Thursday, August 25, 2005


For it does. With its 'bottega', its workshop, it is based on the principle of work.

'Clasped Hands' in terra cotta, suggested donation 250;
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Yesterday, I came home with a basket of six pairs of 'Clasped Hands' of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, still warm from the furnace, in terra cotta, made lovingly by Amalia Ciardi Dupré and my granddaughter and Assunta. The 'Clasped Hands' were originally made by the nineteenth-century American woman sculptor Harriet Hosmer. Amalia is the descendant of Giovanni Dupré, the great Florentine nineteenth-century sculptor, who with her great aunt, another Amalia Dupré, made the statues of St Zenobius and St Reparata on the façade of the Duomo.

Carolyn Carpenter of Aureo Anello shared this photograph of the Dupré St Zenobius with us, illustrating Susan and Joanna Horner's Walks in Florence, which you can read in its entirety at , the enlarged photographs being on the CD 'Florence in Sepia'. We have in our exhibition in our bottega of nineteenth-century photographs of 'Florence in Sepia' even one of the Duomo's façade before the marble and these statues were placed there, a shot taken from the top floor of Orsanmichele,

while on the table, built from the cypress trees in this cemetery in 1860, we have the moulds for making the 'Clasped Hands' in terra cotta and in gesso.

Amalia Ciardi Dupré is off to St Petersburg to see her ancestor's work exhibited there in the Hermitage. This Cemetery being filled with poets and sculptors, poetry and sculpture. All of us working together to save the 'English' Cemetery, for the donations for the 'Clasped Hands' go entirely for the Cemetery's restoration. Need to give a wedding gift? What could be better? Especially if combined with the limited edition handbound Sonnets and Ballad, which include all the Sonnets from the Portuguese in English and in Italian, that Elizabeth shyly gave Robert one morning in Bagni di Lucca, or the CD 'Florence in Sepia'.

People become members of the Friends of the Cemetery by paying annual dues, a minimum of 10 dollars, euro, pounds, or members of the library in the Cemetery by giving it a book a year (or both). We give the donors' names on a plate within the book. We have just acquired, through the great kindness of this same Aureo Anello member, the facsimile of Robert Browning's source for The Ring and the Book, The Old Yellow Book he found one day in San Lorenzo Market and which he brought home to Casa Guidi, Elizabeth not liking its murder mystery where a husband kills his wife. It's a most beautiful edition that will become even more so when properly bound in our bottega next to our library under the guidance of our maestro, Enrico Giannini:

Another book we should dearly love for this library is The Monuments of Egypt and Nubia by Ippolito Rosellini, published by the American University in Cairo Press and findable on the Web. Jean-François Champollion and Ippolito Rosellini, funded by the Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany, journeyed together in the year this Cemetery was founded, to Egypt and Nubia, and brought back a black slave, Kalinna, whose story is told some years later on her tomb stone here in Cyrillic, that she was baptised in a Russian-Florentine family, 'Nadezhda', Hope. Many of the motifs on our tombs come from Champollion and Rosellini's observations of Egyptian hieroglyphs, including the winged globe on Arthur Hugh Clough's tomb, sketched by Susan Horner for his family. The book will make you a member of Aureo Anello! This is a global cemetery, your library. In this way you become a part of Florence.

We have set up a petition at