Illuminated

gothic sketchbookSpätgotisches Musterbuch des Stephan Schriber – 1494

 

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The Life of Things

about 1438-42The Vision of Saint Eustace
Pisanello (c. 1395 – c. 1455)

 


When I Buy Pictures

or what is closer to the truth,
when I look at that of which I may regard myself as the imaginary possessor,
I fix upon what would give me pleasure in my average moments:
the satire upon curiousity in which no more is discernible
than the intensity of the mood;
or quite the opposite—the old thing, the medieval decorated hat-box,
in which there are hounds with waists diminishing like the waist of the hour-glass,
and deer and birds and seated people;
it may be no more than a square of parquetry; the literal biography perhaps,
in letters standing well apart upon a parchment-like expanse;
an artichoke in six varieties of blue; the snipe-legged hieroglyphic in three parts;
the silver fence protecting Adam’s grave, or Michael taking Adam by the wrist.
Too stern an intellectual emphasis upon this quality or that detracts from one’s enjoyment.
It must not wish to disarm anything; nor may the approved triumph easily be honored—
that which is great because something else is small.
It comes to this: of whatever sort it is,
it must be “lit with piercing glances into the life of things”;
it must acknowledge the spiritual forces which have made it.

 

Marianne Moore (1887 – 1972)
Quotation within poem from  The Poetry of the Old Testament by Alex R. Gordon (1872 – 1930)

 

Pisanello_-_Codex_Vallardi_2506

Pisanello (Antonio di Puccio Pisano, c. 1395 – probably 1455)

Birds, Fountain, Garden, Pompeii

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 3:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Deliciae Natureae Selectae

Georg Wolfgang Knorr, 1705-1761

Corals and seaweeds, shells, butterflies, urchins, metals and sea anemones, crustaceae and spiders, starfishes, fishes, birds, quadrupeds, reptiles and amphibians.