Friday, 28 April 2017

A thousand words in silence

I love art, though I'd never claim to be an expert - I just know what I like.

For example, I love the old Dutch masters, Rembrandt, Vermeer, the rarely mentioned female painter, Judith Leyster, and many others in whose work I lose myself as I try to interpret the symbolism and understand the artists' messages.

Breaking away from these dark and broody daubers, my favourite artist of all time is the truly brilliant impressionist Lawrence Alma-Tadema. This is an example of Sir Lawrence's work:

Romantic, artistic, talented, all words to describe this lovely work
A Favourite Custom 1909 - Lawrence Alma-Tadema

In the world of paint, these are the kinds of work that I like; they are what move me.

However, no piece of art has ever moved me like The Boxer at Rest. This is an ancient sculpture by Greek sculptor, Lysippus (340 BC), and when I first saw this work, I was left in tears.

The Boxer at Rest is one of the highlights of the Italian museum Palazzo Massimo in Rome, and last year while in Rome, I visited the boxer again, with the same emotional result.

If you're ever in Rome, this is a must-see! I really mean that because this sculpture tells a story; Lysippus has woven a tale as tragic and dramatic as anything written in words.

They say that a picture can paint a thousand words, but look into the scarred and battle-weary face of the boxer and you'll hear more than a thousand.

Lysippus was known for the detail of his sculptures and this one is no exception.

I won't put a picture on this page because the ones I've found are privately owned, but click here to view them. Look into his eyes, look at the exhausted expression on his face, the world-weary slump of his shoulders, the cauliflower ears and his bruised, cut and swollen knuckles.

I feel that he is resting after a fight and has just been told he must fight again. There is disbelief and resignation on his face. I also see grief and an ambiguous gentleness in him.

Sometimes you don't need the written word to tell a story.

Sometimes words are not enough and you must listen with 'other' ears.

See you in 14!

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