Friday, December 18, 2015

Silver and Gold Florence Italy

Dear Art Lover,
     Rudolph is one of my favorite Christmas programs on TV.  When I was at university, I even bought the videotape and sang along loudly [alone, since my flatmates thought that I was nuts].  The arrangement and soothing voice of Burl Ives singing “Silver and Gold” always made me cry, as I inevitably thought of loves lost and the sweetness of loves retained over the years.  Here it is if you wanna listen:

    Artwise, I am still in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, Italy.  To be honest, most of the time, I can out-museum most of my friends.  However, in this period in which I have not been very productive in my own art creating, I find my mind wandering no matter how interesting the museum contents and presentation.  This next work of art at first got the “Boh!” response from me, as I peeked around the corner to gaze upon it.  However, the Italian tour guide caught my attention.  He was very expressive and enthusiastic about this piece, so I meandered over and started to photograph him as his whole body told stories.

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

    So much of this art is TOO silver and gold . . . it just seems “over the top” and one sees the shine or glare, if you will, more than the forms.  However, upon closer look, it is amazing the sheer skill and ideas put into this altar that was created in the years from 1367 to 1483.  It features twelve scenes from the life of John the Baptist.

     Again, I must quote the museum display:
      “This room contains an altar front and a monumental cross of pure silver, restored between 2006 and 2012, with a combined weight of 250 kilograms in metal parts alone.  Commissioned by the Arte di Calimala – the cloth merchants’ guild – and realised beginning in 1367 by artists spanning several generations, these intricate assemblages of thousand of components were at the center of the principal religious celebration of the Florentine Republic, the feast of the city’s patron saint, John the Baptist, on June 24, when altar and cross were installed in the church dedicated to Saint John, the Baptistery.”

     On a side note, I am touched that my new community is already involving me in the life here.  I have been asked to dress the part of a medieval sculptor [they provide the clothes] for the town’s “Living Nativity” on Christmas Eve.  It will feel great to have a hammer in my hand again, even if I am unlikely to be using it on this occasion.  Also, yesterday, I was asked to speak to the local mayor’s assistant [in Italian he is called the Assessore, which looks like two funny English words put together for a public servant’s title].  My local friends seem to think that my new-to-the-community voice, especially as a sculptor, will help them give some life to a seemingly forgotten decade-old project.
     
Peace,

Kelly

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist
Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist


Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist

Silver and Gold Florence Italy Altar Saint John the Baptist
To the right is a video on the far wall that tells more of the story.

No comments:

Gadget

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.