In mid-morning we headed to Seattle for a visit to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) where actual pieces of ancient Roman art are on display, sent over on loan from the Louvre in France. And we also got a glimpse of three actual panels of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s gilded brass Gates of Paradise, so named by Michelangelo himself, and now restored after 550 years.
The image at left above, from the Roman collection, is of Lucilla, who lived in the 2nd century a.d. The marble sculpture is representative of the 180-piece exhibit covering 300 years of Roman culture just before and after the time of Christ. We were overwhelmed with the extent, complexity and sophistication of this great civilization, so well represented by these relics, and it was well worth experiencing.
Also on display but closing at the end of next week was the Gates of Paradise exhibit. The panels that have come to our country for the first time ever have been meticulously restored over the past 25 years after more than 500 years of weather exposure and human contact in Italy.
The displayed panels are three of 10 that usually are encased by the door of the Florence Baptistery in Florence, Italy. Pictured is one of the three, David's Slaying of Goliath, which shows (at the bottom) the beheading of the giant by the young warrior and future King. Sixteenth-century artist and writer Giorgio Vasari called the brass carvings “the finest masterpiece ever created, either in ancient or modern times.”
After viewing the extensive intricacies first hand, we would add our “amen”.
The reason why, finally, my wife is the greatest ever, is that on our anniversary she then accompanied me some 40 miles southeast of the city to put a deposit on a small trout fishing boat that I will soon be using in nearby lakes. Pics to come on future posts.
Is she a “keeper” or what?