Wandering in Woodacre – 30 August 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 30 August 1852 – J. Alden Weir, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Red Bridge”; “Afternoon by the Pond”; “Midday”; “The Lace Maker”; “The Letter”; “On the Shore.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 August 1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, an English novelist, playwright, and author of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.”

Some quotes from the work of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley:

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

“How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.”
“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
“The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”

Below – Richard Rothwell: “Portrait of Mary Shelley”; Shelley’s masterpiece.

This Date in Art History: Born 30 August 1852 – J. Alden Weir, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Winter Landscape with Stream”; “Lengthening Shadows”; “Silver Chalice, Japanese Bronze and Red Tapir”; “In the Livingroom”; “The Grey Trellis”; “Face Reflected in a Mirror.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 30 August 1935 – Henri Barbusse, a French novelist, journalist and author of “Under Fire: The Story of a Squad” and “Hell.”

Some quotes from the work of Henri Barbusse:

“These are not soldiers, these are men. They are not adventurers or warriors, designed for human butchery – as butchers or cattle. They are the ploughmen or workers that one recognizes even in their uniforms. They are uprooted civilians. They are ready, waiting for the signal for death or murder, but when you examine their faces between the vertical ranks of bayonets, they are nothing but men.”
“Two armies fighting each other are like one big army committing suicide.”
“When you learn, or see it in person, of the death of one of those who waged war next to you and who lived exactly the same way as you, before you even understand you feel a blow to the heart. It is as if you suddenly learned that you yourself have been annihilated. The pain comes only after a while.”
“I am more sensitive than other people. Things that other people would not notice awaken a distinct echo in me, and in such moments of lucidity, when I look at myself, I see that I am alone, all alone, all alone.”
“You will tell me the quiet story of your day’s work, without any object except to give me your thoughts and your life. You will speak of your childhood memories. I shall not understand them very well because you will be able to give me, perforce, only insufficient details, but I shall love your sweet strange language.”
“I keep remembering — I keep remembering. My heart has no pity on me.”

This Date in Art History: Born 30 August 1907 – Leonor Fini, an Argentinian painter and illustrator.

Below – “Ideal Life”; “Girl Friends”; “Memoire des fragments passes”; “Retour de voyage II”; “Autoritratto”; “Dans la tour (In the Tower)/Self-Portrait of Leonor Fini with Constantin Jelensk.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 30 August 2013 – Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet, playwright, translator, and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.

by Seamus Heaney

for Philip Hobsbaum

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.

Below – Kovacs Anna Brigitta: “Blackberries”

Contemporary American Art – Toby Tover

Below – “Ladies Swim Team”; “Passive Seduction”; “Reading of the Will”; “Kiki”; “Blooming Again”; “Yellow Head.”

Musings in Summer: Lady Sarashina (Japanese, 1009-1059): Part I of II.

“One bright moonlit night, when I was on a journey and staying in a house by a bamboo grove, I awoke to the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind. As I lay there, unable to go back to sleep, I wrote the poem,

Night after night I lie awake,
Listening to the rustle of the bamboo leaves,
And a strange sadness fills my heart.” – From “As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams,” translated by Ivan Morris.

Below – Christine Alford: “Bamboo in the breeze”

Contemporary Colombian Art – Jesus Leguizamo

Below – “Sublimation”; “Sigma”; Untitled; “The Bather”; “Vidya”; “The Therapy.”

Musings in Summer: Lady Sarashina (Japanese, 1009-1059): Part II of II.

“In the beginning of the Third Month I went to a secluded part of the Western Hills where not a soul was to be seen and where everything was peacefully shrouded in mist. There was nothing but the mass of flowers that bloomed desolately on the hillside, and I wrote this poem,

Here they grow in mountain depths
Far from any dwelling place,
And no one comes to view their blooms.” – From “As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams,” translated by Ivan Morris.

Below – Andrii Kutsachenko: “Flowers in the mountains”

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