These two pieces are quite moody, and that somber undertone of them inspired me. From their weathered appearance to the various forms of damage they’ve taken over the centuries, they act as a kind of memento mori to remind us that even art in marble will eventually die.
I’ve joked to friends that this one is proof that there were zombies in ancient Rome – but in fact the damage to the face is probably caused by relatively contemporary rivals seeking to damage the visage of a now-dead adversary, or inadvertent blows from overzealous Renaissance-era treasure hunters or clumsy builders trying to clear debris in preparation for fortifying the former Imperial tomb.
This one has suffered different indignities – while his visage remains relatively intact, at some point his head was separated from his shoulders, and later re-attached.
Just for the record, to the best of my knowledge there were no zombies running around ancient Rome.
Here are a few more individual photos of the Palazzo Pitti.
The first one is another version of the rear view of the Palazzo, from the Boboli Gardens. There’s a vast difference in quality between this one and the one I took with the Belair X6-12. The Belair has its charms, but I still prefer the sharpness and contrast of the Rollei version.
Here is the panoramic version from the Belair for direct comparison.
Out front of the palace there are these massive granite bollards, carved with the Medici coat of arms. While they’re kinda-sorta the equivalent of a traffic cone, they don’t really qualify for my “portraits of ordinary objects” series, do you think?
A marble bust of a man in a stylized Greek helmet. This would be a 16th or 17th century piece, so the ancient Greek style helmet would have been done to make him appear heroic and classical, an idealized noble warrior type.