Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Michel-Ange Slodtz. Tombeau de Jean-Baptiste Joseph Languet de Gergy. 1753. 

Marble and wood.

Église Saint-Sulpice. Paris, France.

4

Ugolino and His Sons, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1865/7), First [x]; Catalogue [x]

Count Ugolino della Gherardesca of Pisa was charged with treason in 1288, and was consequently locked up by the Gualandi family with his two sons, Gaddo and Uguccione, and two grandsons, Nino and Anselmuccio. The keys were thrown into the Arno and they were left to starve to death. In Dante’s Inferno, he is restricted within ice in the Antenora (second ring in the lowest circle of hell), a place for betrayers of kin and country. Both Carpeaux’s marble (MET) and bronze (Petit Palais) depict Ugolino contemplating the cannibalism that his children are begging for him to enact so that their suffering may end. 

‘Father our pain’, they said,
'will lessen if you eat us. You are the one
who clothed us with this wretched flesh: we plead
for you to be the one who strips it away’.
(Canto XXXIII, ln. 56–59)

Tonight we celebrate Quebec’s National Holiday, La Saint-Jean Baptiste! (which is on June 24th)

Which a lot of Quebecers will celebrate by being uncivilized drunks on public spaces wearing a ridiculous hat and/or a flag, listening to songs by Quebecois artists and dancing around HUUUUGE bonfires.

I personally like to celebrate by not going to work the next day because most things are closed.

Bonne Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste!

I didn’t get around to doing them this year because I’m working on something else for next week, but here’s a picture of my “traditional” National Holiday celebratory nails. They’re a little tacky but they impress drag queens and make nice conversation starters with drunk strangers. 

histoire de l'art

if you had asked me first semester of my freshman year of high school what i was going to major in, i probably would have told you art history. look at me now, a rising junior majoring in psychology and anthropology, realistically toying with the idea of being pre-med. apparently, a lot has changed since then. its not that i came to despise art history, but two exams, a paper, and one mean western art TA later i realized that i may not be as best suited for that field as my interest led me to think. dont get me wrong, i am extremely passionate about my majors, which any of my friends could tell you as i am a total psych nerd (just look back to one of my first posts where i go on a rant about psychopaths).

but i still really love art and i am fortunate enough to be able to have seen a lot of my favorite pieces in person. i especially like sculpture. in marble. its just so smooth and dense and cool. one of my all time favorite sculptures is by bernini, “the ecstasy of saint teresa”. not only is the sculpture an artistic masterpiece with his ability to transform cold stone into flowing fabric, but it pushes the envelope due to the fact that it is a religious piece that is somewhat suggestive. it’s not hard to argue that bernini was depicting a physical orgasm experienced by teresa. just look at the woman. remember this piece is in rome. wonder what the catholic church thinks of that. 

now i have not been lucky enough to see the ecstasy of saint teresa, but i have seen a couple of my other favorite sculptures. one is this absolutely precious marble sculpture by jean dampt of saint john the baptist as a child. the softness of the marble and the pureness portrayed in his face show the sweetness of a child. i especially love how the child is down praying on his knees. so hopeful and innocent. uncorrupt and promising. i just love it.