Giovanna Bellelli study
Bellelli family, 1858–67
Large image: HERE
Description via: Musée d’Orsay “Between the ages of 22 and 26, Edgar Degas completed his training in Italy, where part of his familly lived. Here he painted his father’s sister, Laure, with her husband, the baron Bellelli (1812-1864) and her two daughters, Giula and Giovanna.
The baron was an Italian patriot, banned from Naples, who lived an exile in Florence. His wife is in mourning for her father, Hilaire, who died recently and whose portrait appears on the framed redline painting close to his daughter’s face. In 1860, the two granddaughters, Giovanna and Giula, are 7 and 10. The mother is impressively dignified and affirms a slightly severe authority, contrasting with the relative aloofness of the father. This family portrait evokes those of Flemish painters, van Dyck in particular. Masterpiece of Degas’s early years, this portrait evokes the family tensions isolating each member of the family. The imposing dimensions, the sober colours, the structured games of open perspectives (doors and mirrors), all converge in strengthening a climate of oppression. All the more so as suggestions of escape appear, such as this curious little dog split by the frame. The almost playful position of the younger daughter alone, crossing her leg under her skirt, contrasts with the heavy atmosphere whereas her elder sister seems already prisoner of adult conventions.”
Art World Doodle
Lizzie Johnson HERE
Chen Yongle HERE
Crucifixion, 1541, Black and white chalk drawing, British Museum, London
Description via: The British Museum “This beautiful black chalk drawing shows the crucified and living Christ with his head turned upwards to Heaven. In fainter chalk and set in a dramatic cloudy sky, two mourning angels hover in the sky below the arms of the cross. At the foot of the cross lies a skull to indicate the setting as Golgotha (‘The place of the skull’ in Hebrew). Michelangelo carefully ruled the lines of the cross so that they stopped at the edge of Christ’s body. The skull and ground, however, were added afterwards over the edges of the cross.
This and other drawings by Michelangelo are known as ‘presentation drawings’ which are finished drawings that he gave to very close friends. This and two other religious drawings were given to a woman called Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547) who was a notable poet and one of the leaders of a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church. In the last years of her life she and Michelangelo became intimate friends and they dedicated poems to each other. From letters between them we know that the artist gave her this drawing when it was still unfinished and that the addition of the skull may have been at her suggestion. Certainly, she was impressed with the final drawing as she said she would address her prayers to ‘this sweet Christ’.”
From wiki: “Epifania (Italian - Epiphany) is a cartoon or full-scale drawing in black chalk by Michelangelo, produced in Rome around 1550–1553. It is 2.32 metres tall by 1.65 m wide, and is made up of 26 sheets of paper.
The composition shows the Virgin Mary, with the Christ child sitting between her legs. An adult male figure to the right, probably St Joseph, is pushed away by Mary. In front of him is the infant St John the Baptist. The adult figure standing to Mary’s left is unidentified, as are other figures only just visible in the background. Michelangelo repeatedly changed the composition and its forms, as is apparent in the cartoon’s alterations. The composition was originally thought to be of the Three Kings, which may be the reason for the title, but is now understood as referring to Christ’s siblings mentioned in the Gospels (explained by Saint Epiphanias—another possible source for the title—as Joseph’s sons by a previous marriage, and hence Mary’s stepsons, leaving their marriage unconsummated—hence her pushing Joseph away—and Mary forever a virgin).
Michelangelo’s biographer Ascanio Condivi used this cartoon for an unfinished painting. A 19th-century Scottish collector, John Malcolm of Poltalloch, bought it for only £11 0s 6d. and, on John’s death in 1893, his son John Wingfield Malcolm gave it to the British Museum. Parliament voted £25,000 to purchase the rest of his collection for the museum two years later. The cartoon is on display in Gallery 90 of the Museum.”
Above: Travelers - Shiro Tsujimura
Prologue to Oku no Hosomichi - Narrow Road to the Deep North
Days and months are the travellers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling. There are a great number of the ancients, too, who died on the road. I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind- filled with a strong desire to wander.
It was only toward the end of last autumn that I returned from rambling along the coast. I barely had time to sweep the cobwebs from my broken house on the River Sumida before the New Year, but no sooner had the spring mist begun to rise over the field than I wanted to be on the road again to cross the barrier-gate of Shirakawa in due time. The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and the roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home.
Even while I was getting ready, mending my torn trousers, tying a new strap to my hat, and applying moxa to my legs to strengthen them, I was already dreaming of the full moon rising over the islands of Matsushima. Finally, I sold my house, moving to the cottage of Sampu, for a temporary stay. Upon the threshold of my old home, however, I wrote a linked verse of eight pieces and hung it on a wooden pillar.
Behind this door
Now buried in deep grass
A different generation will celebrate
The Festival of Dolls.
Tr. by Nobuyuki Yuasa
Note: “Dolls” By using the line “hina no ie” Basho suggests that whoever moves into this place has either a wife or a daughter. Since Basho has neither, the poem expreses how different his situation is from that of the new occupant.
From wiki: “Oku no Hosomichi (奥の細道?, originally おくのほそ道, meaning “Narrow road to/of the interior”), translated alternately as The Narrow Road to the Deep North and The Narrow Road to the Interior, is a major work of haibun by the Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō considered “one of the major texts of classical Japanese literature.”
The text is written in the form of a prose and verse travel diary and was penned as Bashō made an epic and dangerous journey on foot through the Edo Japan of the late 17th century. While the poetic work became seminal of its own account, the poet’s travels in the text have since inspired many people to follow in his footsteps and trace his journey for themselves. In one of its most memorable passages, Bashō suggests that “every day is a journey, and the journey itself home.” The text was also influenced by the works of Du Fu, who was highly revered by Bashō.
Of Oku no Hosomichi, Kenji Miyazawa once suggested, “It was as if the very soul of Japan had itself written it.”
Artemis: Bashô :) I’ll be posting different parts of this now and then. :)
William James (via aufwaerts)
Artemis: Thank you, aufwaerts and madamescherzo. :)