you to a phenomenal, ancient piece that I happened to stumbled across on a secluded island (really!).

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Bernini’s Rejected French Sculpture

st peters interior, Rome

Bernini created the interior marble facade, canopy and high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (Photo: rachel_titiriga, flickr)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 – 1680) should be familiar to visitors to Rome.  He essentially created the Baroque city that we see today producing sculptures, fountains, buildings and the majority of the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica.  Considering that he started creating accurate portrait busts at 14 and continued to work until he was 82, Bernini is deservedly known as a prolific genius.  But did you know that even his work was occasionally rejected? Read more

Michelangelo in Bruges

In recent years, my travels have focused on the Mediterranean with trips to Greece, Turkey and Italy.  I love ancient Roman art and the Italian Renaissance, but I thought it was time to diversify a bit.  With a trip to Amsterdam and Belgium, I thought I could now finally spend some time with Dutch Primitives, also known as the art of the Northern Renaissance.  And then look what I find tucked away in the Low Countries: a real Michelangelo!

Michelangelo's Madonna of Bruges at the Church of Our Lady in Bruges

Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges at the Church of Our Lady in Bruges (Adapted from Jean-Pol Grandmont on Wikimedia)

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Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Bloom

copper urn, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

When the first Spring blossoms have arrived and the trees start to turn green with immature shoots, then it’s time for me to visit the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.  Founded in the 1830’s, many elite Bostonians are buried in the rolling 174 acres of this graveyard.  Like many old cemeteries, Mt. Auburn is more of a park filled with historic and interesting memorials.  Early May is one of the best times to visit when you can stroll and enjoy the mix of burgeoning color and partially bare trees.

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