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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

30/08/2019, 12:53

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #statue, #statua, #scultura, #museo, #archeologia, #archeology, #arte, #art



THE-SKINNED-MARSIA:-SYMBOL-OF-AN-ETERNAL-FIGHT
THE-SKINNED-MARSIA:-SYMBOL-OF-AN-ETERNAL-FIGHT


 In the Capitoline Museums there is an impressive masterpiece depicting the main character of an important mythologycal episode...



It is the "Skinned Marsia", a famous Roman work of art found at the "Horti of Mecenate", that today is host in the Capitoline Museums. The sculpture, with its original violet pieces made with the precious "pavonazzetto" marble, was sculpted aroung the IV - V century AD. It is a copy of an original Greek statue from the III century BC, and probably this Marsia was just a part of a sculpted group: for the scholars next to it there was also a man depicted in the act of preparing the tools for the execution and Apollo, God of the Arts, very pleased for what he is watching. What is amazing is the face of Marsia and his expression. There is a clear and terrible smirk thaat is underlining the pain suffered by Marsia. He is asking to be forgiven, but he is also sure about his Fate. But now the question is: who really was Marsia? Why this terrible pain? Let me tell you the myth, described by several writers. Some details could change, but the episode is always the same. First of all the events started with Athena who invented a new instrument: the "aulos". It was a sort oboe, but in a erroneous way it is identified with a flute. You can understand how to use the instrument you need to both hands and mouth. And it was the main problem: Athen saw her cheeks getting larger, in order to play it. And she didn’t like it, So she left the instrument on the ground, going away. It is time for Marsia, who was a "sileno" (a minor God of the forests who was usually related to Pan and Dioniso). When Marsia saw the "aulos" he started to play it. Very cool! He like it very much, so much that Marsia became a sort of master. And now it’s time for Apollo: God of the Arts and Sun, he symbolized reason and intellect. According to a version Apollo was so jelous that he decided to challenge Marsia. For another version, Marsia challenged Apollo, being very superb. So a competition took place, with the Muses (personifications of the Arts) as judges. You can think that for Apollo was easy to win, mainly because he was the protector of the Muses. But after the first piece the Muses didn’t not find a real winner. There was a draw! Apollo got angry, so he found a solution to be the only winner. He changed the rules of the competition. Who will song and sing at the same time will win. Something impossible for Marsia, who was playing the "aulos", so a woodwind. On the other side Apollo was playing a cithara, so an instrument with strings. Marsia lost the competition and nothing could save it. Apollo dediced to punish the "sileno" for his arrogance. It is one of symbolisms behind the myth: nobody could challenge the Gods, so who really have the power in the world. But there’s another clear symbol. Again, Marsia was a "sileno", so a creature strongly related to Dioniso, the God who teached to the human being how the make and produce wine. He was also the God of the entertainment, so a God strongly related to emotions, feelings and instincts. On the other side Apollo symbolized reason and human mind. Two faces of the same medal, in some degree. It is the reason why Apollo and Dioniso were not real friends... there’s something more! The "aulos" was a sort of flute, so an instrument that remembers a phallic shape (instincts). The cithara by Apollo was symbolized the Greek and educated word (reason). This work of art in the Capitoline Museums is showing us the eternal fight between our two souls: instincts versus reason. #unaguidaturisticaroma #atourguiderome #romeisus #rome #roma #archeologia #archeology #marsia #apollo #sfida #challenge #mythology #mito #statua #scultura #marmo #marble #museo #statue




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