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"Cloak of Conscience" - a symbol of the immaterial spirit: History hiding under an empty cloak
"Cloak of Conscience" - a symbol of the immaterial spirit: History hiding under an empty cloak
Cloak of Conscience by Anna Chromie

In the very center of the Czech capital, at the entrance to the old Prague Estates Theater, there is an unusual sculpture that attracts attention with its mystery and mysticism. "Cloak of Conscience" - "Commendatore" (2000) - a symbolic bronze monument of the famous artist of our time, sculptor Anna Chromie (1940).… A mysterious story hiding under the "Cloak of Conscience" further in the review.

Anna Chromie is a renowned artist. The author of the sculpture "Cloak of Conscience". ¦ Photo:

Having sculpted her first “Cloak of Conscience”, five meters high, from a single piece of snow-white marble from the Carrara quarries, Anna Chromie became the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Michelangelo Prize in 2008, which among sculptors equates to an Oscar. The artist laid a secret meaning in her creation: an empty cloak was supposed to symbolize the path along which we all walk through life, guided by our conscience, as well as the intangible spirit that remains after each of us in the memory of children, grandchildren, and loved ones.

"Cloak of Conscience" in white marble. Author: Anna Chromie

A little later, the artist created several more similar bronze sculptures. One is installed in Salzburg against the wall of the cathedral of dark bronze, called Pieta - "pity", which makes everyone stop and think about the meaning of life.

"Cloak of Conscience" - "Commander". (2000). Author: Anna Chromie. ¦ Photo:

But in Prague, the "Cloak of Conscience" has its own name and history. One and a half meters high, the bronze sculpture "Commander" from afar resembles a traveler in a raincoat who has sat down to rest. And when you approach the figure, you can see that there is no figure, but there is one hollow cloak that has taken the form of a human body.

The plate on the pedestal of the "Cloak of Conscience" - "Commander". (2000). Author: Anna Chromie. ¦ Photo:

A plaque attached to the monument's pedestal reads: Mozart himself conducted the musicians on the stage of the Estates Theater on the day of the premiere. It was the greatest event in the theatrical life of the city.

And the sculpture of Anna Chromie was a symbol of the immaterial spirit of the murdered commander from the famous story of Don Juan. In the sense of the play, the commander, already deceased, returned to take revenge on the rapist and duelist for the desecrated honor of his daughter, in the form of the Stone Guest.

Don Juan and the statue of the Commander. Author: A.E. Fragonard. ¦ Photo:

As it turned out, about 140 works of art are dedicated to the image of Don Juan - a heartthrob, a rake, a duelist. These are paintings and sculptures, tragic plays and operas, poems and feature films. And each creator interpreted this story in his own way.

The story that became the basis for the creation of the first play about Don Juan

Tirso de Molina (1583-1648) created the first play about a passionate lover, duelist and legendary Spaniard - Don Juan.

Based on real events, it is known that the Spaniard don Juan de Tenorio is the prototype of the well-known Don Juan, a native of one aristocratic Seville family. Distinguished by his insane courage, audacity, immorality, violence, love affairs.

Singer Francisco d'Andrade as don Juan. Author: Max Slevogt. ¦ Photo:

For him, neither earthly nor divine laws existed - everything was subject only to his carnal sensual pleasures. For their sake, he could take possession of an aristocrat, a commoner, and even a nun, which was considered a special sedition by the Catholic Church.

Monument to Don Juan in Seville. Photo:

The seducer and rapist of women, brawler and daring duelist remained unpunished only because the king of Castile (Spain) Pedro I (1350-1369) himself participated in these atrocities. It was impossible to pacify and prosecute the villains. Until one day the hero's lover with his friend the king, indulging in violence and dissolution, kidnapped the daughter of the Commander Don Gonzago de Ulloa, while killing him.

Don Juan leaves Donna Anna. Author: Adolph von Menzel. ¦ Photo:

Justice was still silent, and the Franciscan monks decided on their own to punish the murderer.The conspirators set up a trap, making an appointment on behalf of a beautiful woman, late at night in the temple where the commander was buried. The monks performed an act of justice: they killed Juan and spread the rumor that he was "cast into hell by a statue of the slain Commander." Thus, God's will and justice were revealed.

Gaide finds Don Juan. Posted by Madox Brown Ford. ¦ Photo:

Over the centuries, this story has acquired new and new details, which softened and became more attractive. And as a result, the hero-lover put on a more charming image and became popular and passed into "eternal images" along with the images of Don Quixote, Faust, Hamlet. This name has a common noun.

Donna Anna and Don Juan. Author: Ilya Repin. ¦ Photo: Don Juan. ¦ Photo: Giovanni Mario as Don Juan. ¦ Photo: Don Juan. Author: Sebastian Bourdon. ¦ Photo:

The creative idea of ​​the Cloak of Conscience was embodied by Anna Chromie in identical sculptures installed in front of the medieval church of St. Severin on the Friesland island of Silt, in the Royal Palace of the Princes of Monaco and near the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The emptiness, dressed in a cloak, each time has its own new meaning - intangible traces left after a person: love, creative heritage, revenge, resentment.

The sculptor Anna Chromi in her work is a vivid successor to the traditions of the school of the great Michelangelo Buonarroti. Her Marble Cloak of Conscience was carved from the marble of the Carrara quarries as the famous sculptural composition "Pieta" by Michelangelo.

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