Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cathedral of Siena, Divina Bellezza!

Cathedral of Siena, Divina Bellezza!

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),
I apologize for the holiday from writing this blog.  I have had a long string of visitors and traveling and hope to share some of my journey with you.  I had the great pleasure to meet up with an American couple who are now friends and collectors of my work (a commissioned portrait of their grandkids).  They were doing a wine tour of Italy, and sadly had to miss visiting my beloved Firenze.  So, I met them in the charming town of Siena, bringing my visiting friend Dilya with me.

I had suggested that we all meet in Siena primarily because the amazing Cathedral (“Duomo” in Italian) was having a special exhibit inside, displaying the entire mosaic-ed floor inside of what one of my friends in Austin, Texas, called “The Zebra Castle” when he saw the Duomo as a child.  The unveiled floor usually has carpets covering the stone art to protect it.   This exhibit lasts only until 26 October and is called Divina Bellezza or “Divine Beauty.”
The mosaics tell various stories to inspire and make you feel a whole slew of emotions, as stories do.  Some depicted battles, such as this one in images below.  This particular mosaic consists mostly of white, black, red, and golden marbles and what a work! 

I enjoyed the details such as the lion head knee pads to protect the soldiers. 

This next image was impressive, artistically at least, because of the variety and difficulty in poses for the figures and the horses.  This image shows a horse on its back and with much foreshortening… not a task for the faint at heart!

And while admit some confusion about the expressions on some faces, such as this speared and fallen warrior with a serene or contented smile on his face as he lies face down on the ground.

While in this next scene of soldiers stealing babies, the one baby is up in the air as the soldier yanks him from his appropriately screaming mother.  The soldier, though, has a calm expression on his face, almost as if he is simply dispassionate in his act, but curious about the woman and her reaction.  More in the next post.

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

Feeling generous?  If you would like to donate any amount to support this blog, you may do so via PayPal. Please visit the blog online and see the PayPal links in the column on the right:
Thank you for your interest and support.

No comments: