|“||Titles and honours were of no significance to the sculptor; she saw all people as shapes and volumes, curves and relations between lines. Young and beautiful subjects rarely held much interest for her, since she had left her own youth behind and was now more interested in character and the way it stamped its mark on features and bearing.||”|
Giuditta Miele is first mentioned in City of Stars, when Georgia O'Grady asks Paolo Montalbano if other female Stravaganti exist. Paolo affirms that he knows that there is one in Bellona and another that he knows by name in Giglia, Giuditta Miele, whom he describes is a fine sculptor. When Falco di Chimici dies, his father, Duke Niccolo, considers commissioning Miele to make a statue of Falco to place on his youngest son's tomb.
Giuditta herself is described as a straightforward and tactfully honest woman who is not easily charmed or swayed by what others think of her, though she is aware of what has been said. As an artist, she can become completely absorbed in her work, requiring her apprentices to bring her attention to concrete matters immediately at hand. Her serious demeanor and the grey streaks in her hair often hides her attractiveness, though she is warm-hearted and does not like to be complimented. Physically, she is a woman with broad shoulders and muscular arms, being rather tall and well-built and deep-bosomed. Possessing a lively intelligence, Giuditta is a woman with complete self-confidence in herself. She has a workshop in Giglia, where anyone can visit her, and a number of apprentices, most notably Franco, whose face she sometimes uses as a model.
During City of Flowers, Giuditta has been commissioned to sculpt a statue of Arianna Rossi, the young Duchessa of Bellezza, which coincides with Arianna's stay in Giglia as honoured guest attending the weddings of the di Chimici family. Her recent commissions have included a statue of Falco di Chimici, whose father expresses appreciation and respect for Miele and her work. Sky Meadows takes a great liking to Giuditta as an artist, seeing her as secondary mentor alongside Brother Sulien, Giuditta's friend and fellow Stravagante in Giglia. During the di Chimici weddings, Giuditta is able to gather information through Franco's work as a model for other artists that the Nucci family is gathering arms as the di Chimici weddings approach after the recent death of Davide Nucci. She and Dr. Dethridge set up a make-shift hospital and refuge at the orphanage next to the Church of the Annunciation, which greatly mediates the number of casualties after the wedding massacres and the impending floods. Giuditta's sculpture of Arianna is later used to aid Luciano Crinamorte's escape from Giglia when he is charged with the murder of Duke Niccolo.
Giuditta is briefly mentioned in City of Ships after Isabel Evans's visit to Giglia, where she remarked that Isabel seemed better suited to Talia than Sky's girlfriend, Alice Greaves. In City of Swords, Giuditta has recently completed a commission for the Grand Duke, a sculpture of Sagitta, a hunting hound that the Grand Duke has given his infant son. After Alice sells the sketch of Georgia O'Grady, a talisman that Giuditta made for Alice, to Mortimer Goldsmith, the sculptor unexpectedly receives the elderly antique seller in her workshop when he accidentally stravagates using the sketch. Giuditta is able to send Mortimer back to England with little trouble, where he enters the confidence of the other young stravagants in London. The sculptor later appears as a guest at the wedding of Luciano and Arianna.
As a sculptor, Giuditta's works has been well-respected by various patrons, including Niccolo di Chimici and Arianna Rossi. Indifferent to titles and honours, she views people in terms of dimensions such as shapes, volumes, curves, and relations between lines. Having matured in both age and as an artist, young and beautiful subjects hold little interest for her compared to trying to capture a subjects character and how it marks features and bearing.
Giuditta's commissions have included the following works.
- A portrait statue of Falco di Chimici for his tomb; it depicts Falco resting his hand on his favourite hound with Falco's eyes looking distant. The overall tone of the work has been described as intimate, informal, and domestic, contrasting greating with the classical statues lining the loggia of the Piazza Ducale. Commissioned by Falco's father, Niccolo describes the statue as touchingly familiar and a great work of art. Giuditta created the statue without a model, using only her observations of Falco during state occasions as reference, being struck by the boy's "delicate beauty" and the underlying steel in his personality despite his youth. The statue has since attracted many visitors to the palace in Giglia where it is located and is praised for being life-like.
- A statue of Arianna Rossi, the Duchessa of Bellezza; it depicts the Duchessa at the helm of a ship returning to her city after the Marriage with the Sea while grasping the rail with her hair and cloak streaming behind her in the wind. The sculpture is made from white marble from the Pietrabianca quarry chosen by Giuditta herself. Preliminary sketches of the Duchessa were done during Giuditta's visit to Bellezza, with the Duchessa modeling for Giuditta in Giglia when the Duchessa was a guest for the wedding of Gaetano di Chimici and Francesca of Bellona. The statue depicts the Duchessa masked, as per the custom of her city, though for reference Giuditta made several sketches of the Duchessa's unmasked face to create the macquette. During the composition process, Giuditta had difficulty creating an appropriate pose, citing expectations that nobles needed to be depicted as "still and dignified" while her personal preference would have been "to sculpt Arianna in full flight, running forward with arms raised and one foot off the ground, her hair tumbling loose down her back, like an Amazon or a nymph", as well as a comment from Niccolo di Chimici expressing the desire for the Duchessa to be seen holding a treaty of alliance between Bellezza and Giglia. However, the resulting sculpture was praised by many for how it captured the Duchessa's image. The delivery of the sculpture to Bellezza was notably used to smuggle Luciano Crinamorte out of Giglia.
- A wooden angel statue for Saint-Mary-among-the-Vines, at the request of Brother Sulien.
- A small marble ram sculpture made of Georgia O'Grady to serve as a substitute talisman for her Etruscan winged horse statuette. Georgia ultimately refuses the sculpture, which is taken by back Giuditta.
- A pastel sketch of Georgia O'Grady. The sketch was given to Georgia's friend Alice Greaves to be a talisman, though Alice later sells the sketch to Mortimer Goldsmith after she ends her friendship with Georgia.
- A sculpture of Sagitta, a hunting hound given to Falco Niccolo Carlo di Chimici, the son of Grand Duke Fabrizio. The smaller work was a commission requested by the Grand Duke to be completed in a short period of time. The statue shows the dog with the di Chimici lily on her collar and a paw on a stone perfume bottle. During the composition process, Giuditta undertook several visits to study and sketch the dog, described as a large creature with a gentle and protective of her master. Though the commission was not regarded as easy, Giuditta personally liked dogs and was pleased with the result.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 City of Flowers
- ↑ Girolamo Miele is seen a few short stories
- ↑ City of Stars
"There is a very fine Stravagante in Giglia called Giuditta Miele. She is a sculptor. And at least one in Bellona, whose name I don't know."
- ↑ City of Swords
|The Talian Stravaganti |
Rodolfo Rossi · Guglielmo Crinamorte · Luciano Crinamorte · Paolo Montalbano · Falco di Chimici · Brother Sulien · Giuditta Miele · Professor Constantin · Flavia · Fabio della Spada · Giovanni · Fulvia · Germano · Corrado · Aurora · Ranieri
|The English Stravaganti |
William Dethridge · Lucien Mullholland · Georgia O'Grady · Nick Duke · Sky Meadows · Matt Wood · Isabel Evans · Laura Reid · Ross · Julia · Sean · Emily · Rory · Caitlin