'Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives: they spend their lives in organising their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune's control and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately' - Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, page 13 of the Penguin Great Ideas edition (trans. C.D.N. Costa).
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
'Conceived as a partner piece to the David, Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus (1534) was designed as a personal emblem of Cosimo I and a symbol of Florentine fortitude. Benvenuto Cellini described the musclebound figure as looking like "a sackful of melons", and it's a sobering thought that the marble might well have ended up as something more inspiring. In the late 1520s...Michelangelo offered to carve a monumental figure of Samson to celebrate the Republic's latest victory over tyranny; other demands on the artists time put paid to this project, and the stone passed to Bandinelli, who duly vented his mediocrity on it' – The Rough Guide to Tuscany & Umbria, page 88.