Ayn Rand's favorite painting - Corpus Hypercubus by Dali


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Dali is one of my favorite artists.  His imagination and rendering skills are incredible.  I've read that he paints his dreams and subconscious and was facinated by Freud's work.  There was a little exercise he did to see his subconscious.  He would doze off in a chair with a key or other object in his hand and a cup or something on the floor next to his chair.  When he dozed off the key would fall into the cup and awaken him from a dream.  Then he would paint.  

Anyway, I'm actually rather surprised that this would be one of Ayn Rand's favorite paintings.  I wouldn't expect her to  like Dali's sense of life and to be dismissive of his work.  I don't get the message of suffering from this image at all, just a mystical dude performing magic tricks. Levitation, baby.  Yeah.

Kat

Hello,

I usually go to Sophie Queen´s Museum and Prado´s Museum and I really enjoy seeing Dalí´s paints. Is one of my favourites painters (along Velázquez, Domenikos Theotokopoulus -Greco- and Tiziano). Kat, I see you interested by Salvador Dalí. I recommend you a comedy written by a Spanish dramatist wich name is Albert Boadella. I give you a link (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/843762281...1886470?ie=UTF8) to buy this opera. It is called "Daaaalí" and here is the poster:

daaali.jpg

Best wishes,

Gonzalo Jerez

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  • 1 month later...
I was in Granada, Spain, in a small gallery that was, as I recall, in the basement of a church. The painting was of Christ on the cross. His body was twisted, contorted in agony -- but the head and face were emerging into sunlight, and the face held as ecstatic an expression as I have ever seen. One knew that he was dying in fearful pain, but that the pain no longer had the power to touch his spirit -- because he was looking into the face of God.

The room was not well lit, and I could not make out the name of the painter. Does anyone know this painting?

Is this it?

cuadro32.jpg

RCR

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I like a lot of what Dali painted, and hate a lot of it too ;) This one is very good.

John - I LOVED your poem. You captured the spirit of the painting perfectly.

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No, Christian, it isn't. But who is the artist, and where did you find it?

Barbara.

Bugger, ah well. I do love a good google challenge; though, from what I can tell, chances are, since the painting was in the basement of a church (which, seems suprisingly common in Granada) there won't be any representations online...but, who knows. Do you happen to recall which church you were visiting?

The painting is called "Crucificado", and was painted by a man named, Juan de Sevilla (1643-1695). The painting appears in the Convento de Santo Tomás de Villanueva in Granada, Spain. He has another painting, "Adoration of the Eucharist" in the church of La Magdalena (also, in Granada), and has several, at least, at the Cathedral of Granada.

There isn't a lot of information about the guy on the web (in English), other than his date of birth, death, and the fact that he worked closely with Alonso Cano.

There is this painting ("The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple"), but not much else that I can find.

Juan%20de%20Sevilla%20romero-432924.jpg

RCR

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  • 1 month later...

~ Since we're on the subjects of "Name That Artist," I've a question that's been bugging me for decades.

~ Back in the late '60's, whilst stationed in Colo, I visited an art museum in Denver (more than once.) 'Modern Art' was generally de riguer then, though some traditional/'classical' styles were represented as well (paintings and sculpture and 'collages'.) The architecture of the place was in the style of 'open space'/large-windows-for-outside-light, etc, and there was this one primary-entrance 'room' (upon turning from the lobby entrance) which had one exterior wall side practically totally window; mucho light coming in. Further, this 'room' had a large floor-to-ceiling partition-wall which was walkable around (an exhibit on both sides) with the other side facing a separate 'room'. Rm ht approx 11' (wall the same); wall width approx 18-20'.

~ That's the 'ambience' prelude to my question. It was a 'wall' to exhibit in natural light LARGE wall-sized exhibits. The non-descriptly-colored wall gave a 'frame'-effect to what was placed on/in-front-of it. That's what I'm getting to.

~ Upon turning from the lobby, one sees hanging, in the distance (approx 60' away) on that partition-wall an apparent 'modern art' collage of many varied-colored cloth-rags hanging on a...large, rectangular, blue-colored...back-board kind of thing. This thick board practically filled the whole wall space. We're talking 'large', for a random-miscellaneous-item collage-type 'art' piece, then in fashion.

~ The blue was not a solid hue. It varied from light to dark, randomly, in a blurry, yet 'flowing' sort of way, but, ironically, water waves were not all that suggestive therein; but then, that was 'background'. It was the hanging rags, (and, their shadows, apparently from the window-light) that stood out. They stood out mainly 'cause of their varied multi-colored, mostly bright, contrasts to the background. Each and every one was solid-colored (pick your colors, including varied greys [though not many]): lime-green, olive-green, ink-black, puke-yellow, canary/lemon-yellow, pink, orange, brown, etc etc. Maybe even heliotrope! Overall, it looked like more work went into getting the damn thing here, than went into the 'creation' of this...big board with colored rags.

~ Then, upon getting closer, you saw that the rags weren't hanging; the silver staples at the top of each became noticeable: they were all 'stapled' to this gigantic blue hardboard! Oh, man: this is real 'art'! (cough, cough.) The whole wall...for...THIS? Jeez.

~ T-h-e-n, upon getting close enough (say, 3 feet; too close for the proper 'gestalt' impression of the oversized thing; 10 feet min for that), one saw that one was really taken in by a master painter. The 'shadows' weren't from the side-wall-window outside light; a trick of the eyes, thereby. The 'staples' were painted ones (and you had to get 1 foot away to see that!) and even they had 'shadows'! The whole thing was a 'realist' fake-out painting of a 'modernist' collage . It wasn't until one even suspected this that one would step to the side of the exhibit to see that it really was just a large 2"-deep canvas...with nothing '3-dimensional' upon it. --- Fascinating!

~ I visited that museum a few times, and the painting stayed for a few months. I was very impressed with it, to say the least. I didn't manage to find out anything about the background of it, re its purpose, intention, 'meaning' etc. but, that was before I barely discovered Rand...and became interested in esthetics proper. Which brings me to the reason for this post: I lost the name of it AND the painter.

~ It may not have been the intention of the painter, but, I saw him/her playing a kind of joke on 'modern art' with this...thing. A 'realist' painting depicting a 'modern art collage'. Consider: an art critic, while looking at it as a 'collage' might review it one way, but, upon discovering it's a mere 'realist' painting would critique it radically different...even if as one of a 'collage.' Rings a bell regarding someone who pulled a fast one on a big name humanities journal a while back using purposefully ambigous but ethereal sounding vocabulary in a resultingly very praised article...'till he publicly said "Gotcha!"

~ Indeed it made me think of a story I read about some old Greek painter competitors each of whom had 'their' latest masterpieces on a stage for an auditorium's audience to judge. The 'referee' came to the center, looked and hand-motioned to the left and right; all saw the two separate upright supports for each canvas, and each with a small canvas-sized drape covering the masterpieces. He went to one side of the stage, reached for the painting's cover-drape and raised it off, and the audience saw...nothing but the canvas holder and the back of the stage. Not even a canvas appeared on the painting holder. After grumblings in the audience grew loud enough, the referee stepped behind the holder...and his torso disappeared. There was a painting there, but of the stage-background, and it was so well done, none knew (until that moment) that they were looking at a painting OF it. Mucho applause, needless to say. T-h-e-n he walked over to the other painting. What could outdo what was done? He reached for the drape, and lifted...an empty hand; he then reached again and lifted the whole canvas...showing that it was a painting OF a 'drape-covered' canvas which all assumed otherwise though it was sitting there the whole time!

~ I know there's a name for this style of 'illusionistic' painting (similar to the style that purposely plays with perspectives when you walk down a hall [or a noted Web-famous sidewalk-chalker does], or, the 'miniaturization' style of some), but, not sure if THIS particular painting I'm talking about falls therein. It may be unique, over-all, seeming to mock a 'style' in itself.

~ I've spent hours googling, checking history of the museum, all to no avail.

~ If the painting, as I've described it, is familiar to anyone (I'm aware that quite a few "O'ists" are familiar with Colo), pretty please with ketchup, sugar, jalepenos, anchovies, and...whatever...give me a name and reference.

LLAP

J:D

P.S: An aside---re any 'representations' in statuary or paintings, I never cared about it being an 'original', 'copy', assembly-line made, hand-done, 'knock-off' or whatever. As it was, it 'looked SHARP'...or it didn't. (separate aside: I can understand wanting 'originals'...but only if you got money to burn) Anyhoo, I see much of this thread discussing the pros-cons of a 'print' vs 'THE painting' re just appreciating their diff. This painting *I*'m talking about fits outside of my aside's ref to there being no diff. You really have to see/have this painting to appreciate what I'm talking about. A 'print' or 'copy' really won't convey what I was impressed with re the painter's ability. Truly, in some cases, there IS a diff (for better or worse, as I've gathered) worth considering. As with some others here, I don't even have to see a 'print' of this thing to know that this is one of those cases, and, where the 'original' is the ONLY way to appreciate the artist's skill (since, content-wise, that's all there is to talk about.)

P.P.S: True, the painting, as described, is not in any 'Romantic' tradition (except maybe 'psycho-epistemologically?) re any concern about sense-of-life/metaphysics. I think of it as a 'still-life' (you know: bowls of fruit, cups, candles, laid-aside violins) of stapled-cloths. ---- Anyhoo, thanx for reading. Hope y'all get a chance to actually see the thing...wherever it is now.

Edited by John Dailey
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I haven't seen the painting you described, John, but the style you're referring to is called trompe l'oeil.

And your story of the Greek competitors sounds a lot like a contest held between Zeuxis and Parrhasius:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeuxis_and_Parrhasius

I wouldn't doubt if the painting you saw was at least partially based on the story, as it is well known among artists.

Maybe a Google search on trompe l'oeil clubs, exhibits, etc., might help you find the painting.

J

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Jonathan:

~ Yes, "trompe l'oeil" is the style I meant re 'illusionistic' painting. Been a while since I read about it; forgot the term. I've always been fascinated by magicians and purposefully created illusions, and this style of 'art' (or at least, 'artistic-skill exercises') ranks right up there. Clearly, stage designers make mucho use of this...skill.

~ Still, this particular painting doesn't really seem to fit (unless one broadens the term's meaning.) In apparently being an illusory 'style' OF another 'style', it might be unique...even if accidentally; as I said, I'm not sure of the artist's intention there. One can only tell from other works they've done...and, without his/her name I know of none.

~ Re the Wiki ref, thanx. Hadn't read THAT particular version/legend/myth. But, both are fascinatingly charming stories. (Bet the birds didn't come back for a 2nd helping!)

LLAP

J:D

P.S: (Can't get away from these edited/added "P.S" thoughts; they're as bad as my parentheticals...like this one!) Re forgetting names, can't believe I forgot the painter-competitor names, Zeuxis and Parrhasius (legend/story-difference nwst). Like, who could forget names like those?

Edited by John Dailey
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  • 2 years later...
He turns his golden, godlike head away,

In vain attempt to hide his pain, and, more,

To cast his own eyes far, and, hence, ignore

The agony he must endure this day.

The woman who is watching does not pray.

And yet, she worships, with a glance austere.

Her soul is steady. Neither dread nor fear

Can shake the awe which holds her in his sway.

Stretched out upon his cross, he hangs so high,

He seems to rise above his pain's existence -

No, not by height alone, but the insistence

Of his mind's might, which does not choose to die.

Overhead the darkness fills the sky,

But, tremblingly, a light shines in the distance.

A great russian poet by the name of Anna Akhmatova wrote a poem called Crucifix on the same subject:

This greatest hour was hallowed and thundered

By angel's choirs; fire melted sky.

He asked his Father:"Why am I abandoned...?"

And told his Mother: "Mother, do not cry..."

Maria struggled, cried and moaned.

St. Peter sank into the stone trance...

Only there, where Mother stood alone,

None has dared cast a single glance.

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  • 2 weeks later...
A great russian poet by the name of Anna Akhmatova wrote a poem called Crucifix on the same subject:

Anna A. always seemed to have her own take on things. I really like her poem on "Lot's Wife" too, in which she chooses to sympathize with someone God punished for *looking back.* I have wondered if it has anything to do with the Revolutionary Russian insistence on keeping eyes forward:

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,

over a black mountain, in his giant track,

while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:

"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,

the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,

at the empty windows set in the tall house

where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain

stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .

Her body flaked into transparent salt,

and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem

too insignificant for our concern?

Yet in my heart I never will deny her,

who suffered death because she chose to turn.

Edited by jenright
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  • 3 years later...

I love Dali too. Still greatly underestimated. Quite outside the Dominating Discourse of art history. And his work is very uneven. I still love him. I went to see this painting when I was a Randian just because Rand said it was her favorite.

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Our friend Seymour Blogger did do us a favor in reviving this thread: original poetry, obscure but penetrating poetry by AA, and some sleuthing for works of art well worth sleuthing for.

I have never been a fan of Dali, but have always loved the quote I once heard attributed to Rand or Branden: "I want my life to be a Vermeer painting," or words to that effect. Vermeer is my guy, even if he did cheat a little.

Can anybody place this quote within the facts of reality, so to speak, or am I hallucinating again?

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I once heard attributed to Rand or Branden: "I want my life to be a Vermeer painting," or words to that effect. Vermeer is my guy, even if he did cheat a little.

Can anybody place this quote within the facts of reality, so to speak, or am I hallucinating again?

I thought they critiqued his subject matter, while liking his technique. It doesn't look like a Rand quote to me, it just rubs me wrong.

Here's a Vermeer you have to see in person, it's in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It makes a very odd impression, reproductions don't do it justice.

AmsRijksmuseumVermeerLittleStreet.jpg

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Our friend Seymour Blogger did do us a favor in reviving this thread: original poetry, obscure but penetrating poetry by AA, and some sleuthing for works of art well worth sleuthing for.

I have never been a fan of Dali, but have always loved the quote I once heard attributed to Rand or Branden: "I want my life to be a Vermeer painting," or words to that effect. Vermeer is my guy, even if he did cheat a little.

Can anybody place this quote within the facts of reality, so to speak, or am I hallucinating again?

"One might wish (and I do) that Vermeer had chosen better subjects to express his theme, but to him, apparently, the subjects were only the means to his end. What his style projects is a concretized image of an immense, nonvisual abstraction: the psycho-epistemology of a rational mind. It projects clarity, discipline, confidence, purpose, power—a universe open to man. When one feels, looking at a Vermeer painting: “This is my view of life,” the feeling involves much more than mere visual perception."

That highlighted sentence is close.

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I once heard attributed to Rand or Branden: "I want my life to be a Vermeer painting," or words to that effect. Vermeer is my guy, even if he did cheat a little.

Can anybody place this quote within the facts of reality, so to speak, or am I hallucinating again?

I thought they critiqued his subject matter, while liking his technique. It doesn't look like a Rand quote to me, it just rubs me wrong.

Here's a Vermeer you have to see in person, it's in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It makes a very odd impression, reproductions don't do it justice.

AmsRijksmuseumVermeerLittleStreet.jpg

I recall the idea of the comment to be something along the lines of, "I want my life to be as striking and clear as a Vermeer painting."

Along those lines, I think the quote is very Roarkian, so to speak.

I think all of Vermeer's works make an odd impression. I have only seen those (one?) in the Louve, and a couple in the National Gallery in D.C.

Do you know what the major criticism of the above could be, Adam (or others)?

I shall offer no hints. And, no googling allowed [insert winking smiley face here].

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My thought would be the choice of subjects as being banal, common or unheroic.

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I'll take your word that reproductions don't do it justice, but if they did I'd say that the contrast is too strong between the bright white at the bottom and the muted colors elsewhere. That, and I'm not too fond of looking up a dog's ass.

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I'll take your word that reproductions don't do it justice, but if they did I'd say that the contrast is too strong between the bright white at the bottom and the muted colors elsewhere. That, and I'm not too fond of looking up a dog's ass.

A dog's ass can be problematic indeed, especially for those who lead from behind (2 puns intended).

Arguably more problematic is Vermeer's likely use of a camera obscura.

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I'll take your word that reproductions don't do it justice, but if they did I'd say that the contrast is too strong between the bright white at the bottom and the muted colors elsewhere. That, and I'm not too fond of looking up a dog's ass.

A dog's ass can be problematic indeed, especially for those who lead from behind (2 puns intended).

Arguably more problematic is Vermeer's likely use of a camera obscura.

The Geographer is one of his that I really like.

http://www.essentialvermeer.com/catalogue/geographer.html <<<<you can bring your cursor over different items in the painting and it isolates the spot with text that explains aspects of the painting ...very, very cool!

According to the chart in the book that you linked too, this is an hourglass camera obscura.

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I'll take your word that reproductions don't do it justice, but if they did I'd say that the contrast is too strong between the bright white at the bottom and the muted colors elsewhere. That, and I'm not too fond of looking up a dog's ass.

A dog's ass can be problematic indeed, especially for those who lead from behind (2 puns intended).

Arguably more problematic is Vermeer's likely use of a camera obscura.

The Geographer is one of his that I really like.

http://www.essential...geographer.html <<<<you can bring your cursor over different items in the painting and it isolates the spot with text that explains aspects of the painting ...very, very cool!

According to the chart in the book that you linked too, this is an hourglass camera obscura.

Fabulous. I love that you found that website.

If I ever become a cat burgler, I may just risk it all to steal this painting of Vermeer's.

If Ragnar was allowed to steal, why can't I?

I am a very amateur painter in my "spare time." It is very clear even to me, however, that composition uber alles is the name of the game when it comes to great painting, and/or the painters most people like. The eye seems to have a built in sense of proportion that great composition rewards. This is perhaps the secret of Great Masters, and how (primarily) they became Great Masters. Brush stroke is important, but composition is king.

Some of the same and most important principles of composition applicable to painting apply to cross examinations and closing arguments in jury trials.

No kidding.

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Fabulous. I love that you found that website.

Some of the same and most important principles of composition applicable to painting apply to cross examinations and closing arguments in jury trials.

.

PDS:

My pleasure. I found it enlightening.

Your last comment is quite true. It also applies to certain types of rhetorical orations.

Adam

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Vermeer is my guy, even if he did cheat a little.

He "cheated"?

Which tools and methods count as "cheating" in visual art, and why? Obviously you think that camera obscuras qualify, but what about grids, straight-edges and T-squares? How about using one's thumb against a brush handle as a means of measuring?

J

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My thought would be the choice of subjects as being banal, common or unheroic.

That is a common view in Objectivist circles -- that the "subjects" of Vermeer's paintings were banal, common and unheroic -- but to me it just reveals that those who make such statements haven't a clue what would qualify as a painting's actual subject. They're apparently looking at mere settings, costumes and/or characters and calling them the paintings' "subjects." They might as well claim that Rand's "subjects" were also banal, common and unheroic. After all, she wrote about the everyday concerns of business people working in offices and factories.

It would be a refreshing change to see Objectivist-types following Rand's advice on making "objective esthetic judgments" and actually looking at the content of the art and identify what is happening and what thematic and symbolic meaning it might have, rather than looking at some mere aspect of a painting, disliking it, and then asserting that that aspect is the painting's "subject."

J

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