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Photo post.

Source: Dirk de Herder (1914-2003) – Art Bacchant


Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, 1928.

For Claude Cahun, resisting normalcy was a lifelong pursuit. Born in 1894, she was a genderqueer pioneer, Jewish Nazi fighter, and radical collage artist. The French photographer’s self-portraits are a focused interrogation of identity and gender fluidity. Rediscovered in the 1990s, her work reminds us that the impact of one person’s refusal can ripple for centuries.

The daughter of prominent Jewish publishers, Cahun was born…

Source: This queer Jewish photographer resisted the Nazis and escaped death—and made great art


This is quite the most extraordinary automaton I’ve ever seen and I suspect you might enjoy it also.

‘The story of Pierre Jaquet Droz and his sons is one of the most moving in the history of Horology. Born in 1721, Pierre Jaquet Droz, master of time in the Age of Enlightenment – mechanical genius, avant-garde creator of jewellery watchmaking and composer of poetry and dreams — is one of the most fascinating figures of the period.

After a few years’ absence from the world of watchmaking, and an intermediate period marked by the presence of foreign shareholders, the brand was acquired in 2000 by the Swatch Group. It returned to its town of origin, La Chaux-de-Fonds.’

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Bernhard Kretzschmar (1889-1972).

Source: BERNHARD KRETZSCHMAR | Beauty Bellezza Beauté


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Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948).

Source: KURT SCHWITTERS | Beauty Bellezza Beauté


Elephants in a 13th-century manuscript. THE BRITISH LIBRARY/ROYAL 12 F XIII

The animals in the image above are elephants. They were drawn sometime around the 13th or 14th century in a medieval bestiary, a type of book that described animals large and small, real and fantastic. But to a modern eye, the line between the real and the imagined is…

Source: Why Did Medieval Artists Give Elephants Trunks That Look Like Trumpets? | Atlas Obscura


The Morning of St. Valentine – John Callcott-Horsley

The Victorians were very good at taking an idea and running with it. The present day commercialisation of Valentine’s Day can be laid at their feet. And the man to thank (or blame) is Sir Row…

Source: My Victorian Valentine | Vintage Treasures


Way back in 2011, I wrote this blog post about something I’d been sent in the post. It was called Curiocity and was a tiny fold-up magazine that featured arcane trivia on one side and a weird…

Source: Curiocity – the book | The Great Wen


I just adore this portrait of Elizabeth Farren! As soon as I enter the gallery where she is housed (in the European wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), I swoon. I hardly notice any othe…

Source: The Portrait of Elizabeth Farren, Painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1789) | cliocult…Muse your brain!


Talking of Art Deco, as we were for the Valentine Parisienne post, did you know about this tunnel under the New Yorker Hotel?

The beautiful tunnel that ran from the lobby to Penn Station is still hidden underneath 34th Street.

Source: The Hidden Art Deco Tunnel Underneath the New Yorker Hotel – New York, New York | Atlas Obscura


Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956).

Source: LYONEL FEININGER | Beauty Bellezza Beauté


Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

At some point in the 1980s, life was going particularly badly — plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — and my dear, late friend, actor, writer and director Bill Moody, decided that to be reaping so many challenges, I must have been Lucrezia Borgia in a past life. I now begin to think he was absolutely right!

Some of you may have noticed that I was visiting your blogs again yesterday. Has my sight been restored? Nope.

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is that I learned from the British ophthalmologist that the cataract operation on my left eye that was done in Crete a year ago was so out-of-date that the Isle of Wight specialist had not performed that particular procedure for twenty years.

The good news is that he was able to remove the stitch at the front of the eyeball. This, sadly, has made only minimal difference to the vision but enough to be able to read a little better and see pictures in more detail. The difference was not immediately apparent but became clear (pun intended) about lunchtime yesterday.

The bad news is that all the other stitches from that operation are still in the eyeball and deeply embedded.

The good news is he doubts these are affecting my vision and would prefer to leave them untouched unless later events change his mind.

The bad news is that should the need arise, it’s major surgery for the eyeball.

The next piece of news is good and bad. There is scar tissue that’s developed over the months from, I think, that one stitch he took out but it can be removed by laser and within the month.

In the meantime, I am now on the waiting list for a cataract operation on the right eye. Hurrah!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Jane Austen is known for self-assured heroines and Regency rakes with rapier wits. But according to Mark Canuel, there’s something else the author should be recognized for: her portrayal of the importance of being wrong. Canuel tracks Austen’s novels not as discourses on manners or marriage, but as works of art that render “errors in knowledge and conduct as objectives generally to be…

Source: Jane Austen and the Value of Flaws | JSTOR Daily


As far back as the 16th century, monks and peasants wandered the secluded Puster Valley fortressed by the icy mountains of the Tyrolean Alps in search of the glistening, silky homes of spiders and caterpillars. Gently plying away the gossamer material with fingertips or a small knife, they would take the cobwebs and transform them into…

Source: The Lost Art of Painting on Cobweb Canvases | Atlas Obscura


Scope's Blog

We continue to mark Disability Month with a blog about artist Frida Kahlo, an early 20th century artist whose work explored her feelings towards being disabled and how it affected her body as well as celebrating the life and culture of her native Mexico.

Sam Pugh, who is part of the Scope for Change campaign group and president of the Oxford Students’ Disability Community, writes about why Kahlo is her hero and why she should be remembered during Disability History Month.  

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.” – Frida Kahlo

There are few disabled people as loved and iconic as Frida Kahlo.

It is thought she was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital defect of the spinal cord, and as a child she contracted polio. She was severely injured as a teenager…

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