Wednesday, March 30, 2016


The sleep of reason produces monsters

March 30, 1746. Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 - 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.

The Met Museum


Goya Galleries, 2nd and 3rd of May ©Museo Nacional del Prado. 
Goya by Robert Hughes

Monday, March 28, 2016

James Norton and Grantchester

I have missed this show (and not only for the two gorgeous leads). It took guts to start the second season with their lead being accused of rape! Plus the writers showed us how the parson actually benefits from all his privilege - the very privilege the show likes to critique in others - and how that weighs on him. Hard to believe that he's the only minister in post-WW II Britain that was bothered by these questions but oh well.. He's the hero.

First the police arrested him after a lovely day at the stream with friends, asked him a few questions, believed his denials without any collaborating proof (at the time) and let him go. Because the word of a vicar is worth its weight in gold.

At this point in the story, only only Sidney cared enough to ask why Abigail would lie about sleeping with a vicar.

But she wasn't lying. It just wasn't "our hero." So the church steps in to protect the guilty and only Sidney speaks out for the innocent. Plus ca meme...

Their brutal look at the tragedy caused by womens' (girls') lack of information about sex, about lack of access to both contraception and abortion combined with male privilege caused these tragedies was grim and to the point - more than I would have expected from Sunday night TV. But the onus was still on the 15 year old girl to figure out how to protect herself, not on the guilty vicar to at least use a condom.

Mrs. Maguire is the one who was astute enough to realize that Abigail was pregnant and trying to get rid of it, just from seeing a picture of the turpentine. There's a back story here that we don't know about but how lovely and surprising to see her display such compassion.

How delicious that the new season started with Sidney and Geordie stripping to go swimming. It's so refreshing to see a show objectifying the men and both are quite eye candy, without being the steroid pumped up models that Hollywood pushes. And James Norton remains deliciously hot.

Geordie: Man cannot live by bread alone...if you get my meaning, Sidney.
Sidney: I never fail to get your meaning, Geordie.

A bit of nice repartee.  Phil: Nice ass on that one, for a secretary.
Margaret: Hearing's not too bad, either.

and a moment of tortured conscience: Sidney: I let her down.
Geordie: Only you would think that.

Sydney is a new kind of hero. Instead of being angry with Abigail or defensive or offended, he feels guilty that he didn't do more to help her when she was clearly in need. There is also an undertone of incest, played carefully so as not to cheapen the story, but it's there.

Sidney: Why would you presume that I'm innocent?
Archdeacon: The girl was a liar.
Sidney: Shouldn't we wonder why?

His concern for the young victim sets him off from everyone in the show. But then, the point of good writing is to have a believable hero, even if his purity seems a bit unreal compared to the rest of the cast of characters and their selfish actions.

Tommy: You won't tell my mum, will you?
Sidney: Tell her what? You found it on the meadows.

Sidney is portrayed as such an innocent and the beauty of Norton's portrayal is that we believe him. As does poor Tommy.

Margaret: It wouldn't do to tell them most of those girls didn't want their photographs taken, would it?

Sam: You've broken confidences.
Sidney: Only when I thought it necessary.
Sam: I can't break the rules like you do.
Sidney: I don't break the rules.

Torturing Gary was horrible to watch but probably historically accurate. Geordie just sitting there as Phil forced water down Gary's throat was sickening and a betray of Sidney's trust in Geordie.

Enough with the Sidney's and Amanda not-an-affair. She's married and as a vicar and "our hero" he's got to get over her and move on. She is not for him and means nothing but trouble. I have the books but haven't read far enough to see how this is resolved -- if it is resolved.

Do other viewers tune in more for the friendship between the two charismatic leads? However you take your tea (with or without milk and all the rituals involved with tea), it's one of the few shows on TV worth watching, IMHO, as always.

Mr Selfridge followed Granchester and I hope we will finally see the end of the rather annoying show and it's more than annoying main character. However, the real Selfridge did rather go off the rails at the end and it will be interesting to see if the show follows his real history. 
Globe and Mail Review

Top Dog on the show

Friday, March 25, 2016

'Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty' at MoMA/NY

With the major exhibition Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, The Museum of Modern Art brings new focus to Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas’s (French, 1834–1917) extraordinary and rarely seen monotypes and their impact on his wider practice. On view March 26 through July 24, 2016, it is the first exhibition in the U.S. in nearly 50 years to examine these radical, innovative works—and MoMA's first monographic exhibition of the artist.

Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty features approximately 120 monotypes along with some 60 related works, including paintings, drawings, pastels, sketchbooks, and prints. Organized by Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints; with Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator; and Heidi Hirschl, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art; and Richard Kendall, independent art historian and curator. MoMA is the sole venue for the exhibition.

A towering figure in 19th-century art, Degas is best known as a painter and chronicler of the ballet. Yet his work as a printmaker reveals the true extent of his restless creativity, as he mixed techniques with abandon in his studio and shared recipes with colleagues for producing unconventional effects. The monotype process involves drawing in black ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press, typically resulting in a single print. Captivated by the medium’s potential, Degas made more than 300 monotypes during two discrete bursts of activity, from the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s, and again during the early 1890s.

Taking the medium to new and radical ends, Degas abandoned the academic drawing of his youth, inventing a new repertoire of mark-making that included wiping, scraping, scratching, fingerprinting, and rendering via removal. Enigmatic and mutable forms, luminous passages emerging from deep blackness, and a heightened sense of tactility characterize the resulting works. The freedom Degas found in such techniques is an important theme of the exhibition, and the presentation links his efforts in monotype—the way he moves the printer’s ink with ease across the slick metal plate, resulting in a more liberated form of description—to works in other mediums.

Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty unfolds chronologically, from Degas’s introduction to monotype in the 1870s through his enthusiastic embrace of the medium. The exhibition offers a sense of his immersion, discoveries, experiments, and innovations, and investigates the broader consequences of his engagement with monotype.

Modern Life
For Degas, who was always searching for new means to describe new subjects, monotype proved to be the perfect medium to capture the essential features of modern urban life. The exhibition highlights Degas’s views of passersby on city streets, their faces blurred (Heads of a Man and a Woman, c. 1877–80), and bustling street scenes as figures cross paths (On the Street, 1876–77), along with signs of the era’s industry and commerce (Factory Smoke, 1877–79), the repetitive and arduous labor of Ironing Women (c. 1877–79), and the costumes of women lingering scandalously solo at cafés (Young Woman in a Café, c. 1877).

Of Degas’s urban subjects in monotype, it was the ballet and the café concert that offered the perfect melding of subject and means. In these works, Degas focused on fundamental aspects of the modern experience in an era of expanded entertainment, illumination, and motion. Degas once said that drawing dancers was just “a pretext for rendering movement,” a pictorial challenge that monotype gave him the means to address. While Degas’s images of the ballet take place on the stage as dancers leap into the air, as seen in Pas battu (c. 1879), they reflect the velocity and tempo of city life.

For late-19th-century urban dwellers experiencing the advent of 24-hour lighting, the city was always illuminated—and always in motion. Degas used the technical possibilities of the monotype to foreground the lighting of the ballet and café concert—gaslight and the new electric light. In works like Dancer Onstage with a Bouquet (c. 1876) or Café Singer (c. 1877–78), footlights transform the performer’s body, catching the translucency of tutus or turning faces into masks. In his café scenes, lighting is endlessly refracted in the theater’s mirrors and gilded architecture, creating an enchanted spectacle.

Backstage at the Ballet and in the Brothel
Degas used small-scale plates to portray the backstage at the ballet and the interiors of brothels in monotype. The exhibition includes a group of illustrations for The Cardinal Family, a collection of stories about the amorous adventures of two young ballerinas, written by Degas’s friend Ludovic Halévy. Much of the action takes place backstage or in the theater’s wings, and Degas depicts the flurry and flux of backstage spaces by deploying gestural marks and smudges to suggest hustle and bustle, reflections in mirrors, and kaleidoscopic swirls of legs and arms, and by cropping bodies with the plate’s edge to imply motion. Seen together, these monotypes show Degas’s ever-active eye shifting from long views to close-ups, focusing on the empty centers of waiting rooms, and pressing close to the dancers as if taking on the vantage point of their male admirers. Although Degas’s illustrations were not used for the book’s initial publication, they demonstrate that narrative was a springboard for experimentation.

Degas’s monotypes depicting prostitutes in brothel interiors are also on view in the exhibition—including several owned by Pablo Picasso—to explore how and why Degas treated this subject in monotype. For Degas, monotype served this subject in key ways: his gestural marks convey a space of flux and financial exchange, and his free brushwork encouraged caricature. The addition of pastel on some monotypes allowed Degas to further describe these scenes. Degas’s Two Young Girls and Waiting for the Client (both c. 1877–79) portray women sitting unselfconsciously and inelegantly, apparently unconcerned about prospective clients, who in contrast often appear unsure of themselves, apprehensively looking in from the margins.

Degas’s most daring application of monotype is in his depictions of female bathers in intimate settings. In these works, he deploys radical compositional and technical innovation, portraying private acts of washing and grooming and dramatically illuminating bodies and surroundings. Degas contorted these bathers into awkward, unusual, and seemingly impossible poses. Degas’s renderings are tactile, rough, and unresolved, with ambiguous contours blurring distinctions between body and environment.

Degas created these images primarily by subtraction—laying down a curtain of ink on the plate, he drew by removal, conjuring an image out of darkness by wiping the ink away with a process that has come to be known as the “dark-field” technique. Broadening his tool kit, he used brushes with dry, hardened bristles to create striated patterns, a hard-pointed implement to incise into the ink, sponges or cloths to dab or smoothly move the ink around, his hands to sculpt his subjects, his thumb and palm prints to impress texture, and his fingernails for contour, all of which can be seen in The Fireside (c. 1880–85), one of Degas’s largest monotypes. In focusing on how Degas uses monotype, the exhibition calls attention to the way this medium allows the artist to access and express private moments in a deeply visceral way.

After a hiatus of several years, Degas returned to producing monotypes in 1890. Following an excursion though the Burgundy region of France, Degas sought to capture the experience of the landscape. Using oil paint instead of black printer’s ink, he created a series of abstract landscapes—exemplified by MoMA’s Forest in the Mountains (c. 1890)—that are among the most radical works of their time. Inspired by experience or imagination, these landscapes allude to the natural world or conjure meteorological effects, while undermining any sense of the earth’s solidity and stability.

The use of oil paint in monotype was a key innovation, introducing color as well as an element of unpredictability: the fluid paint ran under the pressure of the press, and Degas experimented with rollers, cloths, fingerprints, and coarse wiping. On top of these washes of color, Degas often added pastel for emphasis—as seen in his 1892 Landscape with Rocks (Paysage avec rochers)—highlighting particular geologic formations or adding in hedges or trees, resolving his indistinct compositions into landscapes that took familiar and more recognizable form.

Degas exhibited a group of these works at a Paris gallery in 1892, where they were enthusiastically received as examples of Symbolism, a trend in art and literature of that time, which rejected the industrialized world and its faith in scientific progress in favor of the fantastic, mystical, and dreamlike.

The exhibition shows how Degas’s monotype practice impacted his works in other mediums. Degas’s experiments with the essential qualities of monotype—repetition and transformation, mirroring and reversal, tone and tactility—enriched his work in drawing and painting. Understanding that something singular can spark multiple variations and that an image can always be reworked, revised, and recrafted, his approach—especially in his last decades—was characterized by his unceasing pursuit and modification of key subjects across mediums.

Degas traced, inverted, and recombined figures into different arrangements, applying pastel or charcoal on paper, or layering oil paint on canvas to further transform his subjects. The resulting chains of images representing ballerinas and bathers demonstrate how Degas saw iteration as an end in itself rather than a series of steps toward something final or finished. The lessons of monotype also encouraged a new freedom, leading to a more liberated handling of charcoal, pastel, and oil paint and the visible presence of fingerprints. Degas also incorporated many compositional strategies first seen in his dark-field bathers, using his own fingerprints to render figures or their environments and depicting the body in unusual and seemingly impossible positions. The layered washes of the landscape monotypes in particular provoked a productive reliance on tone, resulting in ambiguous and amorphous grounds.

In his monotypes, Degas is at his most modern, capturing the spirit of urban life, depicting the body in daring ways, liberating drawing from tradition, and engaging the possibilities of abstraction. Whether focused on method or theme, Degas’s insistent searching resulted in what the poet Stéphane Mallarmé saw as “a strange new beauty.” Reflecting a spirit of relentless invention and restless improvisation, a deep curiosity about the behavior of materials, a penetrating eye, an affinity for strategies of repetition and seriality, and an incisive understanding of the history of art, Degas’s efforts in monotype not only bridge the fin de siècle, but look forward to developments in the 20th century and beyond.

 All images courtesy of MoMA/NY
Article from the WSJ

MoMA curator Jodi Hauptman and conservator Karl Buchberg explore Degas’s monotype process with printmakers Andrew Mockler and Jennifer Marshall of Jungle Press Editions. Degas's rarely seen monotypes will be on view in the exhibition “Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty,” which opens at MoMA on March 26. Learn more about the exhibition : Film:

NY Times

Thursday, March 24, 2016

William Morris

William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role in propagating the early socialist movement in Britain.

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few." William Morris,

Life in symmetry

At the V& A

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Anthony van Dyck born today in 1599

March 22, 1599. Sir Anthony van Dyck (22 March 1599 - 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draftsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. In this image: Auction workers pose for photographers as they hold a portrait made by Anthony van Dyck, during a pre-auction photo-op for the 'Old Master Paintings and Early British Paintings, 'Drawings & Watercolors' sale in Sotheby's auction house in central London, Friday July 3, 2009.

National Gallery of Art
Art Cyclopedia 
Olga's Gallery

Monday, March 21, 2016

5a% of the world but only 3-5% of the credit

51% of artists are women—but make up only 3–5% of major collections? respond:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SF March Madness - Corndogs and St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

Funcheap’s National Corn Dog Day Festival
Saturday, March 19, 2016 | Noon to 8pm
SoMa Food Park, 428 11th St, SF$5 cover includes a complimentary PBR or bottled water upon entrance

Creative Corn Dog specials from an all-star lineup of food trucks
The biggest “National Corn Dog Day” event in the country.
Live Ska and Reggae from the Stu Tails
PBR specials all day long: $3 16oz cans and 5 for $13
PBR swag giveaways at the Funcheap table
Corn dog eating competition around 3pm: Corn Dogs provided by Sticks!
Cornhole tournament: signup at Funcheap table, starts at 1pm, MAX 8-teams, $5 per team, winner take all and a bucket of PBR
NCAA “March Madness” Tourney action on TV all day
Warriors vs. Spurs at 5:30pm
Carnival games like skee-ball, whack-a-mole and more
Rain or Shine – lots of covered seating with heat lamps
Corn Dog Day 2016 | Funcheap’s Outdoor Festival2016 Corn Dog Day Lineup
Traditional corn dog food trucks & vendors along with inventive twists of the classic carnival food


Sticks: Gourmet Corn Dog Cart with a signature honey batter
Batter Up: Corn Dogs, Hot Dogs, and featuring the TriplePlay Corn Dog – 1/3 Louisiana Hot Link, 1/3 Chicken Apple Sausage and 1/3 Lemon chicken!
Steamin’ Burger: Corn Dogs and Corn Dog Bites
It’s All Gravy: Hand-dipped bacon wrapped Corn Dog with jalapeño cream cheese sauce
Bacon Bacon: Bacon macaroni and cheese Corn Dog Balls with honey-bacon jam drizzle!
No No Burger: Vegan Corn Dogs
Curry Up Now: Sexy Dogs topped with curryLineup subject to change. More vendors coming soon!
Odang Udon: Japanese Corn Dog and handmade Udon bowls
The Tatery: Tator Tot Corn Dog

Adam’s Grub Truck: Fusion sandwiches
Firetrail PIzza: Wood-fired pizzas
Nucha Empanadas: Argentine Empanad

St. Paddy’s Day Block Parties
Frolic in the sun, drink a cold brew and dance a jig with other lads & lassies.

Put on your finest green duds and follow the rainbow to find your pot of gold pint of beer at one of San Francisco’s annual St. Paddy’s block parties. Frolic in the sun, drink a cold brew and dance a jig with lads and lassies at the Irish Bank, the Royal Exchange and Aventine’s Tavern.

2016 Irish Madness at the Park: St. Patrick’s Weekend Celebration | SoMa
Get out your green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Funcheap. Enjoy a 4-day celebration of Irish beer specials and March Madness on 10+ BIG screen TVs.
Thursday to Sunday, March 17 to March 20 ,2016
– 11 am to 9 pm (closes at 5 pm on Sunday)
SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St., SF
FREE on Thursday, Friday and Sunday with Facebook RSVP
$5 cover on Saturday‘s Corn Dog Day Celebration includes a complimentary PBR or bottled water upon entrance

Catch the first two rounds of the NCAA March Madness hoops action and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all weekend long. Cheer on your picks while grubbing from some of the best food trucks in the Bay Area.

Event Details

2016 St. Patrick’s Day 10-Hour Free Music Festival | SF Irish Cultural Center

The United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco hosts a full day of traditional Irish music and pub classics from 11:30 am to 10 pm on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016.

This hub of Irish activity also has a pub onsite and will be selling traditional Irish food and drinks.

6th Annual Irish Caroling Extravaganza | Union Square
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016, the Jerk Church singers will take over the streets once again. They will start in Union Square at 5 pm (as is their tradition) and then take to the streets and bars of SF to serenade the revelers.
Jerk Church is a creative musical learning community for musicians and non-musicians alike. They gather each Sunday to break bread, share a cup and a song.

Images and info courtesy of Fun Cheap

St. Patrick's Week events in the Castro (courtesy of Hoodline). 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's raining, it's pouring... visit a museum

It's raining, it's pouring. You should head indoors. San Francisco's Must-See Museums:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

'Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective' at the de Young

"A garden is probably the most spiritual and purest of joys. It's a communion with nature and beauty in the most simple and fundamental form," said Oscar de la Renta, shortly before he passed, in 2014. Himself a talented gardener, the designer was beloved for his exceptional floral prints. Now open at the de Young Museum, Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, is a full-bloom tribute to the dazzling career of a man who truly celebrated life. (from 7x7)."

Cynic that I am, I would add that he celebrated life among and for the wealthy and made himself very rich doing so. The exhibit celebrates the thin, the famous and those with deep, deep pocketbooks. The Chairwoman of the Board of the FAMSF was ecstatic. Why have an exhibit of serious art when you can show couture for wealthy women?

Elaine de Kooning

March 12, 1918. Elaine de Kooning (March 12, 1918/1920 - February 1, 1989) was an Abstract Expressionist, Figurative Expressionist painter in the post-World War II era and editorial associate for Art News magazine. On December 9, 1943, she married artist Willem de Kooning, who was a highly influential artist in the Abstract Expressionism movement. In this image: Members of the media and Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum staff are surrounded by portraits of presidents including Warren Harding, left, by Margaret Lindsay Williams, Dwight D. Eisenhower, third from right, by Thomas Edgar Stephens, John F. Kennedy, second from right, by Elaine de Kooning, and photographs of Kennedy by George Thames, as they tour the exhibit at the Carter Museum Thursday, Feb. 13, 2003.

Portrait of Jack Kennedy

Elaine de Kooning was probably born 30 years too early. The New York painter, who died in 1989 at age 70, had a surfeit of talents. She was both a gifted figurative painter and a committed Abstract Expressionist, as seen in the current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She was also both femme fatale and proto-feminist, a free thinker, a writer, a respected critic, a popular friend and beloved teacher.
Read more:

Oral history:

For Artist Elaine De Kooning, Painting Was A Verb, Not A ...… May 13, 2015 - In New York City in the 1940s, painters Willemde Kooning and his wife, Elaine, were the people you wanted at your dinner party.

Too often women are deleted from art history for no good reason than they are female. If her sex wasn't known, I imagine the criticism would be less harsh, and people would look harder at her accomplishment instead of making venomous accusations and cruel comments.

The Art Story: 


“A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image” born in 1918

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Fish Wrap

Spring at the Asian Art Museum: A cornucopia of shows:

Download 1800 Fin de Siècle French Posters & Prints in High-Resolution: Iconic Works by Toulouse-Lautrec & Many More:

Whose Body by Dorothy Sayers - free on for now:

March horoscopes:

Could the Nefertiti Scan Be a Hoax — and Does that Matter?

Before you head home from work next Thursday, come join the Friends of the S.F. Maritime Museum Library for the March offering in our Captain Fred Klebingat Memorial Lecture Series -- Ship Portraits, by Friends board member James Shuttleworth. Thursday, March 17, 6 pm at the SF Maritime Museum Library, at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's Maritime Research Center, located on the third floor of Building E at Lower Fort Mason. SFPL.

Per the SF Chronicle, big name gallery comes to SF but there’s no word about what will happen to the galleries being misplaced

In a major move, prominent modern art dealers Larry Gagosian and John Berggruen are opening galleries side by side in old brick buildings across the street from the new Howard Street entrance to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Gagosian, an international name in modern and contemporary art, confirmed by phone that he has leased the storefront of Crown Point Press. Berggruen will take over a vacant space at the corner of Howard and Hawthorne streets, and will close his flagship gallery on Grant Avenue, which has anchored the downtown art district for 45 years.

Minnesota Street Project gallery space in the Dogpatch neighborhood opens and SFMOMA reopens at the end of April. Only four blocks from SF Muni and in a rather dodgy neighborhood. But oh well.. better than nothing.

Art and Politics:

A new exhibit of rare posters opens at the GLBT History Museum March 4. "Feminists to Feministas: Women of Color in Prints and Posters" contains 29 works of print art from the 1970s to today that visually trace the power of lesbians, bisexuals, and transwomen of color who rallied for sexual freedom and economic justice in the fight against racism, sexism, and imperialism. The exhibit runs through July 4 at the GLBT History Museum,

The distinctly political images defy conventional standards of femininity, speak out against legislative abuses that disproportionately affect communities of color,

GLBT Historical Society | (415) 777-5455 | 657 Mission Street #300 | San Francisco | CA | 94105

How the GOP morphed into Jabba the Hate: 

Weekend Cooking: 

CAAMFest Expands to Mission District: The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) launched CAAMFest with “Tyrus,” an intimate portrait of 105-year-old artist Tyrus Wong whose art has touched millions, most famously through Disney’s classic film, “Bambi." CAAMFest runs March 10-20, 2016. The 11-day festival is a celebration of film, music, food and digital media from the world’s most innovative Asian and Asian American artists. In addition to the Castro Theater, New People Cinema and New Parkway Theater (Oakland), CAAMFest is adding the Mission District’s Roxie Theater and Alamo Drafthouse to its slate of venues and neighborhoods.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bye bye to Downton

Downton Abbey is OVER - the only Victorian/Edwardian show on the networks! All the manners and other filler " The making of..." side shows, the BAFTA nonsense and the hype. Even a sweepstakes—Really? I stopped watching when they killed Matthew off (and don't write me about spoilers). That was years ago. That season wore out the last portions of my interest with it's ridiculous plot. She loves him not. NO. She loves him. He's dead. No he's alive. He's paralyzed. No, he walks - and faster than any Biblical miracle, Matthew walks, waltzes, proposes to Mary, gets married, fathers a child and is dead again. For real this time.The actor who played Matthew had no idea how he was able to come back from the dead and procreate. But it did give the show a wonderful excuse for a wedding dress.

The BAFTA awards were a gooey mush of over the top hype, although they were difficult to watch since they were broken up by pledge break after pledge break. Give me regular commercial breaks. Please. They take up less time.

 The best long running British show ever? To keep in the Victorian era, how about "Upstairs, Downstairs" which I never tired of, no matter how many seasons it ran - and it ended on a genuinely poignant moment. "The Duchess of Duke St." Or shall we mention other marvelous Masterpiece Theater shows - Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, the Jewel in the Crown. Downton was not in the same category.. but the dresses were gorgeous. And Maggie Smith was the very model of late Victorian womanhood with a quick quip for every occasion.

The recaps at the NY Times were delicious and Maggie Smith had the best part and the best dialogue of the whole show.

Posting a critique of this show on Face Book was quite illuminating. If you don't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a show, you have no reason to live. I was actually shocked at the insults and nasty comments; people seem to have forgotten how to analyze and reason their way through a TV show. I guess I should not have been surprised. Schools don't teach that anymore and people don't seem to have enough initiative to learn on their own:


 "The true of is but a shadow of the divine perfection." Michelangelo

Michelangelo was born on March 7th in 1475. 'The Entombment' can be seen in Room 8:

Michelangelo was born in 1475. Here are some of his beautiful drawings

"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." It's Michelangelo's BDay. 

Why it's pointless to compare the Old Masters market with Modern and contemporary  

Saturday, March 5, 2016


March 05, 1696. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (March 5, 1696 - March 27, 1770), also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice. He was prolific, and worked not only in Italy, but also in Germany and Spain. In this image: Two employees carry a rediscovered painting by Giambattista Tiepolo, titled 'Portrait of a lady as Flora', as they prepare to put it on display at Christie's auction house in London, Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. The painting lost for over 200 years and found in the attic of a French chateau is to be auctioned in a sale on Dec. 2, and is expected to fetch between GBP 700,000 to 900,000 pounds (USD 1.1 to 1.4 million; euro 836,000 to 1.1 million

Born into a wealthy and noble family in Venice, Giambattista Tiepolo was recognized by contemporaries throughout Europe as the greatest painter of large-scale decorative frescoes in the 1700s. He was admired for having brought fresco painting to new heights of technical virtuosity, illumination, and dramatic effect. Tiepolo possessed an imagination characterized by one of his contemporaries as "all spirit and fire.”

Apollo pursuing Daphne
A gifted storyteller, Tiepolo painted walls and ceilings with large, expansive scenes of intoxicating enchantment. In breath-taking visions of mythology and religion, the gods and saints inhabit light-filled skies. His ability to assimilate his predecessor and compatriot Paolo Veronese's use of color was so profound that his contemporaries named him Veronese redivio (a new Veronese).

Reynoldo enchanted by Armida
Tiepolo's commissions came from the old established families of Italy, religious orders, and the royal houses of Spain, Germany, Sweden, and Russia. His frescoes adorn palaces, churches, and villas, and his artistic legacy consists of some eight hundred paintings, 2,400 drawings, two sets of etchings, and acres of fresco. When Tiepolo died at the age of seventy-four, a Venetian diarist noted the "bitter loss" of "the most famous Venetian painter, truly the most renowned...well known in Europe and the most highly praised in his native land."

The Met
National Gallery of Art

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Let it rain

Add MS 36684 f. 154r @BLMedieval