Throwback Thursday

I thought I’d take one final look at that magnificent Bronzino exhibition that so fascinated me back in 2011. Though initially I was touched by the painting of the Holy Family with St John I find now the image that I recall in my mind’s eye is that powerful and simple Crucifixion that he did for the Panciatichi. Perhaps because I feel it sums up the religious strife that defined so much of the history of that time in that place.

March 14 is – yes I know Pi Day but more importantly it’s National Potato Chip Day! Let’s get our priorities straight here.

Willy Or Won't He

I thought I’d posted more of the enchanting observations on a few of the paintings that were in the Bronzino exhibition that just closed in Firenze. You may recall that Italian author Roberto Piumini wrote doggeral verses in the style popular with the painter and his friends at the Academia and Konrad Eisenbichler used them as his inspiration for English verses. They thought of them as “ways to look at Bronzino”.

I think this is perhaps one of the loveliest paintings I have ever seen of a sleeping child – you almost feel John’s kiss awakening his little cousin.

*“Dear Mary,” Joseph says, “if in a while,
Our little Jesus should awake
And want to eat, I’ll light this little pile
of sticks so you might cook a meal or bake,

But note,” then Joseph adds, “his cousin John
has come to play with him, and when they’re done

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Brought to Life

Art as Theatre and Theatre as Art.

300px-Sick_young_Bacchus_by_CaravaggioCoincidence is a strange beast.  Just the other day I was looking at some photos of patriotic tableaux vivants from the 1920s and musing, yes dear reader I have been known to muse, as to whither people still engage in this innocent form of entertainment.  At one time it was as popular on the Broadway stage as it was in town halls and in home parlours but seems to have disappeared. Then doesn’t my friend Cathy send me a link to this video of a performance September past in Sutri an ancient town about 50 kms north of Rome.

 

I often observed after visiting a church, museum or gallery in Italy that you would walk out into the street and see the same faces that Caravaggio, da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo et al captured in their works.  This is living proof of that observation.

Paintings staged:
1. The entombment of Christ
2. Mary Magdalen in ecstasy
3. Crucifixion of Saint Peter
4. Beheading of John the Baptist
5. Judith beheading Holofernes
6. Flagellation of Christ
7. The martyrdom of Saint Matthew
8. The Annunciation
9. Rest on the flight into Egypt
10. Narcissus
11. The raising of Lazarus
12. Saint Francis of Assisi in ecstasy
13. Bacchus

Directed by Ludovica Rambelli
Video: Simone Calcagni

On this day in 1689: General Piccolomini of Austria burns down Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. He died of cholera himself soon after.