Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Washington and Dean and Rembrandt

The painting and drawing are both 9x12.

I just read a book titled Rembrandt's Nose: Of Flesh & Spirit in the Master's Portraits by Michael Taylor. At one point he writes, "The cadaver and the sleeping girl.  They are both objects of lust, after all--the lust for knowledge and the lust for knowledge in the biblical sense.  The lust to understand and the lust to possess--or, in both cases, simply the lust to see, to draw, to paint.  Like Picasso in his countless variations on the theme of the old satyr and the beautiful young woman, Rembrandt has given us a mythological equivalent of the relationship between the artist and the model or, to put it in more general terms, between the artist and the world."

I suppose the lesson here is that there are no pure motives, especially for the artist, even the great artist.   But life is messy, and the artist thrives in the midst of the mess.  No spirit without flesh, and no flesh without spirit.

No comments: