Richibi’s Weblog

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“Winter Mood” – Leonid Afremov


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Winter Mood
Leonid Afremov 

the thick application of paint in this painting, impasto,
and the disorder of acid colours in the foreground leaves, 
bring to mind Cézanne for me, 
and by inference, I guess, the more appealing, I think, Van Gogh
but the Belarusian Afremov, you might find interesting to know,
is from Vitebsk, the birthplace of Chagall,
studied at the school Chagall founded there,
as did incidentally in their times Malevich and Kandinsky also  
but the poetry of solitude by which this work touches me so
I find most reminiscent of Friedrich Caspar David‘s “The Wanderer“,
no less iconic a Romantic figure in art than Byron, Shelley, Keats became,
not to mention in Germany Goethe‘s tragic “Werther“, or in France, Victor Hugo 
in Spain the much earlier Don Quixote, inspired much later his compatriot Picasso,
whose own lonely horseman is to my mind recalled here, 
and in film more recent lonesome cowboys ride instead of on an open range
an empty street through a park in Paris maybe, Dresden, or Toronto
as on life’s journey they find, and we, each our road to follow 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thought I’d pass it along  





“The Journey of the Magi” – Sassetta‏

                                                                                                                                                                          Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni)

The Journey of the Magi (1435)                                                                 


                                                                                                                                                                              the sixth of January was the Feast of the Magi,
should you have forgotten, indeed should you have never known,
when the Three Wise Men travelled with gold, frankincense and myrrh
to Bethlehem, to where Jesus had just been born  
whatever became of all of it I’ve wondered,
and back when I  was learning about it at school,
and how incongruous to be visited by kings
in a life so otherwise cruel  
a star, it is said, led the way, low here on the horizon, 
shimmering incandescently beside the two birds,
not any less innocent all of these than cherubs
cavorting in celebration of the transcendental birth
Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, on camels out of the East,
are represented on the more Italianate horses, 
along with the equally more Italianate gentry,
to of course reflect Sassetta‘s more Sienese sources 
but the pink castles, essentially indiscriminate, 
are there, I’m sure, 
specifically only to enchant you  
happy new year