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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Art Interpretation

I'll be filling in for your regular Art History instructor today ---hmmm, all these notes seem to be scrawled in Crayola, or I've forgotten my glasses. Can you tell me what period you're studying now? Ah, Baroque. I'll work from memory. Oh, and we have a slide --lights off please.

According to a professor I once had in a hypnopedia class (and I must admit I didn't give the thing my entire attention), the French word baroque is derived from the Portuguese word "barroco", meaning irregularly shaped pearl. This magnificent and dramatic painting is the work of Paolo de Matteis, around 1700, depicting a large group searching for the irregularly shaped pearl in a silo of cotton balls.


If we examine the search party carefully, we see some soldiers in armor and  representatives of the clergy trying to keep things orderly but most  participants are rather poorly turned out. They  got dressed in a hurry. Some just wrapped up in their blankets and towels and dove in.

Obviously the pearl was worth something and nobody knows where it is. I can make out the words, "Il trionfo...", on the slide frame, so there was a "triumph" involved for somebody. Questions?

Yes, that would imply the pearl was found and sold for a good price, but for everyone else it reinforced a lament still heard among the masses today. Yes, question?

The lament? Oh, I'm surprised you haven't heard it before: Baroque until payday.

Now who threw that Crayola? Ouch! Class dismissed! Ouch. Stop that!

20 comments:

  1. Perhaps you should be grateful that it is only crayons being thrown. It could have been palettes.

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    1. Palettes are big enough to see coming and can be ducked, but those crayons succeed with flying colors.

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  2. The teaching of Art Appreciation taken to new levels. What an innovative bit of scholarship is your term silo of cotton balls! We should consider Baroque work with that new sensitivity, looking for more cotton ball and towel wrapped subjects.

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    1. Thanks, Tom. In architecture, music, painting, I've always enjoyed the riotous energy of the Baroque period. I think artists had fun with it.

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  3. I've always suspected that Heaven was going to be hopelessly over-crowded (kinda like Atlantic City on the 4th of July), which is why I'm opting for Hell.

    Your unique insight into art is admirable and deserves much more respect than airborne Crayolas.

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    1. Mark Twain recommended "Heaven for climate and Hell for company." To my knowledge, he hasn't retracted the opinion yet.

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  4. It was all I could do not to spit out a mouthful of beer onto my laptop when I read that lament... Very funny.

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    1. Sage, if my attempt at substitute teaching relieved a little leg-pain, I am privileged.

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  5. Dear Professor Geo:
    Begging your pardon for using this medium to contact you, the usual temporal methods are not working.
    I'd like to audit this class, if I may. It sounds rigorous, and with my (ahem) delicate health, I'd rather, if you don't mind.,.,,,
    Rest assured, either my or my associates will be in contact.

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    1. Dear Mike, Amplitude-modulated positrons from the future are short-circuiting my antique phones, but rest assured there are no rigorous pre-or post--requisites for my classes, which are conducted only during temporal anomalies.

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  6. And here I thought you made up the word "hypnopedia" :)

    As always, highly entertaining!

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    1. O Jenny, Sleep-learning has always been my favorite method of personal education. I always woke up feeling refreshed and like I knew something or other --whatever the heck it was.

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  7. If you taught art history, more students would be clamoring to take your class. They may not learn what they expected, but they'd certainly learn something about wit and good humor. As always, I admire the way your brain works. Bravo, dude!

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    1. Thanks Susan. It's important for brains to have fun.

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  8. "Barock" is the main subject of our beloved Professor für Germanistik - so he might be highly delectated by your hilarious initiation to Baroque paintings.
    I, as a woman, am of course fascinated by that pearl - Tally ho! - I will join into the search!

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    1. Most pleased to delectate der Professor! And you are most welcome to join the search --casual dress, I think.

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  9. Gosh...wish my art teachers at school had possessed your sense of humour...would have made lessons much more appealing!;)

    Brilliant...you've really made me laugh today, Geo...thank you!! :D

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    1. My pleasure, Ygraine, and welcome!

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