Extracts from Stanley's letters to his mother
March 17 1957
Finally got settled and am back to work at the studio . . . It really feels great to be back in Florence . . . It looks as if we are going to have a beautiful springtime. The peach trees, apricots and plums are starting to bloom now, so you can well imagine how it feels to be here.
March 21 1957
As there is only a handful of people left in the world who still work in stone the appreciation of this medium is very limited . . . So look around Montreal and see the weird and wired metal toys that supposed sculptors are turning out.
April 7 1957
Now the most important event of this week - my meeting with Irving Stone and his wife. He phoned me this week and made arrangements to meet in the public square at Fiesole - a hill town just outside Florence. We met and walked over to his villa. I was there from 6 to 11pm and most of the time we spoke about sculpture. He is going to publish into English the letters of Michelangelo, also he is writing a novel of his life.
October 13 1957
On Wednesday this week I spent the day looking round the marble quarries of Carrara . . . The scenery was breathtaking - mountains of marble. It was another world. I bought a magnificent piece of marble called "Rosa Aurora" from Portugal. It has a warm fleshy pink tone and weighs almost 900 pounds and stands close to 5 feet high. This I want to be my major work here.
April 3 1958
Did I ever tell you that while the Stones were in town after dining with them they used to spend with me many hours asking me questions about my younger years especially my childhood. I remember telling them that as a child I used to go to the antiques cabinet and handle some of the jade pieces, that Daddy had paintings, antiques, fine furniture and how all these elements have affected my life.
Sept 28 1958
. . . reproductions can be made from bronzes, but coloured marble - there is only the one and only piece. That in itself gives the marble as a material more value and preciousness. As for Canada it is a new medium and I'm sure it will create a new interest as well as broaden the scope of sculptors. But even in Florence where there are hardly any sculptors left working in marble. The only ones are from the older generation like my Maestro - over 70 years old. It is from them that I learned the technique - inside out.
December 20 1964
When I was in Florence I saw my old Maestro. He has aged a great deal and does hardly any work now. While in Florence I stayed at the Pension Bertolini . . . People in Florence remembered me so well after five years. I was absolutely amazed. Italy is still a peach of a country.