For 30 years the beautiful Faun, better known as Barberini Faun, has accompanied me. He fits perfectly into my model, as a baby in its stomach area, for always being the sweetest fruit of art, since about 200 BCE, when the old Greeks exchanged their weapons for art until the ancient Romans came with a budget for violence as today’s Israel‘s war budget..
Ancient Rome was going down, and so was the fair Faun. The statue was found again in the moat below the Castel Sant‘ Angelo in the 1620s, and somebody informed Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his team. All the artists, who were not frightened by the sight of this perfect Hellenistic marble sculpture, went home, improved their own arts, made a switch to fit in with the so called rebirth of the fine arts, the European Renaissance.
When the new Romans also perished, it was Ludwig‘s, Crown Prince of Bavaria, and Germany‘s business talent that brought the Faun to the Glyptothek in Munich. In the middle of the 1980s I made my first drawings of the Faun, since 1995 he lives with me in Vienna.
(Is it a Faun, a Satyr? The original depictions of fauns and satyrs in their respective mythologies —satyrs were followers of Dionysus, fauns were followers of Pan — were once very clearly defined, until they got blended into one in the late Roman mythology. Whereas fauns were often half-man and half-goat, satyrs originally were depicted as stocky, hairy dwarves with the ears and tails of mainly horses. Satyrs were more woman-loving than fauns…and fauns were described as rather foolish!)
Glyptothek, München, Germany
Sammlung Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, Frankfurt am Main
Museum Moderner Kunst, Wien, Sammlung Ludwig,
Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf