I have a well-rounded appreciation for art, especially that which is inspired by past events. The arc of history bends toward justice, taut against the thin confines of social expectations.
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And so I am perplexed as to why some women in Italy think that this newly unveiled statue by Emanuele Stifano does not do justice to the subject, which is the 1857 poem “The Gleaner of Sapri.” That poem, by Luigi Mercantini, honored the revolutionary Carlo Pisacane and his companions, who launched a failed expedition to overthrow the Kingdom of Naples.
We can only surmise, as the sculptor did, that what is pictured above is what those brave men fought and died for. The maiden beckons us to walk behind her and follow her. Who could not accept such a call to adventure?
The Guardian reports that Italian politician Laura Boldrini and her colleagues claim that the gleaner has been sexualized. The sculptor denies the allegation, claiming that he originally planned to render the subject nude. Stifano was determined not to waste too much time debating critics “who absolutely only want to see depravity.”
-via Super Punch | Photo: Italia 2 TV