Rodin – Rilke – Hofmannsthal. Man and His Genius

Exhibition: Rodin – Rilke – Hofmannsthal.  Man and His Genius

Date: Nov 17, 2017 − Mar 18, 2018

Venue: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Balzac, Nude Study C, 1892-1893. Bronze, 127 x 56 x 62.2 cm.
Musée Rodin, Paris.

“Writers work with words, sculptors with actions.“

“The hero is he who is immovably centered.”

Rodin was solitary before he was famous. And fame, when it arrived, made him perhaps even more solitary. For in the end, fame is no more than the sum of all the misunderstandings that gather around a new name. There are many of these around Rodin, and clarifying them would be a long, arduous, and ultimately unnecessary task. They surround the name, but not the work, which far exceeds the resonance of the name, and which has become nameless, as a great plain is nameless, or a sea, which may bear a name in maps, in books, and among people, but which is in reality just vastness, movement, and depth.

The Gates of Hell (detail), 1880-1917. Bronze. Musée Rodin , Paris.

The work of which we speak here has been growing for years. It grows every day like a forest, never losing an hour. Passing among its countless mani festations, we are overcome by the richness of discovery and invention, and we can’t help but marvel at the pair of hands from which this world has grown. We remember how small human hands are, how quickly they tire and how little time is given to them to create. We long to see these hands, which have lived the lives of hundreds of hands, of a nation of hands that rose before dawn to brave the long path of this work. We wonder whose hands these are. Who is this man?

The Burghers of Calais, 1889. Plaster, 217 x 255 x 177 cm. Musée Rodin , Paris.

His life is one of those that resists being made into a story. This life began and proceeded, passing deep into a venerable age; it almost seems to us as if this life had passed hundreds of years ago. We know nothing of it. There must have been some kind of childhood, a childhood in poverty; dark, searching, uncertain. And perhaps this childhood still belongs to this life. After all, as Saint Augustine once said, “where can it have gone? It may yet have all its past hours, the hours of anticipation and of desolation, the hours of despair and the long hours of need.”

This is a life that has lost nothing, that has forgotten nothing, a life that amasses even as it passes. Perhaps. In truth we know nothing of this life. We feel certain, however, that it must be so, for only a life like this could produce such richness and abundance.

Burgher of Calais: Andrieus d’Andres, figure from the second model, 1885.
Bronze, 61.5 x 22 x 46 cm. Musée Rodin , Paris.

Only a life in which everything is present and alive, in which nothing is lost to the past, can remain young and strong, and rise again and again to create great works. The time may come when this life will have a story, a narrative with burdens, epi sodes, and details. They will all be invented. Someone will tell of a child who often forgot to eat because it seemed more important to carve things in wood with a dull knife. They will find some encounter in the boy’s early days that seemed to promise future greatness, one of those retrospective prophecies that are so common and touching. It may well be the words a monk is said to have spoken to the young Michel Colombe almost five hundred years ago:

“Work, little one, look all you can, the steeple of Saint Pol, and the beautiful works ofthe Compagnons, look, love God and you will be grace of grand things.”

Head of Pierre de Wissant, c. 1885-1886 (?). Terracotta, 28.6 x 20 x 22 cm.
Musée Rodin, Paris.

And the grace of great things shall be given to you. Perhaps intuition spoke to the young man at one of the crossroads in his early days, and in infinitely more melodious tones than would have come from the mouth of a monk. For it was just this that he was after: the grace of great things. There was the Louvre with its many luminous objects of antiquity, evoking southerly skies and the near ness of the sea. And behind it rose heavy things of stone, traces of inconceiv able cultures enduring into epochs still to come. This stone was asleep, and one had the sense that it would awake at a kind of Last Judgment.

To get a better insight into the life and the work of Rodin, continue this exciting adventure by clicking on: Rodin  , Amazon UK , Amazon US , iTunes , Google , Amazon AustraliaAmazon Canada ,  Amazon Germany , Ceebo (Media Control), CiandoTolino Media , Open Publishing  , Barnes&NobleBaker and Taylor , Amazon Italy , Amazon Japan , Amazon China , Amazon India , Amazon Mexico , Amazon Spain ,  Amabook , Odilo , 24symbols , Arnoia , Nubico , Amazon Francenumilog , youboox , Cyberlibris , Kobo , Scribd , Overdrive , Douban , Dangdang


Rubens: The Spiritual Father of Botero

Exhibition: Rubens. The Power of Transformation

Date: Feb 8 − May 28, 2018

Venue: Stadel Museum

Bacchus, 1638-1640. Oil on canvas, 191 x 161.3 cm. The State Hermitage Museum , St Petersburg.

The Life and Works of Peter Paul Rubens

The name of the great 17th century Flemish painter, Peter Paul Rubens is known throughout the world. The importance of his contribution to the development of European culture is generally recognised. The perception of life that he revealed in his pictures is so vivid, and fundamental human values are affirmed in them with such force, that we look upon Rubens’ paintings as a living aesthetic reality of our own time as well.

Saint George Battles the Dragon, c. 1607. Oil on canvas, 309 x 257 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado , Madrid.

The museums of Russia have a superb collection of the great Flemish painter’s works. These are concentrated, for the most part, in The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, which possesses one of the finest Rubens’ collections in the world. Three works, previously part of the Hermitage collection, now belong to The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. The Bacchanalia and The Apotheosis of the Infanta Isabella were bought for the Hermitage in 1779 together with the Walpole Collection (from Houghton Hall in England); The Last Supper came to the Hermitage in 1768 from the Cobenzl Collection (Brussels). These three paintings were then transferred to Moscow in 1924 and 1930.

Rubens and Isabella Brant in the Honeysuckle Bower, c. 1609. Oil on canvas, 178 x 136.5 cm. Alte Pinakothek , Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen , Munich.

One gains the impression that in the 17th century Rubens did not attract as much attention as later. This may appear strange: indeed his contemporaries praised him as the “Apelles of our day”. However, in the immediate years after the artist’s death, in 1640, the reputation which he had gained throughout Europe was overshadowed. The reasons for this can be found in the changing historical situation in Europe during the second half of the 17th century.

In the first decades of that century nations and absolutist states were rapidly forming. Rubens’ new approach to art could not fail to serve as a mirror for the most diverse social strata in many European countries who were keen to assert their national identity, and who had followed the same path of development. This aim was inspired by Rubens’ idea that the sensually perceived material world had value in itself; Rubens’ lofty conception of man and his place in the Universe, and his emphasis on the sublime tension between man’s physical and imaginative powers (born in conditions of the most bitter social conflicts), became a kind of banner of this struggle, and provided an ideal worth fighting for.

Samson and Delilah, c. 1609-1610. Oil on panel, 185 x 205 cm.
The National Gallery London

In the second half of the 17th century, the political situation in Europe was different. In Germany after the end of the Thirty Years’ War, in France following the Frondes, and in England as the result of the Restoration, the absolutist regime triumphed. There was an increasing disparity in society between conservative and progressive forces; and this led to a “reassessment of values” among the privileged, who were reactionary by inclination, and to the emergence of an ambiguous and contradictory attitude towards Rubens.

This attitude became as internationally prevalent as his high reputation during his lifetime, and this is why we lose trace of many of the artist’s works in the second half of the 17th century after they left the hands of their original owners (and why there is only rare mention of his paintings in descriptions of the collections of this period). Only in the 18th century did Rubens’ works again attract attention…

The Four Philosophers, 1611-1612. Oil on canvas, 164 x 139 cm.
Galleria Palatina e Appartamenti Reali (Palazzo Pitti) , Polo Museale,
Juno and Argus, c. 1610. Oil on canvas, 249 x 296 cm. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud , Cologne.

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Shelley’s Art Musing – “Cover up that bosom, which I can’t endure to look on”. (Tartuffe, Molière)

The Egon Schiele. The anniversary show is due to start in February 2018 with exhibits in Vienna, London, Hamburg and Cologne. It will display the main aspects of his work and his shunning of traditional art practices of his time, break taboos and exploring spirituality through his expressionist form.

If you are unaware of Schiele’s work, he was an Austrian artist working in the early part of the 1900’s.  His work is recognised for its raw intensity and sexuality.  He produced many self portraits, some of which were nudes.  The subjects of his work drawn with twisted body shapes and a unique line which made his work an early contender for the expressionist art movement.

With this in mind and 100 years after the death of Schiele, we are still seeing censorship of his work, and I am led to the question, why?

The advertising campaign for this exhibit first opened this question up for me, with Schiele’s artwork being heavily censored.

I could just see this as a very clever marketing ploy and move on, but I don’t believe that it is.  Schiele’s work is provocative and unashamed in its presentation, so why is it when it is displayed outside of the confines of a museum or art gallery is it subject to such censorship?

Sexuality within art is a fine line to tread.  If it is deemed “conformist” in that the subject is demur in nature and in an “acceptable” pose the art work on display is almost unseen and not out of place, we are quite used to seeing sculptures like Michelangelo’s David, or Botticelli’s Birth of Aphrodite on postcards or greeting cards, so why not Schiele?  It is after all just the human form, and we are all human, so why is there a need for such censorship?

The art world very often butts heads with the marks of decency or good taste in its hunt for freedom of expression and exploration of taboo subjects.  This means that art will always come up against the confines of what censorship boards will allow, but can censorship go too far?

Artists throughout history have been subjected to this same confine which sees their work either covered, as Schiele work has been, mutilated to be more audience friendly, or renamed to give a different take for what is on the canvas.

For example, if we look at the work of Picasso, specifically The Young Ladies of Avignon.

Pablo Picasso , The Young Ladies of Avignon, 1907. Cubism. Oil on canvas, 243.9 x 233.7 cm. Museum of Modern Art , New York.

This piece was originally called The brothel of Avignon, but was renamed by Andre Salmon in an attempt to lessen the scandalous impact that this painting would cause.

Picasso, never liked this name, and always referred to the painting as the “brothel painting”.  But “would a rose by any other name smell as sweet…”

The name and content of the picture would always be controversial and while this painting is now considered the seminal piece in cubism and modern art, its original reception was not as highly regarded.

This does lead to the question of trending censorship, while it is accepted that nudity and sexuality will always push the boundaries of the censorship boards, will there come a time when it is considered to be immoral to show drinking or smoking within art work.  Could we see small black boxes over the works of Degas, Picasso, Balthus, Magritte and Hamilton be censored because they depict habits which are now being frowned upon within society?

Of course, this is taking censorship to the absolute extreme, but this type of act isn’t unheard of.  Merriam-Webster defines censorship as “the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and removing things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc.” We have seen extreme censorship in the past, most notably the Nazi book burning of may 1933.  This act saw books which were subversive to the Nazi regime burnt.  Seeing any texts which were  Jewishpacifistreligiousclassical liberalanarchistsocialist, and communist, among others burned in the street. The first books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky.

I say that this is the extreme, and it really is, and some artists, have tried mock the censorship panels through their work.

If we look at the painting The Treachery of image by Rene Magritte we see a painting of a pipe with the words “this is not a pipe” written underneath it.

Rene Magritte , The Treachery of Images, 1929. Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 93.98 cm. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

At first glance, this is confusing to say the least.  We can see it is a pipe, so why would the artist profess otherwise?

Magritte was quoted to have said: “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture ‘This is a pipe’, I’d have been lying!”. Taking a direct stance against the critics and the censorship boards by pointing out once again that art is merely subjective and each person will have their own opinion of what they see and deem acceptable.

Richard Hamilton was also heavily subjected to censorship of his images, with his work cropped to make it appear more acceptable.

The piece Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?  was produced in 1956 for the exhibition This is Tomorrow in London.  The piece is a collage which shows a male body builder and a burlesque model around the house in no clothing, but one holding a sign and the other wearing a lampshade.

Richard Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, 1956. Collage, 260 x 248 mm. Kunsthalle Tubingen

The image was used as the poster campaign for the exhibit, but it was cut down so only the male body builder was shown, deeming the topless women too risqué to use within the campaign.

From what we have looked at, we can see why art and censorship will always be in conflict.  The moral high ground of societies best interests, usually winning which means that public displays of controversial artworks will always be confined to the safety of a designated space, so as not to offend those who could be, and to protect the innocent eyes of children.

If you want to see Schiele’s work in all its glory, you will need to attend one of the exhibits mentioned above, and you can get more information about the exhibits here:-

Vienna –

London –

For now I will leave you with the image of The Radical Nude, and a quote by Schiele, which reminds us that art is one of the oldest forms of communication – “Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal.”

Egon Schiele, The Radical Nude

Shelley’s Art Musings – The Follies of the ‘Sand’ Louvre, which acquired the Leonardo da Vinci painting at $450 million

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi” was acquired by UAE at $450 million

It has been just under a month since we have seen the doors of the Louvre Abu Dhabi open with its fantastic structure, but the reception has been not quite so impressive.

Visitors have remarked that there doesn’t seem to be enough content within the corridors of the venture to fulfil its monumental name.  I am sure that this comes as quite a blow as the mammoth project has been fraught with controversy and delays.  Throughout the build, concerns of the welfare of the migrant workers plagued its progress. They have left a bitter taste in the mouth of the museum, which is supposedly encompassing a “universal” approach to all cultures, with activists still reviewing the conditions under which employees worked.

Inside Lourve Abu Dhabi

This leads us to the question: Is the Louvre Abu Dhabi still finding its feet or is it merely a folly to the sky line which will act as window dressing?

We know that huge deals have been made to loan some of the most expensive and impressive art works, with France to bring the museum in line with its name sake. But we all know that money doesn’t go a long way when looking at art of this level of expertise.

The most recent acquisition really brings this home to someone like me.  As you will have hopefully seen the reports of the latest authenticated da Vinci painting being brought for $450 million to a mysterious buyer, later to be announced as the Saudi prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. This purchase, along with the museum, comes at a controversial time when crack downs are put in place on the exuberant spending and corruption by the crown prince, seeing many influential business men and royal cousins arrested without legitimate charges.

In itself, the painting is quite a debateable purchase for the country.  While in Christianity, Jesus was the saviour, within Muslim culture, Jesus was a prophet, and the depiction of prophets is a sacrilegious act.  While this purchase does support the ‘universal’ neutrality that the museum is said to offer, this could simply add fuel to the fire of the recent political activities.

The painting shows Jesus performing a benediction (an invocation of divine help, blessing and guidance, usually performed at the end of worship) with his right hand raised, in the left hand a crystal orb, representing his role as saviour of the world and mastery of the cosmos as well as the heavenly sphere.  Jesus is shown in renaissance attire and is dated as painted around 1500.

Salvator Mundi, c.1500. Oil on Walnut, 45.4 x 65.6 cm. Louvre Abu Dhabi

The painting echoes other portraits in the Da Vinci repertoire, such as John the Baptist, with the curly blonde locks and classic facial features, and while authenticated, there are still discussions over the true artist of this painting.  Sketches and preparatory chalk outlines are held in the Royal collection, but some specialists’ style believe that this could have been a student of da Vinci’s work rather than the man himself.  Regardless of this, it is still now listed as one of the 20 known works by da Vinci.

Sold at Christie’s auction house and now listed as the most expensive art work to be sold, could this be a turn in changing the Louvre Abu Dhabi from the ornate and ornamental building to a player in the field of held exhibits.

Personally I would like to see this museum move forward with its push for acceptance of other cultures, although not to the detriment of the people around it.

Let’s hope that that the feeling of ‘interconnectedness’ penetrates through the recent controversies and makes way for a peaceful and beautiful place to view some of the world’s masterpieces.


Jeanne Hébuterne, artist and muse of Modigliani

marina's muses

Jeanne Hébuterne, artist and muse of Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani is known for his distinctive portraits and nudes characterised by their elongated oval faces, graceful lengthened noses, and small bud mouths, often with blank sad eyes appearing to gaze nowhere.

Jeanne Hébuterne was the love of Modigliani’s life and his sole muse for his last three years. She was also a talented artist but didn’t pursue a career in art after she met Modigliani.      My muse of Jeanne has been influenced by Modigliani’s portraits of her, some of which exaggerate and distort her beauty, not conforming to the conventional ideal. Modigliani saw beauty in the soul and believed that once he knew the inner being of a person he could paint their eyes.

Modigliani's Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne 1916- 17. Modigliani’s Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne with Necklace,  c. 1916- 17

Muse as Modigliani's "Jeanne Hébuterne with Necklace". Modigliani's muse and lover, becoming his common law wife for a short 2 years, Jean had a tragic end. Muse made by Marina Elphick. Muse as Modigliani’s “Jeanne Hébuterne with Necklace”. Jeanne was Modigliani’s true love.

Jeanne Hébuterne was Modigliani's muse and lover, dying tragically young at 21. Jeanne was a talented artist in her own right, yet her life was too short for her creativity to mature. Muse made by Marina Elphick. Marina’s muse as the…

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Modigliani en la Tate Modern, hasta Abril 2018

Some More Information of Amedeo Modigliani’s Most Comprehensive Exhibition at Tate Modern

JULA Novedades

Amedeo Modigliani’s Most Comprehensive Exhibition at Tate Modern: Curator Interview

Amedeo Modigliani’s Most Comprehensive Exhibition at Tate Modern: Curator  Interview
“Juan Gris,” 1915, Amedeo Modigliani (1884 – 1920). Oil paint on canvas, 549 X 381 mm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
(Courtesy This And Facing Page: Courtesy Tate Modern)

The Tate Modern is showcasing the most comprehensive Amedeo Modigliani exhibition ever held in Britain, assembling celebrated figurative portraits, sculptures once shown at the 1912 Salon d’Automne, and drawings created throughout his short life (1884–1920). The Italian-born Jewish artist moved to Paris at age 21, where he toiled experimentally, mingled with turn-of-the- century creative luminaries, and frequented shows by Gaugin and Cézanne. Across almost 100 works — including his then-incendiary nudes —the exhibition examines the abundant influences that shaped Modigliani’s spectacular output. MODERN PAINTERS speaks to Emma Lewis, an assistant curator at Tate Modern, about the show — which opened…

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朱塞佩·阿尔钦博托Giuseppe Arcimboldo



朱塞佩·阿尔钦博托于1527年出生于米兰,是艺术家Biagio Arcimboldo和Chiara Parisi的儿子。阿尔钦博托一家具有贵族血统,最初起源于德国南部,到了中世纪时期,部分家族成员开始移居到伦巴第。

阿尔钦博托的族姓有很多拼写变体:Acimboldi, Arisnbodle, Arcsimbaldo, Arzimbaldo,或者是Arczimboldo。其中“boldo”或者是“baldo”的后缀是中世纪日耳曼语的派生词。同样,阿尔钦博托的名字也有很多写法:Giuseppe, Josephus, Joseph或者是Josepho,以上都是阿尔钦博托签名的写法。

Vertumnus(水果拼成的男人肖像),约1590年,木版油画,70.5 x 57.5 cm,斯库克洛斯特城堡,斯库克罗斯特。

在作品《米兰之夜》(1619年)中,Paulo Morigi描绘了阿尔钦博托的家族以及他的贵族血统。尽管很多资料来源不确定,但是阿尔钦博托一家可以追溯到查理曼时期的名为Sigfrid Arcimboldo的宫廷的大臣。在阿尔钦博托的十六个孩子中,三名是骑士,其中一名还在伦巴第定居。这就成为了阿尔钦博托家族在意大利定居的渊源。为了论证自己的观点,Paulo Morigi宣称他的描述是可敬的绅士塞佩·阿尔钦博托的原话。

《春天》,1573年。帆布油画,76 x 63.5 cm,卢浮宫博物馆,巴黎。

Paulo Morigi继续描述了阿尔钦博托家族在米兰的历史,尽管他只讨论了意大利的分支在米兰居住的历史。他说道,朱佩塞的曾祖父Guido Antonio Arcimboldo在1489年接任他已故的兄弟Giovanni Arcimboldo,当选为米兰的大主教。在1550年至1555年期间,Guido Antonio的私生子Giovanni Angelo Arcimboldo担任米兰大主教。他引导着朱塞佩,并且带他讨论米兰宫廷中艺术家、人道主义者和作家的政治。

《秋天》,1573年。油画,77 x 63厘米。 卢浮宫博物馆,巴黎,法国。

在米兰,阿尔钦博托的父亲对他进行了艺术训练,他也得到了Lombard School的艺术家,例如来自克雷莫纳的杰出画家Giuseppe Meda(活跃在米兰的1551-1559)和Bernardino Campi(1522-1591)的指导。

从阿尔钦博托的艺术中,我们感受到了对达芬奇的艺术和科学的迷恋。实际上,朱塞佩的父亲Biagio幸运地与达芬奇的学生Bernardio Luini是好友。在达芬奇死后,Bernardio Luini继承了几本达芬奇的工作手册和素描。Biagio Arcimboldo确实是研究了这些,几年后,他将达芬奇的人艺术和科学风格教给了他儿子。

《侍酒师》,1574年。帆布油画,87.5 x 66.6 cm,私人收藏,伦敦。


《火》,1566年,木版油画,66.5 x 51 cm,艺术史博物馆,维也纳。

建筑和装饰的观念反映了艺术的幻想和矫饰主义的品味。这也展现了达芬奇对阿尔钦博托的影响力,同样也通过米兰艺术家Gaudenzio Ferrari(1471-1546)的艺术。在米兰大教堂的一份1556年的档案文件中提到,阿尔钦博托的大教堂绘画被Corrado de Mochis转移到了玻璃。在此期间,阿尔钦博托为的神圣罗马帝国王迪、波西米拉国王、已故的费迪南德一世创作了五个象征徽章。

阿尔钦博托的父亲于1551年过世,阿尔钦博托继续在伦巴第工作,一直到1558年前往科莫和蒙扎之前。他为科莫大教堂的挂毯创作了旧约和新约的草图。Gobelins Tapestry手工坊的弗兰德斯艺术家Johannes和Ludwig Karcher(活跃于1517年至1561年)受雇于Gobeline挂毯公司,从这些草图中创作了挂毯。

《圣母的死亡(根据阿尔钦博托的草图设计)》,1561-1562年,挂毯,423 x 470 cm,科莫大教堂,科莫。