Saturday, August 4, 2012

Life's Own Life

By Divine Ms. Moon

There is a warm and gentle atmosphere

About the form of one we love, and thus

As in a tender mist our spirits are

Wrapped in the ... of that which is to us

The health of life’s own life --

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (born August 4, 1792)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


"I really don't believe in magic."
~ J.K. Rowling (born July 31, 1965)

Well. How about aliens?

By Divine Ms. Moon

Monday, July 30, 2012

What I Know

"If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you,
I would be your slave."
~ Emily Bronte (Born July 30, 1818)

By Divine Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On The Taking of Flowers

By Divine Ms. Moon

“Gracie comes home from the hospital after visiting a sick friend. 

(George) 'Where did you get the flowers?' 

(Gracie) 'I went to visit Mable.' 

(George) 'Yeah, so?' 

(Gracie) 'WELL, you told me to take her flowers!'”

             ~ George Burns and Gracie Allen (born July 26, 1906)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beautiful Question

"Always the beautiful answer
who asks the more beautiful question."
~ Edward Estlin Cummings (e.e. cummings)

Yiruma, "Love Me"

Art Gallery ~ Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (born July 19, 1834)
Landscape with Cows in Foreground

Most people probably remember Edgar Degas best for being one of the founders of the Impressionist art movement and for his colorful paintings and dynamic sculptures of dancers. Several years ago, I attended an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts that was dedicated to Degas's works on paper, including his pastels. Among these works are many, many vibrant landscapes. Here, Degas gives us what appears to be a late summer or autumn landscape with cows. The spinal ridges of the cows are echoed in the lines of the landscape. No one can say that Degas didn't have a sense of humor. 

And after all, who doesn't love a good cow painting?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Save the Last Dance

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music." 
~ Friedrich Nietszche

Frank Sinatra, "The Way You Look Tonight"
with help from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
from the movie, "Swing Time"

"After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. 
She just did it backwards and in high heels." 
~ Ann Richards

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Planet of Flowers

By Divine Ms. Moon

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us."
~ Iris Murdoch (born July 15, 1919)

Fragments ~ Revising Art History

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
(born July 15, 1606)
Bathsheba at her Bath

(from Wikipedia)

Iconic Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born July 15, 1606. Rembrandt is known mostly for his detailed drawings and his use of light in portraiture. In this painting, for example, notice the fine detail of light and shadow on the attendant's neck and face.

This painting depicts a Biblical scene -- Bathsheba at her bath, as she is being spied upon by David. According to the Bible, David saw Bathsheba, sent for her (hence the letter), seduced her, and married her. This is a simple story, except that Bathsheba was already married and that David also decided to marry her -- but only after he had impregnated her -- by having her husband killed. 

You have to wonder why Rembrandt painted Bathsheba as looking so pensive -- even sad? -- upon receiving David's letter. Did she foresee what was to come? Art historians note Rembrandt's obvious sensitivity to what they call Bathsheba's "moral dilemma." Almost as if Bathsheba had a choice. Some consider this to be Rembrandt's best painting of a nude. Others speculate that Bathsheba was not painted from a single model because the parts don't quite match up, and they criticize many things about her form, including the twist in her left arm; but most notably, from my perspective, they point out that her left breast is deformed, possibly from breast cancer or other disease. 

As a breast cancer survivor myself, albeit non-deforming, and with family members who were forced to have mastectomies, I wonder whether David would have been so smitten with the real Bathsheba had her breast been equally deformed. And then I have to wonder what Rembrandt was saying by this. The art historians don't speculate much about that.