Fresco Cycles

From Archaic to Classical

By: - Dec 12, 2015

Fresco Cycle

From beginnings
Generally tight and tentative
Probing for form
Compact compositions
Through time
Skills honed
Ever more ambitious
The Parthenon sculptures
Metopes morphing
From archaic to classical
Fresco cycles
Loosen up
Gain momentum
Release energy
Explore new dimensions
Giotto’s Arena Chapel
In gothic Padua
Groups shuffled through
Grasping images
Studied intently
Or the Sistine Chapel
Nora the guide
Got us in when it opened
Rushing there to
Beat the crush
That time alone
Gazing up
Seeing the changes
A student in tears
Embraced me
Then over the altar
Years later
That view of the
The artist skinned alive
As martyred
Saint Bartholomew
What happened
During the years between
Incremental changes
Coming from
Just doing the work
Self as best teacher
Digging ever deeper
Letting go of
Inhibition and restraint
As body and soul
Erode and rot
Like Michelangelo
The artist as corpse
Rendered through
Plaster and paint
Or here in words
Twisted and tormented
Not knowing where
To go from here
At what cost
To be skinned alive
Above the altar
Of life from which
There is no escape
But the art
Which survives
Telling the tale
To tourists or
The few who probe
The lower depths of
Passion and despair