Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Play it Again, Toads

Welcome to the 25th Play it Again, Toads! where archived challenges of this Imaginary Garden come to life again.  Have fun exploring the side bar (2011 - 2016) and selecting your own or choose from three I've highlighted below.

As always, you are not required to use one of my photos for this prompt, however if you do, please be sure to use it with an archived challenge.  The art work is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art - a place I try to always visit when I am in NYC.

Please submit an original poem and link you specific post to Mr. Linky below and be sure to make it clear which challenge you are resurrecting by including a link to it as well.

As always, please be neighborly and visit the other wonderful poets who participate.

1)  Mary's Mixed Bag:  Poetry of the Ordinary

2)  Fireblossom Friday:  The Crack in Everything

3)  Brudberg:   Not a Sestina but Close

(Click on images to enlarge...)

detail - Peter Paul Rubens oil/wood "The Triumph of Henry IV 1630
The above energetic sketch: shows Henry IV (1553-1610), King of France, entering Paris "in the manner of the triumphs of the Romans," as described in Ruben's contract of 1622.  Rubens was to paint forty-eight large canvases for the king's widow, Marie de' Medici, to decorate the Palais de Luxembourg.  Those depicting her life (Louvre, Paris) were finished in 1624, but of the companion series only the enormous Triumph of Henry IV (Uffizi, Florence) was  completed before the Marie's banishment from France in 1631.  The present oil sketch is the last of four in which Rubens worked out his heroic allegory of an actual event.

Jacob Vosmaer oil/wood "A Vase w/ Flowers 1613
The Delft painter Jacob Vosmaer was an early if not pioneering specialist in the painting of flower pictures, which often depict rare specimens known to the artists solely from illustrated books.  At some time before 1870 this panel was trimmed on the sides and cut down (about nine inches) at the top, cropping the crown imperial.  

Seymour Joseph Guy oil/canvas 1870 "Story of Golden Locks"


As a girl reads Goldilocks and the Three Bears to two little boys tucked in bed, her menacing shadow and the wide eyes suggest that she is recounting the story's most frightening moment.  At this time, fairy tales were appreciated for their moral content, and Goldilocks, in particular, for warning children not to wander off on their own.  Later interpreters have construed the tale as signaling a girl's search for identity as she approaches womanhood.  Guy's female subject creates a sense of foreboding even as she exudes calm, foretelling her future success as a mother.  Her doll is stashed in the box on the chair, implying that she is ready to put away childish games and assume an adult role. 
Pedro de Mena "Ecce Homo & Mater Dolorosa "1674-85

Carved wood sculpture, enhanced by paint and other media, including glass eyes and hair, reached a pinnacle of naturalism and expressive force in 17th-century Spain.  Pedro de Mena's virtuoso manipulation of these materials created startling likenesses of bodies and clothing.  They encourage in the beholder an empathetic response to the suffering of mother and son, who appear as exemplars of worldly forbearance in the face of tragedy.  Carved details such as the twisted and knotted rope binding Christ's hands or the Virgin's thin, deeply undercut drapery are joined by the subtle and descriptive painting in thin glazes of the silver and red brocade of the Virgin's tunic and the bruises that cover Christ's flesh.  Men's desire was to make the figures seem physically present before the viewer.  At the same time, they have a dignity and reserve that made them ideal works for contemplation.

Pedro de mena "Ecce Homo & Mater Dolorosa" 1674-85 
                                                   
El Greco (1541-1614) Oil/canvas "View of Toledo"
In this, his greatest surviving landscape, El Greco portrays the city he lived and worked in for most of his life.  The painting belongs to the tradition of emblematic city views, rather than a faithful documentary description.  The view of the eastern section of Toledo from the north would have excluded the cathedral, which the artist therefore imaginatively moved to the left of the Alcazar (the royal palace).  Other building represented in the painting include the ancient Alcantara Bridge, and on the other side of the river Tagus, the Castle of San Servando. 


Charles Sprague Pearce Oil/canvas 1882 "Arab Jeweler"
Boston-born Charles Sprague Pearce belonged to the generation of American artists who increasingly settled in France in the post-Civil War years.  Like that of his celebrated Parisian teacher, Leon Bonnet, Pearce explored a range of subjects throughout his successful expatriate career.  A four-month excursion along the Nile in the early 1870's led to a particular interest in "exotic," or Orientalist themes, such as the ambitious portrayal of a native craftsman.  


John Singer Sargent Oil/canvas  1883-84  "Madame X"
Madame Pierre Gaudreau (the Louisiana-born Virginie Amelie Avegno; 1859-1915) was known in Paris for her artful appearance.  Sargent hoped to enhance his reputation by painting and exhibiting her portrait.  Working without a commission but with his sitter's complicity, he emphasized her daring personal style, showing the right strap of her gown slipping from her shoulder.  At the Salon of 1884, the portrait received more ridicule than praise.  Sargent repainted the shoulder strap and kept the work for over thirty years.  When, eventually he sold it to the Metropolitan, he commented, "I suppose it is the best thing I have done," but asked that the Museum disguise the sitter's name.





9 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you for sharing these works of art, Margaret.

Susie Clevenger said...

Such beautiful art. Thanks for sharing.

Outlawyer said...

Fantastic photos of beautiful art, Margaret. Thanks. k.

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

I ended up going with Shay's prompt, but I agree. The artwork is superb! Thanks, Margaret! Amy

Jim said...

I'm liking your art exhibit, Margaret. El Greco is my favorite and no wonder seeing this painting. I was not aware of his "View of Toledo" and will make a point of finding it if and when I get back to NYC. It may have been on loan when I first visited as the museum had moved to Queens ?? for remodeling. Didn't see it other times either.

Anyway, I would have love to have seen Toledo back in his day. Been there three times, first in 2003. The 'hill' is full of buildings, commercial, church related, and homes now. Most were old, old. Been to the Royal Palace museum a few times also. Wonderful places.
Thank you. (Oh yes, may write tomorrow, lots going on here right now.)
..

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I am working on one for "Poetry Of The Ordinary" by Mary but I wanted to share a poem I wrote for Easter in 2015 also. I hope you don't mind. Happy Easter Toads and I'll be back soon with my topic poem. I'll be around to read everyone's wonderful work this week. Hugs!

Bekkie Sanchez said...

For Mary's "Poetry Of The Ordinary" I wrote about an ordinary habit I can't get rid of. I enjoyed this Play It Again and am ready to read. Have a good week! Hugs!

telltaletherapy said...

what a fabulous choice of picture prompts - I also enjoyed digging through the archives and finding 'poetry in a quote' from Didion - though I stuck in some prose too!

telltaletherapy said...

must be getting dense as well as wrinkly -dug too far into the archives instead of choosing from the given three - apologies!