October 05, 2009

on the outside, Legion of Honor, S.F.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

On Friday I ended up at the Legion of Honor but I really didn't feel like I was up to the mental task of going inside, so instead I just took a leisurely stroll around the magnificent building.   This is the archway as you enter the courtyard.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

You'd think this guy would have it all figured out by now...

My first exposure to Rodin's "The Thinker" was way back in the early 1960's -- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was probably my favorite TV show, and each episode would begin with the young Dobie -- usually the victim of girl problems -- sitting right next to and assuming same pose of The Thinker -- the only difference, I think, was that Dobie was wearing all of his clothes.   CLICK for a classic YouTube Dobie Gillis video.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Oh God, we WILL glorify war and conquest, won't we?

Here we are, at a wonderful building that is supposed to commemorate the lost lives of World War I soldiers, and right out front is this bastard riding into war on his mighty stallion ready and able to viscously slice up his opponent.   Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, as an art critic I suppose I'm way out of my league, but I've always found this statue to be kind of weird.

It seems to have a lot to do with a man, a boy, and a snake intertwined between them.   There is no plaque to explain it, but the statue looks like it's been there a long time -- and someone has come along and knocked off the arms of the boy -- but I'm going with the notion that the statue was too controversial and has been banished to the outside.

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photowannabe said...

Sometimes the outsides of buildings are more interesting than the insides. Great capture of some strange sculpture. I don't get it either. Beautiful archway too Don.

Tomate Farcie said...

The snake is symbolic of something, but what? Or is that only in dreams? No matter. Sometimes, it's hard to wrap your head around whatever the artist is thinking.

Did I ever send you the Rhodin Thinker statue sitting in the subway in Paris? Poor thing seems completely out of place there.

Civic Center said...

I much prefer the golf course around the museum to the building itself. Your "weird" statue is actually a small copy of the following:

"The statue of Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, is a monumental sculpture in marble now in the Vatican Museums, Rome. The statue is attributed by the Roman author Pliny the Elder to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. It shows the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being strangled by sea serpents."

I adore the reproduction, hidden away in the bushes between the 6th and 10th holes of Lincoln Park Golf Course. And yes, it does look weird there.

AphotoAday said...

So, there are two sons in the original -- how intresting.
Maybe someone swiped one son (and the missing arm) in the middle of the night...

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