Adjusting

Two stories while you ponder and I fiddle

1. The famous Italian sculptor Donatello was commissioned to do a full size piece for a group of local dignitaries. The sculpture was to consist of a man on a horse to be sat up on a plinth already constructed in the town square. Weeks later, after completing the piece, Donatello invited the burghers to his studio to view his efforts.

They circled the sculpture humming and haring and pinching chins, rubbing foreheads, shaking heads, until, after a conference they approached the artist.

"Well," asked Donatello, seemingly a little miffed. "What's wrong?"

Too big here, an adjustment with the size of the head, the nose looks wrong, the horse is too small and its legs too short.

Donatello smiled, acquiesced, and congratualted them on their great artistic perception. "I will make all the changes you suggest," he promised. "When the sculpture is erected on its plinth in two weeks you will all observe the corrections you say are needed will be done."

When they left he replaced the cover cloth and for the next two weeks did nothing.

At the unveiling, and after the statue was raised up ten foot, to rest on its plinth, the burghers circled it with glee. They smiled and commented to each other how Donatello had made the changes each man had requested. The work was pronounced a great, a marvel! Donatello was roundly congratulated, and more importantly, paid in excess of the balance of his original commission. The fact the statue looked in perfect proportion when raised up high was a element Donatello had always considered.

"It's all part of a sculptor's trade," he told Leonardo later, as they sat in the terraces watching a local football match.

They could have afforded better seats but Leonardo always preferred to sit with the riffraff.

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