Pio Fedi unveiled to the public the monumental marble group of the Rape of Polyxena, which today stands alongside Cellini’s and Giambologna’s statues in the splendid “Loggia dei Lanzi” in Piazza della Signoria.
It was sculpted in 1868 by Pio Fedi, an Italian sculptor who worked chiefly in the Romantic style, but it was placed alongside several sculptures from the Renaissance. The Rape of Polyxena embodies Hellenistic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassicist mannerisms regarding its style and theme. Fedi intricately blended multiple styles and stories in order to construct The Rape of Polyxena. The most prominent literary sources of the Greek legend concerning Polyxena are Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Euripides’ Hecuba and Bocaccio’s Famous Women. This project discusses the various sources of the scene presented and the different sculptures that may have inspired Fedi to create his work.

Polyxena is Rauchenberger’s contemporary interpretation of the sculptural group The Rape of Polyxena: the artist highlights often unnoticed details, such as the torsion of the busts, the expressions of the faces, the emotions of the gaze, the vital energy of gestures, emphasizing the musicality of the bodies and creating a new story.

In this work the sensuality of the bodies does fully contrast with the deepest desperation represented by the various figures of this marble group. The use of color contrasts does even more accentuates this oxymoron.

In this work there is a profound link between the colours, the movement of the video footage and the original musical composition, that is, the contemporary reinterpretation of Antonio Cesti’s Intorno all’idol mio. The images and sounds follow each other slowly and in certain points overlap, creating a doubling of vision. Thus, the gaze of the observer passes from observing a scene of kidnapping to being himself kidnapped within an atmosphere of almost mystical and hallucinatory contemplation.

Experience watching to this statue listening to the digital interpretation of Intorno all’idol mio from Cesti.

Voice: Maria Katharina Rauchenberger
Sound Designer: Roberto Prezioso

PlaceFlorence, Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della SignoriaTechniqueDigital Video colour filteredYear2022

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