Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flesh and Stone

This painting by Andrea Mantegna was reproduced in our family Bible. As a boy, I used to look at it and marvel. I still marvel.
    It is monumental yet intimate, sculpted stone yet flesh, cold and warm simultaneously. The Lamentation of Christ dates from  about 1480. I imagine Mantegna must have been satisfied with the painting.
    It reminds me of an argument I had, in which I maintained the mental process for artist and poet is very similar. Both are striving for a striking composition, new angle, a different perspective; something that make the whole greater than its parts. 
    This image achieves it from the torn holes in Christ’s feet to the expression on His face, dignity and torture.

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