03/25/2017 - 11:38am      11:38

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THE MYTH OF PYRAMUS AND THISBE AT MARECCIO CASTLE


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A tragic and heartbreaking love story depicted in the loggia of Mareccio Castle. A story that goes back centuries and still retains all its charm to this day. It is the myth of two lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe, which have been inspiring artists and writers since ancient times. Greek and Roman mythology take up the story from an oriental tale, and in the seventeenth century Shakespeare also drew inspiration from it for his play „Romeo and Juliet“. But, taking a step back, it is thanks to the Roman poet Ovid and his „Metamorphosis“ that the story of the two lovers has become legendary. In the footsteps of this tender story, the unknown artist of the castle frescoes depicts the moment when the story reaches its climax - the dying Pyramus lying at the foot of the fountain and Thisbe who rushes to him holding out her hand. It is Ovid who narrates the plot leading up to this moment. Pyramus, the most handsome of all young men, and Thisbe, the most desired girl of the Orient, live in adjacent houses and, as time passes, their proximity leads them to form a bond until they fall madly in love with each other. The families forbid them to get married, but both of them continue to profess ardent love for one another. Through a thin crack in the wall separating their houses, they gesture and signal to each other and exchange tender words. They send each other kisses that remain imprisoned in the wall before touching the other‘s lips. Then finally one night, the two get ready to meet. The meeting place is at the foot of a mulberry tree near a fountain. Thisbe, cautious and bold at the same time, leaves the house with her face covered and is the first one to arrive at the agreed place. There she sees a lion smeared with blood drinking water and has no choice but to flee in fear. As she runs away she loses her veil. The wild beast takes it and tears it with its bloody jaws. When Pyramus arrives he finds his beloved‘s cloak and immediately thinks that Thisbe has been attacked by the beast. The pain is too much to bear, and in desperation he takes his knife and stabs himself. He is lying on his back at the foot of the fountain when Thisbe returns to find him dying. The great pain does not spare her either. She fills his wounds with tears and softly prays before following him into death. The gods take pity and transform the flowers of the Mulberry tree, which are soaked with their blood, into deeply red-coloured fruits and ensure that the two unfortunate lovers lie together forever.

(Foto: Fondazione Castelli Bolzano)


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