Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

                                                                                                                                                                            entry Mar 2012

Statuary, Monuments & Structures in the Villa Comunale

This is n.4 in a series. To part 1;   part 2;   part 3;   part 5;   part 6

This happy fellow is atop the entrance at the extreme south-east end of the villa, the corner of Piazza Vittoria and the seaside road, via Caracciolo. He is the first one you run into if you are coming over to the park from a walk along the sea. He is the Faun Playing Cymbals and Clapsticks—the former with the hands, the latter with the right foot. I have tried that, and it isn't easy. Again, he is one of the eight greeters along the entrance and is certainly the most curious one. It is, again, by Andrea Violani. The work is dated 1763 and is a copy of an original at the Galleria degli Uffizzi in Florence. It was moved from the Caserta Palace to the Villa Comunale in 1834.

Below left: Flora Campidoglio. Flora was the Roman Goddess of flowers. This is a copy done in 1760 by Tommaso Solari of an ancient original.

Below right: the Abduction of the Sabine Women, done between 1762 and 1768, also by Solari. It is a copy of an original by Giambologna (Jean Boulogne, 1529-1608) currently in the Loggia Lanzi in Florence.

Castor & Pollux, the Heavenly Twins, the Dioscuri, twin brothers transformed by Zeus into the constellation Gemini so they might be together forever. In mythology, they were generally seen as benevolent patrons of travellers, sailors and athletes. This, too, is by Solari, done between 1762 and 1768 and is a copy of an ancient original. It is located at the south (seaside) entrance to the Dohrn Aquarium. It is another of the many attractive "fountain groups" in the villa. The figures are posed over the basin of the fountain with their backs to the sea.

This large monument to pianist Sigismondo Thalberg (1812-71) is the very last piece in the Villa Comunale, standing at the extreme western end of the park, where an exit used to be. The statue was dedicated in Sept. 1879; the work is by the prominent northern Italian sculptor Giulio Monteverde (1837-1917).          


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