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, October 14, 2018

Daphnis et Chloé - just a boy and a girl in the woods

François Gérard, circa 1824.

(Freely edited and adapted from Wikipedia)

Daphnis and Chloe
(Greek: Δάφνις καὶ Χλόη) is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist Longus. Nothing is known of the author's life, or even if that was his actual name. If it indeed was, he was possibly a freedman of some Roman family which bore the name as a cognomen. The novel was given a contemporary setting on the isle of Lesbos, when and where scholars assume the author to have lived.

Daphnis et Chloé demandant à un vieux chevrier ce que c'est que l'amour, by Lancelot-Théodore, comte de Turpin de Crissé, 1809.

It's the tale of a boy - Daphnis - and a girl - Chloe - each of whom is left abandoned - as a form of infanticide - out in the country. But a goatherd named Lamon discovers Daphnis, and a shepherd called Dryas finds Chloe. Each decides to raise the child he finds as his own. The two children grow up together, herding the flocks of their foster parents. They fall in love but, being completely naive, do not understand what to do with their feelings. Philetas, a wise old cowherd, explains to them what love is and tells them that the only cure is kissing. They do this.... Eventually, Lycaenion, a woman from the city, educates Daphnis in love-making. He decides not to test his newly acquired skill on Chloe, however, because Lycaenion tells him that Chloe "will scream and cry and lie bleeding heavily [as if murdered]." Throughout the book, Chloe is courted by suitors, two of whom - Dorcon and Lampis - attempt with varying degrees of success to abduct her. She is also carried off by raiders from a nearby city and only saved by the intervention of the god Pan. Meanwhile, Daphnis falls into a pit, gets beaten up, is abducted by pirates, and is very nearly raped. [!] In the end, the two lovers are recognized by their birth parents, get married, and live out the rest of their lives in bucolic contentment.

Konstantin Somov, 1930.
John-Étienne Chaponnière, 1828.
Paris Bordone, circa 1555-60.
Set design for the Diaghilev production of Daphnis et Chloé, by Léon Bakst, 1912.
Jehan-Georges Vibert, 1866.
Nicolas-Andre Monsiau, 1817.
Pedro Weingärtner, 1891.
Joseph-Marius Ramus, 1835.
François Boucher, 1743.
Harold Speed, 1924.
Pieter van der Werff, circa 1700.
Adriaen van der Werff, circa 1694.
Gerald Brockhurst, circa 1914.
Louis Hersent, 1842.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, 1874.
Dominique Papety, circa 1830s-40s.
Idylle, by Camille-Félix Bellanger, 1893 (?).
Pierre Cabanel, circa 1870.
Victor Borisov-Musatov, 1901.
L'Orage, by Pierre-Auguste Cot, 1880.
Jean-Pierre Cortot, 1825.
Printemps, by Jean-Francois Millet 1865.
Maurice Denis, 1918.
Daphnis et Chloé revenant de la montagne, by Charles Gleyre, circa 1850.
The Wooing of Daphne, by Arthur Lemon, 1881.
Idylle, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1852.
Paysage avec Daphnis et Chloé, by François-Louis Français, circa 1897.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Paire de portraits d'officiers - two paintings by Joseph-Marcellin Combette, 1794

The identities of both of these sitters is unknown, but the officer in the portrait above is dressed in a uniform of the royalist Légion de Mirabeau, a force raised in exile by the younger brother of the famous orator and leader during the early days of the French Revolution, Honoré comte Mirabeau. The regiment to which the uniform belongs is easy enough to identify as the Bourbon lily is everywhere you look; indeed, the gentleman with the striking nose portrayed here is bien fleurdelisé.

I haven't been able to identify the regiment belonging to the uniform worn in this portrait. But the two paintings look to be a pair - same format, same frame, same year of completion -  and so it seems logical that it was royalist as well.


Joseph-Marcellin Combette (26 April 1770, Nozeroy - 21 May 1840, Poligny), French painter. He studied with the Swiss painter Jean Wyrsch at the École des Beaux-Arts in Besançon, and then traveled to Paris, where he worked in the studio of the sculptor Claude Dijoux. Having returned to the  Franche-Comté, by 1804 he was professor of drawing at the college of Poligny. He seems to have specialized in portraits, but spent much of his career on commissions for the church; he also produced some sculpture.

Painted on the back of one of the portraits.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The UNTOLD GAZE debut reception and reading at Froelick Gallery - tonight!

This evening my wonderful gallery here in Portland - Froelick Gallery - will be hosting the debut of our long-awaited book, The UNTOLD GAZE. Gigi and I are so grateful for all their support. And we also want to thank all the many, many people who have supported this project all along the way. A special thank you, also, to the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) for their generous financial contribution. And thank you to art writer Bob Hicks, who wrote a fantastic introduction for the book.

More than anyone or anything, we need to thank the amazing writers who joined us in this folie de l'art. We thank them for their artistry and generosity, and nearly as much for their patience; it's taken four long years to complete this labor of love. (And madness!)

Reading this evening will be Suzy Vitello, Whitney Otto, Sam Roxas-Chua, and Adam Strong.

Our authors:

Stephen Arndt, Liz Asch, Jude Brewer, Matty Byloos, Doug Chase, David Ciminello, Sean Davis, Monica Drake, Colin Farstad, Dian Greenwood, Sara Guest, Robert Hill, Lisa Kaser, Megan Kruse, Kathleen Lane, Margaret Malone, Kevin Meyer, Karen Munro, Whitney Otto, Michael Sage Ricci, Bradley K. Rosen, Sam Roxas-Chua, Stephen Rutledge, Edie Rylander, Liz Scott, Evelyn Sharenov, Tom Spanbauer, Scott Sparling, Laura Stanfill, Adam Strong, Vanessa Veselka, Suzy Vitello, Lidia Yuknavitch

And for anyone who is interested, the book is now available to order through my website... HERE!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Becoming Tarzan - youthful images of Johnny Weissmuller

I've never been particularly interested in Johnny Weissmuller or his career as Tarzan. Nor was I ever impressed, as others have been, by his physique; I thought he looked somehow a bit slack. But he was certainly considered an Adonis in his day, the very model of male perfection. So I was surprised, when I recently came across very early pictures of him, taken a decade before the Tarzan train started, and saw how scrawny he looked, how un-Olympian. His career as one of the most important swimmers of the twentieth century had already quite successfully begun, and he was already breaking records; he broke the world record in the 100-meter freestyle when he was only eighteen. So I found it very interesting to see how much he changed physically during the decade from eighteen to twenty-eight, when he was cast as Tarzan.

Wearing the Illinois Athletic Club insignia, 1922. (Three images.)

Johnny Weissmuller (2 June 1904, Szabadfalva/Freidorf, Austria-Hungary, now Timișoara, Romania – 20 January 1984, Acapulco, Mexico), Austro-Hungarian-born American competitive swimmer and actor. Born Johann Weißmüller, he was seven months old when his parents arrived at Ellis Island; the family settled first in Pennsylvania and then Chicago. At the age of nine, he contracted polio and, at the suggestion of his doctor, he took up swimming to help battle the disease. He continued swimming and eventually earned a spot on the YMCA swim team. He dropped out of high school to work various jobs including a stint as a lifeguard at a Lake Michigan beach. While working as an elevator operator and bellboy at the Illinois Athletic Club, he caught the eye of famous swim coach William Bachrach; in August 1921, Weissmuller won the national championships in the 50-yard and 220-yard distances, and the following year he broke Duke Kahanamoku's world record in the 100-meter freestyle.

Circa 1924. (Three images.)

At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris he went on to win gold medals in the 100- and 400-meter freestyle, and was a member of the winning U.S. team in the 4×200-meter relay. As a member of the U.S. water polo team, he also won a bronze medal. In 1928, at the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, he won two more gold medals, for the 100-meter freestyle, and as a member of the team in the 4×200-meter relay. In the summer of 1929, because of his now international celebrity, he was chosen to officially open the Piscine Molitor in Paris. That same year, he signed a contract with BVD to be the face - and figure - of the company, touring the country as their representative. He made cameo appearances in a few movie shorts, and in 1932 signed a seven year contract with MGM.

Shipboard, circa 1928.
At the Piscine Molitor, Paris, circa 1929.
Two portraits by George Hoyningen-Huene, taken at the Piscine Molitor, Paris, circa 1929-30.

"Tarzan the Ape Man" was a huge success, and Weissmuller made a total of six Tarzan films for the studio, before moving to RKO where he made another six, though with markedly reduced production values. After that, he moved to Columbia, where he made thirteen Jungle Jim features between 1948 and 1954. He then took Jungle Jim to television for twenty-seven episodes beginning in 1956. He was involved in numerous business ventures, but spent a lot of time golfing and at his home in Mexico. He only had small roles in three more films, and after several years of ill health, including a series of strokes, he died at his adopted home of Acapulco at the age of seventy-nine. At his request, a recording of his famous Tarzan yell was played as his coffin was lowered into the ground.

In connection with his work for BVD, Weissmuller poses for artist John Hubbard Rich (?), circa 1929.
Two photographs by George Hurrell, taken in connection with the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, 1932 - games in which Weissmuller did not compete.

And to prove myself quite foolish in questioning his physical charms, here are portraits of Weissmuller from 1932 and 1933, newly Tarzan.

Photographs to publicize Tarzan the Ape Man by George Hurrell, 1932. (Seven images.)
Photographs by Harvey White, 1933. (Five images.)
Two portraits by Cecil Beaton, 1932.