Thursday, 24 April 2008
No one seems to know who did this. Just as long as they keep their hands off Cellini's Perseus, seen below from the front and behind - gloriously, almost fetishistically lit, so that he looks like one of those body-buffed CGI Spartans from 300. David's no slouch as a sex object, despite this final humiliation and his second life as a fridge magnet complete with wardrobe. But I've always had a preference for the rather rougher trade feel of the Cellini, and the fact that the faces of Perseus and the Medusa look almost identical, with the latter a slightly smaller version of the former, as though Cellini were trying to tell us something about power, as he does in his Autobiography. A few years ago, it was possible to get to within a few feet of the sculpture during its restoration and it was extraordinary to see how distorted the proportions are when you stand eye- or chest-level to it. It wasn't designed to be seen that way, of course, but even from below the sheer weight of the arms and legs is impressive. Just try slipping a pair of magnetised knickers over those thighs.