Death of Marat

July 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRIME, HISTORY, POLITICS |
Jacques-Louis David's rather heroic treatment

Jacques-Louis David's rather heroic treatment

13 July 1793: Jean-Paul Marat dies at 50 after Charlotte Corday goes all Norman Bates on him.  Although Marat thereby became seen as a hero for the sans-culottes and a martyr to the revolutionary cause, in fact he was bloodthirsty little cuss, with a legendary hatred of Girondins and a disregard for what we might nowadays call ‘due process.’  Carlyle, in his brilliant, excoriating book on the French Revolution (1888), described his assassination in the following pitiless and sneering manner, redolent of Virgil but with added acrimony: “It is yellow July evening, we say, the thirteenth of the month – eve of the Bastille…

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Frida Kahlo

July 6, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY |
Frida2

Frida Kahlo (6 July, 1907 to 13 July, 1954) Frida, friend of Trotsky, fan of Stalin, was the creator of a loose kind of naïve folk art, largely works depicting her furrowed, furry-browed self. In a short and unhappy life, plagued by chaotic relationships, injury and ill health, she stuck tenaciously to her tiny, exotic, surreal self-portraits, which were heavily admired in her life by a few and venerated en masse well after her death. Because she was invariably the central feature of her works, floating Gala-like amid changing scenarios, they tended to “correspond to her evolving persona. In sophisticated ways her paintings…portrayed not merely “incidents”…

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David Roche

June 27, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRAFT, LIFE, Ulalume |
monday-11

Roche Museum, June 2017 The brochure for the David Roche Foundation notes that Roche (1930 – 2013) established it in 1999 “to be the recipient and custodian of the exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objets d’art accumulated by him over his lifetime and to be preserved for future generations.” It is true that the museum holds some 3000 pieces, curated in the V & A style (one thing on top of another) with some strong pieces – porcelain by Chelsea, Meissen, Worcester and Sèvres, curious metal appliances, some Fabergé curios and pleasing period furniture… The Varnished Culture attended on a chilly…

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Versus Rodin

May 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |
The three shades at the Gates of Hell

The three shades at the Gates of Hell

(Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, May 2017) TVC recommends Jardin du Musée Rodin, Paris, for a pretty, fin de siècle, laid-out array of the world of Auguste Rodin (12 Nov. 1840 – 17 Nov. 1917); his home, his garden, and works, plus those of his muse and colleague, Camille Claudel.             This selection of his works, freighted with care and shown in Adelaide, juxtaposed with contemporary sculptural pieces, is intriguing and at times, a little depressing. Though the Greeks still claim the last word in the plastic arts, some of these new and even newer works were satisfying,…

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We Told You So

May 1, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA |
BrettW

The Varnished Culture had some observations, scrupulously avoiding any prejudicial fallout, about the art fraud case concerning Whiteley’s alleged painting of, inter alia, “Orange Lavender Bay.”  Concerning the alleged victim, the chap who bought the piece later accused of being a fake by certain experts, we suggested: When you pay, not for the work, but for the provenance, you get what you deserve. The defendants were convicted and copped custodial sentences, but we had commented in our earlier piece that serving of the sentences had been stayed pending appeal, the trial Judge commenting “I think there is a compelling argument that the verdicts are unsafe.”  Quoted…

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