JUNK



SISTERS

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This used to hang in a -- get this -- a Police Station till the Louvre got it in 1937. It and three similar ones are by an unknown painter in the 1600s, made for King Henry IV. It shows his mistress, Gabrielle ("Gaby"), the blonde, having her nipple pleasantly pinched by her brunette sister, meaning that Gaby's pregnant. This was around the time of the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's David, India's Emperor Akbar, Galileo and Anne Boleyn's headIt's also a sort of lesbian icon nowadays, even though it wasn't originally a sexual image. The work shows the graceful elegance and crowded canvas of the Mannerist style from the school of Fontainebleau, when French artists hung out at the palace at Fontainebleau and made stuff like this. The woman in the back weaves a layette (baby clothing) as Mothercare didn't yet exist. This baby becomes a Duke who'll try but will fail to kill Cardinal Richelieu (the villain from The Three Musketeers). Henry's also, oops, married to Margaret who's no slouch herself and has tons of lovers. They annul (end) their marriage, Henry gives Gaby a coronation ring* to marry her (she's holding it) but sadly she dies of a seizure from another pregnancy. Or maybe poisoned. That baby is stillborn. Grieving Henry throws her a lavish queen's funeral and she's buried at Maubuisson Abbey, where 300 years earlier, King Charles IV's intestines were kept in tomb under a statue of him holding his intestines in a bag. Ew! The statue is here at the Louvre, go downstairs to room 9! 


VENUS DE MILO

Venus de Milo -- the real name is Aphrodite of Milos -- is an icon of art and one of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures. Why Milo? Because it was discovered on the island of Milos in Greece. Milos is a small island and used to be the home to other statues too, but those wound up in museums in London and Athens. Betcha they wished they'd kept the statues and get mad tourism... You might not care but it's supposed to have been made by Alexandros of Antioch, though in the past it was attributed to the awesome sculptor Praxiteles. But I digress, the statue was created around 130BC and supposedly represents Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, although there have been theories that she’s a prostitute! The Romans called her Venus -- go figure, probably just easier to say. It's made of marble and she's as tall as a basketball player -- 208cm or 6'8". Unfortunately, she can't play basketball because she has NO ARMS, which just kind of sucks. She was discovered already armless. Experts argue that her “armlessnes” is the very reason for her extraordinary fame! Venus de Milo was unearthed in 1820, in the century of the impressionists – the century when rigid standart of perfection of classical art was being contested. She embodied both ideals – classically beautiful, yet flawed – armless -- with more character, not boring. You could even call her a modern artwork! Salvadoro Dali surely though so – he considered Venus de Milo to be a surrealist artpiece by itself, copied it and inserted multiple drawers in it!  


The Louvre initially promoted the Venus de Milo as a masterpiece from the Greek classical era. Now, however, the Venus de Milo is thought to have been produced around 100 B.C., during a later period known as the Hellenistic age.Jun 22, 2015 What happened to the Venus de Milo's arms? - Ask History www.history.com/news/.../what-happened-to-the-venus-de-milos-ar...History

from https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=venus+di+milo



The Venus de Milo -- the real name is Aphrodite of Milos -- is one of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures. It was created around 130BC and supposedly represents aphrodite, the greek goddess of love and beauty. the romans called her venus -- go figure. probably just easier to say. It's made of marble and she's as tall as a basketball player -- 208cm or 6'8". unfortunately, she can't play basketball because she has NO ARMS (were they lost after the discovery? find out), which just kind of sucks. You might not care but it's supposed to have been made by ALexandros of Antioch, though in the past it was attributed to the awesome sculptor Praxiteles. Why Milo? because it was discovered on the island of Milos in greece. milos is a small island and used to be the home to other statues too, but those wound up in museums in London and Athens. Betcha they wished they'd kept the statues and get mad tourism...






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MONA LISA:

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Leo created the sfumato technique (Italian: smoky, painting without lines or borders) -the corners of the eyes and mouth are fuzzy, thus the famously enigmatic smile and eyes that gaze directly at you and even creepily follow you around if you move. The background in which she is set was also a novelty- rivers and mountains with great depth. The usual thing at the time was to have a room, an open ocean or just a one-color background.Wow, Leo, way to go! It's an example of the Italian Renaissance period that revived classical Greek and Roman art and ideals. The period originated in wealthy Italian city-states for two main reasons: the Arabs have preserved the ancient greek and roman classic books and Italians traded with the arabs AND after the sack of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) by the Turks, a lot of scholars fled to the west.


This is the world's greatest painting, worth $760 million but visitors look at it for only 15 seconds before moving on, saying "Well, that's done; next on my bucket list: the Taj Mahal!" Why? Because it's hard to see behind glass and the room's overcrowded. But mainly because she's famous for being famous, like Paris Hilton, and no one gets why but experts. Some 19th century poets idolized her as a femme fatale, a hottie, and the hype grew. Actually, she was a teenage mum whose husband commissioned the portrait that Leonardo neither finished nor was paid for. Then it was stolen briefly in 1911, even Picasso was questioned. More hype. After that, she ruled alone.

Mona Lisa's real greatness, like Citizen Kane is in its many firsts: she's almost life-sized and her skin glows like she's using expensive cream. The corners of the eyes and mouth are fuzzy, called "sfumato" (smoky, in Italian), thus the famously enigmatic smile and eyes that creepily follow you around. She's in a three-quarter (midway) view, like a statue and also within a "pyramid" (artists LOVE these) and set against a beautiful landscape with atmospheric illusion, a haziness in the distance that creates depth. Wow, Leo, way to go! It's an example of the Renaissance movement that revived classical Greek art but with a human, not god-centric twist. BTW, Leo was a genius and had many ideas for inventions, such as the helicopter


RAFT OF THE MEDUSA:


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This is an important French 19th century painting that inspired the Statue of Liberty and a Broadway musical. It's based on a real event: In 1816, an idiot captain sank a frigate (a smaller, fast warship) on a sandbar. There weren’t enough evacuation boats so 150 people got onto a makeshift raft and then promptly started dining on one another. 13 days later, a ship, barely visible in the distance, passed by but didn't see them.  The painting shows this moment of cruel fate: some cannibals wave desperately, one cries for his dead son, others just sit on their dinners. The ship did return. Only 15 survived.

 

This huge painting is an icon of the Romantic movement where poetic, emotional, powerful pieces were exalted.  The "meat" of the subject matter it is in a compositional "triangle" (seriously, painters love 'em) tilted to the right to show "action" where the ship is at the pointy top. The bodies are in chiaroscuro, which is a high contrast of light and dark, made famous by Caravaggio who was a 1600s painter, brawler, and murderer with a pope-issued death warrant on his head.

 

Géricault painted "Raft" when he was only 27 years old. He did meticulous research, talked to survivors and even went to the morgue to see and paint corpses. Perhaps he even ate one with some fava beans and a nice chianti, like Hannibal "the cannibal" Lecter. The result was that "Raft" shocked people; the "pile of corpses" evoked great admiration or disgust and it was the star of the Salon of 1819, a yearly art competition. 

Some Fun Facts. Delacroix, a famous painter and  Géricault's buddy may have modeled a dead guy for "Raft." Art experts have debated this important stuff for centuries... and getting paid for it. "Raft" has had huge influence. It inspired Delacroix to paint the super-important "Liberty leading the people" which itself inspired the Statue of Liberty in 1875 and Victor Hugo's book "Les Miserables" that then inspired the eponymous Broadway musical Les Mis 162 years later AND two bad Hollywood knock-offs starring Liam Neeson (1998) and Hugh Jackman (2012). Phew! Thankfully, no musicals have about Lady Liberty exist. Yet. What does exist is the 1/6 scale original model of her in the awesome Arts et Métiers science museum, just 20 minutes by foot  -- you should go!

Stuff we made up: The guys weren't drunk and there was no Caribbean cruise.


Romanticism was an art movement from 1800-1860 that was a response to the rational, logical, gritty, grimy industrial revolution. It celebrated beauty, emotions and awe of nature and its power. It often has tragic heroism and soft lines, all made by idealistic rich guys  like Géricault who'd never once set foot in a factory, whose dad was a moneyed lawyer.


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"Raft" inspired Delacroix's super-important painting of "Liberty leading the people", which then inspired both the Statue of Liberty and Victor Hugo's book "Les Miserables," which itself inspired a kick-ass Broadway musical and two non-kick-ass Hollywood ones starring Liam Neeson and Hugh Jackman. Delacroix was Géricault's buddy and may have modelled for one of the dead guys. Art experts have spent centuries debating this important stuff and getting paid for it. A scale study (high as 3 people) of the Statue of Liberty is in the Arts et Métiers science museum in Paris. No musicals on the Statue of Liberty have been made. Yet. Thankfully.

References: WikipediaLouvre (click links)



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The painting stands as a synthetic view of human life abandoned to its fate. The pallid bodies are given cruel emphasis by a Caravaggio-style chiaroscuro; some writhe in the elation of hope, while others are unaware of the passing ship. 


we didn't cover ALL of this: The latter include two figures of despair and solitude: one mourning his son, the other bewailing his own fate. These figures reflect the Romantic inspiration that fueled the work of both Géricault and Gros, and the former's admiration for the latter (see The Plague-Stricken in Jaffa).


this is the moment that's shown:  


In 1816 (history), a politically-connected fool captain sank the Medusa, a frigate (a smaller, fast warship), on a sandbar near Senegal. There weren't enough lifeboats, so 150 survivors got on a makeshift raft and promptly started dining on the weaker ones. 13 days later, a passing ship sailed away (barely visible in the distance) before coming back to the rescue -- this is the moment that's shown, as it sails away with the survivors' hopes. Some people waved desperately, others just looked away and didn't even care. Some just sat on their dinners. Only 10 cannibals survived.


Géricault's shock tactics got him fame: people reacted strongly with great admiration or disgust at “the pile of corpses." and "Raft" was the star of the show at the Salon of 1819 (a yearly art competition). To get the feel for colors and things, talked to the survivors and painted corpses at the local morgue. He may have enjoyed a bite or two with some fava beans and a nice chianti, in the company of Dr. Hannibal "the cannibal" Lecter. 

Géricault's shock tactics got him fame: people reacted strongly with great admiration or disgust at “the pile of corpses." and "Raft" was the star of the show at the Salon of 1819 (a yearly art competition). To get the feel for colors and things, talked to the survivors and painted corpses at the local morgue. He may have enjoyed a bite or two with some fava beans and a nice chianti, in the company of Dr. Hannibal "the cannibal" Lecter. 


"Raft" inspired Delacroix's super-important painting of "Liberty leading the people", which then inspired both the Statue of Liberty and Victor Hugo's book "Les Miserables," which itself inspired a kick-ass Broadway musical and two non-kick-ass Hollywood ones starring Liam Neeson and Hugh Jackman. Delacroix was Géricault's buddy and may have modelled for one of the dead guys. Art experts have spent centuries debating this important stuff and getting paid for it. An scale study (high as 3 people) of the Statue of Liberty is in the Arts et Métiers science museum in Paris. No musicals on the Statue of Liberty have been made. Yet. Thankfully.

Factoids. "Raft" inspired Victor Hugo's book "Les Miserables" (1862, 45 years later), an awesome painting, "Liberty leading the people," (1830, 12 years later) which itself inspired the Statue of Liberty (1875) that then inspired the eponymous Broadway musical (1980, 162 years later!) and two bad Hollywood knock-offs starring Liam Neeson (1998) and Hugh Jackman (2012).


References: WikipediaLouvre (click links)

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