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Sara Baldwin Designs Blog

The Italian Job, part 3

Or, How to Lactate in Style

This is my favorite photo from my “working” trip to Italy. It’s a detail shot of the Fontana di Nettuno–the most famous fountain in Bologna and a symbol of the ancient city. Built in 1657 and sculpted by the molto talented Giambologna, it exhibits the mannerist style that was popular at the time. Nevertheless, in super-conservative-Catholic Italy, it caused a bit of an outcry when it was unveiled. The church suggested that Neptune’s left hand should cover his private uh, parts.
Luckily Giambologna was able to convince them that would be the equivalent of castration, which even to church elders who supposedly don’t have sex, seemed excessively cruel and uncalled for.
Like many architectural works, it is impossible to convey the impressiveness of this work of art in a picture. The above photo makes the fountain seem so SMALL, when in fact it is enormous. It also seems lonely in the photo, when in fact it is normally the center of a beehive of activity. Additionally, the various basins into which the water flows are imaginatively crafted and engineered, and of course the bronze sculptures are functional and brilliant at the same time.

Despite the unconventional spurting, it wasn’t because of the breasts that I gleefully sent the above photo to my design team back at New Ravenna in Exmore, VA via I-phone with the caption “dirty mermaid”. Actually, no. It was because this year we made a mosaic sample of a Starbucks logo. We noticed that the older mermaid logos had two tails, but that the newer logos camouflage them. We had several memorable conversations about the Starbucks logo transformation, and thus nicknamed the two-tailed mermaids “dirty mermaids”. Dirty, we mean, in only the best possible way, as in, they have more fun.
Although it’s hard to imagine having more fun than I did, surrounded, in Italy, by people that I love.

P.S. For amusing illustrations and commentary on the Starbucks logo evolution, see this article on the subject.

4 Responses to “The Italian Job, part 3”

  1. Stuart says:

    Almost could sound like a Starbucks drink: "I'll have a Venti Dirty Mermaid, please."

  2. Sara Baldwin says:

    Ha! That's too funny.

  3. Very cool photos! I’m writing a book about mermaids and this fountain is mentioned in it–along with discussion about other split-tailed baubo mermaids and the mermaid mystique.

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About Me

Sara BaldwinSara Baldwin

Exmore, Virginia, United States

New Ravenna Mosaics founder and Creative Director, Owner, Sara Baldwin Design, Bass guitar player, Envisioner, Appreciator of the Sublime and Ridiculous.


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