31 May 2011

Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio

In 1605, Laerzio Cherubini commissioned Caravaggio to paint an altarpiece for his family’s chapel in the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Trastevere, Rome. The chapel was dedicated to the Transit of the Virgin. There was a particular decorum for the depiction of such a scene: the Virgin giving a pious gesture, some sort of ascension of her soul, and clouds of angels. Caravaggio disregarded all of these rules and painted a bloated, inappropriately adorned Mary as if she was an ordinary mortal. For these reasons, the Carmelite clergy of the church rejected it. 

Caravaggio’s dead Virgin offended its viewers. She appeared very dead, bloated, there was nothing miraculous about her. She has no energy whatsoever to raise a hand in gesture. Her bare feet and ankles are uncovered. She is in a very poor setting. Caravaggio shows a very human Mary, the poor mother of Christ. The Mary painted by Caravaggio looked very much like one of his lovers,  the prostitute Lena. It has probably distracted contemporary viewers of this painting from understanding the real meaning behind the naturalism (Lena had drowned in a river, so Caravaggio was able to use her dead body as a model). But it was merely characteristic of Caravaggio to paint from life and to paint incredibly naturalistic figures and situations.

The lack of divinity presented in this composition is also a reason the original patrons rejected it. This appears to be an ordinary earthly death. The distinct emotions on every figure’s face add a dynamic quality to the grief portrayed. However moving it is, this can be any woman’s death.

“Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Benjamin Franklin 

30 May 2011

Wisdom comes by disillusionment ...

"You’ll tell yourself anything you have to, to pretend that you’re still the one in control." 

 Jodi Picoult

Enigma - Callas Went Away

29 May 2011

Arena Chapel - frescoes by Giotto

Arena Chapel, also called Scrovegni Chapel, (consecrated March 25, 1305) is a small chapel built in the first years of the 14th century in Padua, Italy, by Enrico Scrovegni and contains frescoes by the Florentine painter Giotto . A “Last Judgment” covers the entire west wall. The rest of the chapel is covered with frescoes in three tiers representing scenes from the lives of Saints Joachim and Anna, the life of the Virgin, the Annunciation, and the Life and Passion of Christ, concluding with the Pentecost. . The frescoes were completed in or before 1309, and they are generally dated about 1305–06.

The Lamentation 
The frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padua are among the most celebrated works in the history of art. Giotto's work was a source of inspiration and instruction for generations of painters; it was studied and absorbed by Masaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, artists whose own work was to be of such fundamental importance for the history of European art.

Interpretation of the Lamentation

Giotto has opened a door into a new style that will be know as Early Renaissance painting. He creates a world that is voluminous, 3-dimensional, and symbolic. The figures in the foreground are clearly human. His understanding and appreciation of human form is expressed through free flowing clothing that reveal volumesque bodies. There is a clear distinction between the human forms and the angelic and saintly counterparts. He is revealing his skill as an artist, an artist that wants to be remembered for his work. The angelic hosts are individuals, each conveying their sense of grief in the tragedy that they see but are not physically a part of. Heaven and earth are joined in the mourning of the Savior but separated spiritually. A wall defines heavenly from earthly. The body of Christ is elevated, protected from the earth. The tree of knowledge stands firmly as a symbol of original sin. The disciples look on calmly, with a peace that goes beyond any human understanding. This frescoe served as a palette for Giotto to express the new views of painting, and as a religious symbol. The Arena Chapel would host the events of the Life of Christ-Birth, Death and Resurrection through painted frescoes.

28 May 2011

Dialogue ...

"Coop: "If you're afraid of everyone leaving you, what do you do?"
Ellie: "Make them stay."
Coop: "And if you can't do that, or don't know how to?"
Ellie: "I don't know."
Coop: "...You leave first, so you don't have to watch them walk away."

Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)

27 May 2011

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth ...

... and we put a fake smile to hide the pain, yet we wish someone would look closely enough and see how broken we really are inside.

26 May 2011

The story behind the picture ...

"...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.

Sogyal Rinpoche

The Vulture and the child 

The haunting photo of a vulture stalking an emaciated Sudanese girl who'd collapsed on her way to a feeding station won photographer Kevin Carter a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Carter  became notorious for sticking to the journalistic principle of being an observer and not getting involved -- he left after taking his photo and neither he, nor the New York Times, which first published the photo on 26 March 1993, knew what happened to her. Few months after receiving his Pulitzer, Carter would be dead of carbon-monoxide poisoning in Johannesburg, he committed suicide at 33. His red pickup truck was parked near a small river where he used to play as a child, a green garden hose attached to the vehicle's exhaust funneled the fumes inside.
"I'm really, really sorry," he explained in a note left on the passenger seat beneath a knapsack. "The pain of life overrides the joy to the point that joy does not exist."

Very sad picture, very sad story ... but there is always hope ... 

25 May 2011

Silent Lucidity by Queensryche

“Love does not cause suffering: what causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love's opposite.” 

 Antoine de Saint-Exupery  - author of  'The Little Prince'

24 May 2011

In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated by Dead Can Dance

“Time heals old pain, while it creates new ones.

23 May 2011

David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio

This is one of Caravaggio's last works. It is a self portrait. 
"But why Caravaggio does not cast himself as the hero David ? Why does he paint himself as the villain of the piece, the monster Goliath? Maybe he hopes that by making this guilty plea in paint he can be spared, perhaps by offering his head in a painting he could save himself in real life. " (Simon Schama) 
To be able to understand this painting we need to go back to the violent past of the artist and his dark genius.

Rome 1603. Images of the Christ, the virgin and the saints are beautiful and pure, created to win the hearts of the faithful. But then Caravaggio starts to paint. He says the glory of the gospel is that the saviour was made of flesh and blood. And he paints Him, and those who were with Him, earthier and more physical than anything that has been seen before. His models are taken from the streets, the taverns, markets and brothels. Caravaggio changes forever the sense of what painting could do, how real it could feel.

Working during the Catholic Counter-Reformation,  Caravaggio pleased many of his religious patrons because he added an approachable human touch to his work. This seemed to fit the Vatican's plan to reinvigorate the Church and combat the Protestant Reformation by reaching as wide an audience as possible.

Caravaggio's personal life, however, was tainted with so much violence that it jeopardized his career. Frequenting seedy taverns and prone to barroom brawls, in 1606 he killed a man in a duel and was forced to flee Rome. Spending the last four years of his life travelling to Naples, Malta, and Sicily, searching for work and ever hopeful of a papal pardon. During this time he produced more introspective and subdued paintings reflecting the psychological toll his lifestyle had taken. Caravaggio was sent to jail several times and had lots of enemies. He used to carry a sword and a dagger without a written permission. 
Only in his thirties when he died prematurely, Caravaggio became the stereotype of the artist as a tormented genius.

Analysing the painting

A young David looks down on the freshly severed head of his enemy. Hardly exhilarated by his triumph, the boy instead looks pensive, suggesting his disgust with the whole enterprise. Holding Goliath by the hair in his left hand and holding his sword in the other, David's pained face and furrowed brow gives the painting an anxious feeling. Perhaps this reflected Caravaggio's personal awareness of what it felt like to kill a man. The large head of Goliath is as a self-portrait. Freshly severed from its body, his head still seems alive with his mouth caught in a scream and his eyes wide open while blood gushes from the neck. The look of anguish is chilling and could easily reflect the inner turmoil of the artist. Is Caravaggio damning himself for his mortal sin or is this a mea culpa meant to elicit sympathy from the papacy that condemned him?

I guess we will never really know what Caravaggio was thinking when painted this magnificent work of art, but I am moved by his pictures, they intrigue me, they touche me. I think I feel what he wanted people to feel when they gazed at his work ... I feel that it is real. 
Even though Caravaggio is not as admired by many like other famous painters, mostly because of his turbulent life, he is one of my favourite artists, his work makes me think, it takes me to places in my imaginary world ...  Maybe it is just because I am a sinner ... like he was ... 

22 May 2011

The Fatal Side by Lya Luft


When my dear love died, I could not believe
I walked around the bedroom whispering repeatedly: "I can't believe, I can't believe"
I kissed his still warm lips and touched his curly hair ...
I took his heavy silver ring with my name engraved on it and placed it on my finger ...
Even thought it is too loose, I still wear it.

Lots of people came around and left
They looked, they hugged me, they cried ...
Like they all had been left orphans.


The person they talk and write about (or  slowly forget ) ...
is not as important as the one that lies inside of my heart
my love, my boy ...


(or was it the Death?) struck him with a  heavy sickle ... my darling's  heart
(you can not see the wound, but it hurt me too).
He opened his eyes, dazzled with air,
said my name loud in a hospital room, and left.

When the doctors left (and took with them their useless machines)
we were alone  ... 
the Death ... (or was it God?) my love and I  ...
I buried my face on his shoulder as I used to do
Said the loving words we use to say to each other
But his silence was absolute, his muted heart ... and my heart ...
pierced by the golden sickle ....
Whenever I go I leave this trail of blood (dense and sad ... the bleeding will never stop)


It does not make sense that I am here alive
His face contemplates mine - creased and sad in the picture I keep on my desk
In the other pictures he smiles at me, he is  in love and happy.
It does not make sense this surviving thing ...
But here I am ... for the others to see ... whole ... just in appearance
I look through the window, hoping that I will see him
Hoping that he will be there waving at me, with his wide and generous face
I hope he will be by my side when I wake up ...
I hope I will always hear his voice on the phone ...
I know and I don't know if all these things are possible,
Death is an abyss without bridges
I survive ... just because it does not make sense.


I thought we were just starting ...
our home ... just foundations.
But it was probably completed and I did not know.
We had built few walls ... the roof sloped the right way,
and there was glass in the windows.
(We were happy there even with the storms outside.)
Everything was built in such a short period of time ... the front door ... he left like he would buy newspaper and come back ...

This same door seems high, hard, impenetrable
but on the other side, my love could see wonders that intrigued both of us ...


I have written about death all these years in  books and  poems ...
Always thought I understood it, at least a little bit ...

But now that it has destroyed my life
Ripped my heart apart
Took my love away
I feel like I am just starting to comprehend its message
By taking him from me, it is giving him back to me to be even more "mine"
Inside of me there is a puzzle ... and inside of this puzzle is my love
Not even God will take him from here.


My dear love died
Living without him hurts.
We had no children together
our past was so brief that it was always present.
One day he bought a pair of wedding rings
made from heavy silver, antique style;
only our names 
engraved, with no date, and said:
"We are one forever."
I still cannot believe he is dead and this might save me for now.
To get out of bed each day is a heroic act,
light a cigarette, answer the phone, drinking coffee.
But I do it all:
talk, walk, get visits.
Buy furniture for the house where I live without him, wondering: would he like it?
In some secret place inside of me ... I find  strength ... to lift the cup, light a cigarette,
to smile when someone tells me: "You look great today "
Then I think if it would not hurt less if I jumped from the eleventh floor.


My dear love, is now dead,
on the other side of the border that seduced both of us,
mute and motionless as if he did not exist:
I know you exist ... intensely, ardently you exist,
done and undone in the fire of a love greater than ours ...
My beloved boy, now dead, lives forever,
you shall keep the intense look that always understood me,
shall keep the beautiful mouth that called my name,
the beautiful, restless hands, which burned when touching mine.
Help me now ... you are silent ... to bear this other life
and decipher this high, impenetrable wall that surrounds me ...


We never had children together, and he complained:
"Our love deserves at least one child."
Our child is my pain today, 

brightness that made us dizzy,
the memory that I keep in my insomnia.
Our child is the time  ... 

time to speak of my dear love:
his strength and weaknesses,
of his anger and tears,
of his need to be loved and accepted as he is now ...


My love has embarked on his death
as if he was going to a romantic date, impatient.
He left me this beaten love, this defeat.
But he also left the light of all these years,
and the feeling that he finally found love
the love that even with all my devotion, I would not be able to offer him.
(One day, we will celebrate together.)


If I had lost my arms and legs
and had my heart pierced with a cold knife
my eyes blinded with hooks
had my skin removed like a rotten animal
- nothing would hurt more 
than knowing my love is dead,
deposited on this hopeless well of silence 
where he cannot answer me ...
(Except in my dreams, when you look at me
 and your hands touch my flattened open wounds, empty.)


My love died
I need to live his death until the end
Died before banality and exhaustion were part of our relationship
Maybe he died at the right time, so our love could be beautiful forever
From him,  comes the pain, but also tenderness,
the light that allows me to see his face on other people's  faces
to see his figure on the other people's  figures
to hear in the silence his unexpected childish laughter


Life is strange:
I'm mustering my days
like a flock of disordered sheep ...
this sad and cold city of Porto Alegre ...
where he liked to be watching the sunset, meeting his friends.
"Dying is the reverse of desire"
said by him, who wanted life, longed for death, wanted justice,
wanted peace and eternity.
Life is strange:
when I reread his own saying,
"To live is to modulate the death, in blood and pain I prepare my trip. "
Love is also strange:
it has an appointment with death's mutilation, agreed minutes, checking the watch to strike us.
It is strange this love that I feel now ...
my beloved boy is behind the foggy mirror
where I sometimes make out his figure
like an aquarium ... wrapped in silence.
More than never ... love commands my life


Do not talk loud around me
always walk on tiptoes.
Especially, do not touch me.
Pretend you do not see that I look lost,
and that don't understand the questions as fast as before,
that I look tired and dull like I never did before.
Please be silent around me.
I do not care about daily things or anything mystical.
Do not want to discuss the market prices
or the great mysteries of eternity.


I take my love inside of my heart
Like those who carry the body of a dead child in their arms


My love ... you taught me so many things
about myself and the world ... I knew so little about them
When the dark night of this loss is gone
I want to see by your eyes
and love by your love the things that I still have left
My love, you are alive inside of me forever
Despite the wrinkles and the sad look
I owe you this:
Love life again, the same way you now love your death.

21 May 2011

Black Sun by Dead Can Dance

“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”

Harry Crews

20 May 2011

She is beautiful, but does not have a name ... she is ordinary ...

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”

William Faulkner

Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

19 May 2011

Always follow your heart, it’s never wrong ...

“I can't speak for others whom I don't know. All I know is that we all have our own journey. My journey will be different from yours. We may cross paths in the future; we may not. I am not going to tell anyone what their journey should be.”

18 May 2011

Holy Land by Angra

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”

Charles R. Swindoll

17 May 2011

Sisyphus Myth

Sisyphus is the son of Aeolus (the king of Thessaly) and Enarete, and founder of Corinth. He instituted, among others, the Isthmian Games. According to tradition he was sly and evil and used to way-lay travelers and murder them. He betrayed the secrets of the gods and chained the god of death, Thanatos, so the deceased could not reach the underworld. Hades himself intervened and Sisyphus was severely punished.

In the realm of the dead, he is forced to roll a block of stone against a steep hill, which tumbles back down when he reaches the top. Then the whole process starts again, lasting all eternity. His punishment was depicted on many Greek vases. He is represented as a naked man, or wearing a fur over his shoulders, pushing a boulder.

According to some sources, Sisyphus was the father of Odysseus by Anticlea, before she married Laertus. They also mention Theseus as the hero who freed the country of Sisyphus.

16 May 2011

Sounds of Silence by Dark Orange

"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing."

 Rachel Naomi Remen

15 May 2011

I am so tired ...

"There's a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside. "

Pearl Bailey

14 May 2011

I will never win ...

“Guilt is regret for what we have done.
Regret is guilt for what we did not do.”

12 May 2011

Corridoio Vasariano (The Vasari Corridor) - Florence, Italy

The Vasari Corridor (Italian: Corridoio Vasariano) is an elevated enclosed passageway in Florence, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. Beginning on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio, it then joins the Uffizi Gallery and leaves on its south side, crossing the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then following the north bank of the River Arno until it crosses the Ponte Vecchio. At the time of construction the Torre dei Mannelli had to be built around using brackets because the owners of the tower refused to alter it. The corridor covers up part of the façade of the chiesa di Santa Felicità. The corridor then snakes its way over rows of houses in the Oltrarno district, becoming narrower, to finally join the Palazzo Pitti. Most of it is closed to visitors.

The corridor is a now  museum, the collection of artworks displayed along the Corridor's walls are mostly  from the16th and 17th centuries as well as a special and unique collection of artists' self-portraits, including works from Andrea del Sarto to Chagall. The collection is one of the most complete in all Europe, first started by Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici in the 17th century. Many paintings and self-portraits that are a part of the collection are actually not on display for lack of space along the corridor's walls.

The corridor was once the target of a terrorist attack commissioned by the Italian mafia in 1993. During the night of May 26, 1993 a car full of explosives was set off next to the Torre dei Pulci, located between via Lambertesca and via de' Georgofili, and 5 people died. Many others were injured and several houses were heavily damaged, including a section of the Uffizi Gallery and part of the Vasari Corridor. In the Corridor, several artworks were destroyed by the explosion. These paintings, even if hopelessly damaged, have been pieced back together and placed back on their original spot to serve as a reminder of the horrible attack.

The central part of the Corridor that goes over Ponte Vecchio is the most beautiful panoramic point of view. Exactly halfway over the Ponte Vecchio, Benito Mussolini in 1939 ordered the Corridor's small windows be enlarged so that he could admire the great panorama over the Arnoto Ponte Santa Trinita. The windows were to be ready for Adolf Hitler's official visit to Florence: It said he was so impressed by this magnificent panorama over the Ponte Vecchio that he ordered the bridge be saved from German bombing during World War II as they began their retreat from Florence. All the other bridges in Florence were destroyed.

The Corridor was named after its architect, Giorgio Vassari. It  was commissioned in 1565 by Cosimo de' Medici to celebrate the wedding of his son Francesco I with Joanna of Austria. The passageway, started in March 1565, was finished in just 5 months on time for the wedding celebrated on December 16th.

Thanks to this elevated passageway the Medici made sure they could move freely and and safely between their residence in Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Vecchio, the government's headquarters.

To build the Corridor several medieval towers located along its way were quite literally crossed. All owners were forced to consent to give the space through their properties for the passageway.... all consented except for the Mannelli family that firmly opposed having the Corridor passing through their home.  Vasari was forced to go around the obstacle - if you look closely from below, you'll see the Corridor does go around the Mannelli tower placed at the end of Ponte Vecchio where it meets Via Bardi and Via de' Guicciardini.

For at least 200 years the Vasari Corridor was used only as a passageway back and forth between the two residences. The route, even if it was just one kilometer, wasn't just done on foot - a small carriage for two passengers transported the Medici and their guests. It is also likely that the Corridor had several benches along the way so that it was possible to rest.

The corridor is currently being restored, it is possible that the Corridor will be used as a permanent passageway open to the public between the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti. 

11 May 2011

Tell Me About the Forest by Dead Can Dance

"Arrogance and rudeness are training wheels on the bicycle of life ... for weak people who cannot keep their balance without them."

Laura Teresa Marquez

10 May 2011

The Fox said ... I shall cry ...

It was then that the fox appeared.
"Good morning," said the fox.
"Good morning," the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.
"I am right here," the voice said, "under the apple tree."
"Who are you?" asked the little prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at."
"I am a fox," the fox said.
"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."
"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince.
But, after some thought, he added: "What does that mean--'tame'?"
"You do not live here," said the fox. "What is it that you are looking for?"
"I am looking for men," said the little prince. "What does that mean--'tame'?"
"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"
"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean--'tame'?"
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."
"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."
"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . ."
"It is possible," said the fox. "On the Earth one sees all sorts of things."
"Oh, but this is not on the Earth!" said the little prince.
The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious. "On another planet?"
"Are there hunters on that planet?"
"Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?"
"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.
But he came back to his idea.
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please--tame me!" he said.
"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."
"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . ."
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."
The next day the little prince came back.
"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . ."
"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.
"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all." 
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near ...
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the colour of the wheat fields." And then he added:
"Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret." 
The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.
"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world."
And the roses were very much embarrassed.
"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer by would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. 
And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry - Chapter 21 

09 May 2011

For Tomorrow by Shaman

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.
God is awake.”

Victor Hugo

08 May 2011

La Primavera by Sandro Botticelli

Botticelli was one of the major artists in Florence during the Renaissance, born in 1445, Florence, Italy. 

La Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring was painted around 1482. It is a tempera on wood panel measuring 203 x 314 cm. 
The history of the painting is not certainly known, though it seems to have been commissioned by Lorenzo de' Medici . It contains elements of Ovid and Lucretius work, they were both Roman poets. May have been inspired by a poem by Poliziano. Since 1919 the painting has been part of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Different interpretations have been attributed to this painting, this is how art historian Susan Legouix describes the painting on her book Botticelli (first published in 1979): 

"As in two of the Sistine frescoes the theme (it can hardly be called narrative) reads from right to left. The impetus is given by Zephyr who blows from the right. On the left, Mercury, associated with the month of May, turns as if to indicate the passage of spring towards summer. Zephyr’s breath causes flowers to spring from the mouth of the earth nymph Chloris, who then assumes the richly-clad form of Flora as the next figure in the group. Venus, the personification of April, stands in the centre of the picture gesturing towards her attendant Graces."

Death does not care what season it is ...

Mercury may have been modeled after Giuliano de' Medici

All female figures seem to be pregnant 

Link to the Uffizi Gallery - Google Art Project 

06 May 2011

If anybody could see ...

“Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself - no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are - completely; the good and the bad - and make changes as you see fit - not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” 

Stacey Charter

I had to kill some of my most beautiful feelings because they made me weak and vulnerable, they made a person that I could no longer recognize. I had to sacrifice them so I could be myself again ... and the real me is so much better than the image I see reflected in the hostile eyes of the others ... 

Everything in life is relative ...

Bel Canto - Waking Will

05 May 2011

Carousel in Paris ...

“A moment may last just a few seconds, but the memory lives on forever.”

04 May 2011

Close your eyes and you will find ...

"The most melancholic thing about the human nature, is, that a man may guide others into the path of salvation, without walking in it himself; that he may be a pilot, and yet a castaway."

Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Scorpions - Send me an angel

03 May 2011

The truth that life reveals ...

"It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts."

K.T. Jong

02 May 2011

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”

The Last Judgment is a fresco by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It took four years to be completed and was executed from 1537 to 1541. Michelangelo began working on it three decades after having finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

This powerful work centers on Christ the Judge, who compels the damned to hell with his left hand and lifts up the saved to heaven with his right. Surrounding Christ are the planets, the sun and saints.

Notable among the details is Minos, the Judge of Souls, shown in hell with the ears of a jackass. He is a portrait of the papal Master of Ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, who frequently complained to the Pope about the nudity of the painted figures, saying:

"It was a most dishonest act in such a respectable place to have painted so many naked figures immodestly revealing their shameful parts, that it was not a work for a papal chapel but for a bathhouse or house of ill-fame."

When Biagio complained to the pope about his consignment to hell in Michelangelo's painting, Paul III is said to have replied that he has no jurisdiction in hell.

Michelangelo's self-portrait appears twice in The Last Judgment: in the flayed skin held by St. Bartholomew and in the figure in the lower left corner, who is watching the dead rise from their graves.

The Last Judgment offers a concrete example of  controversy,  praised for its display of artistic genius and execution and attacked for its scandalous content.