Sunday, December 21, 2014

Diana the huntress

Here she is - Diana the huntress, cast by Jean-Antoine Houdon, who was a friend of Benjamin Franklin when Franklin was minister to France.

Diana the huntress

Here she is - Diana the huntress, cast by Jean-Antoine Houdon, who was a friend of Benjamin Franklin when Franklin was minister to France.

Diana faces the Nemours mansion, one of the best views in the joint. Her temple roof has been redone, and the ceiling returned to its proper color, a creamy, light yellow. While we were admiring all this, we noticed a mother robin sitting on a nest nestled near the ceiling, one of many bird sightings we had.

You can see the nest, if not the mom, in this photo.

Grace says the restoration folks took a blow torch to Diana's head (hmmm, I can think of a few people I'd like to "restore" that way!) to melt the cold wax that had been applied. Once melted, it was spread all over her body. (Hmmm again. That sounds delightful, no?)

"It was a little disconcerting to see flames flying around Diana's head," Grace recalls. 

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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