Saturday, April 26, 2008

How Progressive Are We Really?

One of the first cites we saw in Italy was Caserta. Caserta is a little north of Teverola and is the place that our kids go to church. They have a beautiful Reggio there. What is a Reggio you ask? I haven't got a clue and even Google couldn't tell me. There is no literal translation into English. This is what I would guess it is. Perhaps a large conference center, a political arena for meetings and gatherings which might have included large balls, state dinners, meeting world leaders, or what have you. It did not seem to be a religious genre, but who knows for sure. (This is one place I should have purchased a book, but didn't. Non-buyer's remorse once again) It was obviously a place for someone to impress others. It is very large, very ornate, and very wonderful is all I know for sure.

This is where the rubber hit the road for me and my knee. I did many stairs like this in Italy and always found something wonderful at the top (except in the Uffizi museum!)

Although this is not a great photo it does give you the idea as to what the entrance was like. What I loved about this site was it was the first place I saw a frescoed ceiling in Italy and I literally gasped ~ it was so beautiful it took my breath away. I just was not expecting it, I guess. In the Sistine Chapel, or St. Peter's you do, but not in this little town of Caserta. Italy is full of these kinds of treasures and surprises I would soon learn...but this was my first!

A ceiling in the Reggio in Caserta, Italy

The colors were so brilliant, the detail so astonishing, the dimension so beautiful. I have thought of that moment often and was feeling a little sad when I looked at our dining room ceiling this afternoon. So ho-hum, don't you think? I am not feeling as delighted with our custom paint job as I once was with its three shades of avacado green and glossy white beams and trim.

The artistry and craftsmanship of these earlier centuries is lost now. I find that sad, really. It is lost because perhaps we have traded it all in on things that are quick, modern and convenient. I was wondering how many people actually have it in them to be great artists like this but have never developed this talent because we are just so gosh darn busy, busy, busy? Few of us have the time or inclination to pursue something so beautiful and nourishing to the soul of man anymore. I know there are many that do, but it is just different somehow. And those are my musings for this Saturday afternoon. Are you one of those great artists walking among us?


Miss Jen said...

Love the ceiling. It is gorgeous and so much more so in person I'll assume.

Laura said...

Yeah, I don't think a one of us would want to compare our ceiling to one in Italy.

After reading your post, I have decided I have incredible artistic talent, I have just been WAY TOO BUSY to discover my incredible talent. Don't I wish!!!

Bonnie said...

Laura, it could well be you! Many do not discover many of their talents until the dust settled and the last little chick has flown the coop. Michelangelo worked from the time he was 5 until almost 90. Some of us are just starting a little later!

Bonnie said...

P.S. to this post...I had the thought that maybe they had these gorgeous ceilings back then as they were emerging out of the dark ages, and because life was so incredibly hard. They just needed a reminder that heaven was not far off and so much better. Maybe we should reinstate that now since things are still so incredibly hard in this life. It would be a constant reminder of who we are and where we are hopefully going! It would be the visual expression of "This Too Shall Pass."