persephone statue

Persephone statue
The piece, made in France, was created primarily crafted by sculptor Armand Toussaint and cast by Graux-Marly. Upon its placement at Holcomb Gardens, the landscapers were J.I. Holcomb and Arthur Lindberg. [1]
PERSEPHONE IN ANCIENT GREEK MYTHOLO- GY, SHE, AS THE DAUGHTER OF ZEUS AND DEMETER, WAS WORSHIPPED AS THE GODDESS OF VEGETATION, RETURNING EACH SPRING FROM THE REALM OF HADES TO HERALD THE SEASON OF GROWTH, AND IN WINTER DISAPPEARING TO PASS HER TIME, LIKE THE SEED, UNDER THE EARTH. THE STATUE WAS EXECUTED IN PARIS ABOUT 1840 BY ARMAND TOUSSAINT, 1806-1862. A GIFT OF JAMES IRVING HOLCOMB [1]

Persephone statue
Most critics have been quick to praise the work. Rudolf Wittkower noted: “representations of such rape scenes depended on Bernini’s new, dynamic conception for the next hundred and fifty years”. [4] Howard Hibbard makes similar comments noting the realistic effects that Bernini had achieved via carving hard marble, such as the “texture of the skin, the flying ropes of hair, the tears of Persephone and above all the yielding flesh of the girl”. [5] The choice of incident to depict the story is commonly cited as well: Pluto’s hands encircle the waist of Proserpina just as she throws her arms out in an attempt to escape. [6] Bernini’s own son and biographer, Domenico, called it “an amazing contrast of tenderness and cruelty”. [7]
However, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when Bernini’s reputation was at a low ebb, critics found fault with the statue. The eighteenth-century French visitor Jerome de la Lande allegedly wrote: “Pluto’s back is broken; his figure extravagant, without character, nobleness of expression, and its outline bad; the female one no better”. [8] Another French visitor to the Villa Ludovisi was equally critical, stating: “The head of Pluto is vulgarly gay; his crown and beard give him a ridiculous air, while the muscles are strongly marked and the figure poses. It is not a true divinity, but a decorative god. ” [9]

Known as Kore in Greek mythology and as Proserpina to the Romans, Kore was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, and, she is the goddess of fertility and death.
This enraged the other Gods and eventually a compromise was reached, Kore would spend one third of the year with Hades and two thirds with her mother, and it is this division that creates the seasons. Whilst Kore is with Hades the cold Winter winds rage, on Her return to Her mother the flowers of Spring bloom, which is why she is attributed as being a goddess of fertility.

Persephone statue
Naturalism:
These figures are hardly the gritty street walkers that populate Caravaggio’s paintings, but certain details are breathtaking for the verisimilitude, especially the dimpling of Persephone’s flesh as Pluto’s fingers dig into her thigh and waist.
Drama:
Bernini chooses to depict the most dramatic, “pregnant” moment in the story; the scene is filled with heart-rending emotion. Bernini is famous for portraying the most poignant moment in a story and for communicating that event in the most dramatic way possible, by means of exuberant movement, emotive facial expressions, and feats of technical mastery.

Persephone statue
Cast Marble statues are made from a composite material in which natural crushed Greek Marble stone is mixed with a small quantity of resin that works as a glue. The mixture is then poured into a mold of the statue design. Because the powder is so fine the smallest details can be reproduced using this method. Over 90% of the finished sculpture is natural crushed Greek Marble stone, which gives it a look and feel of solid natural marble. All sculptures are finished by hand to ensure the finest quality. This strong material is water and weather resistant, doesn’t have bubbles, will not crack, and can be washed with most cleaning agents.
*MADE IN GREECE – HANDMADE*

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Proserpina
http://potted-history.co.uk/products/greek-kore-statue-persephone-proserpina
http://www.artble.com/artists/gian_lorenzo_bernini/sculpture/the_rape_of_persephone
http://www.greekartshop.com/PERSEPHONE-Goddess-Queen-of-underworld-LARGE-Handmade-Sculpture-Statue-16-5
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Proserpina

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