Monday, May 3, 2010

Gemito Sculpture Bargello Museum Florence, Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I have written a couple of times before about the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, especially the restoration of Donatello’s bronze “David.” It is the national sculpture museum and a favorite of mine in Florence, Italy. Formally a prison in which executions took place, its courtyard and three levels of rooms are filled with art and artifacts. She holds not only bronze and stone sculpture by greats such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Giambologna, but also medallions, terra-cotta by Della Robbia, tapestries, musical instruments, and even Persian bowls and armor.

I have revisited the Bargello twice since I returned in April. And I was delighted that one of my favorite sculptures has been put back in place after restoration (and the restoration appears to have been a good one). In all honestly, I rarely like sculptures, especially bronze, of children: At least the ones that I have seen in the United States. They seem kitsch to me and too contrived, like Norman Rockwell had a sweetness overdose or something. (I like the art of Norman Rockwell, but one could argue, he is borderline on the “too much charm” edge.)

Maybe you will feel that way about my favorite here Il Pescatore (The Fisher Boy) by Vincenzo Gemito from 1874-1876. But I love the natural gesture of this bronze figure sculpture. I like that the patina is not what my foundry calls “cowboy brown” or worse – shiny. I love the way the boy’s toes are gripping the mound he is squatting on. I can remember this feeling of slowly sliding down the side of the muddy river bank, while trying not to.

I love how the fingers of the boy’s left hand radiate out from the palm, while he uses his right hand to get a better grip on the slippery fish. I adore his exaggerated downcast eyelashes that catch the light enough to showoff the boy’s concentrated face. The lips? I cannot decide if they are exhaling with the gripping effort of his hands or if he is inhaling with the thought of “I gotcha!”

Anyway, I include many photos here, unable to edit apparently. Such is my infatuation with this sculpture of a child. But I should do well to let you decide for yourself.

On a side note: My blog was just listed in the TOP 10 blog posts in Italy this week:


Laura Grimes said...

I visited the Bargello. So many, many beautiful things! And not so many tourists. They were standing in line for hours at the Uffizzi. And, goodness knows, the Uffizzi is worth it. But, they could have walked around the corner and down the street and seen unbelievably beautiful objects. Perhaps I should have told them so. I want to go back!

Gene P. said...

Wow, I totally agree Kelly, Thanks.
What a sculpture. I was there 5 years ago but my eyes were bleeding from looking at too many things and missed this piece. I may have another opportunity in 3 weeks.
Great Blog Kelly.
Gene P.

Kelly Borsheim Artist said...

It is true Laura, so many gems and important (and famous) works of art here, yet the Bargello seems to have escaped the popularity of other museums, despite its central location. All the better for us in the know!

Oh, Gene, I cannot handle the vision of the bleeding eye visual! Stendahl Syndrome is what they call it here in Firenze. Let me know if you arrive here -- would be fun to visit.

And, oh, my -- I reread my subscription copy and realize that I WAS in a hurry when I wrote this and only hope that I caught ALL of my typos. Sorry all.

And thank you for the feedback, here and in a personal e-mail.

artforlife said...

I have this copy but I don't know the sculptor anyone could help?

Rare antique sculpture 18" from the bottom to the end of the fishing rod marble base 2" very heavy End of 19th century

The Fisher Boy by Vincenzo Gemito

chbimaging said...

I share completely your notice on the BARGELLO museum and particularly on the small fisherman of Gemito: a pure marvel!
I put a link on your page on my blog, as I copied one of your photos of this child having lost mine.
I hope that you will not be angry for that and I invite you to read

Http: // allazzo-vecchio-sm-novella-santa-croce-a106126592

Christiane alias chbimaging

Kelly Borsheim Artist said...

Thank you, Christiane. I am sad to hear that you lost your child. However, I am happy to see that we share a love of Gemito's "Fisher Boy" and the Bargello, as well as Firenze.
Thank you for the link as well.
Art well-made should be shared!