Thoughts

Emily Carr, Hundreds and Thousands

“I was working on a big totem with heavy woods behind. How badly I want that nameless thing! First there must be an idea, a feeling, or whatever you want to call it, the something that interested or inspired you sufficiently to make you desire to express it…Then you must discover the pervading direction, the pervading rhythm, the dominant, recurring forms, the dominant colour, but always the thing must be top in your thoughts.  Everything must lead up to it, clothe it, feed it, balance it, tenderly fold it, till it reveals itself in all the beauty of its ideas.”

August 9, 2017

St. John the Baptist by Leonardo da Vinci

St. John the Baptist was painted by Leonardo da Vinci during 1513 to 1516, when the High Renaissance was metamorphosing into Mannerism, it is believed to be his last painting. This is an oil painting on walnut wood. The original size of the work was 69×57 cm. It is now exhibited at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.

The pointing gesture of St. John toward the heavens suggests the importance of salvation through baptism that John the Baptist represents. The work is often quoted by later painters, especially those in the late Renaissance and Mannerist schools. The inclusion of a gesture similar to John’s would increase the importance of a work with a religious conceit.

Many people are critical of this work, finding it a disturbing representation of a character normally portrayed as gaunt and fiery, living in a desert and surviving on a diet of locusts and honey. In Leonardo’s painting St. John seems almost to be a hermaphrodite. He has a womanish arm bent across his breast, his finger raised towards heaven, and that same enigmatic smile so admired on the face of Mona Lisa, a smile which can be seen in other Leonardo paintings like that of St. Anne. His face is almost faun-like and framed by a glorious cascade of curls. The finger pointed towards heaven was to appear quite often in Leonardo’s work (the Burlington House cartoon is another example) and denotes the coming of Christ.

Leonardo was aware of the inherent dangers of this system. Earlier in his notes he warned that a figure will not be discerned against a dark background and will not appear to be detached from it. From a distance nothing will be visible but the illuminated parts. However, in the shadows of the body of St John the Baptist, Leonardo has retained just enough light for us to be able to comprehend his form fully. As in the moon, even the dark areas of his figure retain a slight glimmer of reflected radiance.

This is the last known major work in Leonardo’s hand. The figure’s haunting beauty comes from the ambiguity of its sexual identity. The luminous face seems to be an emanation of the darkness that completely envelops it. The mysterious gesture of the raised arm with upward-pointing finger is not just of religious but probably also of esoteric significance.

February 27, 2017

Thy Hand is in This Design

That I must know him…
For I am beguiled of this man, this Robin Goodfellow, this Puck,
Who stirs my heart with dreams of youth and beauty,
And in so doing, must transform my sanity and comfort.
Thy hand is in this design…
That I must feel and know the feeling of myself again,
This time unfettered by the fear of a heart laid bare
And made safe beneath the layers of subterfuge and guile.
I was protected and guarded against this temptation.
It was not my intent to admit him in.
And yet my senses are filled with him-
He has taken residence within my heart-
an unwelcome yet delicious boarder
of dark mystery and feeling.
Thy hand is in this design…
For it was not my plan to be entranced.
I am bewitched and must look upon his face
and know the beauty there within.
What has Thou done to me at this middle hour of my life?
To what purpose am I torn apart
and destined to look again at the contents of my heart?
There is folly here and I will not a fool be made.
Yet my heart says trust- that in this design,
I might know Thy will for me.
Lead me forth from this summer’s dream
that I might awaken and know the truth of me.

February 27, 2017

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – The Brothers Karamazov

February 27, 2017

Most Expensive Paintings in the World



PABLO PICASSO

Femme aux Bras Croisés (Woman with Folded Arms), 1902

Sold for $55 million in 2000



VINCENT VAN GOGH

A Wheatfield with Cypresses, 1889

Sold for $57 million in 1993



KAZIMIR MALEVICH

Suprematist Composition, 1916

Sold for $60 million in 2008



PAUL CÉZANNE

Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier, 1894

Sold for $60.5 million in 1999



WILLEM DE KOONING

Police Gazette, 1955

Sold for $63.5 million in 2006



VINCENT VAN GOGH

Portrait de l’artiste sans barbe (Self-portrait without beard), 1889

Sold for $71.5 million in 1998



ANDY WARHOL

Green Car Crash, 1963

Sold for $71.7 million in 2007



MARK ROTHKO

White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950

Sold for $72.8 million in 2007



PETER PAUL RUBENS

Massacre of the Innocents, 1611

Sold for $76.7 million in 2002



PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR

Bal du moulin de la Galette (Dance at Le moulin de la Galette), 1876

Sold for $78.1 million in 1990



JASPER JOHNS

False Start, 1959

Sold for $80 million in 2006



CLAUDE MONET

Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (Water Lily Pond), 1919

Sold for $80.5 million in 2008



VINCENT VAN GOGH

Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890

Sold for $82.5 million in 1990



FRANCIS BACON

Triptych, 1976

Sold for $86.3 million in 2008



GUSTAV KLIMT

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912

Sold for $87.9 million in 2006



PABLO PICASSO

Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat), 1941

Sold for $95.2 million in 2006



PABLO PICASSO

Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe), 1905

Sold for $104.2 million in 2004



PABLO PICASSO

Nude, Green Leaves And Bust

Sold for $106 million in New York in 2012



EDVARD MUNCH

The Scream

Sold for $119.9 million Sotheby’s in New York in 2012



GUSTAV KLIMT

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907

Sold for $135 million in 2006



WILLEM DE KOONING

Woman III, 1953

Sold for $137.5 million in 2006



JACKSON POLLOCK

No. 5, 1948

Sold for $140 million in 2006



PABLO PICASSO

Le Rêve, 1932

Sold for $155 million in 2013



PABLO PICASSO

Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”), 1955

Sold for $179 million in 2015



MARK ROTHKO

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red), 1951

Sold for $186 million in 2014



PAUL CÉZANNE

The Card Players, 1892

Sold for $272 million in 2011



PAUL GAUGUIN

Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?), 1892

Sold for $300 million in 2015

February 27, 2017

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