Rhapsody with Strings
Michael Binkley carved this representational original stone sculpture of a female nude from a block of limestone quarried in the state of Indiana, USA. This particular limestone has been used for decades for architectural purposes. For example, the National Cathedral in Washington, DC is made of this stone and the Empire State Building is veneered with it. Being a sedimentary rock, the grain of this limestone has evidence of tiny shell shards and is deceptive in appearance. To the eye, it looks rough, but Binkley has carved and polished the female figure to a silky smooth surface that is a surprise to the touch.
This limestone fine art sculpture is another in Binkley’s ongoing series of what he calls his “Rubenesque” figures. These are large proportioned nudes that are depicted in humourous situations and this one is a female nude playing a violin.
Note the way Binkley has carved enough of the sculpture to delineate the violin and the bow, but these seem to disappear and flow into the figure. Her heavy set body is made to appear lighter by her delicate small feet and she points her left toe, lifting the heel in a dainty manner. Her hips are shifted in a classical contraposto pose and her lovely belly swells outwards. Her eyes are closed as she concentrates on her performance. The artist was inspired to carve this sculpture from a classical music performance at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, BC, Canada wherein a very talented and generously proportioned female violinist played Bach.
It is meant to make the viewer smile.