Monday, January 10, 2011

Dying Gaul

The work that I found most fascinating at the Portland Art Museum was the Dying Gaul by John DeAndrea.

It is a re-interpretation of a Roman marble sculpture which was copied from a Hellenistic bronze sculpture from around 230 BC. The newer sculpture by DeAndrea is painted to look completely realistic, so much so that I thought it was a real person sitting there nude. I was amazed at the fine detail the artist put into the piece. There is hair on the legs and arms, and even the little hairs on the back of the neck are painted on.

I have seen the marble sculpture in Rome and I must say that I prefer the marble. To me, it feels like a more realistic expression of emotion. It shows the despair and vulnerability of a man on the brink of death. The piece by DeAndrea feels posed.

The sculpture is of course figurative and allegorical in representing death. I also feel that it has a nice flow to it, there is a definite movement being captured. The sculpture is a freestanding work.

Richard Myers

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