Female Nude Sculpture Inspired in Venice, Italy
Michelle and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary in Venice, Italy at the end of the hot summer of 2008. While we were sipping cool drinks in a small piazza one afternoon, I watched two gondoliers as they waited for their next fare, each holding his craft to the pier with one foot.
What if one of them had a mistress? Would she seduce him by appearing on the prow of his gondola in the cool of the night under the light of a full moon? Would a gentle breeze flow through the long tresses of her hair?
I was inspired to create a sculpture of this scene. Our next stop on that Italian trip was the town of Pietrasanta where we lived for the month of September while I worked on projects at Studio SEM. This was the first sculpture of my 2008 Italian Collection, and I worked the piece to the point shown above left. I shipped the piece back home and finished it in Vancouver.
I found a sound piece of Carrara marble from the Administrazione quarry. This variety of white marble is practically clear of coloured striations and has a slightly ivory hue. Since the piece would not accommodate the entire gondola, I engage the viewer to complete the boat in their mind. The unique shape of the boat and the signature “fèro” bow decoration are clearly defined.
The female figure has a serene expression on her face. She is confident and uncaring of her nudity as she waits for her lover. He will no doubt notice her as she sits leaning against the fèro. Her physique is slim and athletic and she dangles one foot down to dip in the cool of the canal.
I have used several different surface treatments to describe the elements of the sculpture. The mistress’ hair and the water have tooth chisel marks as both are flowing and fluid. The deck of the gondola has a fine file finish that resembles the texture of linen. Finally, the mistress’ skin and the hull of the gondola have a smooth, matte finish. This emulates the smoothness of natural skin and ties the boat and the figure together. This also allows the sculpture to hold shadows which are so important to the mood of the art work.
For more information on this female nude marble sculpture, click here.