Rue Saint-Honoré, Sun Effect, Afternoon (1898)
Oil on canvas
This vertically oriented canvas depicts an urban street scene, specifically a large square at the intersection of two avenues, painted from an elevated viewpoint. The long avenue on the left side of the composition recedes sharply into the distance, framed on either side by tall, multistoried buildings with street level storefronts. In the right foreground, a fountain is positioned in the middle of the square on a paved circular base planted with tall trees; a tall streetlamp on a smaller circular base is positioned just in front of the fountain. In the right middle ground, a band of Haussmann-style Parisian buildings stretches horizontally across the composition. The trajectory of the second avenue is suggested by the angle of the building at the far right. Numerous clusters of sparsely painted figures and horse-drawn carriages populate the streets and paved islands. The palette is a harmony of muted pastel tones punctuated by the dark brown and black forms of people, horses, and carriages. The brushwork is a mixture of short and long strokes rapidly applied in a loose, sketch-like manner.
"Capricorn is an inventive portrait of Max Ernst and his wife, fellow Surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning. On another level, it expresses the duality of male and female.
For the Surrealists, as for the Greeks, the minotaur (half man/half bull) symbolized the battle between rational mind and aggressive instinct. This minotaur figure was probably inspired by a Katsina-a Zuni spirit sculpture-that was owned by Ernst. A mermaid and a dog, with pipe eyes and trowel tongue, rest next to him. The mermaid is also a hybrid. Part woman and part fish, she lives in the sea, a symbol of the feminine unconscious.
Tanning named Capricorn after a constellation. The title hints at astrology, the study of the influence of celestial events upon the lives of humans."
"We are, each of us, our own prisoner.
We are locked up in our own story." - Maxine Kumin
"The picture alone, without the written word,
leaves half the story untold." - James Lafferty
Weekly Photo Challenge: Story
Rainer Maria Rilke
“Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.
leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs-
leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.
“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.” -- Hafiz
Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation
“The butterflies…what an educated sense of beauty they have. They seem only an ornament to society, and yet, if they were gone, how substantial would be their loss.” — Phil Robinson
Red Satin Sheets
They say she was like red satin sheets
on a dark day
They say he was like the weather under them
and he adored her love
They were like a match made in Heaven
and a hurricane made in Hell
And they were full of a passion that
could only bring their tragedy
And when he lost her
he could never love another
red satin sheet again
by Elizabeth Crowe
the power within.
the path is whatever passes—no
end in itself.
the end is,
the proof of the power within.