Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Barrias' Nature Unveiling Before Science

Amid the daily waves of pointless and unnecessary insanity that characterize life in America today, it's good to remind oneself there are still enormous values in existence. This sculpture by Barrias, Nature Unveiling Herself Before Science (in the Musee d'Orsay), is one such.

[Image from Musee d'Orsay]

As the museum's website describes it:
The statue was commissioned in 1889 decorate the new medical school in Bordeaux. A young woman, the allegory of nature, is slowly lifting the veils she is wrapped in. When he had finished the first version in white marble for the school, Barrias designed a second statue in polychrome, for the ceremonial staircase of the Conservatoire des Arts et M├ętiers, in Paris. He used marble and onyx from the newly reopened quarries in Algeria.

Carefully carved to enhance the decorative qualities of the materials, the various parts of the statue play on the veins in the ribboned onyx for the veil, the mottled effect of the red marble for the robe, the preciousness of lapis lazuli for the eyes and malachite for the scarab and coral for the mouth and lips.
Refresh your soul and remember, living well and being happy is the best way to drive Progressives insane. Better them than you.

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