Sentient in San Francisco – 29 September 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 29 September 1973 – W. H. Auden, an English-American poet, playwright, and critic.

“Musee des Beaux Arts”
by W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Below – Pieter Brueghel the Elder: “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”

Art for Autumn: Leo Matiz (Columbian, 1917-1998)

Below (all photographs) – “Frida Kahlo XI” (1945); “Palm Hats”; “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera IX” (1945)


For Your Information: 29 September is International Coffee Day in the United States.

French Art – Pierre Matisse (French, 1920-1989)

In the words of one writer, “Pierre was born to artist parents in Paris on February 1st, 1928. His father, Jean Matisse, was a sculptor, his mother, Louise Milhau, was a painter, sculptor and ceramist. He grew up immersed in the world of art, being the grandson of Henri Matisse. Pierre’s childhood involved the artistic life of Paris and the French Riviera. The Matisse family often moved, ‘entourage’ from one location to another, in France and Spain during his early years. He had the opportunity to meet and spend time among some of the most famous artists of this century, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Aristide Maillol, Jean Effel, Salvador Dali, Pierre Bonnard, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Fernand Leger, Maurice De Vlaminck and Auguste Lumière.”

Below – “Overture”; “L’Escalier D’Amour”; “Three Graces”; “Flowers for Her”; “Love in the Air”; “The Proposal.”


A Poem for Today

“Sudden Light”
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before,—
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turn’d so,
Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

Below – Three paintings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti featuring women he loved: “Regina Cordium” (Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall: model, muse, and wife; this painting is a marriage portrait of Siddall; her untimely death makes her the most likely candidate for being the subject of “Sudden Light”);“Lady Lilith” (Fanny Cornforth: model, muse, and mistress); “Prosperpine” (Jane Morris: model, muse, and mistress).

Chilean Art – Roberto Sebastian Matta (1911-2005)

In the words of one writer, “He studied architecture at the Universidad Catolica in Santiago. In 1933 Matta traveled to Paris and worked for two years as a draftsman in the Paris studio of famed architect Le Corbusier. While visiting his aunt in Madrid, he met Federico Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda. Neruda introduced Matta to Salvador Dali and Andre Breton. Impressed by Matta’s drawings, Breton invited him to join the Surrealist group in 1937. Influenced by his association with the Surrealists and by Marcel Duchamp’s theories of movement and process, Matta began to explore the realm of the subconscious and to develop an imagery of cosmic creation and destruction.”

Below – “Fog Gog Magog”; Hours of the Day Series, 8 A.M.”; “Hours of the Day Series, 8 P.M.”; “Hours of the Day Series, 10 P.M.”; “New View”; “Eld of the World.”


Worth a Thousand Words: Earth as seen from Mars. A little left of center in the image, Earth is the brightest point of light in the Martian night sky.

This Date in Art History: Died 29 September 2014 – Luis Nishizawa, a Mexican artist known for his landscape work which often shows both Japanese and Mexican influence.

Below – “Paisaje, Iztaccihuatl”; “Atardecer”; “Valle del Tepozteco”; Untitled Landscape; “Landscape”; “Iztaccihuatl.”


A Poem for Today

“Barter”
by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Below – Sangita Patil: “Woman on the Beach”


American Art – Syd Solomon (1917-2004)

In the words of one writer, “Syd Solomon (July 12, 1917 – January 28, 2004) was an American abstract artist. He spent most of his time in his homes in both East Hampton, NY and Sarasota, Florida which influenced many of his paintings. His works have been featured at The Guggenheim, The Whitney, Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Wadsworth Athenaeum and several others.”

Below – “Cloudcall”; “Meeting”; “Coasturn”; “Islandscape”; “Yellowrote”; “Summer Spell.”

This entry was posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply