Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bruegelian Doings

A new Bruegel. Odd to write that some five hundred years after the painter's death. But last week we received notice of the re-emergence of  "The Wine of Saint Martin's Day," a painting that becomes the forty-first authenticated and signed work by the great 16h century Dutch genius. And at 5 ft by 9 ft, the largest.

Apparently, "unidentified Spanish collectors" brought the unattributed painting to the Prado for cleaning (how connected do you have to be to have the Prado clean your art?). Conservators at the venerable Madrid museum were astonished to discover that the painting was actually executed by the hand of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. His signature, buried beneath centuries of glue, resin, and dust, gradually came to light in the restoration process.

The Wine of St Martin's Day, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1560s

Friday, December 10, 2010

Harry Crosby Death Day 2010

Happy 81st death anniversary, Harry, hope that worked out for you. And the Fire Princess too. Fools. has a very interesting and encouraging interview with Erik Rodgers, founder of String and a Can Productions.

There's also a cool illustration by Alastair from Red Skeletons but you can skip the boilerplate bio of Crosby, we've read it before and elsewhere and with much more nuance and perception.

Erik Rodgers, however, offers some of the most intelligent commentary on both Harry and Caresse Crosby out there, including:

"I actually came upon Caresse first, while developing a project on Salvador DalĂ­.  [My business partner] was intrigued by the idea of such an accomplished and independent female from that era, and started researching her life.   Of course as soon as she began reading about Caresse, she discovered Harry as well.  Their story captured her imagination, and she began relating to me some of the details as she read them. We both felt there was something vital and overlooked in their story, something that had been obscured by all the scandal and negative criticism."

Check out Black Sun: The Life and Death of Harry Crosby, A Play  presented by the Black Sun Players.