Ilivetolearn's Blog

December 11, 2006

amazing marble

Filed under: on the road,random quotes,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 1:12 pm

Of course, most of the statuary we saw in Italy was not terra cotta. The monumental marbles gracing every fountain, lining the facade of every church, randomly placed in the corner niches of buildings, and of course inhabiting every museum are like an entire population in addition to the flesh-and-blood census. You can’t turn around without having well-muscled limbs, curly locks, and genitalia (or the hole indicating they were once fig-leafed) in your face. And every single one of these specimens (especially those outdoors) could use a good power-washing. Margo, at one point, asked, “Who’s that guy–the god of dust?”

I hate to admit it, but after a few days all the Greek and Roman statues look alike and you can’t possibly absorb another explanation about centuries BC, influences, provenance. I started looking at the pedestals more than the figures atop them. There are colors, textures, and conglomerations of veins in the plinths, in the quilt-like floor patterns, and in the amazing inlay work (pietra dura, in Italian) that leave the pure-white statues, well, in the dust.

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