Friday, 19 July 2013


I don't like it. 
It must be good

By Jordi Labanda

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

El Prado report


The whole catalogue of the exhibition Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny online on one page. Then by clicking on any one image we can go to another page with explanations about the painting and a larger image, such a great idea.

All the paintings belong to the museum but are not often on display.
El Prado Museum, from 21 May 21 till 10 November 2013. Madrid. Spain

Vicente Palmaroli y González, En vue, XIX century

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, The duchess of Alba and her governess, 1795
This is one of the most puzzling, unsettling paintings I've ever seen, 

 John-Francis Rigaud, The three favourite air travellers, c 1785

(the travellers were Vicenzo Lunardi, George Biggin and Leticia Anne Sage)

- I think I should eventually go on posting images here -hmm, yes, definitely-

More wishlists: Indigo

by Catherine Legrand

Well, either that one or this one by Jenny Balfour.Paul:

Photos from coolhunting

Why are unfinished paintings so fascinating?

Maybe just because we get to see what the line does to the void, in this confrontation we see clear evidence of where creation comes from, from nowhere, from the artist's will.

It's worth reading about the life of William Wilberforce( here), an activist for the abolition of slavery in the XIX century. Have you seen the film Amazing Graze? That's him.

About painting

by Utrillo, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris

Clay figurines, Mesopotamia

Naked woman with long hair, probably from Northern Mesopotamia (=Syria), c. 2000 BC
Royal Ontario Museum - Toronto

To the right: goddess figure, Northern Syria, 2000-1600 BC
Allard Pierson Museum - Amsterdam
Bronze Age, 2300-2000 BC, from Northern Mesopotamia (=Syria) Euphrates region
Musées Royaux d'art et d'histoire, Brussels

Photos from the exhibition Before the deluge, Mesopotamia 3500-2100 BC
On display at CaixaForum Madrid,  from March 27 to June 30 2013

The history of Ancient Near East civilizations is fascinating. Did you know that this people "drew" the plans of houses : 

Just a flower for you

I'm reading

... and absolutely loving every single sentence  word, every single full stop and comma of

* About Cicero's inconclusiveness at the end of one of his long dialogues:

The inconclusiveness is not intellectual modesty - Cicero was not a modest man - but a strategy of civilized openness among friends. The exchange itself, not its final conclusions, carries much of the meaning. The discussion itself is what most matters, the fact that we can reason together easily, with a blend of wit and seriousness, never descending into gossip or slander and always allowing room for alternative views. " The one who engages in conversation, "Cicero wrote" should not debar others from participating in it, as if he were entering upon a private monopoly; but, as in other things, so in a general conversation he should think it not unfair for each to have his turn".

*A quote from Petrarch :

Gold, siver, jewels, purple garments, houses built of marble, groomed states, pious paintings, caparisoned steeds, and other things of this kind offer a mutable and superficial pleasure; books give delight to the very marrow of one's bones. They speak to us, consult with us, and join with us in a living and intense intimacy.

* On the after-effects of On the Nature of Things on thought

The atomists had found joy and wonder in the way things are: Lucretius saw the universe as a constant, intensely erotic hymn to Venus

Wishlist: Master drawings

At the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

 I saw this Raphael drawing in Madrid, it is so impressive

Interesting lady: Elena Lucrecia Cornaro Piscopia

Name: Elena Lucrecia
Surname: Cornaro Piscopia
Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: 5 June 1646, in Venice

Main achievements: She is the first woman to get a  doctor of philosophy degree
Subject: Aristotle
She spoke: Latin, Greek, French, Hebrew and Arabic
Main fields of study: Mathematics, Philosophy and Theology

Studied at: Padua University (thanks to her father's good influence)

Main challenges:  Officials in the Roman Catholic Church refused to confer the title of doctor of theology (she could teach the monks aftewards!), so she had to go for philosophy instead.

Funny fact: There were so many people who wanted to attend her oral examination that it had to be held at the Cathedral instead of the University

 More reading: agnes scott - wikipedia

She was born at the Loredan palace in Venice

The Cornaro window, at the Thompson Memorial library (USA) depicts the graduation ceremony and the disciplines she mastered: Grammar, Dialectics, Music, Philosophy, Astronomy, Medicine, Geometry and Theology.