L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Al Borge - unknown photographer, no date (circa 1950s)

Perversely, since I'm posting images of a "physique model", I have to say that I don't find the actual physique at all interesting. Though the photographs are classically posed and beautifully lit, the figure seems pretty generic "body builder" to me, too smoothed out. And the proportions are not perfect; the calves are, noticeably, too short. But the face. I think it's a wonderful face, expressive even in these static poses; you can somehow sense the thought at the back of his eyes, the words being formed in his mouth. It's a sensuous and elegant face. I almost wish I could go back those sixty-some years, tell him he needn't have spent all that time with the weights, with the tanning, with the oil. He needn't even to have taken his clothes off. It would have been enough for him just to return my gaze.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Met gouden haren - blonds and redheads, paintings by van Dyck

Study Head of a Young Woman, circa 1618.
James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox, circa 1633-35.
Santa Rosalia, circa 1622-27.
Cupid with love arrows, unknown date.
Allegory of Charity, 1632.
Head of a Young Man, circa 1617-18.
Mary Villiers, Lady Herbert of Shurland, circa 1636.
Self-portrait, circa 1640.
Daedalus and Icarus, circa 1615-25.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Élégie romaine - Roman Elegy - by Jacques-Henri Sablet, 1791

In the Protestant cemetery near the pyramid of Gaius Cestius in Rome, two unidentified men - dignified, elegant, soberly dressed in black - pose beside a neoclassical stele. The freshness of the stone's surface and the presence of the two white cloths suggest that the monument has just been cleaned or, conversely, that the carving has only recently been finished. In the background, two shepherds guard their grazing herds in the midst of the ancient tombs and ruins. This quiet and even melancholy painting is an example of  a "conversation piece", a genre long established in Great Britain which the Swiss-born, Paris-trained Sablet helped to popularize in France, where is was known as a "portrait de conversation". This double portrait can also be seen as a souvenir of the Grand Tour.  

In 1791, when this was painted, Sablet had been in Italy for sixteen years. He returned to Paris, along with a pension and artist's lodgings in the Louvre, three years later; the Terror had waned, but the flood of unrest instigated by the French Revolution had by then spread to the Apennine Peninsula.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Randomly X

The dog "Chinois", by Carolus-Duran, 1884.
A Girl, by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1892.
Globo aerostatico, guidato dall’aeronauta Julhes (ascensione del 19 marzo 1884, Firenze), by Fratelli Alinari, 1884.
Toilettentisch, by Herbert Ploberger, 1926.
Study, by William Mulready 1846.
Mrs. G. Miller, by Horst, 1936.
Mistress Dorothy, by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1885.
Poppies, by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1891.
Frau Elisabeth Wilhelmine Jeanrenaud and her children, by Bernhard Schlösser, 1835.
Unknown, circa 1920s-30s.
Children's party at the Spanish Embassy in Lisbon, by Carlos Alberto Lima, 1907.
Regentesses of the Heilige Geesthuis in Haarlem, by Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck, 1642.
Unknown, circa first quarter of the twentieth century.
Unknown, circa first quarter of the twentieth century.
Portrait of an unknown woman, Spanish school, circa 1780s.
Christian VII of Denmark, by Peder Als, circa 1772.
Posing Male Model, by Harold Knight, 1931.
Easter Parade, New York, by Brassaï (né Gyula Halász), 1957.
In the Restaurant, by Charles Hoffbauer, 1907.
Unknown, circa 1950s.
A Woman at the Fountain with Rising Moon, by Ferdinand Knab, 1866.
Mr. and Mrs. James Dunlop, by Sir Thomas Lawrence, circa 1825.
The exiled King Manuel II of Portugal and Queen Augusta Victoria, née Princess Auguste Viktoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, circa 1913.
The Old Violin, by William Michael Harnett, 1886.
Paramahansa Yogananda, Lake Chapala, Mexico, unknown photographer, 1929.
Marcelle Souty, by Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta, 1915.
Frank Delos Coates, by Spartan of Hollywood, circa 1950s.
Portrait of Mrs. Bacon, by Sir William Ross, 1841.
Louise Amour Marie De La Roche Fontenilles Marquesa De Rambures, by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, circa 1871.
English explorer Tristram Speedy with Prince Alemayehu of Ethiopia, by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1868.
The first performance of La Belle Arsène (Act III, Scene 8), an opéra comique by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny, by Pehr Hilleström, 1773.
"Etude" for Vogue magazine, by Baron de Meyer, circa 1918.
Farmer, by Gustave Roud, circa 1940s.
Child, by Arthur Siebelist, ND.