The reality which we look at in a picture is but a moment, a two dimensional moment with apparent depth and perspective. But the actual history and reality of what we are looking at is likely unknown to us. It has been a joy, a revelation, a new experience to find out what lies behind the image that is before me. Little bits of history, little bits of some ones life, different concepts, perspectives and a broadening of ones knowledge and understanding. Even in some ways an examination of ones self and ones reaction to what is learned. This lovely market scene with fountain in the foreground by M. Besson has a history It has seen history, has been a part of what has gone on before. The fountain is found on the wall of ‘Les Halles Ste. Claire’ or Ste. Claire Market. Does one actually realise that where today’s’ modern glass girded market stands stood a convent from which the Clairisse nuns went out to save the souls of Grenoble. In the 1800’s the city decided that the people wanted physical nourishment and not spiritual. Since that time the French have come to the market place to buy all their culinary needs. Sainte Claire is unique and yet much like other outdoor markets all over Grenoble. It recalls a France that Julia Child loved, a France that still exists somewhat. A France that wants to enjoy grocery shopping as foreplay to a good meal. Customers come to savour the food, not just consume it. The nuns may be gone, but Sainte Claire still serves up a certain spiritual nourishment for the gourmets of Grenoble.
How does one turn a thought – an idea – into a two dimensional image and then a three dimensional sculpture. This bust from Italian sculptors Dini e Cellai is one of those transformations, from artists mind, to paper, to sculpture. Although I don’t know the actual origin of this bust, it would not surprise if the original is found on one of the many marble sculptures in Florence. Florence is well known for its ceramics and sculptures but most of these works are not made within the city of Florence but are created in the towns and villages lying close by. Signa is one of those villages.
One wonders what he is looking at. What draws his attention. Does he gaze upon the crucifixion of Christ or the Madonna and Child. Does he gaze upon life or death, hope or despair, light or darkness. I might just have to go to Florence and wander the streets searching , seeking to see what he sees. Whatever it might be, it will be well worth looking at whether it brings joy or sorrow or just contemplation.