Peter Blume (American, 1906–1992)Hadrian’s Villa
Amid the crumbling stones at Roman emperor Hadrian’s pleasure palace in Tivoli lies an olive grove, where, in 1956, American artist Peter Blume happened upon workers gathering fruit from the ancient trees. This juxtaposition of life and decay had become a celebrated theme in Blume’s art, already known for its narrative qualities, draftsman’s detail, experiments with scale, and vivid imagery. The artist likened the relationship between the trees and their twisted forms to a ballet. Likewise, his Hadrian’s Villa
pulses with movement, the workers balancing and contorting as they beat the ripe fruit for collection on a cloth below the tree, beautifully mangled with age.
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WARNING: Choking hazard—small parts. Not suitable for children under 3 years.