Above: Gilbert Garcin
One day or one night—between my days and nights, what difference can there be?—I dreamed that there was a grain of sand on the floor of my cell. Unconcerned, I went back to sleep; I dreamed that I woke up and there were two grains of sand. Again I slept; I dreamed that now there were three. Thus the grains of sand multiplied, little by little, until they filled the cell and I was dying beneath that hemisphere of sand. I realized that I was dreaming; with a vast effort I woke myself. But waking up was useless—I was suffocated by the countless sand. Someone said to me:
You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of the grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.
I felt lost. The sand crushed my mouth, but I cried out: I cannot be killed by sand that I dream —nor is there any such thing as a dream within a dream.
— Jorge Luis Borges, The Writing of the God, The Aleph and Other Stories
Above: The Weary Moon - Edward Robert Hughes
Art Thou Pale For Weariness
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Birth of Venus, 1863
Description from Wiki: “The Birth of Venus (French: Naissance de Venus) is a painting by the French artist Alexandre Cabanel (1823–1889). It was painted in 1863, and is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. A second and smaller version (85 x 135.9 cm) from ca. 1864 is in Dahesh Museum of Art. A third (106 x 182.6 cm) version dates from 1875; it is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Shown to great success at the Paris Salon of 1863, The Birth of Venus was immediately purchased by Napoleon III for his own personal collection. That same year Cabanel was made a professor of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
Cabanel’s erotic imagery, cloaked in historicism, appealed to the propriety of the higher levels of society. Art historian and curator Robert Rosenblum wrote of Cabanel’s The Birth of Venus that “This Venus hovers somewhere between an ancient deity and a modern dream”; he described “the ambiguity of her eyes, that seem to be closed but that a close look reveals that she is awake … A nude who could be asleep or awake is specially formidable for a male viewer”.
Cabanel was a determined opponent of the Impressionists, especially Édouard Manet, although the refusal of the academic establishment to realize the importance of new ideas and sources of inspiration would eventually prove to be the undoing of the Academy.” via wikipedia