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英语阅读石头里的故事

英语阅读石头里的故事
  V.M.希利尔(1875—1931),美国著名的儿童教育家、科普作家,创建了卡尔弗特教育体系。他为孩子们编写了一套趣味盎然的历史、地理、艺术读物,即《写给孩子看的世界历史》《写给孩子看的世界地理》《写给孩子看的艺术史》。本文选自《写给孩子看的艺术史》。
  What would you call men who went about with hammers and broke all the statues they could find, and who even went into churches and broke the statues there? Probably you would say they were bad men or crazy and should be locked up.
  You would be right, and they would be locked up nowadays. But long ago (about 800 AD) such men were not bad or crazy, and no one tried to lock them up. They broke statues because they thought statues were too much like idols. They thought a church especially should have nothing like an idol or an image in it. An image is called in Greek an icon and these men were called iconoclasts, which means image smashers. They smashed a great many statues, and the poor sculptors had to move away from the cities where the iconoclasts were if they still wanted to make statue.
  However, the iconoclasts didn’t seem to mind small sculptures in relief. And so in the time of the iconoclasts and for many years afterward many beautiful bas reliefs in ivory, silver, and gold were made. The carvings in ivory were used as the covers of books, writing tablets, and little boxes. The place to see them now is in museums where they are kept carefully in glass cases. When you look at them, remember the iconoclasts and why there were no good statues in the full round for a long time after the Romans.
  Some sculptors had to leave Byzantium—the old name for Constantinople which was the old name for Istanbul—because of the iconoclasts. They traveled to France and carried on their work there. And it is to France that we turn for our next great statues. They belong to the Middle Ages, several hundred years after the iconoclasts. And, strangely enough, these statues were all carved for churches—just what the iconoclasts didn’t want! In fact, the churches were simply covered with statues, which were made of the same kind of stone as the buildings and not of marble like the Greek and Roman statues.
  如果我告訴你,有些人专门拿着锤子砸碎所有他们能找到的雕像,甚至还跑到教堂砸碎里面的雕像,你觉得这是些什么人呢?你多半会说:他们是坏人或者是疯子,应该被抓起来关押。
  要是这样的事情放在现在,你或许说得没错,这样的人肯定会被关押起来。而在大约公元800年的时候,距现在很久以前,这些人并不是坏人,也不是疯子,更没有人把他们关押起来。这些人砸碎雕像是因为他们认为这些雕像具有非常强烈的偶像崇拜的含义。尤其在教堂里他们认为不应放置任何具有崇拜含义的人物雕像或图案。图案在希腊语里叫作“icon”,而这些砸碎它们的人则叫作“iconoclasts”,也就是“崇拜雕塑破坏者”。崇拜雕塑破坏者砸碎了许许多多的雕像,那时候的雕塑家也很可怜,如果还想继续做雕像,他们就不得不离开这些“破坏者”所在的城市。
  不过崇拜雕塑破坏者似乎并不破坏小型的浮雕作品。所以,即使在“破坏者”当道的时代,以及之后的很多年里,很多用象牙、白银、黄金做成的精美的小型浅浮雕被保留了下来。比如象牙制成的小浮雕通常用在书的封面、镇纸板以及小盒子上。在博物馆我们可以看到这类象牙浮雕,它们现在被小心翼翼地保存在玻璃罩子里,仅供人观赏。看到这种浮雕作品时,你就应该记起崇拜雕塑破坏者来了,因为正是他们使得在古罗马之后的很长一段时间里,都没有好的大型圆雕作品的出现。

 也正因为崇拜雕塑破坏者的存在,许多雕塑家不得不离开位于土耳其的拜占庭(拜占庭后来改名为君士坦丁堡,现在叫伊斯坦布尔——译者注),带着他们未完成的作品前往法国,继续他们的雕刻工作。也正是在后来的法国,出现了一批伟大的革新雕像作品。这些雕像出现于中世纪时期,也就是在崇拜雕塑破坏者时代的几百年之后。奇特的是,中世紀时期的这些雕像都是为教堂而雕刻的,而这却正是崇拜雕塑破坏者最不希望看到的。实际上,中世纪时期的教堂被雕像覆盖了,这些雕像使用的材料和修建教堂时用的普通的石头一样,而不再是那种古希腊或古罗马雕像所用的大理石了。
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