GETTY 7 CHARDIN IN PALAZZO DIAMANTI (FERRARA) till Jan 30th, then at the Prado.
Jan 102011

The presentation of Maitani’s façade in Orvieto, was very well received in Todi. I really do believe that I have persuaded the 25 or so people present, including the mayor of Todi, that Lorenzo Maitani was a truly major figure in sculpture. The Museo Lapidario is beautiful but so well hidden that I was amazed that so many people managed to find it; in fact the cinema space was at maximum capacity.

I made a special introduction to the DVD to try to persuade them that the four pilasters were all his design as I realized that the locals had been brought up to believe that Maitani was more of an architect than a sculptor. The scholars have focused on the handwork: which assistant carved what, rather than the quality and consistency of the whole. I was surprised just how much evidence there was available to prove Maitani’s authorship of the whole. I will add this new section to complete the argument in the DVD.

Maitani had an amazingly advanced knowledge of anatomy for his time but it was by no means perfect. In particular he made the same mistake in the muscles of the shoulders and upper arms consistently throughout the entire sequence of pilasters. He also had a strange way of depicting the lowest ribs with an arched ridge, which appears throughout. These consistent mistakes make his authorship of the whole certain and easy to appreciate. It may be a little more difficult to see the fluency of movement of the figures in the relief space but his exceptional command of drapery is outstandingly obvious. I demonstrate how this can be achieved.

This DVD will soon be available in Italian as well as English.

I have been invited to show all The Museum of Artists’ Secrets in Todi this summer.

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