Arianna FIORATTI LORETO
Signed and dated Arianna Fioratti Loreto, 2018 on the verso.
1505 x 975 mm. (59 1/4 x 38 3/8 in.)
In 2017 a large exhibition of Arianna Fioratti Loreto’s pen and ink drawings, numbering some ninety works, was mounted at the Museo ‘La Specola’, the museum of zoology and natural history in Florence, where the works were displayed among the animal specimens in the museum’s collection. As the artist wrote in an essay in the catalogue of that exhibition, ‘my eye is trained to find the decorative, the play between light and dark, the patterns that Nature so beautifully creates. A love of pattern, the bizarre and exotic, mingle within me alongside a basic, instinctive love of animals. My drawings are humane animal trophies, a way to preserve and possess them, to learn to understand them without doing harm…The process of drawing an animal, of interpreting its essence in pen and ink in two dimensions, leads to a deeper understanding of the animal itself. It is not only about representing an animal on paper; of capturing its likeness for posterity, or its beauty for a purely aesthetic pursuit or even its bizarre nature as a novelty exercise, but by drawing it I communicate how I feel about the animal.’
Entitled Kraken by the artist, this remarkable and very large drawing is a tour de force of penwork. As Fioratti Loreto has noted, ‘I…love the idea of finding the beauty in animals which were considered ugly or dangerous by society.’ The kraken is a colossal squid-like sea monster of Scandinavian legend, said to live off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and to terrorize sailors in the North Atlantic. It is thought that accounts of the kraken may have derived from sightings of the giant squid (Architheutis dux), which can grow up to twelve or thirteen metres in length. Only rarely seen alive by humans, the giant squid is found in most of the world’s oceans and is thought to live at depths of between 300 and 1,000 metres.