Thursday, October 23, 2008

Albert Bierstadt Buffalo Country painting

Albert Bierstadt Buffalo Country paintingAlbert Bierstadt Bavarian Landscape paintingAlbert Bierstadt The Emerald Pool painting
then at last left to die as she wished; or of Callus, who died of a consumption; or of Drusus who, removed some time before from his attic in the Palace to a dark cellar, was found dead with his mouth full of the flock from his mattress, which he had been gnawing in his starvation. But I must record at least that Tiberius wrote letters to the Senate rejoicing in the death of Agrippina and Nero-he accused her now of treason and of adultery with Gallus-and regretting, in the case of Callus, that "the press of public Business had constantly postponed his trial so that he had died before his guilt could be proved". As for Drusus, he wrote that this young man was the lewdest and most treacherous rascal he had ever encountered. He ordered a record to be publicly read, by the Guards captain who had been in charge of him, of the treasonable remarks which

Paul Cezanne Still Life with Apples and Oranges painting

Paul Cezanne Still Life with Apples and Oranges paintingPaul Cezanne Still Life with a Skull paintingPaul Cezanne Man Smoking a Pipe painting
among the better citizens than he had been. He had given up his drunken habits-the death of Germanicus seemed to have sobered him-and though he still had an inordinate love of bloodshed at sword-fights and dressed extravagantly and betted enormous sums on the chariot races, he was a conscientious magistrate and a loyal friend. I had little to do with him, but when we met he treated me with far greater consideration than before Germanicus's death.
The bitter hatred between him and Sejanus always threatened to blaze up into a quarrel, but Sejanus was careful not to provoke Castor until the quarrel could be turned to account. The time had now come. Sejanus went to the Palace to congratulate Castor on his protectorship and found him in his study with Livilla. There were no slaves or freedmen present, so Sejanus could say what he pleased. By this time Livilla was so much in love with him that he could count on her to betray Castor as she had once betrayed Postumus-

Monday, October 20, 2008

Edward Hopper Chop Suey painting

Edward Hopper Chop Suey painting
Caravaggio Adoration of the Shepherds painting
Julia's account), and because he had never given a public denial of the rumour which made him the real father of Castor, and because he had a witty tongue-this Gallus was the only senator who had dared to question the propriety of the motion. He rose to ask what divine portent had occurred to suggest that Augustus would be welcomed in the Heavenly Mansions-merely at the recommendation of his mortal friends and admirers?
There followed an uncomfortable silence but at last Tiberius rose slowly and said: "One hundred days ago, it will be recalled, the pediment of my rather Augustus's statue was struck by lightning. The first letter of his name was
Thomas Moran Forest Scene painting
blotted out, which left the words ESAR AUGUSTUS. What is the meaning of the letter C? It is the sign for one hundred. What does ESAR mean? I will tell you. It means God, in the Etruscan tongue. Clearly, in a hundred days from that lightning stroke Augustus is to become a God in Rome. What clearer portent than this can you require?" Though Tiberius took the sole credit for this interpretation it was I who had first given meaning to ESAR (the queer word had been much discussed), being the only person at Rome who was acquainted

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thomas Kinkade HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS painting

Thomas Kinkade HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS paintingWinslow Homer The Houses of Parliament paintingWinslow Homer The Gulf Stream painting
that puzzles me, I confess. That is the story of Lars Porsena. According to Livy, Porsena tailed to capture Rome, being first prevented by the heroic behaviour of Horatius at the bridge and then dismayed by the astounding daring of Scaevola; Livy relates that Scaevola, captured after an attempt at assassinating Porsena, thrust his hand into the flame on the altar and swore that three hundred Romans like himself had bound Porsena an ivory throne, a sceptre, a golden crown and a triumphal robe; which can only mean that they paid him sovereign honours. So perhaps Lars Porsena did capture Rome, in spite of Horatius and Scaivola. And Aruns the priest at Capua (he's supposed to be the last man who can read Etruscan inscriptions) told me last summer that according themselves by an oath to take Porsena's life. And so Lars Porsena made peace. But I have seen the labyrinth tomb of Lars Porsena at Clusium and there is a frieze on it of Romans emerging from the City gate and being led under a yoke. There's an Etruscan priest with a pair of shears cutting off the beards of the Fathers. And even Dionysius of Halicamassus, who was very favourably disposed towards us, states that the Senate voted

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unknown Artist Pink Floyd Back Catalogue painting

Unknown Artist Pink Floyd Back Catalogue paintingClaude Monet Water Lilies paintingVincent van Gogh Poppies 1886 painting
hands and said, most earnestly, “Mary, in God’s name be thankful if he didn’t! That’s a hideous thing for a man in the prime of to have to know. He wasn’t a Christian, you know,” he blurted it fiercely. “He didn’t have to make his peace with God. He was a man, with a wife and two children, and I’d say that sparing him that horrible knowledge was the one thing we can thank God for!” And he added, in a desperate voice, “I’m so terribly sorry I said that, Mary!”
But Hannah, who had been gently saying, “He’s right, Mary, he’s right, be thankful for that,” now told him quietly, “It’s all right, Andrew”; and Mary, whose eyes fixed upon his, had shown increasing shock and terror, now said tenderly, “Don’t mind, dear. Don’t be sorry. I understand. You’re right.”
“That venomous thing I said about Christians,” Andrew said after a moment. “I can never forgive myself, Mary.”
“Don’t grieve over it, Andrew. Don’t. Please. Look at me, please.” He

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paul Cezanne Table Corner painting

Paul Cezanne Table Corner paintingWilliam Bouguereau Innocence paintingBill Brauer The Gold Dress painting
and everywhere at once, from the whole shell heaven, shivering in your flesh and teasing your eardrums, the boldest of all the sounds of night. And yet it is habitual to summer nights, and is of the great order of noises, like the noises of the sea and of the blood her precocious grandchild, which you realize you are hearing only when you catch yourself listening. Meantime from low in the dark, just outside the swaying horizons of the hoses, conveying always grass in the damp of dew and its strong green-black smear of smell, the regular yet spaced noises of the crickets, each a sweet cold silver noise three-noted, like the slipping each time of three matched links of a small chain.
But the men by now, one by one, have silenced their hoses and drained and coiled them. Now only two, and now only one, is left, and you see only ghostlike shirt with the sleeve garters, and sober mystery of his mild face like the lifted face of large cattle enquiring of your presence in a pitch-dark pool of meadow; and now he too is gone; and it has become

Sandro Botticelli La Primavera painting

Sandro Botticelli La Primavera paintingSalvador Dali meditative rose paintingSalvador Dali clock melting clocks painting
crossing their traceless footsteps like thejourneys of bees, measuring out the dry cocoa for breakfast. When they came out they had taken off their aprons and their skirts were dampened and they sat in rockers on their porches quietly.
It is not of the s children play in the evening that I want to speak now, it is of a contemporaneous atmosphere that has little to do with them: that of the fathers of families, each in his space of lawn, his shirt fishlike pale in the unnatural light and his face nearly anonymous, hosing their lawns. The hoses were attached at spiggots that stood out of the brick foundations of the houses. The nozzles were variously set but usually so there was a long sweet stream of spray, the nozzle wet in the hand, the water trickling the right forearm and the peeled-back cuff, and the water whishing out a long loose and low-curved cone, and so gentle a sound. First an insane noise of violence in the nozzle, then the still irregular sound of adjustment, then the smoothing into steadiness and a pitch as accurately tuned

Thomas Moran Forest Scene painting

Thomas Moran Forest Scene paintingThomas Moran Autumn Landscape paintingJean Francois Millet The Gleaners painting
seemed presumptuous to try to guess where he might have inserted them. This arrangement also obviated the necessity of the editors having to compose any transitional material. The short section Knoxville: Summer of 1915, which serves as a sort of prologue, has been added. It was not a part of the manuscript which Agee left, but the editors would certainly have urged him to include it in the final draft.

How much polishing or re-writing he might have done is impossible to guess, for he was a tireless and painstaking writer. However, in the opinion of the editors and of the publisher, A Death in the Family is a near-perfect work of art. The title, like all the rest of the book, is James Agee’s own.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Andrea del Sarto Holy Family painting

Andrea del Sarto Holy Family paintingSalvador Dali Girl from the Back paintingSalvador Dali White Calm painting
decline seemed daily to fade and crumble, so much the more did Julia stand out clear and firm.
She was thin in those days, flat-chested, leggy; she seemed all limbs and neck, bodiless, spidery; thus far she conformed to the fashion, but the hair-cut and the hats of the period, and the blank stare and gape of the period, and the clownish dabs of rouge high on the cheekbones, could not reduce her to type.
When I first met her, when she met me in the station yard and drove me Home through the twilight, that high summer of 1923, she was just eighteen and fresh from her first London season.
Some said it was the most brilliant season since the war, that things were getting into their stride again. Julia was at the centre of it. There were then remaining perhaps half a dozen London houses which could be called ‘historic’; Marchmain House in St James’s was one of them, and the ball given for

Wassily Kandinsky Red Spot II painting

Wassily Kandinsky Red Spot II paintingWassily Kandinsky Flood Improvisation paintingVincent van Gogh Autumn Landscape painting
What’s more, I can’t taste it in this thimble.’
They brought him a balloon the size of his head. He made them warm it over the spirit lamp. Then he rolled the splendid spirit round, buried his face in the fumes, and pronounced it the sort, of stuff he put soda in at Home. So, shamefacedly, they wheeled out of its hiding place the vast and mouldy bottle they kept for people of Rex’s sort.
‘That’s the stuff,’ he said, tilting the treacly concoction till it left dark rings round the sides of his glass. ‘They’ve always got some tucked away, but they won’t bring it out unless you make a fuss. Have some.’
‘I’m quite happy with this.’
‘Well, it’s a crime to drink it, if you don’t really appreciate it. He lit his cigar and sat back at peace with the world; I, too, was at peace in