Archive for Pottery

Resurrection

Posted in Art, Philosophy with tags , , , on July 21, 2018 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Christian art is always an action based on the great idea of redemption. It is an “imitation of Christ” infinitely various in its manifestations, an eternal return to the single creative act that began our historical era. Christian art is free. It is, in the full meaning of the phrase, “art for art’s sake.” No necessity of any kind, even the highest, clouds its bright inner freedom, for its prototype, that which it imitates, is the very redemption of the world by Christ. And so, not sacrifice, not redemption in art, but the free and joyful imitation of Christ—that is the keystone of Christian esthetics. Art cannot be a sacrifice, for a sacrifice has already been made; cannot be redemption, for the world along with the artist has already been redeemed. What then is left? A joyful commerce with the divine, like a game played by the Father with his children, a hide-and-seek of the spirit! The divine illusion of redemption, which is Christian art, is explained precisely by this game Divinity plays with us, permitting us to stray along the byways of mystery so that we would, as it were of ourselves, come upon salvation, having experienced catharsis, redemption in art. Christian artists are as it were the freedmen of the idea of redemption, rather than slaves, and they are not preachers. Our whole two-thousand-year-old culture, thanks to the miraculous mercy of Christianity, is the world’s release into freedom for the sake of play, for spiritual joy, for the free “imitation of Christ.”

Christianity took its place and stood there in an absolutely free relationship to art, and this no human religion of any kind has been able to do either before or after it.

Nourishing art, giving art of its flesh, offering it in the way of a sturdy metaphysical foundation the most real fact of redemption, Christianity demanded nothing in return. Christian culture is therefore not threatened by the danger of inner impoverishment. It is inexhaustible, infinite, because, triumphing over time, again and again it condenses grace into magnificent clouds and lets it pour out in life-giving rain. One cannot be sufficiently emphatic in pointing out the fact that, for its character of eternal freshness and unfadingness, European culture is indebted to the mercy of Christianity in its relationship to art.

Text: Osip Mandelstam, Selected Essays, translated by Sidney Monas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977
Image: Andrea del Verrocchio, Resurrezione di Cristo, painted terracotta, c. 1463, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
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La prudenza

Posted in Art, Object with tags , on October 24, 2017 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Andrea della Robbia
glazed terracotta, c. 1475
Metropolitan Museum

Fanciulla

Posted in Art, Object with tags , on October 24, 2017 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Andrea della Robbia
glazed terracotta, c. 1475
private collection

San Michele Arcangelo

Posted in Art, Object with tags , , on October 24, 2017 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Andrea della Robbia
glazed terracotta, c. 1475
Metropolitan Museum

Testa della vergine

Posted in Art, Object with tags , on October 24, 2017 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Attributed to Andrea della Robbia
glazed terracotta, c. 1480-90
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Silenis

Posted in Greece, Poetry with tags , , on October 1, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

attic-red-figure-kylix-hetaira-playing-kottabos-getty
Four times putting her lips to the lips of the jar Silenis drank up the last dregs. Fair-haired Dionysus, she defiled thee not with water, but even as thou didst come from the vineyard she used to quaff thee generously, holding a cup even until she went to the sands of the dead.

Text: Gaetulicus (†39 AD), The Greek Anthology XI:409 translated by W. R. Paton. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1918
Image: attributed to Onesimos, interior of an Attic red-figure kylix, c. 500 BC. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Vases grecs et étrusques

Posted in Greece, Painting with tags , on September 17, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden
alexandre-isidore-leroy-de-barde-greek-and-etruscan-vases-c-18th-cent-watercolor
Alexandre-Isidore Leroy De Barde (1777–1828)
watercolour, c. late 18th century