Desiderio's Moving Busts of Two Boys

Sunday, July 22, 2007

To the Arts Editor:

What a treat it was to find Blake Gopnik's article on Desiderio in the April 14 Arts section! And what a lovely article it was. Thank you.

I first fell in love with Desiderio and his work when I found his bust of a small boy in Vienna in 1967.

To my great delight, I found the two companion busts of boys in the National Gallery shortly thereafter. Whenever I take friends to visit the National Gallery, I head straight for the gallery with those busts.

I am always deeply moved by the beauty and grace of the two busts, but particularly by the striking difference between them.

The bust of the small boy captures the mood of a carefree child, reveling in his happy world.

In contrast, the bust of the Christ Child reflects the wisdom and wistfulness of the boy who is not just a boy and who senses the sadness and madness of the wider world in which he -- He -- will be such a pivotal figure for so many ever after.

I will visit the exhibition with special joy, paying particular attention to the reliefs.



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