Love & War~ May 19

Windsor Castle: The Quire of St George’s Chapel by Charles Wild

1818 / Watercolor and bodycolour over pencil / 9.8”x8.3” / Royal Collection

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Danny Lawson/pool photo via AP)

On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Prince Harry was baptised in St George’s Chapel in December, 1984.

Engraved illustration from Harper’s Weekly newspaper of the wedding of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Alexandra of Denmark / Harper’s Weekly newspaper dated 11 April 1863 / Artist unknown

St. George’s Chapel was built in the 15th century and is a towering piece of Gothic architecture. It is lauded for its stone fan-vault ceilings, but the intricate stained glasswork along each of its walls, and the tall arched windows, intricate woodwork, and ironwork doorframes add to the historic feel of the grand room. The tombs of ten sovereigns also lie within the chapel, including Henry VIII and Charles I.

Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank will marry in St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018. A list of past Royal Weddings in St George’s Chapel can be found here:

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Love & War~ May 17

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Among Mexico’s most captivating and provocative artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had a relationship that never failed to amaze and astonish. Though they created some of Mexico’s most fascinating art, it’s the bizarre Beauty-and-the-Beast dynamic that has captivated the world and enshrouded both figures in intrigue.

Two years after [her] accident, in 1927, [Kahlo] met the painter Diego Rivera, whose work she’d come to admire and who became her mentor. In 1929, despite the vocal protestations of Kahlo’s mother, Frida and Diego were wedded and one of art history’s most notoriously tumultuous marriages commenced.

“I did not know it then, but Frida had already become the most important fact in my life. And she would continue to be, up to the moment she died, twenty-seven years later,” Rivera wrote about knowing the adult Frida for only a few days.

Kahlo…believed that her relationship with Rivera transcended the bodily, physical, even painterly world. “It’s not love, or tenderness, or affection, it’s life itself, my life, that I found when I saw it in your hands, in your mouth and in your breasts,” she [wrote] to him. “I have the taste of almonds from your lips in my mouth. Our worlds have never gone outside. Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.”

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Love & War~ May 15

Venus de Milo / Musée du Louvre

Venus, ancient Italian goddess associated with cultivated fields and gardens and later identified by the Romans with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.

In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite; she was a goddess of victory, fertility, and even prostitution.

Venus de Milo, the ancient statue commonly thought to represent Aphrodite…was carved from marble by the artist Alexandros* about 150 BCE. It was found in pieces on the Aegean island of Melos on April 8, 1820, and was subsequently presented to Louis XVIII (who then donated it to the Louvre in 1821).

*Alexandros of Antioch (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος) (2nd-1st century BC) was a Greek sculptor of the Hellenistic age. His dates of birth and death are unknown.

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What Happened to the Venus De Milo’s Arms?
The Mystery of What Venus de Milo Was Once Holding

Love & War~ May 13

Happy Mother’s Day

The artist’s mother, comtesse Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, at breakfast, Malromé Chateau
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
c.1881-1883 / Oil on canvas / 36.8”x31.8” / Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, France

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother / Vincent van Gogh
1888 / Oil on canvas / 16”x12-3/4” / Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

The Artist’s Mother / Paul Gauguin
Between 1890 & 1893 / Oil on canvas / 16.1”x12.9” / Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany

The Artist’s Mother / Pablo Picasso
1896 / Pastel on paper / 19.6”x15.3” / Museu Picasso, Barcelona

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother / Henry Ossawa Tanner
1897 / Oil on canvas / 29 1/4”x39 1/2” / Philadelphia Museum of Art

Mrs. Robert S. Cassatt, the Artist’s Mother / Mary Cassatt
c.1889 / Oil On Canvas / 38”x27” / Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Woman with PlantsGrant Wood
1929 / Oil on upsom board / 20 1/2”x17 7/8” / Museum of Art Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Painter’s Mother IV / Lucian Freud
1973 / Oil on canvas / 10 3/4”x 7 1/3” / Tate, London

Julia Warhola / Andy Warhol
1974 / Silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas / 40”x40” / The Andy Warhol Museum

Mum / David Hockney
1988 / Oil on canvas / 16 1/2”x10 1/2” / The David Hockney Foundation

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Love & War~ May 11

The Kiss

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)


The Tate’s The Kiss is one of three full-scale versions made in Rodin’s lifetime. Its blend of eroticism and idealism makes it one of the great images of sexual love. However, Rodin considered it overly traditional, calling The Kiss ‘a large sculpted knick-knack following the usual formula.’ The couple are the adulterous lovers Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, who were slain by Francesca’s outraged husband. They appear in Dante’s Inferno, which describes how their passion grew as they read the story of Lancelot and Guinevere together. The book can just be seen in Paolo’s hand.

The Rodin Museum in Paris, France

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark


The three larger marble versions were exhibited together at the Musée d’Orsay in 1995. A fourth copy was made after the death of Rodin by sculptor Henri-Léon Gréber for the Rodin Museum of Philadelphia.

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Love & War~ May 9

René MagritteThe Lovers (Les Amants) / 1928 / Oil on canvas / 21”x29” / Museum of Modern Art, NYC

The Lovers (Les Amants) / 1928 / Oil on canvas / 21”x29” / National Gallery of Australia

Enshrouded faces were a common motif in Magritte’s art. The artist was 14 when his mother committed suicide by drowning. He witnessed her body being fished from the water, her wet nightgown wrapped around her face. Some have speculated that this trauma inspired a series of works in which Magritte obscured his subjects’ faces. Magritte disagreed with such interpretations, denying any relation between his paintings and his mother’s death. “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing,” he wrote, “they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does it mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”

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Love & War~ May 7

Paris BordoneAllegory with Lovers
1550 / Oil on canvas / 43.8”x68.7” / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Victory crowns Mars and Venus with myrtle, Venus plucks a lemon from a tree,
and Cupid tips roses into her lap

Venus, Flora, Mars and Cupid (Allegory)
c.1560 / Oil on canvas / 42.5”x50.7” / Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Cupid crowns Venus and showers Flora with roses while the two exchange flowers;
Mars, in the background, holds a battle axe

The conceit of love’s conquest was often given visual form by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, who illustrated Cupid at the center of a triumphal procession or wrestling Pan, symbol of the universe, to the ground. The interaction between Cupid and his mother could also be a metaphor for various aspects of love, while the adulterous affair between Venus and Mars, the god of war, could signify the capacity of love to subdue violence.

Paris Bordone (or Bordon) was from Treviso on the Venetian mainland, where he was baptised on July 5, 1500. After the death of his father (a master saddler), he was taken at the age of eight by his mother to Venice. According to Vasari, he trained for a time with Titian, who is said to have treated him badly…Whether because of a continuing hostility by Titian towards his former pupil or because of competition from other artists, Bordone had difficulty securing major commissions in Venice and, though he continued to live mainly in the city, much of his work was done for patrons elsewhere.

Bordone increasingly became identified with glossy portraiture, frequently illustrating the theme of problematic love. He often painted beautiful courtesans and erotic mythological and allegorical subjects, which appealed to his wealthy clients.

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Love & War~ May 5

The Birthday (1915)
“In life, just as on the artist’s palette, there is but one single colour that
gives meaning to life and art — the colour of love.”
~Marc Chagall

When [Marc] Chagall married Bella [Rosenfeld] on 25 July 1915, her socially superior family was still expressing grave misgivings about the match…During this year his art concerned itself above all with their union, simultaneously sensual and transcendent. “I had only to open my window, and blue air, love and flowers entered with her. Dressed all in white or in black, she has long been flying over my canvases guiding my art.”

From the moment they fell for each other in 1909, Marc Chagall and his wife, Bella, seemed to share a particular way of seeing the world. Bella was a talented writer and her description of their first encounter is like a Chagall painting in words: “When you did catch a glimpse of his eyes, they were as blue as if they’d fallen straight out of the sky. They were strange eyes … long, almond-shaped … and each seemed to sail along by itself, like a little boat.”

Bella swiftly became Marc’s muse and continued to visit his canvases for the rest of his life. Famously, he often depicted himself and Bella flying together, as if their shared joy had such physical force it countermanded the law of gravity itself. In Birthday, they appear surprised by their flight, rising towards the ceiling like two astonished bubbles of ecstasy.

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Love & War~ May 3

Robert Indiana’s LOVE

The inspiration came from his childhood as a Christian Scientist, when the phrase “God is love” was prominent. Indiana inverted the idea to suggest that “Love is God.

The first LOVE painting was a small canvas in 1961 called 4-Star Love, which was the word “love” with four stars stacked above it and that was really the inspiration for stacking the letters.

The motif first appeared as a series of rubbings in 1964 on his personal Christmas cards.

[In 1965] MoMA asked him to design a Christmas card. Inspired by his recent painting, he chose the single word ‘love’, the letters of which he arranged on two lines to fit the card’s square format better. To create a more interesting design he angled the ‘o’. Indiana submitted several colour variations. The museum chose the one with red letters against a blue and green background.

It was inspired by a sign at a gas station. During the Depression, my father worked for Phillips 66, which had a huge sign up in the sky. I can still see that red and green sign against the blue Indiana sky. My first ”Love” was red, green and blue.

Few Pop images are more widely recognized than Indiana’s LOVE…[it]has appeared in prints, paintings, sculptures, banners, rings, tapestries, and stamps. Full of erotic, religious, autobiographical, and political underpinnings—especially when it was co-opted as an emblem of 1960s idealism—LOVE is both accessible and complex in meaning. In printed works, Indiana has rendered LOVE in a variety of colors, compositions, and techniques. He even translated it into Hebrew for a print and a sculpture at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

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