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April 06 2018

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How to Display a Flying Dragon, 1680

Johann Kestler, Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, p. 247 -  Kircher, Athanasius( Kestler) . 1602-1680.  (Image via:  From bookseller - jamesgray2.me)

Artemis:   Ira Dei …  wrath of god, anger of god  | Draconem volantem exhibere… display/support flying dragon


April 04 2018

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Reposted bymr-absentiakreska-groteska

April 03 2018

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A Sri Lanka Temple Moonstone (Sandakada pahana) Sri Lanka, Late Anuradhapura Period, 10th / early 11th Century

Description and Image from Bonhams:  “Sandakada pahana, also known as Moonstone, is a feature unique to the Sinhalese architecture of ancient Sri Lanka and according to historians, symbolises the cycle of Samsara in Buddhism. It is an elaborately carved semi-circular stone slab, usually placed at the bottom of staircases and entrances and is first known in the latter part of the Anuradhapura period. The sandakada pahana evolved through the Polonnaruwa, Gampola and Kandy periods with varied decorative repertoires.

During the late Andurhadpura period, carving on every sandakada pahana of this period is uniform. A half lotus is carved in the centre, which is enclosed by several concentric bands. The first band from the half lotus is decorated with a procession of swans, followed by a band with an intricate foliage design known as liyavel. The third band contains carvings of four animals; elephants, lions, horses, and bulls which follow each other in a procession. The fourth and outermost band contains a band of flames (W.I. Siriweera, History of Sri Lanka, Dayawansa Jayakodi & Company, 2004, p. 288).”    Bonhams

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Family and friends:  tell me you didn’t bring that tabbouleh thing again

Me:   ummm noooo…………………

Me:    :-/  baba ganoush  

Family and friends:   :-/ 

March 30 2018

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Happy Birthday Vincent van Gogh…

(March 30th,1853 ~ July 29th,1890)

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Thanks to  redjeep and akapearlofagirl

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William Blake

The Divine Comedy,
Inferno, Canto V, 37-138, ‘The Circle of the Lustful' 

Canto V

This one, who now will never leave my side,
Kissed my mouth, trembling. A Galeotto, that book!

Dante and Virgil now descend into the Second Circle of Hell, smaller in size than the First Circle but greater in punishment. They see the monster Minos, who stands at the front of an endless line of sinners, assigning them to their torments. The sinners confess their sins to Minos, who then wraps his great tail around himself a certain number of times, indicating the number of the circle to which the soul must go. Like Charon, Minos recognizes Dante as a living soul and warns him not to enter; it is Virgil’s word that again allows them to pass unmolested.

Dante and Virgil pass into a dark place in which torrential rains fall ceaselessly and gales of wind tear through the air. The souls of the damned in this circle swirl about in the wind, swept helplessly through the stormy air. These are the Lustful— those who committed sins of the flesh.

Dante asks Virgil to identify some of the individual souls to him; they include many of great renown, including Helen, for whose sake the Trojan War was fought, and Cleopatra. Dante immediately feels sympathy for these souls, for essentially they are damned by love. With Virgil’s permission, he calls out to the souls to see if they will speak to him and tell him their story. One woman, Francesca, recognizes Dante as a living soul and answers him. She relates to him how love was her undoing: bound in marriage to an old and deformed man, she eventually fell in love with Paolo da Rimini, her husband’s younger brother. One day, as she and Paolo sat reading an Arthurian legend about the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, each began to feel that the story spoke to their own secret love. When they came to a particularly romantic moment in the story, they could not resist kissing. Francesca’s husband quickly discovered their transgression and had the young lovers killed. Now Paolo and Francesca are doomed to spend eternity in the Second Circle of Hell. Overcome with pity, Dante faints again.

Artemis: :-/   “The souls of the damned in this circle swirl about in the wind, swept helplessly through the stormy air. These are the Lustful…” for some reason I read it as the opening of Dragnet… same voice. LOL Too early for me to read this. LOL 

March 29 2018

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Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.

Constantin Brancusi

March 28 2018

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Reposted bymr-absentia mr-absentia

March 27 2018

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March 20 2018

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Les Amies, 1925, Private Collection

Kees van Dongen   (1877 - 1968)


Image and catalogue note from Sotheby’s:   “I passionately love the life of my own time, so animated, so frenzied. […] Yes, I love things that shine, precious stones that sparkle, fabric that shimmers, beautiful women that inspire carnal desire… and painting gives me complete possession of all of that, for what I paint is often the obsessive realisation of a dream or a fixation.” Van Dongen’s words seem to directly echo the present painting, Les Amies, emblematic of the works produced by the painter in the 1920s, a decade qualified as the “Cocktail Epoch” by commentators of the period.

At the time when this work was painted, Van Dongen was living with his companion Jasmy Jacob, who directed the fashion house Jenny, in a splendid private mansion situated rue Juliette-Lambe where the couple settled in the summer of 1922. The house became one of the most fashionable places to be in Paris and Van Dongen organised notorious parties and openings where he exhibited the many portraits he painted at this time. Coulourful guests mingled there, fashionable women in evenings gowns rubbed shoulders with cabaret singers, actresses, dancers and politicians. Van Dongen particularly liked to depict charming women, such as those described by Victor Margueritte in his novel La Garçonne, published in 1922, and he became a champion of sensual painting: “One must want to touch the picture, it must be a pleasure for all the senses. The picture must be something exciting and exalt life.”… For more see link below.

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An ode to the light-hearted and hedonistic atmosphere of Paris in this era, Les Amies embodies the artist’s feminine ideal. Already, a few years earlier, critics praised Van Dongen’s talent in depicting women: “The women he paints […] are deeply moving with their disturbing charm, the feline suppleness of their limbs, the provocative beauty of their forms and the mystery of their gaze. Van Dongen’s art irresistibly attracts us because it is charged with passion and ardent sensuality. The voluptuous call of certain figures make us shake to the depths of our being.” (in Montparnasse, issue of June 20th 1914).

The painter’s fascination with the female body is evident in this painting. In fact, critics of the period endowed him with the nickname “psychologist of the body” by critics of the time. Green carnations, characteristic of the artist’s technique, contrast with the sparkle of necklaces, pink breasts and lips, sculpting the bodies of two young women, whilst preserving their bewitching mystery. For Louis Chaumeil, the author of Van Dongen. L'homme et l'artiste - La vie et l'œuvre (1967), Van Dongen’s personality was “dominated by a passion for life and a passion for painting under the sensual impulse of instinct”. This description fully captures the artist’s practice, as he aspired towards “an ardent life with women for divinity”.  (via: Sotheby’s)

March 19 2018

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Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas

At The Met Fifth Avenue February 28–May 28, 2018

Description and images via The Met:  “This landmark exhibition of luxury arts of the Incas, the Aztecs, and their predecessors traces the emergence and florescence of goldworking in the ancient Americas, from its earliest appearance in the Andes to its later developments farther north in Central America and Mexico. In the ancient Americas, metalworking developed in the context of ritual and regalia, rather than for tools, weapons, or currency. Golden Kingdoms reveals the distinctive ways ancient Americans used not only metals, but also jade, shell, and feathers—materials often considered more valuable than gold. Bringing together newly discovered archaeological finds and masterpieces from major museums in Latin America, Europe, and the United States, this exhibition casts new light on these ancient civilizations and their place within world history.

Golden Kingdoms focuses on specific places and times—crucibles of innovation, moments of exceptional achievement in the arts—to explore how materials were selected and transformed, imbued with meaning, and deployed in the most important rituals of their time. This unprecedented exhibition features more than 300 works from 52 lenders in 12 countries.”

Artemis: see in lightbox for individual titles and other information. Interesting exhibit… colors, textures, history and craftsmanship. Imagine going back and seeing these in use… the bat nose ornament, the serpent labret and the Red Queen Mask… great visual. :)   Also an interesting article on the Red Queen. HERE

March 10 2018

March 06 2018

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Kedar Ragini: Folio from a ragamala series (Garland of Musical Modes)

Artist:  Ruknuddin (active late 17th century)

Date: ca. 1690–95

Culture: India (Bikaner, Rajasthan)

Medium: Opaque watercolor and ink on paper

Image: 6 in. × 4 11/16 in. (15.2 × 11.9 cm)
Sheet: 10 1/8 × 7 ¼ in. (25.7 × 18.4 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Findlay, 1978

Accession Number: 1978.540.2 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:  "The artist Ruknuddin has combined creatively a number of ragamala texts to make this evocative masterpiece. Following artistic precedent and the texts, he shows an ascetic “in penance, adorned, gray [with ashes]” listening to a disciple, who is described as “a young man beauteous in every limb,” playing the rudra vina. Another ragamala text tells us the disciple is “an ascetic, whose mind is drowned in meditation on Shiva … crowned by the white moon.”

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Ragamala. ‘Sindhuri Ragini’ Girls Swimming, painted on paper, Pahari School, Guler Style, 1790 

Museum number:  1971,0405,0.1 - The British Museum

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Lady Writing on a Leaf, Pahari school, Kangra India, 1700, Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya  - translation: ‘King Shivaji Museum’, CSMVS formerly named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India)

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Ladies Bathing in a Garden, miniature, Bharat, Punjab Hills, Guler, India               

Collection: Artworld: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts       

Date: 1750-1775 CE       

Description: A lady sits on the edge of a lotus pool listening to her confidante while three of the their companions sport in the water. In the background, a maid fans the bed in a thatched pavilion near a row of trees. The picture is framed in an oval with white spandrels.       

Description Source Robert Skelton. In: Steven Hooper (ed.). 1997. Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.                 

Id Number Current Accession 874                

Measurements 85 x 155 x 1 mm                 

“This theme of ladies bathing appears to have been popular among Guler artists, whose naturalistic treatment of the female form owes much to Mughal painting. In the present example this influence is transcended by the idealisation and graceful charm of the principal figure.

An early version of the composition, dominated by the oblique angle of the pool’s edge, is found in a painting from an album of Shah Jahan’s reign in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (MS 7B, no. 38), which also includes a prototype of the detail of the girl shown splashing her companion in the foreground. A more developed version of the basic compositional structure by a Guler artist is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Archer, 1973: II: 110, no. 42). The two principal figures stem from the same design as a painting in the Punjab Museum (Khandalavala, 1958, study supplement no. 127; see also supplement no. 218 for another version of the general composition).”   Source Robert Skelton. In: Steven Hooper (ed.). 1997. Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.   Rights Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 2002.  All Rights reserved

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An elegant youth seated on a day-bed holding a sitar and smoking a huqqa, Rajasthan, Bikaner, first half 18th century, gouache with gold on paper (sotheby’s) 

March 05 2018

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Coffin and Cover of Princess Mayet

Princess Mayet, a wife of King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, the founder of the Middle Kingdom and a great conqueror, died very young. As was typical in the Middle Kingdom, her coffin is rectangular with a flat cover. The cover has a single line of painted inscription, an offering formula, down the center. A similar formula appears on the sides of the coffin. A pair of magical eyes painted at the end on one long side allows the deceased to see when the priest makes offerings.

MEDIUM Wood, pigment
Place Excavated: Thebes (Deir el Bahri)
DATES ca. 2008-1957 B.C.E.
PERIOD Middle Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 16 15/16 x 15 ½ x 71 ¾ in. (43 x 39.4 x 182.2 cm)  
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Brooklyn Museum

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Stela of Senres and Hormose

Both this funerary stela and the adjacent one, illustrate a popular Dynasty 18 type. The rounded top represents the sun’s path across the dome of the sky. A pair of wedjat-eyes—symbols of the sun and moon as well as of wholeness—frame a shen-ring, representing the sun’s universal, cyclical course. The stela’s owner Senres is shown sniffing a lotus, an emblem of eternal rebirth, while accepting food offerings. Senres’s wife, Hormes, is depicted grasping his arm in a gesture of intimacy. The offering prayer below ends by stating that Hormes commissioned this stela for her husband.

MEDIUM Limestone
Place Made: Egypt
DATES ca. 1539-1425 B.C.E.
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 16 7/8 x 8 5/16 x 1 5/8 in. (42.9 x 21.1 x 4.2 cm)  
CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
Brooklyn Museum

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