Sunday, October 13, 2013

Buttons on Fresco Siena Duomo

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I am still interested in the Duomo of Siena in Tuscany, Italy.  I hope that you have enjoyed the last two posts about the Cathedral that was intended to be built as the most beautiful and impressive place in the world.  Plans were never finished, but one can see outside of the cathedral the marble blocks in the same shape as the internal supporting columns.  These are the supports for the part that never was built.
Anyway, off to the left inside the Duomo is another elaborate room that contains sheets of ancient music housed in large books and protected in transparent display cases.  It boggles a mind such as mine to contemplate just how many artists and artisans were employed to create this cathedral… or frankly, so many others in Italia and beyond.

I wish that I had enjoyed sculpting in plaster when I tried it back at the Elisabet Ney Sculpture Conservatory in the early 1990s.  I love the colors of fresco painting and yet am reluctant to learn fresco since that is basically painting quickly into wet plaster.  But are these not just lovely (even if a bit outrageous in their audacious quilt-like patterns)?

I wanted to use this one as an example of how the artist treated the image.  Look closer:  The figures in the foreground were given an extra detail… the gold “buttons” on their clothing are a physical addition.  I do not mean “lumpy paint” or I suppose a more “Harlequin romance” way to say it might be, “thick brushstrokes.”  I mean that the buttons are more sculpted than painted.  They really stand out.  I am not sure if this was the style of the day or simply a way to show the importance or wealth of these particular characters.  I tried to shoot straight up the wall to give you an idea of their depths, but my telephoto lens is not that powerful and this fresco started a bit above my head.

If you find yourself in Tuscany before 26 October 2013, I hope you will go see the temporary unveiling of the highly decorative stone floor of the Duomo (Cathedral) in Siena. 
More of the Divina Bellezza or “Divine Beauty”exhibition and the Duomo in Siena in the next post.

If you would like more information about Siena and its gorgeous Duomo, check out these links:

Happy Birthday to my darling sister Danielle!

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