This piece, entitled 'Three Grotesques,' is one of my favorites of Chuck's works. In 2016, we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Two things stand out as memories from our visit: the Loggia (porch) overlooking a beautiful expanse of the Blue Ridge mountains, and the botanical gardens and green houses on the estate. I confess that I'm personally troubled by the conspicuous consumption of "America's Biggest House". It's beautiful in many ways, but also a testimonial to the excesses of unrestrained wealth and I find it hard to romanticize. I was similarly troubled when I visited Louis IV's Palace at Versaille many years ago and couldn't bring myself to tour the palace itself. I was utterly content to wander the gardens on a sunny afternoon with hundreds of Parisians with family picnics spread out enjoying the day. But I promise--no more editorializing.
True to form, Chuck was all about finding details during our visit like these small sculptures on the capitals of columns in the Loggia, as well as fabrics on chairs in various room, and certainly a myriad of gorgeous images from the greenhouses. If you turned around from looking at these sculptures you'd see an expanse of hills and forest in the distance and the entire porch is open to the elements. It is this view which likely captures the attention of most visitors but you would miss a treasure if you didn't linger to enjoy these lively characters. I've included three pictures (not taken by us) of the Loggia to provide context, as well as some pictures of a framed copy of the Three Grotesques we have in our home.
The sculptures move around the tops of the columns on the Loggia and were most likely created on site by some of the artisans brought in to create this great house. Chuck has selected three of the personalities and grouped them into a single piece. The result is both whimsical yet pensive, thoughtful yet still lively. The sculptures face out toward the open expanse and have seen an army of visitors over the years pass below them.
You can find this image available for sale in our gallery at GeoGalleries.com (https://geogalleries.com/WAIowner/17521/img/276370/).