Juno’s wraps

April 27, 2012

I realized that the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is just a stop before the medical area where I was headed to hear Martin Guggenheim speak on reforming our approach to child welfare, so I got off a stop early and went to see Juno first.  I’m glad I did.

The statue is big, looks great from afar as you approach.  I got caught up in trying to understand her clothing.  The wall placards said she was wearing a heavy-ish mantle folded double and fastened with a pin at the right shoulder, and a filmier chiton underneath that pooled at her feet.  There also seemed to be another level of hem a little way up from the fabric that was pooling, and I was trying to figure out how to understand that.  The sculpture reveals her thighs and legs and breasts in places in a way that implies the filminess of the chiton, so it would be odd if this double hem was suggesting a double layer of fabric to the gown.  I don’t think it is the “mantle” (my mother wondered whether it was actually a stola when I asked her about it — her area of expertise is Roman art history), because it’s too far down, I think, at that place in the front — the mantle seems to drape down at the sides but not in front, and again, how would the legs be so revealed beneath its heavy cloth?  I’m thinking of showing my mother a picture of the statue when I go down to visit next month to see if there’s an obvious answer I’m missing.

I also loved some of the Asian sculpture I saw — a Buddha who looked like he was saying “Hi” and a Bodhisattva who also had a playful or mischievous expression around her mouth (and a posture like a child, with her stomach slightly thrust forward).  And some home furnishings from China long ago I liked a lot, especially the way they are arranged in the exhibit.

I doubt I’ll get back there again within the ten days my ticket, I think, is good for, but maybe, I’d like to.

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One Response to “Juno’s wraps”

  1. Richard Says:

    Try, It’s a great museum


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