14 Nov 2015

Balla’s Initial Idea

The house in Rome of Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), an Italian Futurist painter, is a kaleidoscope of color and creativity. I haven’t visited it but came across this photograph online of four of his clothes hangers. A commentator transcribes the handwritten inscription on one of these household...

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26 Mar 2015

Ssh! The Secret of Picasso’s Ear

Ears make sense as one of the five: touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. But who thinks about Picasso's ears? We mostly remember his eyes: deep, dark and powerful. Yet he himself - as I don't think has been noted before - seems to have been very conscious that he had large ears. Noddy, a...

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10 Dec 2014 | 1 Comments

Van Eyck’s Alpha and Omega

The world seems to work in our favor. Things happen which I used to call coincidence but which, in hindsight, are often far too fortuitous to be chance. Carl Jung described such events, at least the unusually important ones, as synchronicity and did not think they were coincidence. As an idea I...

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02 Dec 2014 | 11 Comments

Your Go: Explain this picture!

OK, readers, this a chance to practice your own powers of perception and interpretation before I comment: 

Explain below what this Crucifixion scene might mean and the oddity of Christ’s loincloth. I am drawing attention to that particular detail because, as always, oddities, "errors" and...

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24 Sep 2014 | 2 Comments

Reading Art: Manet, Picasso and Alfonso Ponce de Leon

My vision, like most people’s, is often cloudy which is why when the sun breaks and I gain some understanding, I get excited. You must excuse me. It may sometimes seem as if no-one before me has made similar observations. After all, all my entries on EPPH must include something unknown to...

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23 Apr 2014

Raphael, a Brother, and an Initial Idea

Art, according to EPPH, is esoteric, a visual primer on the Inner Tradition created by women and men every bit as spiritual as a robed monk, often more so. Indeed in the Middle Ages most artists were clerics or monks working in the scriptorium of a monastery. After the recent revelation here...

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04 Feb 2014

A Musical Note and Letters

It's a red-letter day for Raphael. I have been showing a lot of letters recently, how Raphael and Renoir each used objects shaped like an R, how Manet and Matisse used M’s and Ingres used an I. And I doubt before this evening that anyone has ever shown that the Virgin in Raphael's great...

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28 Sep 2013

How Manet and other artists shoot their paintings

Have you ever shot your mother? Directors shoot movies and nearly everyone has made a snap-shot with a camera but few imagine that artists shoot paintings. In fact they have shot nearly every canvas with a gun in it since the devilish implements were invented. The Irish poet Seamus Heaney...

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18 Feb 2013

1+1=1: The Divided Self in Manet’s Railway

What is the girl up to? Who are they? What's happening? Why do they wear the same color clothes? Why is the girl's hair so odd?

In my explanation two years ago of Edouard Manet’s The Railway (1873) I noted that the extended arm of the girl, an alter ego, is “painting” the background and...

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13 Feb 2013

Logos (no, not that one!) and Art

Foreign words can sometimes sound more intellectual than those we use in English. That's why when logos is mentioned in reference to art it generally refers to the beginning of St. John's Gospel and is set in italic…"In the beginning was the Word………" Here though, because I am more...

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11 Dec 2012

Memory Holloway and Picasso

Memory Holloway, an art historian at the University of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, has written a wonderful book on a magnificent group of etchings by Pablo Picasso. It is titled Making Time: Picasso's Suite 347. Suite 347 is the name given to 347 etchings that the Spanish artist produced in his...

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10 Nov 2010

Gauguin’s Method

I was reading about Gauguin today and his own explanation of The Vision after the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. It struck me that if I was trying to explain this image I would say the same: that the figures in the foreground represent the artist imagining or “painting” the scene...

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02 May 2010

Letters in the Art of All Periods

In this painting of St Jerome by Antonio da Fabriano (active mid-15th-century) the biblical translator is not only writing letters; he is one. He's the artist's initial. His triangular form crossed by the edge of the table-top describes a large A for Antonio.

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