domingo, 22 de marzo de 2015

Le Retour: Un poème par Alphonse de Lamartine

Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)


Vallon, rempli de mes accords;
Ruisseau, dont mes pleurs troublaient l’onde;
Prés, colline, forêt profonde;
Oiseaux, qui chantiez sur ces bords;

Zéphyr, qu’embaumait son haleine;
Sentiers, où sa main tant de fois
M’entraînait à l’ombre des bois,
Où l’habitude me ramène:

Le temps n’est plus ! mon œil glacé,
Qui vous cherche à travers ses larmes,
À vos bords jadis pleins de charmes,
Redemande en vain le passé.

La terre est pourtant aussi belle,
Le ciel aussi pur que jamais!
Ah ! je le vois, ce que j’aimais,
Ce n’était pas vous, c’était elle!

domingo, 8 de marzo de 2015

Giacomo Leopardi: "L'Infinito"

Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

"L'INFINITO" 1819-1825

Sempre caro mi fu quest'ermo colle,
E questa siepe, che da tanta parte
Dell'ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
Spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
Silenzi, e profondissima quiete
Io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
Il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
Odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
Infinito silenzio a questa voce
Vo comparando: e mi sovvien l'eterno,
E le morte stagioni, e la presente
E viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa
Immensità s'annega il pensier mio:
E il naufragar m'è dolce in questo mare.

lunes, 2 de marzo de 2015

Bouguereau: Homenaje al desnudo femenino

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)


Baigneuse 1870

Humeur Nocturne 1882

Baigneuse 1864

Naissance de Vénus 1879

Le Guêpier 1892

Les Deux Baigneuses 1884

Biblis 1884

La Vague 1896

Après le Bain 1875

Baigneuse 1879

miércoles, 18 de febrero de 2015

The Revival of Arthurian Legend in XIX Century

The Arthurian Legend 
in Victorian Era

The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon (detail) 1898

In the early 19th century, medievalism, Romanticism, and the Gothic Revival reawakened interest in Arthur and the medieval romances. A new code of ethics for 19th-century gentlemen was shaped around the chivalric ideals that the "Arthur of romance" embodied. This renewed interest first made itself felt in 1816, when Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur was reprinted for the first time since 1634. Initially the medieval Arthurian legends were of particular interest to poets, inspiring, for example, William Wordsworth to write "The Egyptian Maid" (1835), an allegory of the Holy Grail. Pre-eminent among these was Alfred Lord Tennyson, whose first Arthurian poem, "The Lady of Shalott", was published in 1832. 

Although Arthur himself played a minor role in some of these works, following in the medieval romance tradition, Tennyson's Arthurian work reached its peak of popularity with Idylls of the King, which reworked the entire narrative of Arthur's life for the Victorian era. First published in 1859, it sold 10,000 copies within the first week. In the Idylls, Arthur became a symbol of ideal manhood whose attempt to establish a perfect kingdom on earth fails, finally, through human weakness. 

Tennyson's works prompted a large number of imitators, generated considerable public interest in the legends of Arthur and the character himself, and brought Malory's tales to a wider audience. Indeed, the first modernisation of Malory's great compilation of Arthur's tales was published shortly after Idylls appeared, in 1862, and there were six further editions and five competitors before the century ended.

This interest in the "Arthur of romance" and his associated stories continued through the 19th century and into the 20th, and influenced poets such as William Morris and Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edward Burne-Jones. Even the humorous tale of Tom Thumb, which had been the primary manifestation of Arthur's legend in the 18th century, was rewritten after the publication of Idylls. While Tom maintained his small stature and remained a figure of comic relief, his story now included more elements from the medieval Arthurian romances, and Arthur is treated more seriously and historically in these new versions. 

The revived Arthurian romance also proved influential in the United States, with such books as Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1880) reaching wide audiences and providing inspiration for Mark Twain's satiric A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). Although the "Arthur of romance" was sometimes central to these new Arthurian works (as he was in Burne-Jones's The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, 1881–1898), on other occasions he reverted to his medieval status and is either marginalised or even missing entirely, with Wagner's Arthurian operas providing a notable instance of the latter. Furthermore, the revival of interest in Arthur and the Arthurian tales did not continue unabated. 

By the end of the 19th century, it was confined mainly to Pre-Raphaelite imitators, and it could not avoid being affected by the First World War, which damaged the reputation of chivalry and thus interest in its medieval manifestations and Arthur as chivalric role model. The romance tradition did, however, remain sufficiently powerful to persuade Thomas Hardy, Laurence Binyon and John Masefield to compose Arthurian plays, and T. S. Eliot alludes to the Arthur myth (but not Arthur) in his poem The Waste Land, which mentions the Fisher King.

martes, 17 de febrero de 2015

John Everett Millais: Pre-Raphaelite Master

Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896)

English painter and illustrator, and a founding member of the artistic movement known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

The Blind Girl 1856

Huguenot Lovers on St. Bartholomew's Day 1852

Autumn Leaves 1856

Esther 1865

Victory O Lord! 1871

The North-West Passage 1874

John Ruskin 1854

The Farmer's Daughter u.d.

Chill October 1870

Cherry Ripe 1879