Posts Tagged ‘Sackler Museum’

The Fire of Hephaistos

Wednesday, May 1st, 1996

These ancient bronzes, which have long since lost their golden gleam, are still numinous fragments of a vanished world. One statue of young man was recently pulled out of a river; his pale sea-green body is scratched and scarred; but he is still a lovely apparition, reminding me of some lines from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”:
“Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea change
Into something rich and strange.”

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Fragments of Antiquity

Friday, June 21st, 1991

All that we know of Greece has come to us in ruins–armless, headless, faded, fallen, broken, battered, lost in translation. What we have are fragments, fragments that have lost almost everything–except their poetry. But, generation after generation, that poetry has never lost its thrilling, visionary gleam.

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Guercino

Thursday, March 14th, 1991

GUERCINO drew like an angel—his gorgeous line curls across the page; his brush forms shadows that suggest a sense of the roundness and fullness of life. His best drawings are more than drawings—they are blessings, exquisite expressions of those moments when Art and Faith are one.

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Barbizon

Monday, October 1st, 1990

Barbizon was a place and a style — and also a feeling—a mood—a time of day — dusk, when the forms of things soften and the edges blur, and a kind of hush falls over the world. The earth is solemn, soft, and tender, like a bed—and sometimes like a grave.

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Images of the Mind

Monday, May 19th, 1986

Tao Chi was a prince who became a wandering Buddhist monk. His “Melancholy Thoughts on the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers,” captures the mood of the end of autumn. A lonely fishing hut is half-hidden by a few sparse trees; a flock of wild geese flies over a river. The calligraphy echoes the flight of the birds and the quiver of the leaves. Without understanding a word, we can feel the poetry.

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Claude Le Lorrain

Tuesday, April 1st, 1980

CLAUDE LE LORRAIN depicts the moment just before transfiguration — the moment just before women turn into goddesses, or girls turn into swans, or life turns into art. His light is dusk and twilight — the darkling light that washes the physical world in unearthly beauty and fills the heart with an intoxicating sense of possibility.

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