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Arthur Cola

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Arthur Cola

Festivals and the Literary World
Bringing Legends to Life by Arthur Cola
American Italian Historical Association Conference
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Michelangelo and Me
By Arthur Cola   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, July 17, 2011
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011

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How the author, Arthur Cola's hero Michelangelo's sculpture of the David came to influence the writing of his novel: The Stone Cutter Genius.

 

 
THE LEGENDARY TALES OF ARTHUR COLA
 
 


 

NOVELS:
The Shamrock Crown
The Stone Cutter Genius
Papa and the Leprechaun King
 
Book for Children:
Papa and the Gingerbread Man
 
 
 
Michelangelo and Me: by Arthur Cola
The creation of my new novel: THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS is a celebration of my
Heritage, Family, Faith, and love of History. One might say that its formation began when I was a boy at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica School in Chicago. In that Church there is a shrine dedicated to the Pieta; that is the Virgin Mary holding her son, Jesus after he had been taken down from the cross. It is an exact replica of Michelangelo’s original located in St. Peter’s in Rome. Even at a tender age I was overwhelmed by its beauty. Perhaps it was the serene grace of Mary as she held her son or the divine peacefulness on Christ’s face. But I was much too young to think in those terms, those are realizations which came much later after I saw the actual masterpiece of Michelangelo at the New York World’s Fair and then in its shrine in St. Peter’s in Italy where I had the privilege to study in Rome.
What actually struck me profoundly, as a lad in grammar school and which grew throughout my years at Oak Park High School just outside of Chicago was something which had nothing to do with art or history. I had learned at an early age that the great artist Michelangelo began his career at the age of 13. But that wasn’t all that impacted my admiration for him. As time went on I found out that the Renaissance genius was of the same height and weight that I was both as a boy and as an adult. So while most boys were infatuated with Superman or the Lone Ranger, both of whom I admired, I had found that my hero was a long dead Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect who also wrote sonnets and poetry.   I never lost that physical identification with this Renaissance genius whose contemporaries called “Il Divino” the Divine One.
But life has a way of refocusing one’s attention, such as going to Loyola University (B.S.) and the University of Southern Mississippi (M. Ed. Adm.) Thus childhood heroes like so many things become but a fond memory. And so the years passed during which I married a red haired beauty with Irish flare, raised five children and taught history, literature and biology before becoming a school Principal. But the spirit of Michelangelo was ever present in the form of a small “Pieta” statue which had belonged to my grandmother.
Then the miracle happened ever so quickly that I hardly had time to think about what my wife and I were about to do. We left for a summer session in Rome. The youngest of our five children left under the watchful eyes of their grandmothers and aunt.
Side trips were taken from Rome each week-end and one of those was to the City of Florence in Tuscany.
Ah Tuscany, with its fields of blossoming sunflower fields glowing as if the blazing August sun had come down to dwell in the rolling hills through which we drove our rented Alpha Romeo, at a speed I might add which was obviously too slow for the Italians as they sped past us like we were standing still. But we didn’t care. We were soaking in the Villas atop the hills, the vineyards in the valleys and those glowing yellow sunflower fields surrounding the highway. At last we turned off onto a twisting road which led us to what the Italians called the “Piazzale Michelangelo.” It was up on a hilltop crowned with a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David. Below us Firenze (Florence) spread out with its red tiled Dome of its Duomo (Cathedral) and Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio reaching toward the sky. We had arrived at the hometown of my boyhood hero. And that hero’s home just happened to be located in the ancestral province of my mother’s family (Nannini, Doretti). Tracing those roots would be left for another day. This day it was all about Michelangelo. From Michelangelo’s family house, Casa Buonarroti, to his tomb in Santa Croce Church we walked with the vigor of pilgrims on a quest. That journey was to see those same sites which Il Divino may have seen, to feel that same awe walking among the great works of art of Donatello, Botticelli and Fra Angelico as he must have done, and eat along the Piazza Signoria where he must have also sat and dined so often as he contemplated his next work. But it wasn’t until we left the Palazzo Medici, home of the family who nurtured his talents and where he lived for a time, and turned that corner that the foundation for my novel was to take root.
There it was with a long line of ticket holders waiting to enter. I am speaking of the Accademia di Belle Arti where the original marble sculpture of Michelangelo’s David is now housed. What seemed to take centuries took only minutes. We entered the Gallery of Art dedicated solely to Florence’s greatest resident. Each side of the gallery was lined with unfinished marbles which the master had started but never finished. It seems that he and Leonardo da Vinci had that in common if nothing else except their genius. They would often begin a project and for some reason never finish it.
At the far end of the gallery under a small dome supported by Roman pillars was the “Giant” as Michelangelo himself called his “David.” Looming above all who had gathered around its base, it was indeed the Renaissance version of a Super Hero. Each muscle of the David is taut with anticipated confrontation with Goliath, perfectly rendered by the artist. Each curl of hair seemed to float to its natural resting place. And there was of course the fact that the statue was done in Classical style and therefore was a nude. I think that the David’s butt is probably the most photographed posterior of any human who ever lived. We watched others photograph the statue from every angle, as we did also, but we learned something new. If you hold your hand at a certain angle beneath the David’s rear it would appear as if you were patting it. The solemnity of first seeing this masterpiece was soon broken by the giggles of those doing just that. But that’s okay, for it would later serve to bring a little humor to my story of The Stone Cutter Genius. What is more important regarding that first visit to the “David” was its imposing presence which dispelled that often used phrase that “size doesn’t matter.” In the case of Michelangelo’s Giant David it certainly does but not for the obvious reasons for the use of the expression. It’s larger than life size presence, the large hand clutched ready to fight, the look of strength, conviction and readiness on the David’s face, the sling thrown over his shoulder ready to be used, his firm stance and posture ready to spring into action all speak volumes. And what it spoke to me on that afternoon was that this work blending faith and politics, beauty of human form and artistic expression, Classical and Renaissance thought would have to be the central core of Michelangelo’s story which I then and there had begun to form in my thoughts.
But it wouldn’t be until I had the opportunity to bring a group of my former students on a tour of Italy that those thoughts really began to solidify into a story line. That tour would have us walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo from Florence to Venice to Bologna to Rome to Capri. But I shall leave that story of an evolving legendary tale for another time.
The seeds had been planted. What would cause them to grow would be those nourishing experiences of that Student Tour. And to life that legendary tale would indeed sprout in the form of my novel, THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS.
 
(Arthur Cola was an educator for 35 years and is the author of three novels and three screenplays based on his books: The Shamrock Crown (The Legend of Excalibur), The Stone Cutter Genius and Papa and the Leprechaun King.
He also has a Christmas themed book for children: Papa and the Gingerbread Man.
His web site is: www.arthurcolalegendarytales.com and his Blog sites are www.arthurcolalegendarytales.wordpress.com and www.authoradvance.comarthurcola . One may view two of his screenplays at www.studios.amazon.com . The screenplay version of The Stone Cutter Genius is currently being developed and under consideration with a Film Production Co. Order his books at www.amazon.com/arhturcola He may be contacted at arthurcola.yahoo.com ).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE LEGENDARY TALES OF ARTHUR COLA
 
 

 
425 Robins Run
Burlington, WI 53105 USA
NOVELS:
The Shamrock Crown
The Stone Cutter Genius
Papa and the Leprechaun King
 
Book for Children:
Papa and the Gingerbread Man
 
 
 
Michelangelo and Me: by Arthur Cola
The creation of my new novel: THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS is a celebration of my
Heritage, Family, Faith, and love of History. One might say that its formation began when I was a boy at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica School in Chicago. In that Church there is a shrine dedicated to the Pieta; that is the Virgin Mary holding her son, Jesus after he had been taken down from the cross. It is an exact replica of Michelangelo’s original located in St. Peter’s in Rome. Even at a tender age I was overwhelmed by its beauty. Perhaps it was the serene grace of Mary as she held her son or the divine peacefulness on Christ’s face. But I was much too young to think in those terms, those are realizations which came much later after I saw the actual masterpiece of Michelangelo at the New York World’s Fair and then in its shrine in St. Peter’s in Italy where I had the privilege to study in Rome.
What actually struck me profoundly, as a lad in grammar school and which grew throughout my years at Oak Park High School just outside of Chicago was something which had nothing to do with art or history. I had learned at an early age that the great artist Michelangelo began his career at the age of 13. But that wasn’t all that impacted my admiration for him. As time went on I found out that the Renaissance genius was of the same height and weight that I was both as a boy and as an adult. So while most boys were infatuated with Superman or the Lone Ranger, both of whom I admired, I had found that my hero was a long dead Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect who also wrote sonnets and poetry.   I never lost that physical identification with this Renaissance genius whose contemporaries called “Il Divino” the Divine One.
But life has a way of refocusing one’s attention, such as going to Loyola University (B.S.) and the University of Southern Mississippi (M. Ed. Adm.) Thus childhood heroes like so many things become but a fond memory. And so the years passed during which I married a red haired beauty with Irish flare, raised five children and taught history, literature and biology before becoming a school Principal. But the spirit of Michelangelo was ever present in the form of a small “Pieta” statue which had belonged to my grandmother.
Then the miracle happened ever so quickly that I hardly had time to think about what my wife and I were about to do. We left for a summer session in Rome. The youngest of our five children left under the watchful eyes of their grandmothers and aunt.
Side trips were taken from Rome each week-end and one of those was to the City of Florence in Tuscany.
Ah Tuscany, with its fields of blossoming sunflower fields glowing as if the blazing August sun had come down to dwell in the rolling hills through which we drove our rented Alpha Romeo, at a speed I might add which was obviously too slow for the Italians as they sped past us like we were standing still. But we didn’t care. We were soaking in the Villas atop the hills, the vineyards in the valleys and those glowing yellow sunflower fields surrounding the highway. At last we turned off onto a twisting road which led us to what the Italians called the “Piazzale Michelangelo.” It was up on a hilltop crowned with a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David. Below us Firenze (Florence) spread out with its red tiled Dome of its Duomo (Cathedral) and Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio reaching toward the sky. We had arrived at the hometown of my boyhood hero. And that hero’s home just happened to be located in the ancestral province of my mother’s family (Nannini, Doretti). Tracing those roots would be left for another day. This day it was all about Michelangelo. From Michelangelo’s family house, Casa Buonarroti, to his tomb in Santa Croce Church we walked with the vigor of pilgrims on a quest. That journey was to see those same sites which Il Divino may have seen, to feel that same awe walking among the great works of art of Donatello, Botticelli and Fra Angelico as he must have done, and eat along the Piazza Signoria where he must have also sat and dined so often as he contemplated his next work. But it wasn’t until we left the Palazzo Medici, home of the family who nurtured his talents and where he lived for a time, and turned that corner that the foundation for my novel was to take root.
There it was with a long line of ticket holders waiting to enter. I am speaking of the Accademia di Belle Arti where the original marble sculpture of Michelangelo’s David is now housed. What seemed to take centuries took only minutes. We entered the Gallery of Art dedicated solely to Florence’s greatest resident. Each side of the gallery was lined with unfinished marbles which the master had started but never finished. It seems that he and Leonardo da Vinci had that in common if nothing else except their genius. They would often begin a project and for some reason never finish it.
At the far end of the gallery under a small dome supported by Roman pillars was the “Giant” as Michelangelo himself called his “David.” Looming above all who had gathered around its base, it was indeed the Renaissance version of a Super Hero. Each muscle of the David is taut with anticipated confrontation with Goliath, perfectly rendered by the artist. Each curl of hair seemed to float to its natural resting place. And there was of course the fact that the statue was done in Classical style and therefore was a nude. I think that the David’s butt is probably the most photographed posterior of any human who ever lived. We watched others photograph the statue from every angle, as we did also, but we learned something new. If you hold your hand at a certain angle beneath the David’s rear it would appear as if you were patting it. The solemnity of first seeing this masterpiece was soon broken by the giggles of those doing just that. But that’s okay, for it would later serve to bring a little humor to my story of The Stone Cutter Genius. What is more important regarding that first visit to the “David” was its imposing presence which dispelled that often used phrase that “size doesn’t matter.” In the case of Michelangelo’s Giant David it certainly does but not for the obvious reasons for the use of the expression. It’s larger than life size presence, the large hand clutched ready to fight, the look of strength, conviction and readiness on the David’s face, the sling thrown over his shoulder ready to be used, his firm stance and posture ready to spring into action all speak volumes. And what it spoke to me on that afternoon was that this work blending faith and politics, beauty of human form and artistic expression, Classical and Renaissance thought would have to be the central core of Michelangelo’s story which I then and there had begun to form in my thoughts.
But it wouldn’t be until I had the opportunity to bring a group of my former students on a tour of Italy that those thoughts really began to solidify into a story line. That tour would have us walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo from Florence to Venice to Bologna to Rome to Capri. But I shall leave that story of an evolving legendary tale for another time.
The seeds had been planted. What would cause them to grow would be those nourishing experiences of that Student Tour. And to life that legendary tale would indeed sprout in the form of my novel, THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS.
 
(Arthur Cola was an educator for 35 years and is the author of three novels and three screenplays based on his books: The Shamrock Crown (The Legend of Excalibur), The Stone Cutter Genius and Papa and the Leprechaun King.
He also has a Christmas themed book for children: Papa and the Gingerbread Man.
His web site is: www.arthurcolalegendarytales.com and his Blog sites are www.arthurcolalegendarytales.wordpress.com and www.authoradvance.comarthurcola . One may view two of his screenplays at www.studios.amazon.com . The screenplay version of The Stone Cutter Genius is currently being developed and under consideration with a Film Production Co. Order his books at www.amazon.com/arhturcola He may be contacted at arthurcola.yahoo.com ).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE LEGENDARY TALES OF ARTHUR COLA
 
 

 
425 Robins Run
Burlington, WI 53105 USA
NOVELS:
The Shamrock Crown
The Stone Cutter Genius
Papa and the Leprechaun King
 
Book for Children:
Papa and the Gingerbread Man
 
 
 
Michelangelo and Me: by Arthur Cola
The creation of my new novel: THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS is a celebration of my
Heritage, Family, Faith, and love of History. One might say that its formation began when I was a boy at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica School in Chicago. In that Church there is a shrine dedicated to the Pieta; that is the Virgin Mary holding her son, Jesus after he had been taken down from the cross. It is an exact replica of Michelangelo’s original located in St. Peter’s in Rome. Even at a tender age I was overwhelmed by its beauty. Perhaps it was the serene grace of Mary as she held her son or the divine peacefulness on Christ’s face. But I was much too young to think in those terms, those are realizations which came much later after I saw the actual masterpiece of Michelangelo at the New York World’s Fair and then in its shrine in St. Peter’s in Italy where I had the privilege to study in Rome.
What actually struck me profoundly, as a lad in grammar school and which grew throughout my years at Oak Park High School just outside of Chicago was something which had nothing to do with art or history. I had learned at an early age that the great artist Michelangelo began his career at the age of 13. But that wasn’t all that impacted my admiration for him. As time went on I found out that the Renaissance genius was of the same height and weight that I was both as a boy and as an adult. So while most boys were infatuated with Superman or the Lone Ranger, both of whom I admired, I had found that my hero was a long dead Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect who also wrote sonnets and poetry.   I never lost that physical identification with this Renaissance genius whose contemporaries called “Il Divino” the Divine One.
But life has a way of refocusing one’s attention, such as going to Loyola University (B.S.) and the University of Southern Mississippi (M. Ed. Adm.) Thus childhood heroes like so many things become but a fond memory. And so the years passed during which I married a red haired beauty with Irish flare, raised five children and taught history, literature and biology before becoming a school Principal. But the spirit of Michelangelo was ever present in the form of a small “Pieta” statue which had belonged to my grandmother.
Then the miracle happened ever so quickly that I hardly had time to think about what my wife and I were about to do. We left for a summer session in Rome. The youngest of our five children left under the watchful eyes of their grandmothers and aunt.
Side trips were taken from Rome each week-end and one of those was to the City of Florence in Tuscany.
Ah Tuscany, with its fields of blossoming sunflower fields glowing as if the blazing August sun had come down to dwell in the rolling hills through which we drove our rented Alpha Romeo, at a speed I might add which was obviously too slow for the Italians as they sped past us like we were standing still. But we didn’t care. We were soaking in the Villas atop the hills, the vineyards in the valleys and those glowing yellow sunflower fields surrounding the highway. At last we turned off onto a twisting road which led us to what the Italians called the “Piazzale Michelangelo.” It was up on a hilltop crowned with a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David. Below us Firenze (Florence) spread out with its red tiled Dome of its Duomo (Cathedral) and Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio reaching toward the sky. We had arrived at the hometown of my boyhood hero. And that hero’s home just happened to be located in the ancestral province of my mother’s family (Nannini, Doretti). Tracing those roots would be left for another day. This day it was all about Michelangelo. From Michelangelo’s family house, Casa Buonarroti, to his tomb in Santa Croce Church we walked with the vigor of pilgrims on a quest. That journey was to see those same sites which Il Divino may have seen, to feel that same awe walking among the great works of art of Donatello, Botticelli and Fra Angelico as he must have done, and eat along the Piazza Signoria where he must have also sat and dined so often as he contemplated his next work. But it wasn’t until we left the Palazzo Medici, home of the family who nurtured his talents and where he lived for a time, and turned that corner that the foundation for my novel was to take root.
There it was with a long line of ticket holders waiting to enter. I am speaking of the Accademia di Belle Arti where the original marble sculpture of Michelangelo’s David is now housed. What seemed to take centuries took only minutes. We entered the Gallery of Art dedicated solely to Florence’s greatest resident. Each side of the gallery was lined with unfinished marbles which the master had started but never finished. It seems that he and Leonardo da Vinci had that in common if nothing else except their genius. They would often begin a project and for some reason never finish it.
At the far end of the gallery under a small dome supported by Roman pillars was the “Giant” as Michelangelo himself called his “David.” Looming above all who had gathered around its base, it was indeed the Renaissance version of a Super Hero. Each muscle of the David is taut with anticipated confrontation with Goliath, perfectly rendered by the artist. Each curl of hair seemed to float to its natural resting place. And there was of course the fact that the statue was done in Classical style and therefore was a nude. I think that the David’s butt is probably the most photographed posterior of any human who ever lived. We watched others photograph the statue from every angle, as we did also, but we learned something new. If you hold your hand at a certain angle beneath the David’s rear it would appear as if you were patting it. The solemnity of first seeing this masterpiece was soon broken by the giggles of those doing just that. But that’s okay, for it would later serve to bring a little humor to my story of The Stone Cutter Genius. What is more important regarding that first visit to the “David” was its imposing presence which dispelled that often used phrase that “size doesn’t matter.” In the case of Michelangelo’s Giant David it certainly does but not for the obvious reasons for the use of the expression. It’s larger than life size presence, the large hand clutched ready to fight, the look of strength, conviction and readiness on the David’s face, the sling thrown over his shoulder ready to be used, his firm stance and posture ready to spring into action all speak volumes. And what it spoke to me on that afternoon was that this work blending faith and politics, beauty of human form and artistic expression, Classical and Renaissance thought would have to be the central core of Michelangelo’s story which I then and there had begun to form in my thoughts.
But it wouldn’t be until I had the opportunity to bring a group of my former students on a tour of Italy that those thoughts really began to solidify into a story line. That tour would have us walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo from Florence to Venice to Bologna to Rome to Capri. But I shall leave that story of an evolving legendary tale for another time.
The seeds had been planted. What would cause them to grow would be those nourishing experiences of that Student Tour. And to life that legendary tale would indeed sprout in the form of my novel, THE STONE CUTTER GENIUS.
 
(Arthur Cola was an educator for 35 years and is the author of three novels and three screenplays based on his books: The Shamrock Crown (The Legend of Excalibur), The Stone Cutter Genius and Papa and the Leprechaun King.
He also has a Christmas themed book for children: Papa and the Gingerbread Man.
His web site is: www.arthurcolalegendarytales.com and his Blog sites are www.arthurcolalegendarytales.wordpress.com and www.authoradvance.comarthurcola . One may view two of his screenplays at www.studios.amazon.com . The screenplay version of The Stone Cutter Genius is currently being developed and under consideration with a Film Production Co. Order his books at www.amazon.com/arhturcola He may be contacted at arthurcola.yahoo.com ).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Web Site: Legendary Tales



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