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Samson Slaying The Philistine, Giambologna, V&A, London

Some time ago, while living in London, I’d visit museums – Tate, National Gallery, British Museum, the V&A, and others.   In my haphazard manner I was studying.  I’d take photographs, sometimes make sketches.  Occasionally I took notes.

, a Flemish sculptor working in Italy, did a number of mythological works, among them the Samson Slaying the Philistine at the V&A.  At the time this piece drew my attention I knew little of nothing of the artist, and not having had any kind of “classical” education;  having never read the Bible, I knew equally little about the story of Samson, only that when his hair was shorn, he lost his strength.   What drew me to the sculpture were its dynamic qualities, its psychological and physical capturing of a primitive hand-to-hand fight.  I both photographed it, and shot it with video, as well as did sketches.  Only recently did I bother to Google the story that lies behind it.

Also at the V&A there is a hall with plaster casts of Michelangelo’s Slaves series, which along with many other people, I find extraordinarily compelling.   Of them I did only sketches.

This past year, invited to Jerusalem for screenings at the Cinematheque, I was asked if I also had somethings suitable for a photography gallery, and I used the request  to finally transfer analogue photos of the Samson sculpture which I had long thought might make a  strong collage.   The two versions here were my first attempts, which for me are not quite satisfactory – in part because my understanding of Photoshop  is so limited.  I’d like to use  transparency masks to make the collages more subtle and organic.   One of these days….   These collages should be about 6 feet high.



  1. That is way cool!

  2. This is excellent. A simple idea, elegantly executed. I love it. In fact I may shamelessly copy the idea with a handful of statue shots I took in Italy and make a print for my house. Also appreciated your recent comment on Friedman’s column regarding Israel.

    • Glad you like – it is quite nice BIG. However, when time permits and I can learn Photoshop a lot better, I wish to make a New Improved version. I need to figure out how to select section to matte, and make them transparent so one image bleeds into the other (invisibly). But I seem to ever keep my hands too full of other things to manage that.

  3. May I use your photo of Calascibetta for a Sicilian history presentation?

    Thank you

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