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The Breathing Statue

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Before I continue writing about my trek through Australia, I thought I'd take a moment to post some various photos that I've taken over the years, of statues. Although the thought of that might seem dull to some people, I have found that the world's most historic (and newer) sculptures can be brought to life with just the right amount of angle, light and emphasis. Perhaps I should say that I try to make it feel as though I am being stared down at, if not questioned by the powerful presence of the sculpture.

Roman Statue

As a photographer and traveler, I photograph what I find to be interesting and beautiful, or even occasionally tragic. I don't confess to be an expert on history or the various things that may run across my camera. However, I hope to bring some works of art to the attention of people around the world who may not ever get a chance to see these brilliant statues. It's sad that it's not always easy to encourage people to get out and see what treasures our world has. Perhaps, if for a moment through a photograph, if I can attempt to breath life into a sculpture's magnificent work of art for a child who's never seen them, then I've accomplished something.

Roman Statue

So far, it seems that Italy has provided me with most of my subject matter when it comes to statues. Don't get me wrong, there are many more beautiful and unique statues around the world, but I've not had the chance to capture even a fraction of them.

Roman Statue

The original artists who created these statues spent tremendous amounts of time and focus to come up with the perfect pose, mythological character or historical figure. This sculpture of Neptune (aka Poseidon) was one of my favorites.

Roman Statue

I generally use black and white to photograph statues, I feel that it brings out the contrasting curves and dramatic poses. The statue of Dante Alighieri in Florence, Italy had such a dramatic impact on me. Even the Eagle at his side who looks up with so much to say in his expression, marks his place in this sculpture by Enrico Pezzi in 1865.

Florence Statue

However, occasionally the colors from aging and general wear and tear tend to emphasize it's long standing place in history. Maybe even a brilliant sunset that adds warmth to an Angel taking flight.
The statue below dates from the unification of Italy (Patriae Unitati - country united) And perhaps symbolizes with the angels single finger raised, the divine intercession that made that seemingly impossible thing - possible.

Roman Statue

I always wondered what King Victor Emmanuel II, as the first leader of united Italy since ancient Rome, was thinking as he sat on this horse, staring off into the distance. This is located at the massive monument to Victor Emmanuel II in the center of Rome. Multiple sculptors worked under the direction of Giuseppe Sacconi starting in 1895 to create this powerful combination of architecture and sculpture.

Roman Statue

There are a number of Angel statues watching over the city of Rome. The Catholic church had such a strong influence over sculptors and their choice of subjects - being for centuries the primary patron of artists in Italy.

Roman Statue

Imagine the passion that such images inspire. A victorious triumph of spirit is portrayed with a wreath stretched out towards the heavens. For those of us who don't know, we may think of this as either an Angel or the goddess Nike. As I photographed this, I wondered if the sculptor's intent may have been to inspire us all to excellence.

Roman Statue

This is one of several photographs that I've taken of this statue (Below). I am sure that my past Art History professor would want me to decipher and explain the various symbols and imagery that this intricate sculpture possesses. However, I chose to look at it as a dramatic moment in time which makes me mull over many questions. There is a specific reason and a specific purpose that the sculptor intended, but as an observer with a lack of historical reference, I feel that it is this is a clear example of sculpture transcending the artist's original intent.

Roman Statue

Barcelona, Spain offers many beautiful statues. Although I have many more statues to share, I thought I'd end this post with a look at this statue in the Placa de Catalunya. A horse rears up into the bright Spanish sun as the rider stands by his side. The sense of motion and muscular volume in the sculpture is breathtaking.

Barcelona, Spain Statue


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