The Niobids in Florence

I went to a lovely wedding in Florence last week - one of the nicest I have ever attended. I use that as an introduction to say that nice Republican girls apparently drink like fish the day before, hence my slightly out of focus photographs ... The bride is wonderful, and would never boast, like Niobe, of her superiority. Yet that is exactly what Niobe did - comparing her many children to the mere two Leto bore. Leto's offspring unfortunately were Artemis and Apollo, not known for taking slights well ... so they slew the Niobids. This group in the Uffizi is Roman, but copies an earlier group. The shapes of the sculptures, and their decreasing forms both suggest that the originals could have been fitted into a pedimental gable - the son lying on the ground, dying, would thus have been in a corner.

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