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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Schism, parts 3739 - 3742

 3739. Harriet’s husband purchased a new piece of small sculpture for her birthday. It was an extravagant purchase and the first real Italian work in her collection. She had hoped for some small piece from the Italian Renaissance even if it was by some unknown master, or even unsigned, but that is not what she received. 

 3740. Harriet’s husband was a Philistine, even though he could quote the poetry of Browning on occasion. To him the works of the Renaissance and the works of the Baroque masters were one and the same. He could not distinguish the difference between the twisting, intertwined figures of Bernini from the stiff figures on the portals of medieval cathedrals.

 3741. For him a figure in stone was like any other figure in stone, and if it had eyes, nose and a mouth, plus a mantle to cover the body, it was a thing of wonder and magic. So it was no wonder that he mistook a small marble figure probably by a follower of Canova, for a work of some High Renaissance master.

 3742. The work was crafted by a person with a name with a vowel at the end. The figure was a naked man holding a sword aloft, and striking a pose reminiscent of the Greek heroes just before they smite something. It was different from ancient Greek works of a similar subject in many particulars.

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