Thursday, January 17, 2013

Embroidering the Constellations

Martelli Saint John (detail), ca. 1440-1457, Settignano and Donatello

Embroidering the Constellations

This is a project I have been thinking of for a very long time. An equation about my favourite sculpture by Settignano and Donatello called Martelli Saint John, ca. 1440-1457. The sculpture is of Saint John as a youth and is one of the finest sculptures ever made. I remember on my first trip to Italy, I visited Rome for several days and then viewing sculpture in Florence was my kind of heaven. It was as though they had refined sculpture to its highest peak, the perfect size and proportion for sculpture, almost slightly smaller than life size. It was the first time I had seen the work of Luca della Robbia and Andrea del Verrochio as well.

Mary Magdalene, c. 1453-1455, Donatello

Donatello's Mary Magdalene, c. 1453-1455 was also a treat with her haggard face and sculptured hair, reminding you of Camile Claudel's Clotho, 1893, in Paris. Padua is also an interesting place to view Donatello and Giotto. The intellectual freedom in the city made for some very organic painting similar to embroidered fabric it emulated like Cosme Tura and Carlo Crivelli.

Cosme Tura

Carlo Crivelli

The garden theme was continued in the tomb of Saint Anthony by Donatello.