Friday, November 27, 2009
New York, New Yolk. METROPOLITANO
as some of you know I spent a month getting to know New York and a significant amount of time getting to know the Metropolitan Museum of Art and within that a good amount of time ( 4 days to be exact ) drawing a sculpture of Ugolino and His Sons originally completed in plaster by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux in 1860-61. The version at the Met was executed by the practitioner Bernard under Carpeaux's supervision just in time for the Universal Exposition at Paris in 1867. The sculpture derives from the passage in Dante's Divine Comedy where Ugolino is faced with the decision of either starving to death, or devouring his own children and grandchildren who have just offered themselves to him. On several occasions I found myself sitting next to some outstanding craftsmen with practically completed drawings who were just there to put some finishing touches so I felt compelled to do a fairly accurate job at translating this masterpiece to graphite on paper. I was there all that time and didn't even bother to write down the name of the artist so all I knew was gathered from overhearing teachers talk to their students and museum tour guides. So before uploading the drawing I found some images of the sculpture located in an area of the museum I didn't recognize so I looked into it. Apparently at some point this sculpture had been placed next to a snack bar in which people could buy overpriced snacks while Ugolino is right there contemplating eating his offspring. Maybe they thought people wouldn't "get it" but some certainly did. Either way, starvation is no joke.