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Diana Dress


A Modern Legend

Once in a generation, we meet or hear about an artist whose works are of such an extraordinary quality and design that he is light years ahead of his contemporaries. Whether it be geniuses like Einstein or Edison, billionaires like Onassis and Trump, a saint like Mother Theresa, or the great Renaissance artists, these same people have existed and do exist and become known for doing great things. Bruno Rossellini is such a person. His art is as awe inspiring and moving as anything created by the old masters. His dolls will be looked at in years to come as the most original and artistic designs and workmanship to come out of the twentieth Century.

His history is vague and even today he rarely talks about his youth. He had been a child prodigy and was given only the best private tutoring and training to bring out his special gifts. After his childhood was over, he forced himself to work in seclusion for many years, perfecting his art and learning to draw inspiration from history and nature.

We found him in a small mountain village deep within the Italian Alps. That day was like a dream. There he was - standing in knee-high meadow grasses and wild flowers in every color of the rainbow. This was a picturesque spring meadow with a few village goats passively milling about. (The grasses and flowers seemed to spontaneously spring up from each footfall, from beneath his feet, as he gingerly walked around his work bench, but this must have been an illusion.)

We were about thirty feet away when our guide asked us to stand back to not disturb the master. We then silently took shelter under the shade of a gnarled old olive tree to watch the artist work. We had no idea of what to expect, so we sat and waited for the unexpected. We were not disappointed.

Bruno was standing in front of a large slab of wet clay. This was perched atop an old and well-weathered hand hewn wooden table. There were several tattered sheets of coffee or tea-stained papers, sketches and partial drawings on the table that looked like maps to some ancient and long forgotten buried treasure. The area near the table was set like a stage, a clear and sunny meadow walled off from the rest of the world by a haze of bushes and olive trees. There wasn't a sound in the air except for an occasional bird call or insects buzzing around the drying clay along with a milk chocolate bar lying half-eaten on the table.

Bruno, focused and oblivious to us, began his magic by first hammering violently away with his palms and hands at this giant lump of clay like a Karate master decimating an enemy, a fist here, a slap there, a tweak and a pull, continuously changing the shape. He was intense and determined, as if divinely inspired, to punch and shape this mass of dead clay into the image of a living human form. Working at this rapid pace, he was a symphony of movement. He energy was non-abating, seemingly drawn from the life around him, from the flowers, the grass, the sky, the rocks, the trees, and the air about him. Sweat dribbled off his nose, over his lips, and down his sinewy arms, mixing into the clay as he pushed and pulled, rolling and kneading it beneath his powerful outstretched hands. Slowly, his thrashing of the clay lessened and his touches became more tender, more light and caressing, a lover's touch.

We continued watching silently, totally spellbound by his movements. Then, it happened. As if by magic, the spell was broken. We were overcome by this intense feeling of closure, of completion, as suddenly there appeared before us a head, then a face, then a child's smile actually emerging from out of the clay, like the birth of a child. He delicately pressed each dimple of the clay to bring out just the subtlest of feelings, the smallest nuances of emotion and life. This was an unbelievable scene, indescribable without biblical reference. As if by some ancient and long forgotten magic, this child's form took on more and more detail until finally we could see who it was. It was Jackie herself, and although it had felt like only a few minutes, we had actually been there 5 hours totally spellbound by this transformation of clay into person.

As we looked at the divinity which had just manifested itself in our presence, she seemed to be looking back at us, her sculpted eyes meeting ours like laser beams, and Bruno, still with his back to us, seemed to make his greeting of love to us through the eyes of his new creation. Then suddenly, he turned around greeting us with a great big sensitive smile and a look all his own. This indeed was Bruno Rossellini.

At GADCO...we take your doll collecting seriously.

The Great American Doll Company
36101 Bob Hope Drive, Suite E-5 #416
Rancho Mirage, California 92270


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