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Gleaner, the statue of discord

Although the female body, either naked or dressed, has been a constant in the History of Art since its beginning, in 2021 there are still people claiming it’s a scandal to sexualise women’s body. But is it the case of the Statue by Stifano?

By Gianfranco Gatta

For those who have studied a minimum of Art History in high school, they know that, according to Bohm's law, a work of art, based on a fundamental assumption, is accepted for what it is, like it or not.

The concept of "beautiful or ugly" is totally related to one's personal taste and in the case of Art, to the most intimate sensibilities; an Artwork may not even be understood or it may not strike the heart, nor "wake up" the imagination of the observer, but it must still be respected as such.

If Contemporary Art has explained us that: "It is the idea that counts", Classical Art has given us the fundamentals for "the Idea of Beauty"; from Sacred Art we moved on to the Renaissance to continue in Neoclassicism, where art and technique have evolved hand in hand, always in search of perfection. From the Madonnas with the Child and from angels like Putti we have passed to infinite nudes of women, not only subjects of admirable masterpieces, but taken as models and mannequins in all the academies of the world, at least until the advent of Impressionism.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Italian Old Masters (chiefly!) (@oldmasters_jlvieites)

This fervent layman serves to explain the amazement aroused by the architect Eleonora Carrano, who in her blog on "Il Fatto Quotidiano", about the statue created by the sculptor Emanuele Stifano in honor of the Gleaner of Sapri, in a tranchant manner declared: "The statue of the gleaner from Sapri is not sexist, but simply ugly ”.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Emanuele Stifano (@emanuelestifano)

Except for "de gustobus non disputandum est", the canons of the architect's "Idea of Beauty" remain incomprehensible since Stifano's work is perfectly crafted, with objective references to Goya's "Maya desnuda".

Not surprising but indeed frankly nauseating are the voices of all those vestals of the politically correct who do not miss an opportunity to give bon ton lessons, cloying and unsolicited, ranging from the ridiculous declination of gender to sexism for the most polite gallantry, from shouting to the prevailing machismo to the continuous victimization of women. We can no longer stand this creepy cultural drift, which tends to divide, imposing gender rights rather than recognizing the rights and duties of people.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by K r i s (@endlessartlover)

One wonders on which academic texts the various Boldrini and Cirinnà have studied, since the first defines the statue: “A slap to History and to women, symbol of a male chauvinist Italy", while the second one, in full Taliban delirium writes: “A slap in the face to history and to women who are still only sexualized bodies happened in #Sapri. This statue of the Gleaner says nothing of the self-determination of the one who chose not to go to work to take sides against the Bourbon oppressor. Let it be removed! ”. Just like the Taliban did with the Bamiyan Buddhas.

Perhaps, from the proud and courageous woman sung in Mercantini's poem, remember: "They were three hundred, they were young and strong ..." we would have wanted a representation that would recall a more reassuring young woman prefic, wrapped instead of veils, masterfully executed, by a black cloak with a rosary in his hand, with the intention of mourning his beloved Pisacane, who was doomed to death in that of Sanza.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by @laspigolatricedisapri

Once it was the provincial magistrates who shouted the scandal for a naked woman, in cinemas or in newsstands, today there are some unresolved "intellectuals" or even worse some "improvised" lent to politics who instead of taking care of the real social problems of people, you see the crazy increase in bills these days, they are committed every day more in being divisive, with arrogance.

However if they were right, the mayor of Salerno, Antonio Gentile, assured the statue remains where it is.

We look forward to their next bullshit!