Category Archives: Guests

Guest Post: “The Night Café” by Vincent van Gogh from Joy of Museums

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Thanks to Joy of Museums for this commentary on The Night Café, a painting by Van Gogh that I’ve never seen before.

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“The Night Café” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the interior of Café de la Gare, in Arles. Five customers are sitting at tables, and a waiter in a light coat is standing and facing the viewer.  A half-curtained doorway in the centre background is leading to more private quarters.  The title of this painting is inscribed lower right beneath the signature. In highly contrasting and vivid colours, the paint is applied thickly, with the perspective leading toward the door in the back.

Van Gogh stayed up for three consecutive nights to paint the picture, sleeping during the day. Van Gogh wrote to his brother about the Café:

“… staying open all night. “Night prowlers” can take refuge there when they have no money to pay for a lodging or are too drunk to be taken in. ”

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Guest Post: “The Gates of Hell” by Auguste Rodin from Joy of Museums

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Thank you to Joy of Museums for this wonderful commentary on The Gates of Hell.

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“The Gates of Hell” by Auguste Rodin

The Gates of Hell is a sculptural group created by Auguste Rodin that depicts a scene from “The Inferno” from Dante Alighieri’s book the Divine Comedy. The sculpture was commissioned in 1880; it became Rodin’s life work as he continued to work on and off on this project for 37 years, until his death in 1917.

Many of the characters were modeled and cast separately as stand-alone art sculptures. This is one of the reasons Rodin took so long with this masterpiece. Many of the original small-scale sculptures used on the Gate were enlarged and reworked and became stand-alone works of art of their own. Examples of  include:

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Guest Post: “The Last Supper” by Ugolino di Nerio from Joy of Museums

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Thank you to Joy of Museums for this insightful discussion of The Last Supper.

1024px-1г_Ugolino_di_Nerio._The_Last_Supper_Metropolitan_mus._N-Y“The Last Supper” by Ugolino di Nerio

“The Last Supper” by Ugolino di Nerio shows the scene of the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles, as it is told in the Gospel of John. This painting formed part of the predella, which is the lowermost horizontal part, of a dismembered altarpiece. In this scene, Christ, on the left, informs his disciples that one of them will betray him, a prophecy that was fulfilled by Judas, who is positioned at Christ’s right without a halo. In this painting, we can also see how Ugolino explored how to paint perspective as seen with the ceiling and the table settings. Leonardo da Vinci was born over 100 years after this painting was made in Florence.

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Guest Post: Black St. George Icon by Joy of Museums

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Thank you to Joy of Museums for the following article discussing this beautiful St. George icon.

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Black Saint George Icon

This icon of Saint George has become known as ‘The Black George’ because the horse is painted black rather than the white horse that has traditionally been used for St George Icons. Russia converted to Christianity in 988, and much of its religious art was inspired by the Byzantine tradition. This icon made in 1400 was discovered in 1959 in a village in northern Russia where it was being used as a window-shutter.

The Black George icon depicts Saint George and the Dragon which legends describe the saint slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices and thereby rescuing the princess chosen as the next offering. Some icons depicting the saint as a horseman killing the dragon date to the 12th century. The motif became popular especially in Greek, Georgian and Russian icon traditions. The saint is depicted in the style of a Roman cavalryman, and the saint is mostly shown on a white horse, facing right, but sometimes also on a black horse, or facing left. From its Eastern origins, it was introduced into the Western Christian tradition by the Crusades.

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Guest Post: “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for insights into Claude Monet’s mastery of the subject of water lilies.

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“Water Lilies” by Claude Monet shows a water-lily pond, from Monet’s garden in Giverny, with the sky, clouds and light reflecting on the lily pond. Monet attempted to capture the continually changing qualities of light, colour, water, sky and lilies by dissolving all the elements in what he expressed as:

“the refuge of peaceful meditation in the centre of a flowering aquarium.”

Claude Monet painted nearly 250 painting in his series of “Water Lilies”.  The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at his home in Giverny which was the primary focus of Monet’s artistic endeavours during the last thirty years of his life. Monet painted many of his later works while suffering from cataracts.

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Guest Post: “Salvator Mundi” by Albrecht Dürer from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this discussion of Salvator Mundi.

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“Salvator Mundi” by Albrecht Dürer is an unfinished painting showing Christ as Savior of the World, who raises his right hand in blessing and his left holds a crystal orb representing the earth. Dürer began this work before he departed for Italy in 1505 and only completed the painting of the richly coloured drapery.  The unfinished picture of the face and hands show Dürer’s detailed preparatory drawings. This painting shows Dürer’s extensive and meticulous drawing skills.

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Guest Post: 11 Poetry Forms You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should Have)

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

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Even if you spent most of high school English class staring out the window or at the clock, you’ve probably heard of haiku. And quatrains. And sonnets. Of course, the sonnets.

 

But there’s more to poetry than free verse and couplets. In fact, there are almost as many forms of poetry as there are actual poems!

How many of the poetry terms on this list have you heard of? Leave a note in our comments section.

11 Obscure Or Little-Known Types Of Poetry Forms

1. Aubade: A poem that ponders lovers separating at dawn. Example: John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”

2. Concrete: Poems that form shapes with words. Example: George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”

3. Didactic: Poems meant to instruct. Example: Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”

4. Eclogue: A poem set in a bucolic place (that often discusses urban, social, or political issues). Example: Louis MacNeice’s “Eclogue by a Five-Barred Gate”

5. Ekphrasis: Poetry that echoes specific artwork in another medium (poems about paintings or music, etc.). Example: An excerpt from Homer’s The Iliad

6. Found: A poem created from existing text. See many examples at The Found Poetry Review

 7. Ghazal: Carefully rhymed couplets musing on erotic/mystic longing. Example: Patricia Smith’s “Hip-Hop Ghazal”

8. Gnomic: Poetry that embraces aphorisms, proverbs, and maxims. Example: Robert Creeley’s “Gnomic Verses”

9. Occasional: Poem written to commemorate an event or moment in time. Example: Emily Dickinson’s “The Birds begun at Four o’clock”

10. Palinode: A poem that retracts something said in a previous poem. Example: Chaucer’s “Retraction”

11. Sestina: Six stanzas consisting of six lines each, composed in fixed verse form. A repeating set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order with each repetition. Example: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina”

Want to learn more about obscure poetry forms? Visit this fantastic website curated by The Poetry Foundation.