Saturday, March 17, 2007


"Amour" 12 Lithographs by Maurice Denis (1892-1899)

Yes, I've discovered YET ANOTHER way to waste time -- setting up a 'Google Alert" for topics of interest -- in this case -- blogs that were discussing the:
"Vollard: Patron of the Avant Garde"
exhibit at the Art Institute.

I mean -- the Art Institute does have 90,000 members -- are any of them blogging about it? (other than myself)

So far - the answer seems to be -- mostly not.

But I did find Cam's Commentary -- which was, actually, more than I was hoping for -- since here was a post that drew attention to one part of the exhibit that I'd ignored -- and on top of that -- devised a poem in its honor ! (that included the titles of all twelve lithographs in the volume -- the sort of game that, accompanied by much drinking, must have consumed many evenings in ancient Kyoto.

Anyway -- after no small efforts-- I've finally assembled the entire album
-all dedicated to his young wife (they married in 1890)


(dreaming about love ? Crowned with the garland of availability?)

Les attitudes sont faciles et chastes

(but what are flowers for ?)

Le bouquet matinal, les larmes

(why is she crying ? -- because she is lonely)

Ce fut un religieux mystère

(because human destiny is sacred)

Le chevalier n’est pas mort à la croisade

(enter the gallant young dude - dismounting at a respectful distance)

Les crépuscules ont une douceur d’ancienne peinture

(and I can smell the thick, sweet perfume)

Elle était plus belle que les rêves

(in the eyes of her lover)

Et c’est la caresse de ses mains

(remembering, now, the first time holding hands in high school)

Nos âmes en des gestes lents

(the courtship begins -- she likes music
-- and he knows how to play it)

Sur le canapé d’argent pâle

(her arms are crossed - her body's on fire
- while her soul is in another world)

La vie devient précieuse, discrète

(a sacred union - with credit to Leonardo )

Mais c’est le coeur qui bat trop vite

(you bet that heart is beating fast
-- in one of the great European erotic designs -
worthy of the love cultures of Persia or northern India)

**** And so ends this 12 print series ****

*** but ***

Here's the obvious sequel

(and how beautiful it is !)

Thankyou, Cam


Anonymous Joy In Life said...

You continue to surprise me, Mr. Miller. Have you an inkling (haha) how these were produced? They are so pale - and a few of my favorites achieve an interesting light quality. Is he using washes on the stone, in addition to the crayons? Argh! Photographing prints can be right up there with photographing sculpture, no?

Curious to know where the gallant young dude went after the completion of the 12.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger Cam said...

I'm glad you posted pictures of all twelve. I wanted to see them again but was only successful in finding the two of the series.

No drinking was involved in the writing of my poem, but given that it was composed during an unexpected airport layover, that is surprising.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Yes -- these prints are very pale -- which is why, until yesterday, I didn't give them the attention that was demanded by the paintings in the same gallery.

These photograph/jpgs are difficult to see -- but believe me -- so were the originals -- especially in this exhibit -- behind glass -- and stacked three-high on the wall-- so the top row was way above my head.

And what happened to the gallant young dude? Was he aboard that ship sailing away into the distance - leaving the mother and child behind?

(in real life - the artist's wife died about 20 years after this volume was published)

March 18, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thankyou, again, Cam for bringing this delightful series to my attention.

The Art Institute owns 10 of the prints -- so those can be seen again some day.

But I doubt we'll see the entire series together -- or "le coeur qui bat trop vite" -- ever again.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

These are so surprising in color--as if overwhelmed by a strange quality of light. And the bride seems a child bride, in a house inside a small lyric garden.

Eden, maybe.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

p. s.

More for your "new sculpture" collection of pictures.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

On the subject of depth of colour these seem to be a little deeper:

St Petersberg seems to have some interesting works on the subject of psyche.

March 19, 2007  
Anonymous The Advice for List-Making Office said...

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March 23, 2007  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Chris, these are beyond beautiful to me.

What I also find interesting is his use of space -- or rather, his use of stylized, emotive, flattened space.

It reminds me of Japanese ukiyo-e prints, other artists' delicate as a butterfly's wings, these.

Thanks for sharing them.

March 23, 2007  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

and thank you so much for this

March 25, 2007  
Blogger mere said...

thank you for sharing these! the lithograph albums were maybe my favorite part of the exhibit - and if you could provide direction on how to find those of bonnard, roussel and vuillard, too? (btw- I live in Atlanta, traveled to Chicago this past week - to see this exhibit and Wicked - fun city you have!)

April 07, 2007  

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