SiStan ChapLee

Monday, July 16, 2018

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable

works by Damien Hirst

Something strange happens as among the waves
the amazing artifact travels:
into the dark waters of the depth, it
is drawn downward by the sea abyss—
Venus herself, hiding inside the sea
and born out of it, and the sea queen,
thinking it Mars, takes it as it passes
to hug it, then being deluded, lets it go.

__G. B. Marino, Adone 11.155

In line 8, the word deluso (here delusa, in the feminine) would mean "disappointed" in current Italian; but in the 17th century it still kept the original meaning of the Latin adjective delusus, like "deluded" in English.
The stanza from Marino's long poem Adone referred to a majestic sculpture of King Henry IV of France, made by Jean Boulogne aka Giambologna, and transported to Paris in 1614. It would be destroyed not many years after the French Revolution.

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