blue madonna
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Michelangelo Madonna Child

Pitti Tondo
Michelangelo 1503
Bargello, Florence

Michelangelo's Pitti Tondo | John Robinson

Rainbow adaptations

After my visit in 2000 to the Chauvet Caves in SW France to see the 35,000 year old rock art paintings, I had discovered that I could enhance the photographs of the black charcoal drawings into amazingly contemporary rainbow colours on my computer. I had been intrigued by the effect and now wondered what would happen if I applied the same technique to the photograph of the newly carved Tondo I had in my studio?

Azure Madonna

After scanning the photograph into the computer I adjusted the colour graph and out of the screen jumped a glorious azure Madonna blue version of the white marble. It was absolutely stunning and looked as though it had turned into a beautiful stained glass window. The soft azure blue reminded me of shallow tropical seas, a colour that fills me with a sense of peace and tranquillity.

I immediately decided that I would find out if the Tondo could be cast in glass and, if that was possible, I knew it would have to be in the purest sea blue that I could find.

Glass Art

During the year my niece Georgina Fantoni had started Glass Art 2001. Her idea was to bring together pieces of contemporary glass art from around the world. Her first catalogue contained some 50 pieces from England, Europe, and the United States, and had been a great success. In her search for artists she had discovered the glass foundries of the Czech Republic, so I decided to put my idea of a glass Pitti Tondo to her. I showed her the printout from the computer and to my delight found that she was as excited as I was by the possibility of achieving something wonderful and unique.

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