Surrender to Art

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
-George Bernard Shaw

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34 Responses to “Surrender to Art”

  1. David Duff Says:

    A prime example of Shaw doing what he did best – writing piffle. Silly old ‘Oirish’ wind-bag! ‘Over here’ we have ‘enjoyed’ ferocious frosts combined with low-level mists this week and the “reality” of driving through the countryside with the frozen trees and hedgerows iced in pure white, plus looking down on the valleys shrouded in mysterious mists with just the church steeples poking through and pointing to cloudless, brilliant, blue skies, is worth all the rubbish in the Tate Modern several times over.

    What is it with the ‘Oirish’?

  2. Silke Says:

    Wow i love the last picture. Could you tell us who painted it please?

  3. Make Do Style Says:

    I do love these pictures and I am a massive fan of art but Mr Duffster has eloquently described some of the most magnificent scenes we have had the privilege to view this autumn and now winter. I would save myself Tate Modern pennies any day (except for a few brilliant exhibitions Hopper being one) for the Tate Britain.

  4. death_sexxx Says:

    amazing! love this quote!

  5. David Duff Says:

    I stand corrected, MDS, brcause of course there is always an exception to prove the rule and the Hopper exhibition was it. Mind you, he couldn’t paint trees for toffee but I forgive him for his superb but enigmatic interiors in which people sit or stand perfectly still avoiding eye contact with the other people in the painting – and also the viewer!

  6. Dexter VanDango Says:

    oops.. that last one should have been this one.. I hope..

    http://www.frankfrazetta.net/images/Queen-Kong_01.jpg

  7. Esme Green Says:

    the last painting is Sappho by Charles Mengin and it hangs in the City Art Gallery in my hometown of Manchester UK. I’ve seen it many many times and its gorgeous.

  8. Cricket9 Says:

    Mr. Duff, “ferocious frosts”? Just out of curiosity, how ferocious exactly? Anything that would impress me? I live in Ottawa, Canada -14C yesterday morning, -18C with the windchill factor; warm and balmy today – around 0, the snow is slightly melting, so I’m planning on wearing just one pair of socks.

  9. Dexter VanDango Says:

    The general vicinity around Mr. Duff is always sub-Arctic ..as his wet dreams of Mrs. Thatcher produce icicles.

  10. E Says:

    I concur with Esme – that Mengin painting is utterly wonderful.
    Lose yourself in Rossetti here
    http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/exhibitions/rossetti/works
    the exhibition was incredible.

  11. Style Odyssey Says:

    As an artist and art-lover, I could not agree more with Shaw’s statement.
    My art history education was but an overview of more famous works and ancient cultures; therefore I shall do bit of sleuthing to identify these. (Thanks to Esme Green for naming the last one.)
    Wonderful paintings. Thanks for posting.

  12. Dru Says:

    Wow. Just….wow.

    (and yeah, I’m a philistine who couldn’t have identified any of these paintings at a glance, but still….wow)

  13. David Duff Says:

    ‘Cricket9′, pay no attention to Mr. van Drango, the well known Bond villain, my dreams of Mrs. T. are somewhat similar to the second picture down because winged horse-type creatures have a special place in my memory – and needless to say, being an English gentleman of the old, not to say downright ancient, school, my dreams are perfectly dry – alas!

    As for frosts, well, everything is relative, as that precocious lad Albert once put it. However, when it comes to cold weather I have, as our lustrous hostess (is that her in the last picture?) knows only too well, one accurate measure which cannot be quibbled – my Long Johns – for which I am famed the length and breadth of, well, er, this blog, at any rate. When they are pulled up my shapely legs, you can rely on the certain fact that the temperature is bollock-freezing cold! Suffice to add that I have not removed them, despite complaints from the ‘Memsahib’, for the last fortnight. It’s no good you colonials complaining about your weather, you left this septic, ooops, sorry, scepter’d Isle and volunteered to go West, so you must just put up with it! If you behave yourself that nice Mr. Obamarama will come and wave his magic teleprompter over you and cure all your ills just as he has done for those hillbillies down south.

    (Alright, nurse, I’m just coming . . .)

  14. Srenna Says:

    Have always loved that painting of Sappho. It’s so moody. The colors are soothing in some manner.

  15. Claire Says:

    The Sappho pick is.. just.. so good.

  16. drollgirl Says:

    well i LOVE art!!!!! i can’t get enough of it. i was an art major, used to fancy myself as an artist (and i quickly realized i wasn’t that great and that i wouldn’t be able to scratch out a living making art), and i have a job in the art world. it is kind of maddening at times, and i see a tremendous amount of shitty art, but i am still pretty happy to be surrounded by it. YAY FOR ART.

    yes, i am a huge art nerd.

    did you catch colbert the other night when he had an entire episode dedicated to art? i was kind of in heaven.

  17. James Says:

    Love.

  18. Edie Says:

    oh (some of ) you english, even when mocking yourselves there remains an air of superiority.

  19. David Duff Says:

    Edie, Edie, who can you mean?

  20. Dexter VanDango Says:

    You’ll have to forgive the Brits, Edie.

    When they aren’t over-indulging in rum, sodomy and the lash, they console themselves with, “My dictionary is bigger than yours..”

  21. Sister Wolf Says:

    David – Well, I live in Los Angeles, where there is no weather and no reality.

    I love how David and Make do can agree on Hopper!

    E – Thanks for the link!

    Esme – Thanks for your expertise!

    Style Odyssey – My pleasure. If you see anything to recommend, send it my way

    Dru – Me too. I just scroll through art blogs and tumblrs for hours sometime, seeking transcendence. Desperately.

    David – I’m going to have to repost your long john pic, just to put these people in their place. Surely they will be shamed or dazzled, whichever is most appropriate.

    Drollgirl – I missed that Colbert but guess what? DEXTER FINALE!!!!

    James – xoxo

  22. Babsalicious Says:

    Make do style: Tate Britain gets my vote too.

    Sister Wolf: thanks for putting this art up, jolted me out of my sluggish day.

  23. E Says:

    With reference to the quote “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” -George Bernard Shaw

    http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/HopebyGFWatts.html
    … Watts ‘…received a letter which had moved him profoundly. It was written by a stranger to tell him in the simplest language that in a dark hour of life in a grimy northern town a photograph of his picture of “Hope” had attested attention at a moment of extreme crisis. The photograph had been bought with a few remaining shillings, and the message pondered, and so for one life the whole course of events had changed. The letter concluded with these words: “I do not know you, nor have I ever seen the face of him who gave me my ‘Hope,’ but I thank God for the chance of that day when it came to me in my sore need.”’

    Sometimes it is just a matter of finding a work that moves something within you – whether that is a bone-fide ‘acknowledged’ great work or a kid’s drawing. For others it is music or poetry or the beauty of what is around us – the thing is to be transported.

    Loving the surrender to art Sister W – thank you so much x

  24. Cricket9 Says:

    Yes please SW, I’d like to have a better idea about the famous Long Johns.
    Hahaha Mr. Duff, you call us Canadians “colonials”, how quaint!

  25. David Duff Says:

    Hmmmn, perhaps I should have written ‘immigrants’!

  26. hammie Says:

    I think the woman in picture number three is blowing her nose on the Turin Shroud xx

  27. Sister Wolf Says:

    hammie – I know I would.

    E – Thank YOU! xo

  28. EJ Says:

    Love that last painting, I’ve sat in front of it many times. It often hangs opposite one of my favourite paintings – this one http://www.mezzo-mondo.com/arts/mm/waterhouse/WAJ002_L.jpg By Waterhouse (that jpg doesn’t do it justice at all). I have a feeling you’d like the Manchester Art Gallery, SW. Hopefully one day when you’ve won the lottery you can come and visit it.

  29. Ashley Says:

    I love the fourth and fifth. Beautiful.

  30. Dorothy Says:

    First and third- who painted those and what are they called?? Gorgeous.

  31. Elise Says:

    Please, please, do tell who painted the first one….it’s fascinating!

  32. Sister Wolf Says:

    Elise – Konstantin Flavitsky, Princess Tarakanova [dying in prison during a flood], 1864

  33. Sister Wolf Says:

    DOrothy – The third painting is Release, by Ingrid Dee Magidson.

  34. Elise Says:

    @Sister Wolf: thanks a lot…And thank you for your blog, it’s funny, honest and refreshing :) I wish you all the best for 2011!

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