This is my most prized piece of art. I have paintings and photographs that I have done over the years, but let's face it, a five x three foot painting isn't going to fit in the Buick.
This is what I prize most.....It is a Wall Bracket, and it's by Michelangelo (really)...I am not sure if this is a man or a lion, but he is wonderful...
Here's the story: Over twenty years ago, we lived in Boston, and I was a Designer/Art Consultant (mostly Art Consultant in those days). I had a client, who wanted some large pieces of sculpture, and it had to be Classical....I stumbled across the most wonderful gallery of reproductions I have ever seen and have yet to see...
Here's the quote from the catalog:
"The quality of a reproduction is of the greatest importance. In an original work of merit there is a subtleness of treatment- a certain feeling which, if captured in reproduction, places the finished piece within the realm of art itself.
Florentine master craftsman Pietro Caproni practiced the art of creating quality reproductions. During the last two decades of the 19th century, he traveled through Europe making molds directly from masterpieces in museums such as the Louvre, the National Museum in Athens, the Vatican, the Uffizi Gallery, and the British Museum.
Considered the greatest craftsman of his time, Caproni was one of the last to be allowed the freedom of casting directly from museaum pieces.
In 1900 Pietro Caproni constructed the Caproni Gallery building, at 1920 Washington Street in Boston, to cast and house his reproductions. He made them available to museums, schools, and private connoisseurs throuigh an illustrated catalogue which listed over 2500 casts, including such extraordinary pieces as the full-size Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo's head of David. The Caproni Gallery became the leading art gallery of it's kind in the world.
To the Present: Some of Caproni's original molds survived to the present day, and many of his catalogues can still be found in the great libraries of this country. His methods, too, have survived, as the Caproni tradition of a fine sense of artistry was carefully passed down to the hands of his successor."
You need to double click on this image of Leno Giust in his gallery...it will enlarge, and you can ooh and ahh at what is there...
I literally stumbled across the Giust Gallery. Leno Giust was the successor, and when I met him, he was an old man...well into his late seventies, and I fell in love with him.
The Gallery had shrunk...Washington Street was a rough neighborhood by then, and his gallery was in the back of the original gallery, and could only be reached by passing through a locked, wrought-iron gate, and several other locked doors...He was a secret.
His catalogue can be sent to you, but you can go on line to http://www.giustgallery.com/ and see all the wonderful things that have survived. But, I must tell you, when I saw the Michelangelo piece (there are a few others), I couldn't keep my hands off it...I ran my fingers over that face, and knew that, even though my husband was a starving graduate student (in his 7th year of grad school, getting a $5,000 a year stipend), I had to have this piece. Leno was a sweetie, and even though today it is only $300, I bought it for much, much less from him.
As soon as I get a baby grand piano (which probably will be never, as we down-sized our home, and neither of us play piano), I am going to get this bust of Beethoven.
When we bought our Texas house, there was a niche in the hallway, and I have painted it Midnight Blue. I love to light the candles, and close off the hallway, and see it the way HE would have seen it...touching it reverently....I am a candle fanatic, and I have discovered that in the Hispanic section of the grocery store, I can get these wonderful, tall votives for $1.50..they used to be $1.05, but they've gone up...I have so many of them, many on the mantle, that if I light them all, I have to open a window, as it sucks the oxygen out of the room! I found these wonderful sconces in Wisconsin, and bought four, different styles...They hang in my hallway, and I love the reflective backgrounds and the shapes.