Vigour moistens the air
Haiku of spring chimes
Spring is poetic, and so are the week’s artworks. The blossoming season is well represented by youth and colourfulness. There are evening dresses by House of Givenchy in vibrant colours (Feb 11) and a 1870s’ afternoon dress of dark green silk by House of Worth (Feb 6). A young girl wearing a peach dress and a wreath announces the arrival of spring through the portrait painting by Henri Lehmann (Feb 10). Glamorous attires are not just for ladies, but also for riders and their horses. In Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg (Feb 7/8), it reveals the fanciest style in jousters’ costumes and horses’ trappings I have ever seen. Checking out MET website, the album contains a whole collection as if it’s a SS2015 catalogue:
This 112-sheet manuscript includes depictions of contestants equipped for various tournaments; a parade preceding a late form of tournament called a carrousel; participants in tournaments known as Gesellenstrechen, or bachelors’ jousts, held in Nuremberg between 1446 and 1561; and depictions of pageant sleighs, some of which were used in a parade held in the winter of 1640–41. The illustrations are probably the work of a Briefmaler, or letter painter, who also would have written and embellished official documents and painted coats-of-arms.
Vitality can also be found in nature, parks or sidewalks. Magnolias and Irises by Louis Comfort Tiffany (yes, from the family of the renowned Tiffany & Company) composed a natural window frame to highlight the landscape afar. The graduation from purple to violet of the petals and the tint of yellow and green of the leaves celebrates the arrival of spring. Unfortunately, the cropping of the page does not show enough magnolias and the rosy sunset.
Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses (Feb 9) depicts the golden fields, the impressive cypress, and the breeze represented by the swirling clouds in the sky. Though depicting the late summer in St-Remy, France, the scene of fall reminds me that I can’t expect to reap a harvest if I am not willing to sow. It’s spring and it’s time to plant some seeds. I may not know what they would have given me by the time of harvest – hopes or disappointments, but I know myself well enough that I won’t be sitting there and wait for nothing. Future is uncertain, yet I will do what I can to scatter some seeds, pay my best efforts to nurture them, pledged with Van Gogh’s painting.
About the artworks: