Sunday, October 24, 2010

Labor




The statuette named Labor  in the Layer monument has the most expressive portraiture of all four statuettes. With his care-worn features, gray hair and beard, engaged in digging, he is utterly Saturnine in character. One can only speculate upon the nationality of the craftsman, but I am inclined to think it's the work of a commissioned and travelling sculptor of the Northern Mannerist school, perhaps from a city based in close trading with Norwich, from Flanders or North Germany. It's only when  close-up that one gets a true sense of the expressiveness of this portrait. Compare how different his face  appears from a  lower view-point  in the photo below to this sharp angle close-up shot.
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