Giambologna Archives - St. Stephen's University

The Language of Art

By 2016, Europe No Comments

Over a dozen museums and hundreds (probably thousands) works of art later, I finally found a piece of art that I somewhat connected with.

Hi, my name is Lucinda Kollenhoven and I am here to tell all you left brained, logistically programmed, realistic thinkers out there that there is hope for you. There is hope for you to experience a piece of art emotionally and for a moment, perhaps a very brief moment, put aside your analytical tendencies and get wrapped up in the story.

My connection to a piece of art came through a statue by Giambologna, an artist I had never heard of previous to my travels to Florence. The statue depicted a story of the ‘Rape of the Sabines’, the abduction of Sabine women from their neighbours (the Romans). Giambologna’s statue showed an old man defeated by a younger man who grasps a young woman with quite the forceful gesture. The young man’s hands on the woman’s thigh and shoulders were clenched and his muscles were strong.  The characters were positioned in a way that made it impossible to see their expressions from one angle, causing me to walk around the darn thing over 10 times just to be able to examine it.

Now I’ve given you an idea of what the statue looked like, the piece of art that finally made me have an emotional connection, but I cannot describe to you what that connection was. Where did this intrigue come from? I don’t know. Why did I feel curiosity, pain, confusion and joy simultaneously? I don’t know. How do I express these thoughts? Maybe I can’t. Maybe art is so difficult for me to understand because it is its own language and I barely know the basics. Maybe.

My apologies to my fellow left brained folks out there for a lack of conclusion to this story. Keep hoping. Persevere. You too may soon experience the difficulties of expressing yourself after interacting with the language of art.

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