Art History Uncategorized

Tehching Hsieh and the glorious burden of art

Or: What does time even mean?

Warning: This piece is mostly going to be sporadic thoughts about an artist whose life, career, and influence I find to be deeply fascinating.


Tehching Hsieh


Performance art. We all know performance art, whether we engage with it or not. A lot of it simply think of it as that crazy thing that weird “artists” do in order to draw attention to themselves. You’re probably thinking about Chris Burden’s Shoot for example where he had himself shot with a rifle by one of his friends.

Don’t worry, he was fine. Small caliber weapon, Or perhaps you’re thinking about the beauty and majesty of Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present which is one of my personal favorites.

What if I were to tell you that there was an artist who not only pushed the limits of performance but the very limits of what a human body could even do?

Well, I mean you would probably believe me considering you’re reading this article.

Tehching Hsieh (2014)

Meet Tehching Hsieh. Brooklyn resident. One of 15 children from a family in southern Taiwan. Jumped an oil tanker to get to America in 1974. A dishwasher paid $1.50 a hour for four years. On the fringes of the art world until 2008.

Master of his craft. We have six (seven technically) pieces to get through. Let’s get started!

Jump Piece

You can definitely tell that this was an early piece just because of its lack of sophistication and documentation. However, we can see it as a starting point to the “difficult” pieces that he would later become defined by.

The game was simple. Tehching jumped out of a two story building in Taiwan. He took some photographs and videos to show it.


Again, not exactly a piece with the complexity of his later works but still bold and deadly. Keep these concepts of pain in mind for the future.

Cage Piece

Life is a life sentence.

Tehching Hsieh

In its essence, Cage Piece is almost beautiful in its setup and execution. A cage built by himself out of pine dowels and two by fours. A bed, blanket, sink, and pail. He would enter on September 30, 1978 and emerge on September 30th, 1979. No books. No TV. No talking. Just himself and a friend who would come every day to take one picture every day for a year.

Roberta Smith of the New York Times describes the piece as “the almost palpable immensity and emptiness of time, nothing but time, of life as the filling of time.” I am inclined to agree. Imagine a year in a cage with nobody but yourself except for the one to two days a month visitors could stop by to gawk for a few hours. What would you think about? How would you keep yourself alive?

Everybody has their own cage. My art is different from painting or sculpture. My art is doing time, so it’s not different from doing life or doing art, or doing time. No matter whether I stay in “art-time” or “life-time,” I am passing time.

Tehching Hsieh

What does living really mean? How can a life be lived with seemingly nothing? The fascinating thing I find is his assertation that a year in the cage wasn’t a waste because he had already wasted four years doing menial work. To him, it was just changing the way he passed time. Because he made the conscious decision to be in the cage instead of being forced to wash dishes it really did not seem to bad to him. To Tehching the worst thing possible would have been to not complete the piece.

Time Clock Piece

You would figure after locking himself into a cage for a year our intrepid artist would give himself a break for a bit. Never mind! Time Clock piece is perhaps the most strenuous of all of Tehching’s pieces and I am not saying that lightly.

Once again the setup is deceptively simple. One year. A timeclock. Every single hour Teching would punch that time clock and take a picture of himself. Every hour for a year. 8,267 photos.

While Cage Piece examines the problem of seemingly having too much time, Time Piece shows the lack of time. I let this quote from Tehching stand by itself.

But wasting time is my concept. When I punched the time clock, people said, “You don’t work,” but I was doing work. Being homeless is work. Homeless people are hungry and they have to eat, right? We all have to survive. If you’re alive, you work. So freethinking is work, you know what I mean? Your life, your heartbeat—that is all work to me.

It is often difficult to conceive what the mind of an artist is experiencing when they choose to do a project like this. I think it relates back to what Tehching noted about all of his pieces that they exist to show “a fundamental ‘precondition’ of all life is the passing of time, or that ‘life is a life sentence.” It is a rather difficult concept to grasp admittedly but I really like Amelia Groom’s analysis of this piece. Tehching missed 133 punch clocks and Groom sees this as a deconstruction of what “clock time” and “work time” mean. Groom argues the piece “anticipates the pervasiveness of ‘work time’ today, spilling over into ‘non-work time’ with the spread of flexible working hours and mobile communications technology.” The arbitrariness and unproductivity of this artificially constructed time question conventional understandings of what time really is.

Outside Piece

First of all, if this piece in particular interests you I would highly recommend checking out Simon Wu’s article about it in Artforum. Really a lovely work. If you’re interested in Outside Piece’s relation to Asian American identity and migration in America then please read it.

Again, the concept was simple. A year outside. Completely forbidden from going inside in any capacity. The piece would take place in the streets of New York City. Just a backpack and a sleeping bag.

I think this piece is so strikingly brilliant to me because of the sheer burden that it is. It was a record-breaking cold winter and still Tehching spent 8,760 hours outside. I think this piece is fascinating because of the lack of constant documentation that exists for it. One has to imagine Tehching trying to keep warm, searching for a place to sleep, feeling the distant drift of snowflakes on his face, and so on.

A part of this piece that strikes me to the core is the very personal stakes of this work. When Tehching attempted to defend himself against a man who threw an iron rod at his head, he was arrested for 15 hours and brought inside a police station. It’s the only time in Tehching’s art career this his piece has collapsed, that he failed, that wholeness isn’t totally found. It’s not only the wholeness of the art piece that collapsed but the personal fear he felt as an illegal immigrant with a real possibility of being deported as a result.

Of course one can say that this piece is an aestheticization or a “pretend” version of poverty. Tehching had the money to buy food every day, financial stability to return to, and the knowledge that it was only a year before he could return to his SoHo apartment. In his diaries it seems like he was mostly quite relaxed throughout the entire experience as well. However you may think I refer you to a quote from Simon Wu that I think perfectly captures what this piece means.

Perhaps, if he had decided to stay in his apartment for the year, Hsieh would have avoided the dangers he encountered with Outdoor Piece. Or perhaps the dangers would have found him anyway as an illegal immigrant in America. Within a legal system that codified his difference and exclusion, he made a new one, through which the question of whether he belonged could be answered only by himself. 

Simon Wu

Art / Life: One Year Performance 1983–1984 (Rope Piece)

This is what I consider to be the last of Tehching’s traditional pieces, the next two are a little bit stranger and I’ll explain once I get to them.

I like this one. It’s a little silly but it’s pretty charming. Hsieh and Linda Montano spent one year between 4 July 1983 and 4 July 1984 tied to each other with an 8-foot-long (2.4 m) rope

We will stay together for one year and never be alone. We will be in the same room at the same time, when we are inside. We will be tied together at waist with an eight-foot rope. We will never touch each other during the year.

What does being connected mean to you? Maybe you’ve been in a long term relationship where you’ve existed in the same space as your partner for large stretches of time. In those spaces I’ve found the emotions that emerge are far more raw, viceral and devastating that anything solo.

Hsieh wanted to do a piece that forced him to confront all the problems that relationships could have and the contradictory nature of relationships being both freeing and cage-like. By tying themselves together they had an opprotunity to go through life literally tied at the waist and to feel as two people combined into one.

The images from this project are so geniunely beautiful, here’s some more

I love Linda’s words regarding the bond that she felt with Tehching during this time.

“He’s my friend, confidant, lover, son, opponent, husband, [and] brother,” she said, “playmate, sparring partner, mother, father, etc. The list goes on and on. There isn’t one word or one archetype that fits. I feel very deeply for him…”

I feel like it’s a piece that’s impossible to describe unless you have felt that level of connectivity to somebody. The action of going through life while so deeply attached to somebody is a powerful one and the two still have a transcedental bond today. Through the arguing, fighting, silence, annoyance and so on the two reached a sort of beautiful equilibrium that is so rarely seen in the world. And I just think that’s lovely.

One Year Performance 1985–1986 (No Art Piece) and Tehching Hsieh 1986–1999 (Thirteen Year Plan)

Ah, these two.

One year of no art. No reading about art. No galleries. No making art. No talking about art. No art.

Thirteen years of making art. Making art constantly. However.

There was still to be no talking about art.

And at the end of the 13 years


Tehching Hsieh retired from art shortly after the conclusion of the Thirteen Year Piece. He said he no longer had any more creative goals to accomplish. I don’t blame him. It’s perfectly well suited that an artist with that kind of presence would simply wake up one day and stop doing art.

Hsieh remained in obscurity until 2008, with the publication of Out of Now, The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh. He claimed that because of the book “he could die tomorrow” shortly after.

Hsieh continues to give interviews, promote art, be an influence on comtemporary art and of course show his works in galleries around the world.

I really am quite happy for him. He accomplished what he needed to do and finally gets to be rewarded for it. His work has been shown at the MoMa, the Guggenheim, and essentially every reputable art museum of note that one can think of.

And so the story of the “master of performance art” comes to a close. Yet his influence still continues to be felt and seen throughout the art world. Check out Lisa Hsiao Chen’s 2022 novel, Activities of Daily Living, or Benjamin Bennet’s performance pieces if you want to see some direct influence.

Until next time. Stay well.


Daily Art: Katsushika Oi

Oh hi. Welcome back.

You probably know this painting

Probably this one too

But I’ll bet that you don’t know this one

Would it shock you to know that all of them come from the same family?

That’s right, perhaps the greatest of all Japanese artists Hokusai was not the only in his family with a brilliant legacy of art. In fact even he himself would argue that one among his lineage surpassed him

That is, Katsushika Oi! The daughter of Hokusai, an oft shrouded figure whose artistic legacy remains confusing though the sheer talent certainly not.

Oi from the beginning of her life had grown up with the expectation of working with art. She grew working with her father in his workshop, oftentimes assisting him with various works. When she married Minamizawa Tomei later their marriage fell apart after only 3 years due to Oi being unable to stand Tomei’s subpar work and laughing at him as a result.

So, Oi went back to Hokusai’s work and continued to assist her father. They worked as a brilliant pair with Oi often adding in details which Hokusai forgot. Along the way Oi had the chance to even showcase some of her own works, though much of it is sadly lost or unknown.

(Three Women Playing Musical Instruments, by Katsushika Oi, 1850)

(Cherry Blossoms at Night, by Katsushika Oi, 1850)

Oi was unequivocally brilliant at technical drawings of people, especially women which her father Hokusai had always struggled with.

I do think this piece (Display Room in Yoshiwara at Night, by Katsushika Oi, 1840s) is absolutely her masterpiece. Just look at the vivid use of color, the complex shading and the artful obscuration of the central women. Fantastic! I think it really is quite strikingly detailed compare to a lot of ukiyo-e work, with the way that the lanterns and other light cut through the darkness in the foreground. Here, by enveloping the courtesans and their world in darkness, as it would be in reality, the pleasure districts being a place of light in the midst of a mysterious night.


The Return of Daily Art

Hi everybody. Old fans and friends of mine might remember that I used to make a daily Snapchat story featuring daily pieces of artwork that I found interesting. I retired it in 2021 I believe after growing rather exhausted with constantly posting and feeling like I had nowhere left to go with the project.

Well, say no more. Because Daily Art is back! This time we’re going to be exploring a lot more than paintings, I’m interested in analyzing everything from sculpture to architecture to performance art to even film! I’ll have a post up daily with a quick summary of the work and what it’s all about. Once a week I’ll also have a special bigger post. This post might contain audio from yours truly, video analysis of a piece, or even interviews with experts on the creator. So, for the first installment of Daily Art Reborn I would like to start with TWO pieces. Let’s go!

The Atomic Age

So, we all know this painting right?

Even if you don’t know the name of it, you have almost certainly seen it before. It’s a painting as iconic as the Mona Lisa or Starry Night. That’s right, it’s The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali (1931)! But, we’re not here to talk about this painting, not in a traditional sense. For did you know that it has a sequel?

This is The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1954). Just a small 25.4 × 33 cm. It at once strikes familiarity yet also stuns with an odd discomfort that I don’t think the original one provides.

It’s at this point that we need to understand the context in which Dali created this work. Dali had begun to reject the surrealist movement that he helped pioneer and turn towards fields of natural science. Dali even condemned the surrealist movement to “at least have served to give experimental proof that total sterility and attempts at automatizations have gone too far and have led to a totalitarian system.” Something like that.

Regardless, science and mathematics were Dali’s passion now. For example, in a lot of paintings in this era we see the proliferation of images of DNA and rhino horn shapes.

However the topic of interest that most struck Dali’s fancy was that of the atom. World War II had scarce ended when Dali began painting picture showing floating atomic particles and references to quantum mechanics.

That’s Galatea of the Spheres (1952), an example of Dali’s blend of classical mythology with the nymph Galatea being broken down into atomic parts.

In the Surrealist period, I wanted to create the iconography of the interior world and the world of the marvelous, of my father Freud. Today, the exterior world and that of physics have transcended the one of psychology. My father today is Dr. Heisenberg.”


This now brings us back to the Disintegration. What fascinates me the most about this work is the way that we see Dali implicitly reject the past while still taking elements in. The Persistence had a soft, dreamlike quality to it and an almost kind of magic to the melting landscape which it contained.

Meanwhile, Disintegration takes that softness and throws it out the window. What once was soft curves is now hard, stiff edges. What used to be a gentle landscape is now rigid floating pieces of metal. It’s fascinating that just as the atomic age is beginning to take over the consciousness of the public, it also seems to take over the past as well. Everything is broken down into those small pieces as a symbol of the changing times. What’s most interesting is the implication that surrealism could no longer maintain itself in this new age, and that old works like the Persistence had essentially fallen apart in the face of new revolutions.

But, what do you think?

La Haine

Warning: There are spoilers for this film. Be advised, watch it before you read or don’t. I can’t control you! Anyway, I’ve provided a summary down below as well.

First of all, I thought the cinematography of this film was fantastic. There are a lot of brilliant long tracking shots where we see the characters move in one continuous motion throughout the grimy streets and interiors of the urban landscape. I also thought that the dialogue between the three was a brilliantly accurate dialogue of the way that three close friends talk to each other, argue and joke to the point where it felt like it was just a documentary rather than actors. Something else I also appreciated is the pacing of the film. There are a lot of quiet moments of just walking around chatting followed by brief sporadic moments of violence then back to the quiet moments. It builds up tension until the inevitably climax where you finally think things are resolved only for it to come crashing down.

This is one of the most powerful films that I have seen in a long time. The film starts with the three main characters Vinz, Said and Hubert waking up the day after one of their friends has been severely beaten by the police and the riots that happen afterwards. They end up hanging out together, getting into trouble, talking about women and farts and so on while generally getting into trouble. Throughout the whole film Vinz and Hubert are constantly at odds with each other in regards to violence as Vinz craves killing a police officer with his gun and Hubert advocates for non violence as “hate breeds hate.” Said acts as the moderate force in between them as the three constantly find new things to do. They constantly are confronted by the police and run away barely in time to escape.  It begins with a rooftop party they’re at being interrupted, followed by their arrest for trying to see Abdel in the hospital and then later fleeing from the police after a violent fight breaks out. After the fight breaks out where Vinz nearly shoots an officer, they end up on a train to Paris. Once they’re in Paris Hubert and Said end up being arrested after an encounter to pick up Said’s money from Hubert goes wrong. Vinz is the only one who escapes and wanders around Paris. witnessing  a genuine murder committed his friend who is refused entrance into a club. Eventually the three of them fight off a group of skinheads and Vinz holds one of them hostage, with Hubert pushing to see if Vinz is truly a murderer. Ultimately Vinz relents and lets the skinhead free. When all seems well and they finally arrive home from Paris, an officer who had been constantly taunting them from before arrives and assaults Vinz when his loaded gun ends up going off. The film ends on an ambiguous note as Hubert in a fit of rage points his gun at the officer as the officer does the same and a single gunshot is heard….

La Haine is ultimately a film about violence. It’s a film about the ways that violence permeates through each of these three characters lives weaving in and out. They can choose to seek it out or they can choose to avoid it but it’ll always come back to find them. The way this film builds so much tension in how it forces us to watch time tick away, causing us to say to ourselves “so far, so good. so far, so good”. But we know that something must collapse in on itself and by the end it does. There is a strength to the way that these three characters try to elevate themselves above the violence yet fall back down again and again, becoming another statistic, another incident, another number to greater society. Ultimately the final words of the film are the most poignant. It’s about a society in decline and nobody is safe from the fall.

Literature Uncategorized

Research Stuff I worked on

Last semester, I wrote a paper about Perceval, Galahad and how the Grail Quest became spiritual. In this paper, I examine the influence of the Cistercian Order and St Bernard as well the religious culture of the time to analyze the Vulgate Cycle. I also pull in Chretian De Troyes’s Perceval as as comparison point. I’m particularly proud of it so check it out!

Music Uncategorized

Hildegard Von Bingen:

A true (Pre) Renaissance Woman!

Hello everybody. Starting this year, I’m planning on posting at least once every week if not more. Make that a commitment. Anyway

This week I’m going to be discussing my 12th century favorite writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, nun, visionary, doctor, linguist, poet and illustrator of all time.

I also forgot to mention that she made a really good cookbook!

Cookies and honey wine derived from recipes listed in Physica and Causes and Cures

Revolutionary Musician

Of course, if you’ve heard of Hildegard Von Bingen before it is almost certainly for her musical compositions. So let’s just get this out of the way. First of all, you have to understand her role aas being an actual attributed medieval composer. That was a rarity back in the medieval era, with most songs not receiving any attribution at all.

The second thing you have to understand is that Hildegard was pushing the constraints of the music of her era, which if you know anything about it is essentially a lot of chants. For instance, take a look at this recording of Hermannus Contractus, a contemporary composer at the time.

As we can see in this and in all Gregorian chants, it’s monophonic which means that there is only one melody line throught the entire song

The thing about Hildegard’s music is that the music just soars so much more. Nothing against Hermannus, an incredible figure in his own right but this is lovely to listen to.

We see a lot of surprisingly modern elements within Hildegard’s music. It pushes the boundary of the time period in a completely distinct fashion. Additionally, examine how melismatic the music is in comparison to Hermannus’s. It is really cool. Finally, the text is a lot more intimate than essentially all of our contemporaries at the time. It’s free verse, and highly original within the context of the period which she composed in.

Music was always an important element in Hildegard’s life. She believed it as being the highest form of prayer, a medium which divinely united heaven and earth and had a form of spiritual beauty unlike anything else. Hildegard near the end of her life was actually forbidden from singing due to an interdict (essentially mass excommunication) from the church when they refused to dig up the body of a man in their monastery. One of the punishments were the forbidding of singing absolutely anything.

As a result, Hildegard wrote an angry letter to the archbishop which basically threatened that the archbishop would go to hell unless he lifted the interdict. Which he did, just a few months before her death.

This will be brought up later but also Hildegard essentially wrote the first musical in Ordo Virtutum which is pretty freaking cool.

If you’re further interested in her music, A Feather on the Breath of God (Gothic Voices, 1985) is one of the best albums of her work.

All in all, this quote from her sums up

“There is the music of heaven in all things. But we have forgotten to hear it until we sing.”

Just an all out outstanding composer in the history of classical music.

Conlang Creator

This one is a personal favorite of mine, just because I think it is extremely cool. Alright, so do you guys know what a conlang is? It’s exactly what you think it is. It’s a language consciously deviced and created, think like Klingon. The most widely spoken conlang is Esperanto, with around 100,000 speakers worldwide. You can find out more about it here.

So yeah,. Hildegard was known to claim divine inspiration for her works, like her music for example. This also applies in the case of the conlang she created, which was a set of 23 letters. All that remains of the language is 1011 words and a few short manuscripts containing the language. There is very little other information about this language, with even her contemporaries noting that the knowledge of it would be lost after her death.

The 23 letters

The only idea regarding grammar with Litterae Ignotae is that it seems like it has a similar grammar structure to Latin. Therefore in that case it looks like it may be a reflexation, which is taking one language’s vocabulary and substituting it into another’s grammar. But yeah, that is all there is to Litterae Ignotae. Fun fact, if you were to consider this to be a conlang this would absolutely be the first one by far. The consensus first conlangs don’t show up until the 16th century!


This one is also pretty neat! Health had appered a lot in Hildegard’s writings before, but in 1151 she wrote the book Physica. This work was a lot more down to earth than her spiritual writings, being a legitimately fairly comprehensive list of scientific and medical properties of various things. Everything from fish to animals to plants was carefully documented. It’s 16 chapters long and tells you about stuff like how to cure rabies or surprisingly preserve beer using hops.

However, Physica cannot even hope to compare to her next work. Hildegard’s Causae et curae is an immense work with over 300 chapters of information. Hildegard even bothered to discuss women’s health as well in sections on relevant issues such as menustral cramps. It is amazing what you can write when you don’t subscribe to Aristotlean assertations of sex, and actually treat men and women equally. Now, I won’t say that this advice is good or even safe. Hildegard describes that you should take “the amount that a thirsty person can swallow in one gulp” blood from somebody which is just very not good. But, there are some legitimately true pieces of advice in there. Hildegard calls for a good diet, rest and moderation in activity as well as material cures over spiritual ones. She didn’t think of disease as a natural thing, but rather as a failing of the body which is pretty obvious to us today but not before. Additionally she even advocated for diagnosis via checking the patient’s blood, pulse, urine, and stool.

I’m of course skipping over all the weird stuff here, such as eating a goat liver for male infertility or the power of nature to cure people but it is remarkable for what it is. There is a reason why she is one of only four women to hold the position of Doctor of the Church, when Pope Benedict XVI anointed her to that position in 2012. No matter the veracity of the information today, you have to deeply admire the commitment to create such wide spanning and diverse medical texts in an area of limited information. It clearly worked too, as according to accounts many sick and suffering people were brought to her monastery to be healed.

Poet, Writer, Philosopher

I could spend a looong time discussing all of these individually, but that would probably delve into an overly lengthy discussion on theology and nobody wants to see that.

Theological Writings

There are three primary theological writings to discuss when examining Hildegard’s visionary theology. We’ll first start by talking about Scivias

An illustration from Scivias

At this point, Hildegard was 42 and had been suffering from blinding visions since she was 5. Finally one day though she received a direct order from God to share her visions in writing and she did so. Surprisingly not without hesitation though, as indicated by a letter to St Bernard of Clavriux (who you might know about if you’ve read my research!)

Frontispiece of Scivias

In 1147 a delegation from Disibodenberg arrived at Hildegard’s convent and took a copy of the writings as they were at the time. Subsequently, Pope Eugene III not only approved of the writings but also authorized her to essentially write whatever she wanted with her visions.

By the way, in regards to the illustrations Hildegard almost certainly did not do them, but may have at least helped create an outline or dictate their content. This can be seen on the frontispiece

Tangent: Ordo Virtutum

So, Scivias has 26 visions described in details. The 26th one however is unique because it contains a play within it! After Hildegard describes her final vision and how she “saw the lucent sky, in which I heard different kinds of music (symphonia), marvelously embodying all the meanings I had heard before.”, we are treated to a set of 14 songs.

Beginning of the Ordo VIrtutum, Wiesbaden, Hessische Landesbibliothek, Hs. 2, f. 478v.
Look at that musical notation!

Afterwards, we get this really fascinating drama! It’s by far the earliest morality play, a play genre popular in 14th centuries. Baiscally all that happens in it is some angels, demons and personified concepts like “truth” try to convince a generic protagonist to their side. Unlike those morality plays, Hildegard’s is sung! It’s incredibly fortunate that both the text and the music have survived for so long, and it is quite cool to see how musical dramas even worked in an era of plainchant.

Shoutouts to the devil by the way, who can only yell or grunt in the play because singing is divine harmony.

Liber Vitae Meritorum

This one is pretty boring, so I’ll go fast. It espouses on the themes of Ordo Virtutum by continuing to place virtues against sins in these dramatic confrontations about life. It’s pretty cool!

Liber Divinorum Operum

Now this is more like it. Liber Divinorum Operum has some of the most dramatic and large scale visions Hildegard ever wrote about, worthy of “an extraordinary mystical vision”

Hildegard of Bingen - "Universal Man" (1165) [illumination from Liber  Divinorum Operum] : r/museum
A really cool illustration!

It is very much difficult to describe the scope of Liber Divinorum Operum but I will try my best. Essentially it is this grand cosmic drama with the idea of divine love of God being at the middle. The first vision tells us everything from arc of salvation history, from the creation and fall of the angels, through the creation and fall of humans, to their redemption.

I saw as if the head of an eagle that had eyes of fire, in which

appeared the brilliance of the angels as in a mirror. But at the tip of the arc where the left wing

curves back there was as if a human face that shined like the brilliance of the stars.

In the remainder of the first part of the work, Hildegard goes on to discuss the place of humans within the vast universe. The next part looks at the beginning of Genesis through multiple intepretations. Finally, the third part uses this poetic and cosmological imagery to examine salvation history and the final judgement of God. Trust me, it’s a lot. I’ll leave a link here if you are interested in reading some insane stuff.


Yes, Hildegard Von Bingen was a brilliant creator but also a savvy political force. She exerted a tremendous amount of influence on Western Europe at the time, becoming friends with multiple Popes and Emperors. We have nearly 400 letters addressed to a variety of different political figures, which shed quite a bit of light upon her life. Hildegard traveled quite a bit as well which is astonishing given her gender, circumstances and the era. She even went places as far as Belgium, Switzerland and France!

Here’s a map of her preaching tours.

The fact that she not only went on these tours but was widely accepted speaks to her power as an individual at the time. Keep in mind that she wasn’t just going to other monasteries to preach, Hildegard was preaching in front of large crowds publicly. It’s not like she was content to just give safe, bland sermons as well she actively denounced the church’s selling of offices and fervently called for reform. In an era where women’s voices were few and far between, hers rang out strikingly.

Frederick Barbarossa himself invited her to meet with him, and several years later praised her prophecy skills. All in all, she communicated with four popes, two Prussian emperors, King Henry II of England, and Phillip, Court of Flanders. Don’t forget the countless bishops, clergy and archbishops she talked with which are far too many to count. Finally, in regards to Saint Bernard and his relationship to Hildegard. Saint Bernard actually specifically sought out Hildegard to try and use her influence to spark interest in a Crusade which tells you a lot about how powerful she was. Seriously, Saint Bernard the guy who founded the Cistercian Order asking Hildegeard for help? Incredibly impressive.


All in all, there was so much more to talk about here. I could have discussed her poetry, minor theological works, lasting influence and so on. However I leave that to you the reader to do so. I think that Hildegard is legitimately on of the most fascinating figures in all of history. When we think of polymaths like Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Lebiniz and so on she should be right there in the pantheon. I hope that my post has taught you something new today and I look forward to seeing you next time.

What’s up next time? Well, my first foray in film criticism. See you then.

Art History Uncategorized

Reposting my Analysis of The Night Watch

l wrote this a while ago for my daily art stuff. Figured I might as well post it here.

The Night Watch is undoubtedly one of my favorite paintings of all time. There are so many little details to analyze and fully break down in their whole. For instance, did you know that the Night Watch actually takes place during the daytime? It only appears as if it is in the dark because of all the layers of dark which have obscured it over time. However, today I would like to discuss something which I feel has gone somewhat unnoticed. In the Night Watch, I feel something that makes the painting as great as it is would be the use of position.

 First of all, look at the hand of the man dressed in black. The way that it is pointed gives it an almost three dimensional quality. It looks like it is popping out of the painting directly towards the viewer, almost inviting them to join the officers. This applies similarly to the spear which the lieutenant clutches right beside him. The spear is angled in a way where it juts out of his side, appearing to enter the space of the onlooker. That’s what gives this painting a sort of spontaneous theme. We don’t feel like this is somebody painting a scene from ages ago, we feel as if this scene is happening right now in front of us. That is not all though. Behind the two central figures, we see action directly taking place. On the left, a man in red is beginning to load gunpowder into his musket. In the middle we can see the smoke from a gunshot which just happened. On the right we can see an old man dressed in red who is blowing out the powder from his weapon. What this does is add this sense of urgency to the painting. It’s almost like a still frame from a film because so many things are going on at once. There’s no static nature to it because clearly there’s some sort of conflict happening and shots have been and will be fired.

 I also really appreciate the contrast between the captain and the drummer. 

On the left, to the northwest of the man in black we see a captain triumphantly raising a standard. The heroic pose he strikes, with his arm confidently sticking out and his head tilted up suggests utmost confidence in victory. His other arm is tucked in, displaying this gentlemanly quality in the chaos of a fight. The drummer boy on the other side seems to be a different story.  He is almost bent out of the frame, clearly awkward and clumsy as a lone dog barks at his music. The way he stands implies an inexperience, in sharp contrast to the well organized well experienced captain. This could imply that not all members of the militia feel the same patriotic sense of duty as it would seem.

 I turn your head towards the man in the black hat talking to another person. The way which the man in the black hat points suggests a sort of leadership quality present in the two men in front. The one on the very right turns his head towards the crowd of people, perhaps confused about what is happening or who the leader is. His companion points to the two officers in the front as if to explain “Hey, these two are in charge here. Ask them if you have any questions.”, and his casual pose with a musket slung across his shoulder belts a blunt indifference to the happenings. These two figures may have just burst through the crowd to lead the march, contextualizing the obviously uncertain pose which the militia member on the very right conveys. 

One of the more interesting aspects of the Night Watch is the golden girl in the middle of the painting. Her presence brings up several interesting questions. Who is she? What is she doing in the middle of such a scene? What are the strange objects on her waist? Let us try to dissect this bit by bit. 

Shown below is the chain of the Amsterdam Company of Arquebusiers (musketeers). Some of the links are decorated with claws—the musketeer emblem. Thus, the chicken around her waist makes sense. 

Look at the plucked chicken. It is clear now that the girl is some sort of mascot for the militia as odd as it seems. She carries not only the emblem of the musketeers but also the ceremonial drinking horn. The fact though that this is simply a plucked chicken and not an elaborate chain raises several ideas. What is clearly implied is that this militia was assembled in a rush. They couldn’t find the chain so they were forced to snatch a neighbor’s chicken and kill it to somewhat use as a mascot. At the same time, I sense that Remberant is making a bit of a mockery of the milia. At this time they had lost much power, so it would make sense that instead of a beautiful chain they would be resorting to random chickens killed out of necessity. Remberant is maybe telling us that despite the glowing appearances, this milia is more rugged than one would think. 

I’m almost done here, I promise. Here’s something lse cool. In between the captain and the mustached man next to him, you can see a beret wearing person’s eye. That’s Rembrandt himself! Talk about a careful cameo from yours truly.

Let’s wrap this up. One thing that saddens me is the fact that this painting is too big. Many years after this painting was created, it was moved to the town hall of Amsterdam. Unfortunately the painting was so big that it wouldn’t fit on the wall. What did they do when they found this out? Well, they cut off four pieces of the painting. Those pieces have never been found. Luckily an early copy gives us some impression of what those four pieces looked like. It just sucks that the early copy A. isn’t too great of a painting and B. almost certainly is quite different from the actual four pieces.

Here’s a look at the early copy. Thank you and goodbye. 


An Introduction to Lost Literature

Hi everybody. I am trying out a new format here. While I work on my next big project, (which aims to be by far my biggest yet), I will be interspersing it with some smaller posts in between. So let’s get started with one of my favorite topics, lost literature

A funny thing happened one time…

There was once a cartographer by the name John Warburton who lived from 1682 to 1759. His life wasn’t all together too significant. Primarily if you look up his name today, you’ll find a C list early British actor and an orthopedic surgeon.

However, John Warburton did have something peculiar about him. When he wasn’t drawing maps, he loved to collect old books. Particularly play manuscripts. However despite his avid collection he was frustratingly poor at maintaining it. On one time, he got drunk and proceeded to get swindled by a dealer which he attempted to swindle. This other time though, was quite different.

He looks like a guy who draws maps, honestly.

I do not feel like discussing the intricacies of the British paper trade, so all you need to know is that it was extremely expensive and valuable. Paper wasn’t exactly something you could just pick up in a grocery store easily to put it that way.

So Mr. Warburton comes home one day and looks forward to checking out his immaculate collection. He looks around and around though and he cannot find any of them. Just then, his cook Betsy Baker comes around with a freshly made pie. Of course you can’t have a pie without something to line the dishes right? And Betsy just so happened to find a wonderful paper collection all stacked in the kitchen….

After I had been many years collecting these MSS. Playes, through my own carlesness and the ignorance of my ser… in whose hands I had lodged them, they was unluckely burnd or put under pye bottoms.”

John Warburton

Needless to say, he was pretty torn up about this. I mean, I would too because he lost over 50 manuscripts! Only 3 remained from his precious collection of manuscripts, many of which were unreleased or unpublished.

This is only one of the fascinating, interesting and bizarre stories in the world of lost literature. In this post I am going to be separating lost literature into three distinct categories in order to give you a good starting point into exploring a world which never existed.

Works lost from External Circumstance

Yes, I understand this is an absolutely massive category. But I will still defend it as being a valid one albeit with quite a few subcategories. Here are a few.

Subcategory 1: Lost by Time

From a personal standpoint, this is absolutely the category which is the least interesting to explore. The fact of the matter is that the majority of literature which is written is erased to the sands of time. Particularly in the pre-paper era, it required extraordinary circumstances for works to be preserved to the modern day.

The legendary Greek poet Sappho

Let’s take for instance, the legendary Greek woman poet Sappho. An absolutely adored poet of her era, she was called the “Tenth Muse” and “The Poetess”. Yet essentially we have two complete poems from her* and some very scrappy fragments.

*Ode to Aphrodite and the Tithonus poem.

That is essentially the problem you run into the farther back in time you get. There are countless great authors who we will never be able to know about because we do not have a time machine that we can take to read their works. I will finish off this category with a brief discussion of a work we do have from antiquity.

The Epic of Gilgamesh- Flood Tablet

Though this is veering off topic, it is incredible that a 4000 year old tablet can still convey truths and ideas about the human condition which still resonate with us today. It is unbelievable that we have the privilege to read and appreciate such works like this today. Anyway, moving on.

Subcategory 2: Lost by Accident

You already know about the story mentioned above. But this is absolutely the category which can lead to some of the most comical incidents in literary history ever happening. A particular one which I enjoy is the tale of how Ernst Hemingway lost basically everything.

There he is, legendary Kansas City Star reporter Ernest Hemingway

In 1922, Hemingway was working for the Toronto Star writing about such interesting topics as “Trout Fishing All Across Europe: Spain Has the Best, Then Germany.” Needless to say, he needed a distraction. He was covering a peace conference in Geneva at the time and sent for his wife, who was living in Paris. As per his instructions the sick feeling Hadley Richardson packed up all of his work into a suitcase and got on the train. However, realizing that she was pretty thirsty and it was an eight hour ride she went off the train to buy a bottle of water. Leaving the suitcase on the train of course. And when she got back it was gone.

but hey, at least she had Earth’s Finest Water to console her!

Anyway, Hadley spent the next 8 hours in tears because of what happened. When she arrived and saw Ernst at the train station she again burst into tears. Ernst noted carefully though that he had carbon copies back in Paris as well as handwritten notes for a novel so it should all be okay. Right. Right?

Needless to say, Ernst was pretty upset when he had learned that Hadley had packed absolutely every bit of his literary work into the suitcase, including the carbon copies.

In actuality, the work in that suitcase was probably not very good. Hemingway at this point was nonexistent as an author after being rejected by several publishers. Still though, Hemingway kept his chin up and changed his writing style to be shorter, snappier and quicker. Perhaps his goal was to finish a work before he ever had to take a train again. Seems like that went pretty well

Works destroyed by their creators

Another interesting segment. Let’s begin with the tale of Robert Louis Stevenson.

A roasted manuscript

One night, Stevenson’s wife Fanny Stevenson was awoken by a loud cry. She rushed over to Robert’s room, waking him up. Naturally the response she got was

“Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.”

What happened next was one of the most audacious, stupendous and dangerous literary feats which has ever happened. Robert Louis Stevenson, so inspired by his dream proceeded to write the entire book in three days

Keep in mind that this is a person who essentially could not get out of bed and suffering from a horrible fever.

This guy was on something (and by something, I mean lots and lots of cocaine)

Alright, well it was the 1800s so every person did too.

Anyway, you would expect after such a frenetic writing spree Stevenson would have emerged with something spectacular right? Well, Fanny Stevenson was always the first person that Robert turned to for literary criticism. Let’s see what she thought

“A quire full of utter nonsense”.

Fanny Lewis Stevenson

Needless to say, she was absolutely not pleased. In fact she even threatened to destroy it herself because it was so bad. In her comments on the draft she essentially tore the entire thing apart as being an allegory arbitrarily written as a story. As the legend goes, Robert Louis Stevenson was so upset that he burned the entire manuscript.

Then, he started over. It took him quite a bit longer to finish this time. By that I mean, SIX DAYS

‘That an invalid in my husband’s condition of health should have been able to perform the manual labour alone of putting 60,000 words on paper in six days. He was suffering from continual hemorrhages and hardly allowed to speak, his conversation carried on by means of a slate and pencil.”

Fanny Lewis Stevenson

It’s truly absurd that Robert Louis Stevenson burned his manuscript and then proceeded to do it all over again. Thankfully instead of destroying it after he was done, he spent four to six weeks weeks editing it and releasing it to a smash success.

Works destroyed by others

Now this is the category which I have always found the most interesting. It’s one thing to destroy your own works, it’s another thing for them to be lost because of external circumstances. But if somebody else burns them? It must be really special.

The problem is, not many people want to admit to being the person to destroy a legendary literary work.

Except for in the case of Lord Byron’s Memoirs.

“When you read my Memoirs you will learn the evils, moral and physical, of true dissipation. I can assure you my life is very entertaining and very instructive.”

Lord Byron is a fascinating figure that I could go into for days. However, if you don’t know who he was I’ll give you a brief summary. He was a brilliant poet of such works as Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, friends with Peter and Mary Shelley, a politician in the House of Lords, a complex and scandalous lover, and finally a Greek war hero killed in combat.

Phew. I think I got mostly everything.

Wouldn’t you love to hear about this guy from his own words? Well, clearly he thought so too. Between 1818 and 1821, Lord Byron wrote an astounding 120,000 words about his life, thoughts, loves and world. He gave it all to his friend Thomas Moore (Irish poet not the Utopia guy) under warning to never publish them while Byron was alive. However, Moore was free to distribute it to friends as he liked. He sold them to Byron’s publisher John Murray for a nice lump of cash in 1821 and let it escape his mind.

Then, Lord Byron died just 3 years later.

What happens next is more than a little confusing and the vast web of conflicting stories, letters and attacks makes it tough to tangle out. I am going to try to summarize it as best I can so bear with me.

This is John Hobhouse

professional memoir destroyer

If Thomas Moore was Byron’s friend 1a, then Hobhouse was friend 1b. Unlike Moore however, Hobhouse wanted no shred of any Byron memoirs on the planet. In fact, when Byron started writing a memoir in 1808 Hobhouse convinced him to destroy it despite Byron’s objections.

On Friday May 14th 1824, the day that he learns that Byron has died Hobhouse begins his plan of action.

After thefirst access of grief was over I then determined to lose no time in doing my duty by preserving all that was left to me of my dear friend – his fame: my thoughts were turned to the Memoirs of his Life, given to Thomas Moore, and deposited by him in Mr Murray’s hands for certain considerations.

John Hobhouse, 1824

Hobhouse goes over to see Murray and finds that Murray also wants them destroyed. Good. Now what does Thomas Moore think?

We (Moore and friend Henry Lutrell) told what we had proposed and he (Lord Lansdowne, friend of Moore) considered it highly fair—only conceding, in his opinion, rather too much, as it ought to rest with me what parts were to be rejected and what preserved

Thomas Moore, 1824

We can see that Thomas Moore thinks that the Memoirs can be salvaged somewhat by excising all the inappropriate bits and pieces.

“Yeah, cut out all the bits about him being bisexual and we’ll probably be fine”

Things are about to come to a head. The clash between Moore and Hobhouse would commence when they met on May 17, 1824

Dear Hobhouse

There has been since I saw you yesterday a sort of modification of

the agreement then agreed between us which was suggested by my own

friends Luttrell, Rogers, and Lord Lansdowne, and concurred in by Mr

Wilmot Horton and Doyle, whom I saw on the subject – I trust that this

arrangement will be equally satisfactory to you – as the first step

towards it I mean to redeem the Mss – this morning from Murray at

eleven o’clock (in Albemarle Street) and it would be perhaps as well

that you should be there –

Very truly yours

Thomas Moore

Prior the meeting, Moore, Lutrell, Murray and Hobhouse all held a meeting at Hobhouse’s residence. It’s at this meeting where we see how heated the situation becomes. Moore starts by offering Murray a straight lump of cash for the manuscript. No check, just the money right up front which Moore had already collected. Murray flat refused and this absolutely incensed Moore to the point of threatening to challenge him to an actual duel

Hard words, Mr. Murray—but, if you chuse to take

the privileges of a gentleman, I am ready to accord them to you

Thomas Moore

It’s at this point where everybody decides to chill out a bit and head over to Murray’s place. There, they meet Wilmot Horton, who is acting for Byron’s half-sister Augusta Leigh, and Colonel Francis Doyle, acting for Lady Byron.

Thomas Moore makes the very reasonable argument that destroying the Memoirs would be going against Byron’s wishes and would be completely unjust.

However, Hobhouse has a trump card up his sleeve. Moore agrees that whatever that whatever Wilmot Horton (representing Augusta Leigh) decides on he will go with no matter what. Unfortunately for him, Hobhouse had been bullying Leigh all weekend and didn’t really have much choice in the matter either.

Thus ultimately the memoirs of Lord Byron were thrown into the fires at 50 Albemarle Street London in what is now known as the greatest literary crime in history. Of course, when the public heard about it Hobhouse proceeded to throw Moore into the fire and bash him wherever he could. It’s only in the last century or so that we see Moore recognized as one of the few forces standing against Hobhouse’s camp.

I leave you with this poem Moore wrote of his thoughts about Byron’s memoirs as you continue to contemplate this.

Let me, a moment, think what thousands live

O’er the wide earth this instant, who would give

Gladly, whole sleepless nights to bend the brow,

Over these precious leaves, as I do now.

Wrap up

Thank you for reading. I hope that you’ve found the information which I’ve presented you to be interesting and worth your time. Lost literature and lost media in general is one of my pet topics so I was really excited to be able to talk about it. In the future, I may dedicate a LitCast episode or another blog post to a specific lost work such as Byron’s Memoirs. Also, I would like to give a shoutout to Cambridge Scholar’s The Burning of Byron’s Memoirs: New and Unpublished Essays and Papers for being a wonderful guide in the last section. You can find it here. I’ll see you next time for something grandiose. Here’s a little sneak peek of what’s coming.

Take care.

The LitCast

The LitCast: Episodes 1-4

Welcome to my new podcast series, the LitCast. This show is an examination of literature throughout the ages and I am happy to present the first four episodes of the series to you today. Check it out!

Episode 1: The Romantic Era

Episode 2: The Victorian Era

Episode 3: The Modernist Era

Episode 4: The Contemporary Era

And check out my conclusion to this podcast as well!

Thank you to my good friend Ansh Gupta for helping me clean up some of the audio. I could not have done this without you.

Art History

The Proto Surrealist : Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Felix University: Episode 1

Look at this painting. When do you think it was created?

It seems grotesque. Ugly. Almost painful to the eyes. So when do you think it was created? Perhaps it was the 1800s? The early 1900s? Maybe even a 1700s work, shockingly?

Try 1563.

In an era when artists began looking more and more towards the past to find balance and clarity, Giuseppe Arcimboldo embraced the exact opposite. He leaned into the weird, the odd and some might even say the surreal

Is it fair to call Arcimboldo a proto-surrealist? I say so. But first, to understand his art more we have to take a deeper dive into the person himself. Who was he? How did he get the chance to make this sort of art? And how did others see him at the time? Let’s take a look

Part 1: Beginnings

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was born the son of a painter. From all accounts, not a particularly prominent or important painter, but one who had steady work and a steady life regardless. His grand uncle meanwhile held the prestigious position of the Archbishop of Milan, and as such it’s likely that Giuseppe met with quite a few prominent figures in his youth. This, along with painting training by his father would clearly influence the path he would take in life.

Like his father, Giuseppe started out doing stained glass works In fact, some records of the Milan Cathedral tell us that his father and him worked together on several works. Some of them still exist today! Here’s an example of a stained glass window which Giuseppe executed.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Giuseppe Meda, The Jesse Tree, fresco, 1556, Monza, Cathedral

As one can see, the work is admirable and we see some of the characteristics that make his later portraits so fascinating. Giuseppe began doing stained glass works at 21 and it was only until he turned 35 that he decided he needed a change. One can imagine that after so long doing stained glass work with consistently similar themes, he needed something else. A new place.

That place was…..

Part 2: A Royal Court?

“This is a painter with a rare talent, who is also extremely knowledgeable in other disciplines; and having proved his worth both as an artist and as a bizarre painter, not only in his own country but also abroad, he has been given the highest praise, in that word of his fame has reached the Emperor’s court in Germany.”

-Paolo Morigia

Now, what kind of art could a guy who looks like this possibly want?

Maximillian II, Holy Roman Emperor

You might imagine that the Holy Roman Emperor would want something serious. Some propaganda, scenes of triumph, the usual. This is going to be another one of those “court painter vs monarch stories”, isn’t it? Well, let’s see the first project that Giuseppe gave him*

*One does has to note that technically Giuseppe began as a court painter to Ferdinand II, albeit for two years. However Maximillian II from what I have researched is absolutely the dominant influence

The Hapsburgs didn’t like the portraits. They loved them. Maximillian II had a second set of the portraits created (which is how we actually have most of these). But most of all, and this is actually real: Arcimboldo directed a festival where the members of the court dressed up as the season elements. Maximillian himself chose to dress as Winter. Imagine that. Your patron loves your work so much that he gets into a ridiculous costume just as a sign of appreciation.

It’s easy to see why though. The level of detail on these works is simply astounding. They’re so full of visual puns and imperial references. For instance, look how Winter has a cloak with an M placed on it (for Maximillian) or how Autumn is made up of the fruits of the harvest.

Plus you know, the implication that your royal family rules over the literal seasons probably gives you some points.

“This noble and inspired man fashioned a great number of rare and delicate works of art which caused considerable amazement among all the illustrious noblemen who used to congregate there, and his lord and master was very pleased with him.”

-Paolo Morigia

Arcimboldo excelled at the court. In fact, he worked at the court for 26 years until he retired. The Hapsburgs reveled in imaginative, avant garde works and Arcimboldo was only too eager to indulge them.

The Librarian (Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1566)

I do get the sense that some of his works had double meanings. Take this one for example. To a casual onlooker or the royal family, it seems just like a silly painting. Just a librarian made of books, ha! But examining int on a different level, it seems clear to me how cutting this is. It’s a mockery of those who own books simply to brag about owning them, instead of actually reading them evidently. Being around so many high class people, Arcimboldo must have gained a huge awareness of these people.

From all accounts, Arcimboldo had a huge influence in all matters of the court, not just in painting. He was a decorator, costume designer, planner, water engineer, architect and more. In a sense, Arcimboldo served as an important advisor to Maximillian II, which is incredible. He did things like expand Ferdinand I’s cabinent of curiousities which later turned into the Kunstkammer Vienna Museum. Arcimboldo planned out the wedding and coronation of Maximillian’s successor, Rudolf II, Maximillian obviously rewarded him with a comfortable salary and lavish titles.

The Final Period: Arcimboldo the Biologist

The late period is defined by fish, flowers and some of the greatest portraits which I have ever seen.

Luckily for Arcimboldo, Rudolph II was also into paintings and fine arts. But he let his other interests creep in.

See, Rudolph the II absolutely loved exotic things. Precious stones, mummies, stuffed birds, gigantic fish and more. He would use and weild his power to discover and bring back the odd. Arcimboldo, ever the opportunist catered to the person paying him his salary.

Vertumnus (Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1591)

I adore this work. Rudolph wanted to be an Emperor at the intersection of nature, art and science so Arcimboldo painted him as all three. Each flower, each fruit, or leaf is from an identifiable species in Rudolph’s collection. A lot of these specific species are from the New World too, so Arcimboldo is saying “Hey, Rudolph isn’t just a master of the Old World, but of the New World too!” The corn is a clear indication of that. There’s also the title, Verumnus. The God of Seasons. So hey, Arcimboldo is declaring Rudolph to be the master of seasons and change as well! Good for him.

The End and Legacy

There’s so much more I could get into but I need to wrap this up eventually. In 1592, Arcimboldo left the Hapsburg service at last to return to Milan. After so long, his time at the court was over. He had already been granted permission to return to Milan in 1587 but occasionally returned back to court to make stuff like Vertumnus. Basically, he was a freelancer from 1587 to 1592 if that makes any sense. In any case, Rudolph treasured his beloved court artist so much that he awarded him the prestigious title of Count Palatine and given 1500 Rhenish guilders for being such an influential painter in the court.

Finally, at the age of 67 on July 11, 1593 Giuseppe Arcimboldo died in Milan.

Unfortunately for him, Rudolph II loved art but was terrible at ruling. Sweden shortly after invaded Prague. Many of Arcimboldo’s works were taken from Rudolph’s collections and most likely destroyed or lost to eh mists of time. We only have 26 confirmed paintings by him now.

And though he was adored and praised by the contemporaries of his time, he became an obscure figure in the centuries to come….

Until the 20th Century. You have Arcimboldo to thank for serving as an inspiration for such surrealists like Dali.

So in the end, Arcimboldo’s genius has been recognized once again as it should. He was one of the greatest Mannerists of his time, a brilliant portraitist and a forward thinker who saw the future of surrealism. His imagination and vision deserve to celebrated now and for all time. I leave you with a final painting and allow you to draw your own conclusions on what it means.

The Lawyer, Arcimboldo (1566)


First blog post

Hi! Welcome to my blog. I’m glad to have you.

On this blog, I will primarily examining some of my interests in a fresh and easy to understand manner. These interests include but are not limited to classical music, art history, infotech and world literature. I hope that my blog can be not only informative, but also interesting to outsiders of the fields which I discuss. I look forward to providing you with more content to come soon.