Reading visual art: 19 Weaving

Wow- went to a fascinating talk this week about Crysede’s- the silk factories which were block printed and where Patrick Heron’s father was involved in the direction.

The Eclectic Light Company

With the wool or other natural fibres spun into yarn in the first of these two articles, we move on to building that yarn into fabric, to assemble into clothing. As with spinning, there are several ancient associations with the craft of weaving.

Primary purpose

noursetennesseewoman Elizabeth Nourse (1859–1938), Tennessee Woman (c 1885), oil on canvas, 94.6 x 64.8 cm, Private collection. The Athenaeum.

Elizabeth Nourse’s portrait of a Tennessee Woman from about 1885 shows her weaving at a large loom, with her cat for company.

serusiertapestry Paul Sérusier (1864–1927), Tapestry (Five Weavers) (1924), oil on canvas, dimensions and location not known. Image by Bastenbas, via Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Sérusier’s later paintings returned to styles more akin to those of the late Middle Ages. Tapestry (Five Weavers) from 1924 shows five women working on various stages of a tapestry, from winding the wool to hand-weaving. As none of the figures is holding…

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Book Review: Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton (UK)

Fascinating……as is Wittgenstein!

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

I read a very enjoyable non-fiction book by Polly Barton, who is a translator of literature from Japanese, which was published by the wonderful Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2021. Fitzcarraldo produce such beautiful books, that I’d be tempted to buy them for home decor reasons alone!

Fifty Sounds combines three of my interests: memoir, language acquisition and translation, so it was likely that I would enjoy it. The book is divided into 50 short chapters, each referencing one of fifty onomatopoeic Japanese phrases.

I attempted to learn Japanese for about six months from late last year, and my progress was so painfully slow that I jacked it in, despite the help of DuoLingo, plus a book-based course and eventually Zoom lessons with a professional. It’s so damn hard! So I’m awe-struck really that Polly Barton was able to hone her Japanese to such a high standard after starting to learn it…

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A Ravilious Christmas


Artistic Horizons

A Ravilious Christmas

Christmas Card 1938. The Theatrical Costumer Shop lithograph from the book High Street.

We were as usual terribly busy sending Christmas cards and presents. The Christmas cards of our more sophisticated friends were every year getting more and more elaborate and as pioneers of this industry among the Bowker circle, we felt that we had to keep ours up to standard. We had started this phase in Hammersmith when we had sent birds made of folded paper which flapped their wings when you pulled their tails. Geoffrey Fry had taught me to make them and he told us how he had once made money for some charity by having a stall and charging people sixpence by being shown how to fold them. When we sent them for Christmas cards we made them of paper from an old geometry book and Eric painted red on their wing tips…

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#Biography Stefan Zweig

Love Zweig and his protégé Joseph Roth


Autumn in Vienna

The Impossible Exile Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnikby George ProchnikGeorge Prochnik

Finish date:December 2022
Genre: biography/memoir
Rating: A+++++
Review: The Impossible Exile (ISBN: 9781783781164)

Good news: Amazing introduction (pg 1-28)…just enthralling!
If this is any indication of what I am about to read (ch 1…) I’m in for
a great reading experience !
This book won the National Jewish Book Award for Biography/Memoir 2014.

Good news:The author is an excellent writer…the book reads like a novel.
Porchnik had a personal connection with Stefan Zweig. The author’s father and family had to flee Vienna during the Anschluss 1938. When Hitler made his triumphal march into Vienna…the Porchniks left their apartment with a handful of belongings they could conceal on their person. It felt like Porchnik by documenting Zweig’s blacklisting and exile…he was tracing ghosts of his own family.

Good news:Stefan Zweig was an at the height of his literary career in the 1920s and…

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Classics Club

That would take me years- only read about 4 of them and interested that fellow Cornishman DMThomas makes the list!

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

Joining in with this for the first time, as I’m working my way through a pile of ad hoc classics as well as the 1001 books list.

My Book Spin List for the Classics Club

1 Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
2 Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary
3 The Life and Death of Harriett Frean by May Sinclair
4 A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
5 Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
6 Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
7 Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
8 The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
9 Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
10 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
11 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
12 Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
13 The Faces by Tove Ditlevsen
14 Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley
15 On Writing by Stephen King
16 The Middle Ground by Margaret Drabble
17 The…

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Autoportrait Day 293~ Soso Houtopoulou-Kontarato

The Misty Miss Christy

A random survey of self-portraits created by women through the centuries

Greek abstract sculptor Soso Houtopoulou-Kontaratou (1923-1984)

Self portrait, 1947 / Bronze / Private collection

[2 embedded links above]

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Iza’s Ballad by Magda Szabó (tr. George Szirtes)

After Brexit, I can’t get enough of European novels- especially Eastern European ones like this one.

JacquiWine's Journal

The Hungarian writer Magda Szabó is perhaps best known for her 1987 novel The Door, a poignant story of the relationship between two women – a writer and her housekeeper. (It’s been on my radar for a while, although I’ve yet to read it.)  Iza’s Ballad (an earlier novel) also features a complex relationship between two women at its heart – in this instance, the frustrations and heartbreak of a distant mother-daughter relationship. More specifically, the book digs deep into the damage we inflict on those closest to us – often unintentionally but inhumanely nonetheless. It is a story of many contrasts; the differences between the generations; the traditional vs the new; the rural vs the urban; and the generous vs the self-centred.

Seventy-five-year-old Ettie and her husband Vince have lived a traditional life in the Hungarian countryside since their marriage some fifty years before. They have one…

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Van Gogh and Japan: Part 3

Love Van Gogh more and more….

At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

Self-portrait dedicated to Paul Gauguin, September 1888, Oil on canvas, 62 × 52 cm Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA, Image Source: wikimedia

Japan in Arles

“In early 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles in the south of France, where he hoped to establish an art colony. Believing that painting could be reinvented through the genre of portraiture, he encouraged his fellow artists to paint themselves, and then to exchange the canvases. After receiving self-portraits from Emile Bernard and Gauguin, who were working together in Brittany at the time, Van Gogh inscribed this painting “To my friend Paul Gauguin,” and sent it to him. He described the process of creating his arresting likeness in several letters to his brother Theo, an art dealer in Paris, explaining how he manipulated his features in response to Japanese prints, changed the contours of his jacket for coloristic effect, and painted the background “pale veronese…

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Etienne de Lavaulx: Il est né le divin Enfant (French Christmas Carol)


At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), A pheasant in a winter landscape, signed and dated ‘Archibald Thorburn 1913’ (lower right) pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour and with gum arabic on buff paper, 10¾ x 7½ in. (27.3 x 19 in.), Image Source: Christie’s

Il est né le divin Enfant played on a 5 Chord Zither

Hear More

Etienne de Lavaulx at youtube

Read More

Archibald Thorburn at wikiwand

Archibald Thorburn at Christie’s

Hat Tip

Many thanks to bluebird of bitterness for introducing me to this music in the post Today’s Cultural Moment.

Thanks for Visiting 🙂


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Cedric Morris: May Flowering Irises No. 2 (1935)

Cedric Morris hugely influential …including I believe the great Maggie Hambling.

At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

Cedric Morris,(1889-1982), May Flowering Irises No. 2, 1935, Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 21 1/4 in. (65 x 54 cm), Image Source: Philip Mould and Co

“By 1935, when this work was painted, Morris’s fascination with irises had firmly taken hold. He established a studio in the garden where he would sit and paint his flower subjects for days on end, and one ex-student, Joan Warburton, poignantly reminisced how ‘to go in there quietly when Cedric was painting the favourite of all his flowers, Irises, was a revelation.’[2] Morris’s thorough understanding of the iris is evident in the present work which explores each flower individually, using colour and texture to give them mood and personality.”

Philip Mould and Co

Thanks for Visiting 🙂


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