These white marble Guardians by Italian sculptor Stefano Beccari stand in the park of Nolhaga Slott in Alingsås, Sweden. Like full-length, frozen versions of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's crazy vegetable portrait heads, they stand in the middle of a clearing amongst tall, old beech trees. With their rigid, voluptuously decorated forms, they command one's attention, managing at the same time to look a tiny bit ridiculous, just like real-life guardians with their showy uniforms in front of palaces and castles often tend to do.
Part of a temporary sculpture exhibition until 2012, they are a great addition to this modest but charming little park. I only wish that the park department or whoever is in charge here would have spent more in lawn care. Now weeds and bare patches of worn lawn draw one's attention, when a dark, velvety lawn or a carefully composed planting of perennial grasses would have formed a magnificent stage for these guys, adding a mysterious note to the setting. Still, it is wonderful to see that the authorities of a small town like Alingsås do invest in art, as they did here together with two local art societies. As they say, one cannot live on bread alone.
(PS - Nolhaga Slott means Nolhaga Palace, but this 19th century building is really only a middle-sized mansion).
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