Pierre Bonnard: The world beyond

Wonderful, remarkable

The Eclectic Light Company

My final selection of paintings by Pierre Bonnard looks at one of his most interesting pictorial devices: the landscape view through French or other windows.

Bonnard developed a taste for views from high points in his cityscapes of Paris during the last years of the nineteenth century. Many of his paintings from that time adopt a high viewpoint from the second or third floor, and look down on bustling people, carriages, and pets in the street. But as far as I can see, he didn’t include the frame of the window in those views.

bonnardstreetscene1910 Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Street Scene (The Auteuil Viaduct) (c 1910), oil on canvas, 61.5 x 46.3 cm, Private collection. The Athenaeum.

The first sign of him framing a view in this way is in an unusual painting of this Street Scene (The Auteuil Viaduct) made in this town to the west of Paris in about 1910…

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Tycho

Interesting, naturally one thinks of the Danish Nobleman and Astronomer whose observations helped Kepler formulate his famous laws.

Names Throughout the Ages

Tycho is the Latinized form of Danish Tyge, itself the Danish form of Tóki which comes from Old Norse element Þórr meaning “thunder” which comes from Proto-Germanic *Þunraz (thunder) which derives from a PIE root word. I’ve also seen it listed as possibly being a Latinized form of Greek Tychon meaning “to hit a target; hitting the mark” deriving from PIE root word *dʰewgʰ- (to produce; to be strong, have force). In Greek mythology, Tychon is the name of a daemon of fertility; there’s also another Tychon who is the daemon of chance or accident, who is similar to Tyche, a Greek goddess of fortune,  chance, providence, and fate (even their names come from the same root word).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

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Variants:

  • Tyge (Danish)
  • Thyge (Danish)
  • Tyko (Finnish)
  • Tóki (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Tychon (Ancient Greek)

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Odilon Redon: Etruscan Vase With Flowers (1900-1910)

At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

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Odilon Redon, “Etruscan Vase With Flowers”, (1900-1910),Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1951; acquired from The Museum of Modern Art, Lillie P. Bliss Collection

Quotes from Odilon Redon:

“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”   Odilon Redon from The Art Story

“My originality consists in bringing to life, in a human way, improbable beings and making them live according to the laws and probability, by putting – as far as possible – the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible.”  Odilon Redon from The Art Story

Mission Accomplished!

This painting, like…

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WHEN GÖRLI WAS A BAHNHOF: THE STORY OF A VANISHED STATION

Herbst kommt;Oy in Berlin zu sein!!

KREUZBERGED: BERLIN COMPANION

Many places in Berlin continue to exist today in nothing but curious, often old-fashioned names. Gone is the ski-jump which was the namesake for Zehlendorf’s Sprungschanzestraße; gone the vineyards and the winemakers who inspired Weinmeisterstraße, Weinbergspark (Volkspark am Weinberg) or the original name of today’s Kreuzbergstraße, Weinmeisterweg; gone the Schöneberger Hafen, once a Landwehrkanal harbour which lives on in the name Hafenplatz, a small plaza and a little park built on its site.

One of the most famous vanished Berlin locations whose name continues to be present in the city’s life to this day (even if its fame is more of infame really) is Görlitzer Bahnhof. Most people associate it with the U-Bahn station of the same name – U-Bhf  “Görlitzer Bahnhof” on the U1/U3 line – unaware of the fact that the station erected by Siemens & Halske on the crossing Skalitzer-, Wiener- and Oranienstraße was itself named after…

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The Two Red Towers-Translated by Arthur Waley

THE TWO RED TOWERS
(A Satire against Clericalism)

Po Chu-I(A.D.772-846)

The Two Red Towers
North and south rise facing each other.
I beg to ask, to whom do they belong?
To the two Princes of the period Chēng Yüan.
The two Princes blew on their flutes and drew down fairies
from the sky,
Who carried them off through the Five Clouds, soaring away
to Heaven.
Their halls and houses, that they could not take with them,
Were turned into Temples planted in the Dust of the World.
In the tiring-rooms and dancers’ towers all is silent and still;
Only the willows like dancers’ arms, and the pond like a mirror.
When the flowers are falling at yellow twilight, when things are sad and hushed,
One does not hear songs and flutes, but only chimes and bells.
The Imperial Patent on the Temple doors is written in letters of gold;
For nuns’ quarters and monks’ cells ample space is allowed.
For green moss and bright moonlight—plenty of room provided;
In a hovel opposite is a sick man who has hardly room to lie down.
I remember once when at P’ing-yang they were building a great man’s house
How it swallowed up the housing space of thousands of ordinary men.
The Immortals are leaving us, two by two, and their houses are turned into Temples;
I begin to fear that the whole world will become a vast
convent.

Daphne

Names Throughout the Ages

Daphne is the name of a naiad (a female nymph who presided over fountains, wells, springs, rivers, streams, brooks, and any type of fresh water) in Greek mythology. One day she caught the eye of the god Apollo and he pursued her in spite of her rejections. Just as he was about to catch her, Daphne called out to her father, the river god Ladon, for help (in some versions it’s the goddess of the earth, Gaia) and was transformed into a laurel tree. Since than, Apollo adopted the laurel as one of his symbols and a wreath of laurels was given as a prize for the victors in games. Daphne means “laurel, bay” from Ancient Greek which may be derived from a much older source, possibly pre-Greek, but that’s uncertain.

Origin: Ancient Greek

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Variants:

  • Daphné (French)
  • Daphnée (French)
  • Dafni (Modern Greek)
  • Dafina (Albanian, Macedonian)
  • Dafne (Italian)

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Guttapercha und der Tote aus Borneo

Das kurze, aber bewegte Leben des Frachtdampfers „Fürth“

Kein neuer Commissario

– Guttapercha –

Keine Sorge, Guttapercha ist nicht noch ein neuer “Commissario” und der Tote aus Borneo auch keine exotische Leiche. Aber eins nach dem anderen!

Auf den Fahrten der „Fürth“ treffen wir einige Waren an, die heute weitgehend in Vergessenheit geraten sind, wie zum Beispiel die Guttapercha oder auch nur kurz Gutta genannt. Wenn Sie nicht gerade in einem Dentallabor arbeiten, sind Sie wahrscheinlich noch nie in Berührung mit diesem, zur Zeit unseres Dampfschiffes „Fürth“, sehr begehrten Rohstoff gekommen. Ich auch nicht.

Und wer weiß heute schon noch, dass der weltweite Erfolg des größten deutschen Industrieunternehmens, der Firma Siemens, zu einem großen Teil auf dieser Substanz und ihrer Verarbeitung beruht?

Aber beginnen wir auf der Insel Java, wo die „Fürth“ regelmäßig Batavia, Soerabaya und auch Tjilatjap anlief (heute Djakarta, Surabaya und Cilacap) und Guttapercha nach Europa brachte.

guttapercha java Guttapercha-Verarbeitung auf Java (ca. 1920/1930); Quelle: commons.wikimedia.org, File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM…

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