Saturday, June 28, 2008

published - 1989

This book is about the golden age of the Renaissance.
Dominated by the inquisition, the Medici family
is sinking into corruption, there's a relentless
persecution of knowledge, the arts and science,
and the supposed immorality of an enlightened age.

While the secret police go about their business
of arrest and torture, a group of unlikely
conspirators play a game of bluff and
concealment to protect the great works of the age.

published - 1989

In 1848 a talented, earnest group of
young artists banded together and dubbed
themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

They believed every rose must be painted
from a live flower and every face from an
actual human being, and they set out to
change the course of English painting.

Who were the dreamy women who haunt
those pictures? What happened when they
consented to model and found themselves
idealized and adored by the men that
painted them?

I've had these HB books since '89 and have
been meaning to find paperback versions
to re-read. In my attempt to sum up the
the books, I realize all to well just how
much of an impression art and common
sense have played a role in my thinking.

If you can find used copies, or maybe even
at your library, these 2 books are well
worth your time to read.


Paris became one vast cafe. Conversation
in France was at its zenith. The intangible
flow of wit was as spontaneous as possible.
For this sparkling outburst there is no
doubt that honor should be ascribed in
part to, the great event which created new
customs and even modified human
temperament, the advent of coffee.

Jules Michelet
French Historian 1798 - 1874
describing 18th Century Paris


Anonymous said...

What a groovy quote.(sorry, I'm feelin' my age today;-) And thanks for the book tips. Your summaries are very well written. Sounds like two really good ones.

Art and common sense; Two very good ingredients for thinking, I would say.

Merle Sneed said...

What an interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Man, don't get me started on the Pre Raphaelites! If memory serves, wasn't it D.G. Rossetti who dug up his wife's corpse to retrieve some of his poetry?

And I'd love to see Millais's Ophelia in real life. Didn't the model for that one pose in a bathtub and catch her near death o cold?

Anyroad, love 'em. Thanks for jogging my mind.

Kurt said...

The Pre-Raphaelites came before the Raphaelites.

cbb said...

So now, wait a minute. Coffee inaugurated the zenith of France? Scintillating conversation, great art, intelligent public discourse, refined sensibilities - all this in part because of coffee?

Well, like, why can't Starbucks do that, for crying out loud? I feel gypped, short-changed. I'm headed for Paree.

(Which, by the way, I just learned is 30% parks! Now THERE'S a refined city!)

tony said...

I Want To Be A Post-Pre-Raphaelite!
Those book links are interesting...........(&) it's true, painting colours our lives in the background.......its not the vivid but the subtle hues that illustrate us......

Coffee Messiah said...

decker: Sometimes I try to think back and define why I turned out the way I have. A post will occur about it I feel.

merle: Thanks.

hR9: I believe the women then were actually stronger than the men painting them. It doesn't surprise me about your knowledge...; )

kurt: Hey, Thanks 4 that!

cbb: Actually, the early years of SB when they were purchasing their coffee from Peets in Berkeley, they were very good and actually knew good beans from bad. Now, they know profits and foo foo drinks that have nothing to do with good coffee at all, hence their magnifying problems and profit loss.
I would have enjoyed those years of early coffeehouses and public discourse! ; )

tony:It's surprising though that so many don't see what's right in front of them daily.

Wanderer said...

Funny, but someone else recommended the Gay Daly book to me ages ago. I just put both books on my Library list. (I'm going to a couple of Libraries today in fact, so we'll see if they're in or I have to order them from the system.) We have an incredible multi-county Library system--I can easily order books from libraries 80 miles away. Liberty has an excellent library--the people there make sure they have a top notch selection. Then other libraries are you order what you want from the system.
I don;t know much about the Pre Raphaelites, so ... thanks!

Wanderer said...

I do have an art book on the pre-raphs somewhere.

I really like Ophelia by Milais.

dennis said...

Dennis would like to be painted in a pre raphaelite sort of way.

Unknown said...

I shall put the books on my "search list." Art and artists have influenced my life and thoughts, too. I would have loved to have been able to have been in one of that 19th-early 20th century coffee houses in Paris.

Cathy said...

Having an eye for what is aesthetic, beautiful, graceful, informed...makes life much more interesting (and sometimes more difficult). I would surround myself with art -- of my own or some other person's creation.

I also like Pillars of the Earth. I liked the story of "why" the cathedral had to look the way it looked and "why" mud huts would never suffice for worship.

edward said...

the first book sounds good.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was a museum for those nearby...

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the "Palace of Wisdom," until they got wise to me (Insert drum roll here).

Coffee Messiah said...

lib: You're lucky about the library, and yes, Ophelia is beautiful!

dennis: That would be an interesting picture!

nick: It's hard not to be, isn't it?!

cathy: I need to look into that book.

edward: Greeting, little one.

ruby: Hello!

fairlane: Nyuk, nyuk.....