Thursday, January 10, 2013

Art I Love

I've been meaning to blog about this sculpture for a long time but I always forget. 
This sculpture (housed in a museum somewhere in France) marks the meetings and positive relationship between Louis XVI's France and the new American Revolutionaries. 

What makes this piece significant is not it's style or technicalities but instead the moment it captures. When Benjamin Franklin went to France he was greeted warmly by an enthusiastic French population. Franklin was viewed as modern and smart. Louis XVI was enamored with Franklin because Louis XVI was very interested in sciences and all things new in that vein. 

Louis XVI gets a bad rap in the history books, but the truth is, he was not a dumb man---quite the opposite. Louis XVI was a man who was not next in line for the throne, but due to the death of his father and older brother the throne was literally thrown into his lap. Louis was an intelligent boy who excelled at the sciences and languages. He was very tall and horribly near-sighted. He gets his reputation for being dumb because due to court rules he wasn't allowed to wear his glasses during the day at Versailles. Can you imagine? From sun up to sun down someone who desperately needs glasses is not allowed to wear them. That just seems unfair. 

However, my most favorite thing about this sculpture which puts it in the category of one of my favorite pieces of art, is the way the two men are juxtaposed. Louis is dressed regally and traditionally, whereas Franklin wears the modern clothes of the new America. It is this contrasting of men, styles, and thus countries that I love the most. 

- Grace

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