Housman on The First of May

THE FIRST. O F ΜΑΥ The orchards half the wayFrom home to Ludlow fairFlowered on the first of MayIn Mays when I was there;And seen from stile or turningThe plume of smoke would showWhere fires were burningThat went out long ago. The plum broke forth in green,The pear stood high and snowed,My friends and I… Continue reading Housman on The First of May

Jacques Tissot’s sad mistress

“It is a work extreme delicacy yet great richness, of poetic quiet yet great emotion.” She is sad and shivering, indeed she is very unwell. The full story may be found at https://web.archive.org/web/20070928205059/http://www.williamweston.co.uk/pages/catalogues/single/766/25/1.html This clip may give some idea of the range of Tissot’s oeuvre. My personal response to Tissot There are two factors which… Continue reading Jacques Tissot’s sad mistress

Solitude and Nostalgia-the paintings of Valentin Serov

– As someone has commented on You Tube underneath the above, “Wonderful , soulful, expression of Imperial Russia from many aspects just before the Black Curtain of the war that aesthetically affects us into our era!” There are even colour photographs of that strange era in Russia before the Revolution that show the huge contrasts… Continue reading Solitude and Nostalgia-the paintings of Valentin Serov

Ponderings on Nostalgia in paintings

Clearly, that which we personally find nostalgic, pertains to ourselves alone but are there paintings which evoke in general this kind of mood state in the viewer? One painting which possibly does is this Matisse. It is discussed in detail on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxe,_Calme_et_Volupt%C3%A9 The fact that the title comes from Baudelaire is partly evidence… Continue reading Ponderings on Nostalgia in paintings

I Hear an Army by James Joyce

I hear an army charging upon the land, And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees; Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand, Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers. They cry unto the night their battle-name: I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter. They cleave the gloom… Continue reading I Hear an Army by James Joyce

LEO PUTZ (1869-1940) German painter

Just discovered this rather relaxing post by this superb anti-Nazi Austrian painter. The accompanying Chopin Nocturne adds to the ambience I find. Leo Putz (18 June 1869, in Merano – 21 July 1940, in Merano)[1] was a Tyrolean painter. His work encompasses Art Nouveau, Impressionism and the beginnings of Expressionism. Figures, nudes and landscapes are… Continue reading LEO PUTZ (1869-1940) German painter

Sketches from Windows

When I think of paintings from interiors of the scene beyond, I tend to think of the South of France,of Dufy or perhaps Matisse. There is something too which reminds me of looking out from a safe place to the activity beyond. It recalls hours in childhood, perhaps when bored watching the summer visitors who… Continue reading Sketches from Windows

Remembering Red Barnaloft

I have previously posted about Red Vienna – the time in the 1930s when an attempt was made to establish a form of social security system in the elegant city and when worker’s flats were built to ease the conditions of poorer citizens. Notoriously, they were shelled by nationalists in the dark period leading up… Continue reading Remembering Red Barnaloft

Qui est ce jeune plongeur ?

Is that really Maupassant readying himself to dive  among the ladies? These, modestly dressed like himself beneath the white high cliffs of Étretat. Behind him on the perilous board a gentleman stands with arms folded, wearing a woolen hat, about to inspect the quality of the dive into this so called “mer d’huile”. Notchalantly, a… Continue reading Qui est ce jeune plongeur ?