December 2, 2011

(Possibly) Arnolfo di Cambio's "St. Peter"

Nationality: Italian
Born-Died: 1240/c. 1300-1310
Media: Stone
Location: St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

This is a detail photograph that I took of a sculpture in St. Peters in Rome.  In my various travels I have seen a lot of sculptures with noses, feet, etc. that have been polished smooth by the countless touches of human hands, but this sculpture is the most worn away I have ever seen.  It looks like the feet have melted--like they have actually lost material.  It's a shame that the work has been damaged in this way, but it's also quite amazing to think of stone being polished and literally eroded away by millions upon millions of soft, human hands over the course of centuries. 
Below is a more complete photograph of the same sculpture (special thanks to Atul Kapur for finding the image!)

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