Never Mind The Bureaucracy

I was not familiar with 19th-century artist Giovanni Segantini, but I like his story, for obvious reasons:

In the spring of 1865, his mother died after spending the past seven years in increasingly poor health. His father left Giovanni under the care of Irene, his second child from a previous marriage, and again traveled in search of work. He died a year later without returning home and leaving his family nothing. Without money from her father, Irene lived in extreme poverty. She was forced to spend most of her time working menial jobs while leaving Giovanni to maintain on his own.

Irene hoped to better her life by moving to Milan, and in late 1865 she submitted an application to relinquish Austrian citizenship for both her brother and her. She either misunderstood the process or simply did not have enough time to follow through, and although their Austrian citizenship was revoked she neglected to apply for Italian citizenship. As a result, both Segantini and his sister remained stateless for the rest of their lives.

Segantini met Bugatti’s sister, Luigia Pierina Bugatti (1862–1938), known as “Bice”, and they began a life-long romance. Although Segantini tried to marry Bice the next year, due to his stateless status he could not be granted the proper legal papers. In opposition to this bureaucratic technicality, they decided to live together as an unmarried couple. This arrangement led to frequent conflicts with the Catholic church that dominated the region at this time, and they were forced to relocate every few years to avoid local condemnation.

And they stayed together for life — and the hell with both the Church and the bureaucracy.  As for his paintings, I like these ones the best:

Lovely stuff.  And like Delacroix (two weeks ago), Segantini’s work proved to be a bridge, only this time between Divisionism and Impressionism.  I get the idea, though, that style or “school” was unimportant to him:  he painted according to his own mood and feeling, blazing his own path.

My kinda guy.

The Importance Of The Bridge

Everyone knows about French artist Eugène Delacroix, who painted so many works which later became iconic that his value to Fine Art (not to mention civilization) is pretty much unchallenged.

Liberty Leading The People

And yes, many feel that he was the bridge, artistically speaking, between Classical and Romantic art and is therefore Very Important:

Massacre At Chios

Me, I just like the way he painted women:

Mademoiselle Rose

Death of Sardanapelus

Medea About To Kill Her Children

Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi

Louis of Orleans Revealing His Mistress

Delacroix’s style, to my eyes anyway, changes from piece to piece, from Classical to Romantic to almost-Impressionist — all depending on the topic he’s depicting.  Heck, the Louis of Orleans  painting above is almost Rococo in its playfulness.

And considering that he lived and worked during the hidebound early nineteenth century, that is one hell of an achievement.

Barque of Dante

Landscapes Extraordinaire

Ever since I took a few Art Appreciation classes during my belated university career*, I have been an admirer of Corot’s landscapes — sheesh, okay, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot — because for some reason, they seem to me to straddle the hyper-realism of the Academy and the later swirling Impressionists like Monet.  Here are a few which typify this part of his work:

A Farmyard near Fontainebleau

A Farmyard in the Nievre

The Path leading to the House

Trees and a Swamp

A View Near Volterra

Smyrna, A Boat

A Sudden Gust Of Wind

I love this last one most of all, because it’s almost a photograph, so well does he capture the effect of wind on both the trees and the walker.  But I would be happy to hang all the above on my walls.

In fact, what I think I’d do is get four small 18″x12″ Corot landscapes from, say, iCanvas and arrange them on a wall, thus:

Hey, it’s not too bad a dream, is it?

Corot also did portraits and such, but to be honest, I don’t care for them at all.  Here’s one which I think is his best:

…and another more like his others:

Sorry, but no.  I have high standards when it comes to portrait paintings, what can I say?

*The appreciation of art was truly a neglected part of my education.  Art classes at high school gave me an understanding of movements such as Impressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism and so on, but I never learned to appreciate art properly.  So when I went back to university in my early 50s, I took one such class, realized that I needed to take another, and then took a couple more.

I just wish I’d taken them earlier on in life, because I’ve missed so much.

Perfect Something

And another fine and wonderful thing comes under attack:

Michelangelo’s masterpiece, The Creation Of Man, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is a symbol of white supremacy, according to one woke writer.

The world-renowned piece of art which features a white-skinned Adam reaching out his hand to God, has come under fire.

It has been called ‘the perfect convergence’ of Caucasian dominion.

My idea of “perfect convergence” would be that of an axe with this fuckwit’s head, but no doubt someone is going to have a problem with this.

Update:  Never mind;  it’s Robin DiAngelo.  Should have known.  Not even worth a rant, although I had one ready.  Every time this human shithole speaks, she lessens humanity’s sum of knowledge and goodness.

Worthless sack of wokist shit [redundancy alert].



Whenever one is confronted with the random squiggles and daubs that are a feature of “modern” art, there is an irresistible impulse to say dismissively “Looks like something my kid could do”.

Because it’s true.

I defy anyone to argue otherwise when seeing this travesty in what is quite possibly the world’s most cultured city.  (via Insty, thankee Sarah… I think)

Fucking hell.

Silken Drapes

I have always been fascinated, not to say turned on, by the appearance of the female form when loosely covered with soft, diaphanous materials such as silk, satin or linen.  Here’s an example of what I mean, that of a statue of Callipygian Venus, in the Louvre:

The nineteenth-century American sculptor William Wetmore Story specialized in the form, seen here with his Cleopatra Reclining:

…and Semiaramis:

That last pic I took myself when the statue was on display at the Dallas Museum of Art, and I stared at it for ages.

Story, by the way, had this to say about sculpture in general:

Quite so.

Nowadays, of course, such wondrous sights are few and far between, and pretty much confined to photography.  Although there is this lovely picture of Mr. and Mrs. David Bowie:

…wherein even the bony Angela looks quite appealing, most such pictures seem to need backlighting:

…while most (shall we say) are more prurient:

Honestly?  I prefer Story’s sculptures to all of them.