Sunday, August 25, 2013

A bit of Rome in Kansas City

Fauno rosso, Roman, 2nd century C.E. Red marble, 66 inches (167.5 cm).
During my recent visit to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City to see an exhibit of Frida Kahlo's work, there were several other exhibitions that we went to see. The most impressive was the statue of the Fauno Rosso (Red Faun), on loan from the Capitoline Museum in Rome. It was created in the 2nd century B.C. and it's the first time the statue has crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The statue, sculpted from red marble, was originally found in 1736 at Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa) in Tivoli, Italy. There were only a few pieces of it at the time, and shortly after its discovery, two Roman sculptors were hired at the newly opened Capitoline Museum to fashion a sculpture out of the found pieces. Since I've been to both places, Villa Adriana and the Capitoline Museum, it was a pleasant surprise to be reminded of those visits by the presence of the Fauno Rosso in a place of honor at the Nelson.

Fauno Rosso

Another exhibit that I was eager to see was this:

Rodin: Sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

It seems as if they have a different Rodin exhibit every year at the Nelson, and I've seen quite a few. But now I'm spoiled! After visiting the Rodin Museum in Paris last fall, the bronze casts simply pale in comparison to the original marble works that I was able to view in Paris. Many of the sculptures at the Nelson were small, bronze casts from replicas of Rodin's originals, so the real majesty of Rodin's work is lost. It made me realize how fortunate I was to have had the chance to see Rodin's original works in Paris, and that I'm eager to see them again! Sigh: now only the real thing will do!

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