Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Sculpture

This is a response to an offhand question posed by Tim Sandefur, whose original post on the Ron Paul fallout for libertarianism I cited in my summary. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have open comments, so I'm going to answer his question here. As an aside, his original post is absolutely one of the must-reads about the Paul fallout- it blends the philosophical understanding of a much more studied libertarian than I with an extremely frank repudiation of the Rockwell Brigades.

Anyways, he complements me on the sculpture at the top of my blog and asks which it is (thanks, by the way). The answer is that it is the Rape of Polyxena by Pio Fedi, which is one of many sculptures that are stored at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy, next to the Uffizi Gallery.

For the record, the Loggia dei Lanzi is an outdoor sculpture gallery on one side of the Piazza della Signoria. It features several Renaissance-era sculptures, most famously Cellini's bronze statue of Perseus and a copy of Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women, as well as some imperial Roman works.

Fedi's Rape of Polyxena is a much later 19th century work. It adorns the top of my blog not as a metaphor of any sort (ie, I'm not trying to make a statement that we're all getting raped by the gummint or anything involving rape whatsoever). Instead, I just like the striking diagonal style of the sculpture, which I find to be generally inspiring, vibrant, and powerful. For whatever reason (I'm not an art historian in any way, shape, or form) the wife and I decided we liked it even more than the more celebrated Rape of the Sabines.