Dormo dum blande sentio murmur aquae
I sleep as I listen to the soft murmur of the water was the Renaissance epigram that decorated the marble cushion, interpreting the sculpted head as belonging to a nymph. Over the course of the nineteenth century other hypotheses were suggested to explain the subject portrayed: a sleeping Fury, a Medusa, a wounded Amazon, a famous dead woman. Now, without the cushion, the sculpture seems like the head of a corpse resting on cold marble. The charm, the modernity, the disturbance of this fragment still captures and charms us.
The Erinyes are ancient goddesses. It is said that their hair was turned into serpents and that their breath was nauseous. They lived in the Underworld and appeared wherever a mother had been offended. They were also known as the Manie, Furies or Eumenides, that is, good to those sacrificing hecatombs to make them become such. According to Hesiod they were born from Gaia, Mother Earth, fertilized by the drops of Uranus’s blood. Others say they were generated by the Night.
The rain teems,
The sunset sinks the sun,
the tempest prepares the evening.
The stone is silent,
it spreads through the vein.
It languishes and calls to sleep
Don’t tempt me you wretch!
I listen to it and follow in its wake
I finally let myself go
I sleep trying to dream
the best way to die.