“The Connoiseur” – Norman Rockwell‏

by richibi

The Connoiseur - Norman Rockwell

The Connoiseur (1962)

Norman Rockwell


serendipitously trolling Rockwells after sensing his spirit in a
poem I’d just been reading I happened upon this marvelous
piece, an homage of course to Jackson Pollock, perhaps the
most successful of the Abstract Expressionists

but lurking behind the obvious surface of this painting it was
easy to recognize also another glaring, though not as explicit
maybe, tribute, misted perhaps by the transformational
permutations of context and time, wherein a seed becomes
a tree, a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, to no less an iconic
masterpiece than Caspar David Friedrich‘s Wanderer Above
a Sea of Fog
the work we just, a blog or so ago, explored

both look upon their own idea of a new horizon

and a Pop Art stab at an Abstract Expressionist through a
High Romantic is a cute trick, witty, wonderful, wise

it’s an easy step to a literary counterpart from there, Keats’
On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer nearly automatically
comes to mind, another iconic Romantic new dawn

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Beethoven, were I to go to music, is always, especially in his
later works, contemplating new dimensions, new worlds, he
more than any other composer is a metaphysical explorer

maybe also Pink Floyd

who’ve taken me to their own also exalted musical galaxies,
awesome commanding perspectives, transcendental heights,
to my own “wild” indeed “surmise / Silent, upon a peak in”
my version of “Darien”


psst: Chapman’s “Homer”