Wednesday, July 23, 2014

'The pain' or better 'Sadness' expressed by Emilio Gallori

'Il Dolore' is the original title of this nice marble sculpture made by the Italian sculptor Emilio Gallori.

This sculptor initially started as a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.
He then moved to Rome, and spent some time in England as well.

Emilio Gallori was born in Florence (Firenze) in 1846, and died in Siena in 1924.

His sculpture is often called Il Dolore, but it seems the real original name was 'Tristitia' or 'sadness', and is displayed in Siena, at the Palazzo Publicco, since 1930. It was possibly located before in the Paris ' Jardin des Tuileries'.

We wonder what pain or sadness affects this young man...


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nisus and Euryalus

To remain on the spirit of gay love, I suggest for today's sculpture Nisus and Euryalus, the beautiful work from Jean-Baptiste Roman, French sculptor born 3 years after the French Revolution.

photo by Juanda Contreras.
Nisus and Euryalus were two soldiers from Troy, and their love and frienship was so deep that they were ready to die for each other if needed. Nisus was older than Euryalus.

Sculpture detail - the lovers' hands

Sculpture detail - 3 feet
As Virgil wrote in his "Eneide' (that I had to translate years ago!) they were though warriors, serving under Enee. They are a typical example of the Greek lovers from that time, ie a teenager and a young man, whom many served in the famous Theban army. And would fight with more power than a lover to protect his lover ?

The sacred band of Thebes was a group of selected elite soldiers, made of 150 couples of male lovers. They won many battles during almost 30 years, like the famous one of Leuctra, between 378 BC and 338 BC.

Nisus and Euryalus left their home to follow Enee in Italy. One evening, as Enee was not there, Nisus who was guarding the soldiers camp thought he could go inside the Rutules enemy territory to capture their chief. Euryalus approved the project, but did not want Nisus to go alone. He asked someone to take care of his mother, and they left together.

Departure of Nisus and Euryalus, by the French painter Girodet

After having killed several sleeping Rutules soldiers, they met a Roman soldiers group led by Volcens. Nisus succeeded to escape, but Euryalus was captured, and would soon be killed. So seeing this from a distance, Nisus came back and asked to be killed instead of the young Euryalus. But Euryalus throat was cut, Nisus killed Volcens to revenge for it, before to be killed himself as he was embracing Euryalus.
This is the summary of Virgil story in the 9th book of Eneide.

Nisus and Euryalus by the French sculptor Jean Baptiste Roman -1827 - Louvre Museum - Paris
Sculpture detail- photo by Olivier Daaram Noolant

The sculptor Jean-Baptiste Roman is born, and died, in Paris (1792-1835). Several of his marble sculptures are displayed in the Louvre museum, usually around mythology or historic figures.
He won two 'Prix de Rome', had sculptures commissioned by the king Louis-Philippe the first.
He also sculpted contemporary portraits like the bust of the French painter Girodet.
Jean-Baptiste Roman received the Legion d'Honneur in 1827.

Sources: Wikipedia, Louvre Museum.