Welcome! See Italy (and more) through the eyes of an artist: American sculptor and painter Kelly Borsheim creates her life and art in Italy and shares her adventures in travel and art with you. Come on along, please and Visit her fine art work online at: www.BorsheimArts.com
The funeral monument and marble tomb of Abbot Simone Graziani (begun in the 16th century) is carved from marble and is situated on the wall next to a large painting. Not generally a fan of sculptures of horizontal bodies at rest, I nonetheless found the details in the frame surrounding the figure to be quite creative and beautiful. Specifically, I enjoy the combination of bas relief (“flat” sculpture, such as what you see on coins) and high relief sculpture (more in the round but still on a wall).
I also enjoy the combination of animals, human faces, and foliage and other organic elements. I chuckle at the intelligent and somewhat whimsical shape that appears at first glance to be a mathematical symbol or letter in an ancient alphabet only to discover that it is in fact a depiction of the hind legs of an animal. This work is highly decorative and beautiful in its symmetry.
To the right of the altar is a more complicated composition than the main altar itself shows off. With the rows of candles in front, this composition struck me as very well balanced. The painting in the center has a lot of negative space that not only gives the eye a place to rest a bit, but the upward glance of the figure and surrounding circle of faces all lead the eye up to the top. There is an incredible marble carving here of multiple figures ascending up through a domed window.
Seriously, how on Earth did these people LIFT such heavy and lovely pieces to such heights and without damage? These were the days before electricity and all the technology that came from after that time. Incredible what people have accomplished.
I also apologize for my inability to get the light meter to read what I wanted with this zoom lens. Still the art is inspiring, as intended in the church. All of the geometry is perfectly designed to lead your eyes to heaven. Wonderful!
Now, because I am a yin and yang kind of person, I must show something that is not so beautiful, although I wonder if it is a strange sign of love. This next and last image is of a painting that is in disrepair. I find destruction fascinating, perhaps the same way that small critters are confused into inactivity by the hunter for easier catching or a the lure of vampire’s hypnotic stare.
The light brown vertical lines you see are cracked areas in which the paint has fallen off… they connect up with the larger brown areas at the bottom. I suspect that the cracks have more to do with places in which either the canvas or the wood has been joined or folded or warped. (I forgot to look at this closely enough to get the details of this painting. Oops!)
But I just wonder if the bottom edge is gone for the same reason that many sculptures have details worn off or sport a bright bronze patina on some toes: people reach up to touch a beloved artwork and over many years, the oils from their fingers and the actual touching or rubbing of thousands of hands destroys the work. It is like polishing the worry stone in your pocket, if you will. This was what I meant when I said an act of love earlier. As an artist, I feel complimented that people loved my work enough to touch it out of affection or adoration.
As a side note, it is interesting how the color has faded on the shadow side of the leg in green… and ONLY in the green. Ah, so much to learn!
Today I have earned 48 years old. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I know that I am in the right place and moving in a good direxion. On another, I worry about lost time and late starts (regarding my art mostly). Still, one foot in front of the other and if not now, when? The year just keeps on zipping past. I am on my way to Serbia tomorrow to accompany a friend. It may be a while before I post again. Happy summer to you and thank you for reading my little posts.