Tag Archives: Ernst Gombrich

how republics die: flaws in the communes

How republics die. What kills representative governments? It is not always the mob. … …Outwardly at least, the Italian communes of medieval times were utterly new organisms and their inhabitants utterly new men. Between the surrounding feudal order and the … Continue reading

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bruegel: keeping identity with nature

For Pieter Bruegel the Elder, man is faulty, he is potentially noble, and that his existence is legitimized by his position as an integral but not central unit of the cosmos- although not within such arbitrarily neat compartments. Rejecting the … Continue reading

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bruegel: too busy for the cosmic rhythm

…The only concept of the nature of things that seems never to have occurred to Bruegel is our objective scientific one by which the cosmos becomes something physically explicable, and hence godless. As for Bruegel’s god, his religious affiliation can … Continue reading

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bruegel: cripple creek

At the popular level, Bruegel’s fantastic drolleries are taken at face value. A curious and delightful painter. At his true level, when these obvious charms are recognized as nothing but a pictorial skin, Bruegel is discoverableĀ  as an extraordinarily complex … Continue reading

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bruegel: human foibles

…A sober philosophy of man’s place in nature… Bruegel’s recognition of human foibles never reduced him to bitterness, or at least never to any discernible in his group. From the mass of it we can deduce that he regarded misanthropy … Continue reading

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miniature adoration: story of O

Songs sung blue…. One of the loveliest miniature paintings of the Italian Renaissance is this “Adoration of the magi” by Girolamo of Cremona. The swirling dolphins, fruits and vines that surround the holy scene almost obscure the fact that the … Continue reading

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imaginary museum

…As the chief curator and guide of the Imaginary Museum, Andre Malraux recalled Toynbee and Spengler. For one thing, he shares their infatuation with the past, their conviction that it can speak to us, that stones have tongues. For another, … Continue reading

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venus rising: and no boyfriend in sight

She was the perfect beauty. Beloved of prince and painter, Simonetta Vespucci was the Renaissance ideal. … The visage of a ravishing, young woman appears again and again in the art of Sandro Botticelli, Early Italian Renaissance painter. It is … Continue reading

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starry starry night

Strange deformations attributable to tradition as it buckled and flared, gasping under the pressures of the pathologies of time.You can see the visible world as a vortex of lines. Or so said Vincent van Gogh. He used the collision of … Continue reading

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hunting in our own snow

Such an effort to hit the trail for running as autumn, the compound interest of shorter days upon the pressing consideration of motivation and lack thereof, the dynamic of gravity and general inertia, and ultimately, a Viktor Frankl style will … Continue reading

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