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10 YEARS OF WORLDWIDEREVIEW, Happy new year, worldwidereview's first review

From:     ed
Category: Art
Date:     31 December 2009
Time:     06:41 AM


Worldwidereview has been going for 10 years!
here is the first review, as far as I can work out, from around the turn of the Millenium. The archive has 
changed the dates on the reviews!

The Signorelli Frescoes, Orvieto, Reviewer JJ:  "The doors of the Cathedral look good I thought, as 
we stood in the sunshine in Orvieto before lunch. I asked my friend when he thought they had been 
made, expecting to hear they were precociosly modern examples of 16th century art. I was told 
probably the 60s. How careless of me. I expect always to be surprised by everthing and don't bother 
to think most of the time. The Signorelli frescoes, begun in 1499, are surprising in that anachronistic 
way. They are full of naked muscley men and women. The women have firm, very protruberant breasts 
and one of the men has one of the most realistic penises I have ever seen in an old fresco,to go with 
his disconcertingly long aging hippy hair. There are skeletons, and demons, and people with their 
heads cut off, and everyone or thing has textbook anatomy, calf muscles which no amount of step 
aerobics would give you, and spines practically bursting out of their skins. If you saw this kind of thing 
in a kitsch bar/restaurant you wouldn't think twice, but in a gothic Cathedral you marvel at its invention 
and bravura.In contast the main hall, the Central Nave in Cathedralese, is not highly decorated, and 
the walls are mainy just cool stone in stripes of dirty white and charcoal,gray blue. Simple and a relief 
for puritans who hate overdecorated churches, but the simplicity is pompous in its own way. I wonder 
what we are doing in these places, looking for kitsch frescoes and grandiose simplicity. Meeting our 
tedious expectations, or boning up on architectural terminology, biography, guide books. Why do we 
give a shit? It is all entertaining enough, and as good as the lunch we had sitting on a terrace alone in 
the sunshine, but it is a lot different from the vitality that produced massive cathredals and ridiculous 
frescoes, and towns like Orvieto all over Italy. It, is the entertainment of the tourist, the restaurant snob, 
and the lazy bourgeois. "

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