Jaap de Vries. 2010-12, watercolor on aluminium
Fragment of the Face of a Queen, made in Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten, c.1353-1336 BC (source).
Musidora by René Carrère (1917).
Franz Schubert: 1797-1828
Schubert was an Austrian composer who is perhaps best known for his more than 600 lieder, all of which are ridiculously amazing. He was extremely prolific despite his short life, and would sometimes re-set the same poem three or four times if he liked it. In spite of his failing health, he still managed to compose one of the most beautiful song cycles ever written, Winterreise.
He was ridiculously talented, pretty darn handsome, and wrote some gorgeous music. That’s why he is my history crush.
One of the greatest muses in photo history, Eleanor Callahan, died this week, at the age of ninety-five. Harry Callahan photographed her for more than fifty of the sixty-three years of their marriage. From intimate nudes to double exposures of her ghostly silhouette projected onto the woods, her image acted as an anchor in Callahan’s often abstracted vision. From the beginning, Harry spoke of his work as an extension of his life; in a grant proposal he wrote that he would use the money “to photograph as I felt and desired; to regulate a pleasant form of living; to get up in the morning—free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people—everything that affects us; and to photograph that which I saw and have always felt.” We don’t know if he got the grant, but his innumerable photos of Eleanor are a testament to his success.
- On our Photo Booth blog, Suzanne Shaheen on Eleanor and Harry Callahan. For more of Harry’s photographs of Eleanor: http://nyr.kr/xfF3S4
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Big Fish Eat Little Fish, 1557
From the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History:
One of the most haunting of Bruegel’s images, Big Fish Eat Little Fish is among the first of the artist’s many treatments of proverbs in paintings or prints. The image reveals many small and large fish tumbling out of the mouth of an enormous beached fish. A small, helmeted figure with an oversized knife slices open the big fish’s belly, revealing even more marine creatures. Land, air, and water seem to be overrun by an odd assortment of real and fantastic fish, while in the foreground a man, accompanied by his son, gestures toward the scene. The meaning of his gesture is conveyed in the Flemish inscription below, which translates: “Look son, I have long known that the big fish eat the small.” This vernacular form of the ancient Latin proverb, which appears in majuscule lettering just above, relates to the theme of a senseless world in which the powerful instinctively and consistently prey on the weak. That the son understands the lesson is apparent from his gesture toward the other man in the boat, who has extracted a small fish from a larger one. Bruegel’s brilliant visualization of the proverb was first conceived as a drawing (Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina) that is signed by the artist and dated 1556. This engraving by Pieter van der Heyden, however, is signed in the lower left corner with the name Hieronymus Bosch, who had died in 1516. The print’s publisher, Hieronymus Cock, was probably responsible for replacing Bruegel’s name with that of the more famous and salable Bosch, who had, not coincidentally, a major influence on Bruegel.