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Posts Tagged ‘Van Gogh

“The medieval principles led up to Raphael, and the modern principles lead down from him”*…

Raphael, “The Madonna of the Pinks” (“La Madonna dei Garofani”) (c. 1506-7)

On the occasion of a major National Gallery show in London, Michael Glover on Raphael…

… he was born a mere man, a citizen of Urbino in the Marche, the son of a court painter, who was orphaned very young and raised by an uncle who also happened to be a priest. Perhaps the reverence is due to his talents, which were superabundant, and moved in so many directions at once. He was a painter, printmaker, architect, designer, sculptor, and much else. His industriousness, and the consistent quality of his output, were superhuman. That is undeniable.

Raphael painted relatively few portraits… during his short lifetime, and even fewer in which he could be said to have painted them in order to please himself, because he was always so much in demand by immensely rich and powerful male patrons for the kinds of things that they wanted him to do. They wanted him to beautify public (and private) spaces, all the greater to reflect their own power and importance — beneath the ever-watchful eye of the Christian God, their chief sponsor, in whose revered name they splashed all this cash. 

Raphael was the very well remunerated servant of these rich masters, and this was entirely a matter of choice. He was boundlessly ambitious and intimidatingly energetic (he was already running a studio by the age of 17), charming, good-looking (though not to an excessive degree), diplomatic, and utterly opportunistic. Michelangelo loathed him because, though much younger, Raphael seemed to sweep all before him. What a break for the irascible, prickly Michelangelo that his young rival died, quite unexpectedly, of a fever, when he did, leaving him unchallenged for decades!

And Raphael, the name, the work, the style, has resonated and resonated across the centuries…

On the Renaissance painter described by Vasari, his first biographer, as the universal artist: “Raphael Between Heaven and Earth,” in @hyperallergic.

Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

John Ruskin

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As we appreciate art, we might recall that it was on this date in 1890 that Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver; he died two days later. A post-impressionist painter, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and, struggling with severe depression and poverty, committed suicide at the age of 37. But he subsequently became, with Raphael, one of the most famous and influential figures in Western art history.

Self-Portrait, 1887

source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 27, 2022 at 1:00 am

Lights! Camera!…

source

In all of the rumination on the death of Kim Jong Il, on his legacy, and on what his passing means for the future, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to the Dear Leader’s role as an avatar of the arts (he once wrote six operas in two years, the official North Korean News Agency reported), nor more particularly as a champion of the cinema.

Jong Il had a collection of over 20,000 foreign films (his favorites were apparently the Rambo series and Friday the 13th), and wrote several books on cinema– both critical works and “how-to.”  Then, in 1978, his frustration with the lack of world-class directors in his domain led him to arrange for the kidnapping of South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his actress ex-wife, Choi Eun-hee.  They tried to escape but eventually relented, remarried at the encouragement of Jong Il, and made a string of movies for him including the Godzilla “homage”  Pulgasari.

The following year, 1986, Shin and his wife escaped while attending a film festival in Vienna.  Shin migrated to the U.S. where he directed (as “Simon Sheen’) 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, then served as an executive producer on 3 Ninjas Kick Back and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.  He returned to South Korea in 1994.

Meantime, the Dear Leader turned his attention to sport (on his 62nd birthday, he played his first round of golf, completing a par 72 course in 34 strokes, with a record 5 holes-in-one), to developing North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability, and to using that threat to leverage food aid for his starving people.

For more illustrations of the ways in which absolute power corrupts absolutely, see this Daily Mirror list of “Bizarre Details of the Dear Leader’s Life.”

As we sob uncontrollably, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that Vincent Van Gogh, after a heated argument with Paul Gaugin, cut off his own left ear.

Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print, January 1889 (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

Fashion *is* art…

Staffers from the Japanese apparel company Onward Kashiyama arranged 2,700 polo shirts in 24 colors to reproduce a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh:

As we gently touch our ears, we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that an artist of a different variety, Neil Patrick Harris, was born.  A successful television comedian, he has starred in Doogie Howser, MD and in How I Met Your Mother; he has hosted the Emmys, Tonys, and opened the Oscars; and he has starred in Joss Whedon’s musical web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

But Harris is best known, of course, for his pivotal performance in the epic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

Birthday Boy, center

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