Last week my husband and I went on a 2000-mile road trip covering parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Although the Yellowstone National Park was the highlight of the trip, listening to some incredible podcasts and an audiobook was an epiphany of our long trip. Not only did it introduce us to some brilliant minds and their lives but there wasn’t a single moment of monotony and time went by pretty fast.
One of the podcasts that struck a chord with my heart was — Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History — Generous Orthodoxy.
Do you remember the Duchess from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? A woman with short stature and a heavy-wrinkled double chin.
And are you aware of the inspiration behind the ugly-looking character? If the answer is “yes”, then surely you can give a pat on your back, but if you are like me: clueless and curious, then certainly you’re on the right article.
The Ugly Duchess (or The Grotesque Old Woman) is a 16th-century painting by Quentin Matsys housed in the National Gallery, London.
Many curators have found this artwork fascinating mainly because of two main reasons —
Both the paintings portray a “nude woman” reclining on a couch or bed. But Venus of Urbino was celebrated in the Italian Renaissance period while Manet’s Olympia was considered controversial and outrageous.
This article would explore the stark contrasts between the two compositions, symbolism in both paintings, and how Manet’s Olympia reflected feminism in the 19th century.
Zdzisław Beksiński was a Polish painter, photographer, and sculptor. He became famous for his unconventional paintings and photography that had elements of dystopia and surrealism. Even though his art and photography were criticized by many conventional painters and photographers of his times, he continued to refine his trademark existential style.
This article will focus on a few of his art pieces, why he did not name his paintings, and what exactly compelled him to depict anxiety, obscure faces with wrapped bandages, or a doomsday scenario?
Zdzisław Beksiński was born in 1929 in Sanok, Poland. At that time Sanok had the…
The Netherlandish Proverbs is an oil-on-oak painting that was created by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559. This masterpiece encapsulates approximately 112 proverbs and idioms that are identified in the English language and some of them are still in popular use.
The Netherlanders were fond of proverbs and used them in their language; 100 years before Bruegel’s painting. Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch philosopher, and scholar were the first to publish Adagia which is a wide collection of rich proverbs and idioms.
Bruegel painted several art pieces portraying hidden proverbs and idioms but this was one of his most notable works…
A couple of months back I came across Rene Magritte’s The Treachery of Images. While I might pretend that I understood the subject completely but just like The Matrix, it did not make complete sense to me, and so, I left it.
A few days ago, The Son of Man, another iconic painting showed up on my screen and I couldn’t resist reading more about Magritte’s repertoire.
Each painting of Magritte seems like a mystery and the esoteric subjects inspire us to ask a lot more questions than we might think.
Rape is one of his artworks that instantly connected…
A man is plucking a fig from a branch of a fig tree.
A mother tantalizing offers fig to her infant.
Two men play a game of boules, a French version of outdoor bowling.
A man is engrossed in a book.
Another man is painting near the seashore.
The background of the image features a group of people dancing near a tractor.
A couple is dancing and romantically involved in the center of the image. …
I *cried* when I got my first job.
I *cried* when my parents visited me abroad for the very first time.
I *cried* when my sister separated from a toxic marriage.
I *cried* when *we* completed a 10-day Himalayan trek.
I *cried* when my writing was appreciated as a newbie writer.
I ‘cried’ when my US student visa was rejected and I had to drop out of my masters.
I ‘cried’ when I had not one, not two but three miscarriages.
I ‘cried’ when our parents could not visit us in the US because of COVID-19.
And there have been…
Before impressionism and modernism took over, artists were never keen to draw their self-portraits. Unlike Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, or Frida Kahlo who had a panache to feature themselves in their own canvasses, the 16 & 17th-century artists never took the spotlight. Rather, they camouflaged their identity within the paintings — almost like a signature to endorse the artwork. Sometimes, artists deliberately used this technique to convey complex narratives which they could never portray since most of these artworks were commissioned by patrons with a different ideology or by the iron-handed church.
In a nutshell, they loved playing hide and…