Archive for the Art Category

On Anacreon

Posted in Art, Poetry with tags , , , , on November 18, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Oh beloved who didst love the clear lute, O thou who didst sail through thy whole life with song and with love.

Text: Anonymous, The Greek Anthology VII:23B translated by W. R. Paton. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1917
Image: Anonymous, Woman sitting on a rock and playing the lute or pandura, 1st quarter of the 3rd century BC, Musée du Louvre

The Idea of God

Posted in Art, Book with tags , on November 17, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


“Was the idea of God alive at all in me? No: if you mean the traditional idea. But that was a symbol, vague, variable, mythical, anthropomorphic; the symbol for an overwhelming reality, a symbol that named and unified in human speech the incalculable powers on which our destiny depends. To observe, record, and measure the method by which these powers operate is not to banish the idea of God: it is what the Hebrews called meditating on his ways. The modern hatred of religion is not, like that of the Greek philosophers, a hatred of poetry, for which they wished to substitute cosmology, mathematics, or dialectic, still maintaining the reverence of man for what is superhuman. The modern hatred of religion is hatred of the truth, hatred of all sublimity, hatred of the laughter of the gods. It is puerile human vanity trying to justify itself by a lie.”

Text: George Santayana, My Host the World. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953
Image: William Blake, The Ancient of Days setting a Compass to the Earth, frontispiece to copy K of Europe a Prophecy, 1821, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

…for Orpheus dead…

Posted in Art, Poetry with tags , , on November 16, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


The fair-haired daughters of Bistonia shed a thousand tears for Orpheus dead, the son of Calliope and Oeagrus; they stained their tattooed arms with blood, and dyed their Thracian locks with black ashes. The very Muses of Pieria, with Apollo, master of the lute, burst into tears mourning for the singer, and the rocks moaned, and the trees, that erst he charmed with his lovely lyre.

Text: Anonymous, The Greek Anthology VII:10 translated by W. R. Paton. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1917
Image: Terracotta Funerary Plaque, ca. 520–510 BC, Metropolitan Museum

No more, Orpheus…

Posted in Art, Greek Myth, Poetry with tags , , , on November 16, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


No more, Orpheus, shalt thou lead the charmed oaks and rocks and the shepherdless herds of wild beasts. No more shalt thou lull to sleep the howling winds and the hail, and the drifting snow, and the roaring sea. For dead thou art; and the daughters of Mnemosyne bewailed thee much, and before all thy mother Calliope. Why sigh we for our dead sons, when not even the gods have power to protect their children from death?

Text: Antipater of Sidon (late 2nd century BC), The Greek Anthology VII:8 translated by W. R. Paton. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1917
Image: Sculptural Group of a Seated Poet and Sirens, c. 350 – 300 BC, Getty Villa

La Présidente

Posted in Art, Painting with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Madame Sabatier en Bacchante
Auguste Clésinger
marble, 1847
Musée d’Orsay


Apollonie Sabatier ‘La Présidente’
Vincent Vidal
mixed media on paper, c. 1848?
Musée National du Château de Compiègne


Baudelaire et la Présidente Sabatier
Thomas Couture (attributed)
oil on canvas, c. 1850
Musée d’Art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand


La Dame au Petit Chien
Gustave Ricard
oil on canvas, 1850
Musée Carnavalet


Madame Sabatier
Charles Barenne
photograph, c. 1860
location unknown

The model for Clésinger’s sublime Bacchante couchée and Femme piquée par un serpent, mistress and muse of Baudelaire, Apollonie Sabatier was one of the great femmes inspiratrices of mid-19th century Paris. In her salon in the Rue Frochot, Sabatier was host to the great artists and bohemians of the age; Nerval, Gautier, Berlioz, Manet, Doré, Hugo and many others. Such was her majesty that she was known as “La Présidente”

Some interesting links are here, here and here

Reliques de Chopin

Posted in Art, Music, Object with tags , on November 6, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


The sculptor Auguste Clésinger was a prominent member of the bohemian art world of mid-19th century Paris, and particularly of the circle of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand, whose daughter Solange he married in 1847. When Chopin died on 17 October 1849, Clésinger made his death mask and a cast of his hands. He also sculpted, in 1850, the marble funerary monument of Euterpe, the muse of music, for Chopin’s grave.



Posted in Art, Object with tags , on November 6, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Auguste Clésinger
date and location unknown