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The Birth of a Masterpiece

时间:2006-11-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:nerlly   字体: [ ]
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MARGIN13: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>The Birth of a Masterpiece

               -- Michelangelo's David

 

If ever a work of art had a right to feel over exposed, it is Michelangelo's David, naked in the heart of Florence for nearly 5 centuries. In recent years his 1)manhood has been 2)appropriated for postcards, fridge magnates and even mouse mats. The great figure is of course 3)synonymous with the sculptor1 Michelangelo Buonarrotti, but the marble block that became the David was already being worked on a decade before Michelangelo was even born.

It was 4)extracted from the hostile mountainside high up in the Alpune Alps, some 60 miles north of Florence. 5)Rivalry2 between the city-states of 6)renaissance3 Italy 7)put the story in motion; 8)provoked by the splendors4 of Milan, the Florentine authorities commissioned 9)colossal5 figures to rein6 the rooftop of their 10)Cathedral, a hugely ambitious plan.

It was a man named Agustino Deduchio, an assistant to the 11)renowned7 master sculptor Donetello, who was first commissions to make this David. His plan was to mine 4 separate blocks: one piece for the head, one for each arm and one for the body. The fate of three of the blocks is unknown. Only the stone intended for the 12)torso survived, but in itself it was the first such gigantic marble slab8 to be 13)quarried since the sculptured giants of the Roman Empire were created over a thousand years earlier.

Deduchio had never taken on a project of this size, he was more at home with fairly undemanding reliefs, but he pressed on choosing to creat what appeared to be a clothed David. He carved a lot of 14)drapery on the chest, worked on the feet and made a hole between the legs, but it wasn't long before he was forced to give up, the sheer scale of the marble or perhaps the shallowness of the block defeating him.

It was to be another 12 years before the authorities regained9 the confidence to commission another sculptor to try to make something of this troublesome figure. Antonio Rossolino was a 15)resourceful craftsman10, but he too failed, becoming the second victim of the block's 16)intimidating11 dimensions.

Michelangelo probably did come forward with a wax model and as it were in competition with anybody else who wanted the job, he talked them into allowing him to do the piece. So he got, I think, the commission by sheer competition and by being brilliant.

The David contract gave Michelangelo two years to complete the statue. His fee was fixed12 at three gold 17)florins a month, a good artisan wage.

The piece is too large to work 18)horizontally, so it has to be 19)tackled upright. This means dust and stone raining down onto the sculptor. The shallowness of the marble now poses the greatest challenge. Working on a block as little as 2 feet deep in places, the margin for error is nonexistent. The creation has to be mathematically accurate, or the block will be ruined or the proportions lost. David might even be deprived of balance and crash to the floor in 20 tons of fragments. The architectural solution is a tree trunk carved behind the leg to support the figure while David stands in 20)contrapposto, the position where one leg is kept straight. If the sculptor then drops a 21)plumb14 line from the throat to the foot, gravity will then be satisfied and the statue balanced.

Aside from inspiration, this was hard physical work, often 22)tedious and occupying 14 hours a day and 6 days a week. The powerful young sculptor, a little over five feet tall, must have felt that he was the David, facing a giant enemy.

A year into the commission, the Cathedral elders pay a visit to view the work in progress. They're amazed at what they see, whether they expected a 23)nude15 is questionable16 but were known to have been delighted, they had commissioned a masterpiece after all.

 

杰作的诞生

 ——大卫雕像

 

如果说有哪件艺术品给曝光过度,那就是在佛罗伦萨市中心赤身露体了近五个世纪的米开朗基罗的大卫。近年来,他的阳刚美态又见诸于明信片、冰箱磁贴、甚至鼠标垫上。自然,这座雕像就是米开朗基罗·博纳罗蒂的代名词,不过成为了大卫的这块大理石,早在米开朗基罗出生前十年就已经给在琢磨了。

大理石是从佛罗伦萨北部60英里外对立城邦的阿普亚卑高山上开采的。文艺复兴时期意大利各城邦间的竞争为这个故事拉开序幕;米兰的繁荣辉煌敦使佛罗伦萨的当权者也找人来制作巨型雕像,以放在他们的大教堂顶上,这是一个雄心勃勃的计划。

一个名叫阿加提诺·迪杜奇奥的人当时是著名雕刻大师唐纳特罗的副手,雕刻大卫的任务正是被首先委派给他的。他计划分别开采四块大理石:一块做头,两只手各一块,还有一块做身体。另外的三块大理石下落不明。只有要用来造躯干的石块给保留了下来,即便这块,也是一千多年以来罗马帝国为制作巨型雕像所首次开采的最大大理石块。

迪杜奇奥从来没有接过这么大规模的工程,他更擅长处理比较简单的浮雕,但他没有退缩,选择了刻一个穿衣服的大卫。他在胸前刻了许多衣摺,塑造出脚,在两腿之间打了个洞眼,可是很快他就不得不放弃这种做法了,可能是大理石的体积或薄度难倒了他。

又过了12年,当权者才重拾信心,委托另一名雕刻家来琢磨这个麻烦的雕像。安东尼奥·罗索里诺是个足智多谋的能工巧匠,但他也败下阵来,成为该尺寸刁钻的石块的第二名牺牲者。

米开朗基罗可能是做出了一个蜡模型,和其他想得到这份工作的人竞争,他游说他们让他来接这个活儿。结果我想他凭借聪明才智从激烈的竞争中脱颖而出,赢得了这项委任。

合约给米开朗基罗两年的时间来完成大卫雕像。他每个月固定领取3个金币,那是一名好工匠的薪酬。

石块横着放太大了,只能竖起来。这意味着尘土和石屑像雨点似地飘落在雕刻者的身上。大理石的单薄构成最大的挑战,有些地方仅厚两尺,下手不容有任何闪失。雕琢必须经过精确计算,否则石块会被毁掉,或者造成比例失调的后果。大卫甚至有可能失去平衡,坠倒在地上成为一堆20吨重的石砾。根据建筑学理论,要刻一根树干置于腿后来支撑雕像,大卫两腿对立站着,一条腿直立。如果雕刻家由雕像的喉咙向脚垂测,便看到因符合重力原理,雕像是平衡的。

除了要有灵感外,这还是相当累人而乏味的体力工作,每周工作六天,每天工作14小时。身高五英尺多一点、年轻强壮的雕刻家当时一定觉得他自己就是面对巨人的大卫。

委任一年后,教堂的长老前来参观工作的进度。眼前所见令他们叹为观止,无论之前他们是否期望看到一座裸体雕像,但我们知道他们感到很高兴,毕竟他们的委任塑造了一个杰作。

注释:

1) manhood [5mAnhud] n. 男子气概

2) appropriate [E5prEupriit] v. 挪用,盗用

3) synonymous [si5nCnimEs] a. 同义的

4) extract [iks5trAkt] v. 费力地取到

5) rivalry [5raIvElrI] n. 竞争,竞赛

6) renaissance [rE5neisEns] n. 文艺复兴

7) put sth. in motion 使某物开始运转

8) provoke [prE5vEuk] v. 煽动,惹起

9) colossal [kE5lCsl] a. 巨大的,庞大的

10) cathedral [kE5Wi:drEl] n. 大教堂

11) renowned [rI5naJnd] a. 有名的,有声誉的

12) torso [5tC:sEu] n. 裸体雕像的躯干部分

13) quarry17 [5kwCri] v. 挖出,苦心找出

14) drapery [5dreipEri] n. 织物,布料

15) resourceful [ri5sC:sful] a. 足智多谋的

16) intimidating [in5timideitiN] a. 威胁的,恐吓的

17) florin [5flCrin] n. 弗罗林,一种金币

18) horizontally [7hCri5zCntli] adv. 地平地,水平地

19) tackle [5tAkl] v. 固定,处理

20) contrapposto [7kCntrE5pCstE] n.(雕塑或绘画中以对立方式表现出人体各部分的)对应

21) plumb line 用铅垂线检查垂直度

22) tedious [5ti:diEs] a. 单调乏味的

23) nude [nju:d] n. 裸体

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 sculptor 8Dyz4     
n.雕刻家,雕刻家
参考例句:
  • A sculptor forms her material.雕塑家把材料塑造成雕塑品。
  • The sculptor rounded the clay into a sphere.那位雕塑家把黏土做成了一个球状。
2 rivalry tXExd     
n.竞争,竞赛,对抗
参考例句:
  • The quarrel originated in rivalry between the two families.这次争吵是两家不和引起的。
  • He had a lot of rivalry with his brothers and sisters.他和兄弟姐妹间经常较劲。
3 renaissance PBdzl     
n.复活,复兴,文艺复兴
参考例句:
  • The Renaissance was an epoch of unparalleled cultural achievement.文艺复兴是一个文化上取得空前成就的时代。
  • The theme of the conference is renaissance Europe.大会的主题是文艺复兴时期的欧洲。
4 splendors 9604948927e16d12b7c4507da39c016a     
n.华丽( splendor的名词复数 );壮丽;光辉;显赫
参考例句:
  • The sun rose presently and sent its unobstructed splendors over the land. 没多大工夫,太阳就出来了,毫无阻碍,把它的光华异彩散布在大地之上。 来自辞典例句
  • Her mortal frame could not endure the splendors of the immortal radiance. 她那世人的肉身禁不住炽热的神光。 来自辞典例句
5 colossal sbwyJ     
adj.异常的,庞大的
参考例句:
  • There has been a colossal waste of public money.一直存在巨大的公款浪费。
  • Some of the tall buildings in that city are colossal.那座城市里的一些高层建筑很庞大。
6 rein xVsxs     
n.疆绳,统治,支配;vt.以僵绳控制,统治
参考例句:
  • The horse answered to the slightest pull on the rein.只要缰绳轻轻一拉,马就作出反应。
  • He never drew rein for a moment till he reached the river.他一刻不停地一直跑到河边。
7 renowned okSzVe     
adj.著名的,有名望的,声誉鹊起的
参考例句:
  • He is one of the world's renowned writers.他是世界上知名的作家之一。
  • She is renowned for her advocacy of human rights.她以提倡人权而闻名。
8 slab BTKz3     
n.平板,厚的切片;v.切成厚板,以平板盖上
参考例句:
  • This heavy slab of oak now stood between the bomb and Hitler.这时笨重的橡木厚板就横在炸弹和希特勒之间了。
  • The monument consists of two vertical pillars supporting a horizontal slab.这座纪念碑由两根垂直的柱体构成,它们共同支撑着一块平板。
9 regained 51ada49e953b830c8bd8fddd6bcd03aa     
复得( regain的过去式和过去分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
参考例句:
  • The majority of the people in the world have regained their liberty. 世界上大多数人已重获自由。
  • She hesitated briefly but quickly regained her poise. 她犹豫片刻,但很快恢复了镇静。
10 craftsman ozyxB     
n.技工,精于一门工艺的匠人
参考例句:
  • A cabinet maker must be a master craftsman.家具木工必须是技艺高超的手艺人。
  • The craftsman is working up the mass of clay into a toy figure.艺人把一团泥捏成玩具形状。
11 intimidating WqUzKy     
vt.恐吓,威胁( intimidate的现在分词)
参考例句:
  • They were accused of intimidating people into voting for them. 他们被控胁迫选民投他们的票。
  • This kind of questioning can be very intimidating to children. 这种问话的方式可能让孩子们非常害怕。
12 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
13 margin 67Mzp     
n.页边空白;差额;余地,余裕;边,边缘
参考例句:
  • We allowed a margin of 20 minutes in catching the train.我们有20分钟的余地赶火车。
  • The village is situated at the margin of a forest.村子位于森林的边缘。
14 plumb Y2szL     
adv.精确地,完全地;v.了解意义,测水深
参考例句:
  • No one could plumb the mystery.没人能看破这秘密。
  • It was unprofitable to plumb that sort of thing.这种事弄个水落石出没有什么好处。
15 nude CHLxF     
adj.裸体的;n.裸体者,裸体艺术品
参考例句:
  • It's a painting of the Duchess of Alba in the nude.这是一幅阿尔巴公爵夫人的裸体肖像画。
  • She doesn't like nude swimming.她不喜欢裸泳。
16 questionable oScxK     
adj.可疑的,有问题的
参考例句:
  • There are still a few questionable points in the case.这个案件还有几个疑点。
  • Your argument is based on a set of questionable assumptions.你的论证建立在一套有问题的假设上。
17 quarry ASbzF     
n.采石场;v.采石;费力地找
参考例句:
  • Michelangelo obtained his marble from a quarry.米开朗基罗从采石场获得他的大理石。
  • This mountain was the site for a quarry.这座山曾经有一个采石场。
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