Sorry about the late post, but decorating and the return of the college year has taken up much of my time, the latter of which provides my next post.
The last project we did in college was a 3D one and part of it entailed researching sculptors, something I know next to nothing about. So, I just thought about sculptures I’d seen in my life and really liked and wrote about them. I wasn’t much enthused at the prospect, I have to admit, but I ended up loving it.
First up was a sculpture by one Sir Thomas Brock called Eve. I remember seeing this some years ago at the Tate Modern in London the same day I first saw Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott at the Tate Britain.
Eve stood out like nothing else in the gallery, her white marble skin glowing in the dim hall where she stood. I was captivated by this piece and came back a few times to look at it. It awoke that kind of longing and other worldliness that Waterhouse nearly always captures in paint. It’s interesting to note that Eve was highly thought of in Paris where it was exhibited there circa. 1900, it’s naturalism obviously appealing to the Impressionist mindset that was so much a part of France in those days. Naturalism was something that Waterhouse leaned towards after the initial classicism of his early years, resulting in a cooling of opinion of his style from art critics; Impressionism and it’s ilk where not welcomed in the higher echelons of The Royal Academy.
Personally, I think it’s a beautiful piece of art and I think Brock has captured a feminine grace and elegance which is a wonder to behold and, as such, is timeless.
Next up, I remember a few covers from one of my fave bands Joy Division. Closer and Love Will Tear Us Apart were released in 1980 after singer Ian Curtis’s death earlier in the same year. It had already been decided on before his death what the covers of these records were to be, both of which just happened to be tombstones.
Closer, for me one of the greatest albums ever written, has one of the greatest covers as well. It’s a photograph taken by Bernard Pierre Wolf of the Appiani family tomb in the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa, Italy. The sculptor was Demetrio Paernio. It’s was one of those works of art that immediately grabbed me and has never let go since.
Never has a record cover so well expressed the music that lay within, the deep shadows generated by Wolf’s remarkable piece of photography echoing the darkness that must have been spreading over Ian Curtis’ inner landscape in his twilight days. Here’s another photo of the tomb taken by Stan Verbeken on an unofficial Joy Division website:
The cover of Love Will tear Us Apart 12 ” bears the Ribaudo family tomb sculpted by Onorato Toso in 1910, again using Wolf’s photography.
Although this cover doesn’t have the impact that Closer had for me, I expect it was pretty strong for people when this was released just months after Curtis’ death. It’s still a beautiful sculpture though.
Below are some more of the wonderful sculptures from the Staglieno Cemetery:
These last two I found in my search are from Paris both, I think, from the Père Lachaise Cemetery. The latter of the two being used on Dead Can Dance’s album Within the Realm of a Dying Sun.
Phew, these blogs are hard work!
I’m outta here,