- Hélas ! vers le passé tournant un oeil d’envie,
- Sans que rien ici-bas puisse m’en consoler,
- Je regarde toujours ce moment de ma vie
- Où je l’ai vue ouvrir son aile et s’envoler!
- Je verrai cet instant jusqu’à ce que je meure,
- L’instant, pleurs superflus !
- Où je criai : L’enfant que j’avais tout à l’heure,
- Quoi donc ! je ne l’ai plus !
- Alas! turning an envious eye towards the past,
- inconsolable by anything on earth,
- I keep looking at that moment of my life
- when I saw her open her wings and fly away!
- I will see that instant until I die,
- that instant—too much for tears!
- when I cried out: “The child that I had just now–
- what! I don’t have her any more!”
Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (August 14, 1906 – November 18, 1999) who chose to be known as Horst P. Horst was a German-American fashion photographer.
The younger of two sons, Horst was born in Weißenfels-an-der-Saale, Germany, to Klara (Schönbrodt) and Max Bohrmann. His father was a successful merchant.
In his teens, he met dancer Evan Weidemann at the home of his aunt, and this aroused his interest in avant-garde art. In the late 1920s, Horst studied at Hamburg Kunstgewerbeschule, leaving there to go to Paris to study under the architect Le Corbusier.
While in Paris, he befriended many people in the art community and attended many galleries. In 1930 he met Vogue photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, a half-Baltic, half-American nobleman, and became his photographic assistant, occasional model and lover. He traveled to England with him that winter. While there, they visited photographer Cecil Beaton, who was working for the British edition of Vogue. In 1931, Horst began his association with Vogue, publishing his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue in November of that year. It was a full page advertisement showing a model in black velvet holding a Klytia scent bottle.
His first exhibition was hung in La Plume d’Or in Paris in 1932. It was reviewed by Janet Flanner in The New Yorker, and this review, which appeared after his exhibit was over, made Horst instantly famous. Horst made a portrait of Bette Davis the same year, the first in a series of celebrities he would photograph during his life. Within two years, he had photographed Noël Coward, Yvonne Printemps, Lisa Fonssagrives, Count Luchino Visconti di Madrone, Duke Fulco di Verdura, Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley, Daisy Fellowes, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, Cole Porter, Elsa Schiaparelli, and others.
Horst rented an apartment in New York in 1937, and while residing there met Coco Chanel, whom Horst called “the queen of the whole thing”. He would photograph her fashions for three decades.
He met Valentine Lawford, British diplomat in 1938 and they would live together as a couple until Lawford’s death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together.
In 1941, Horst applied for United States citizenship. In 1942 he passed an Army physical, and joined the Army on July 2, 1943. On October 21 he received his United States citizenship as Horst P. Horst. He became an Army photographer, with much of his work printed in the forces’ magazine Belvoir Castle. In 1945 he photographed United States President Harry S. Truman, with whom he became friends, and he photographed every First Lady in the post-war period at the invitation of the White House. In 1947, Horst moved into his house in Oyster Bay, New York. He designed the white stucco-clad building himself, the design inspired by the houses that he had seen in Tunisia during his relationship with Hoyningen-Huene.
Horst is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, but is also recognized for his photographs of interior architecture, still lifes, especially ones including plants, and environmental portraits. One of the great iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is “The Mainbocher Corset” with its erotically charged mystery, captured by Horst in Vogue’s Paris studio in 1939. Designers like Donna Karan continue to use the timeless beauty of “The Mainbocher Corset” as an inspiration for their outerwear collections today. His work frequently reflects his interest in surrealism and his regard of the ancient Greek ideal of physical beauty.
His method of work typically entailed careful preparation for the shoot, with the lighting and studio props (of which he used many) arranged in advance. His instructions to models are remembered as being brief and to the point. His published work uses lighting to pick out the subject; he frequently used four spotlights, often one of them pointing down from the ceiling. Only rarely do his photos include shadows falling on the background of the set. Horst rarely, if ever, used filters. While most of his work is in black & white, much of his color photography includes largely monochromatic settings to set off a colorful fashion. Horst’s color photography did include documentation of society interior design, well noted in the volume Horst Interiors. He photographed a number of interiors designed by Robert Denning and Vincent Fourcade of Denning & Fourcade and often visited their homes on Manhattan and Long Island. After making the photograph, Horst generally left it up to others to develop, print, crop, and edit his work.
One of his most famous portraits is of Marlene Dietrich, taken in 1942. She protested the lighting that he had selected and arranged, but he used it anyway. Dietrich liked the results and subsequently used a photo from the session in her own publicity.
Giselle, or The Wilis (French: Giselle, ou Les Wilis) is a romantic ballet in two acts. Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier wrote the libretto. They took their inspiration from a prose passage about the Wilis in Elementargeister by Heinrich Heine, and from a poem about a girl who dies after an all-night ball called “Fantômes” in Les Orientales by Victor Hugo. Adolphe Adam composed the music; Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot composed the choreography. Carlotta Grisi was the first to dance the role of Giselle.
The ballet is about a peasant girl named Giselle who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave. They target her lover for death, but Giselle’s love frees him from their grasp.
Giselle was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France, on Sunday 28 June 1841. The opening night was a triumph with both critics and the public. The ballet became hugely popular. It was staged across Europe, Russia, and the United States.
The traditional choreography that has been passed down to the present day derives primarily from the revivals staged by Marius Petipa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Petipa’s choreography from the Imperial Ballet’s production was notated in the Stepanov method of choreographic notation in 1903 as Petipa himself took the great Anna Pavlova through rehearsals. Many years later, the Imperial Ballet’s régisseur Nicholas Sergeyev would use this notation to stage Giselle throughout Europe, most notably for the Ballets Russes in 1910, the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1924 and, perhaps most importantly, for the Vic-Wells Ballet (precursor of the Royal Ballet in London) in 1934. It is from this 1934 staging that nearly all subsequent productions of Giselle are now based. Today the Imperial Ballet’s choreographic notation of Giselle, along with notations for many ballets of the traditional classical repertory, are part of the Sergeyev Collection and preserved in the Harvard University Library theatre collection.
French ballet critic Théophile Gautier was inspired by Victor Hugo‘s poem “Fantômes” in Les Orientales to create a ballet scenario. This poem told of a young girl who dies in the cool morning air after dancing all night in a ballroom.
He also took inspiration from a prose passage in Heinrich Heine‘s “Elementargeister”(“Elemental Spirits”, essay on folklore, 1937) describing supernatural young women called the Wilis. These women dance men to death.
Gautier was not satisfied with his scenario and took it to professional librettist Jules-Henri Verney de Saint-Georges for advice. Verney de Saint-Georges liked the concept. In three days, he had completed a libretto.
This libretto was sent to M. Pillet, the director of the Paris Opéra. Pillet needed a good story to introduce Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi to the Paris public. Pillet and Grisi both liked the libretto, and the ballet was put into production at once. The score was an anomaly amongst the majority of ballet scorings up to this point in that it was an almost entirely original composition, instead of a potpourri of classical melodies, as was a practice at that time when mounting dance productions. The composer, Adolphe Adam, also successfully integrated leitmotivs, most evident in Giselle’s famous “mad-scene”. These thematic elements were musical devices used to strategically recall happier times, against the unfolding drama of Giselle’s breaking heart and subsequent death of a broken heart.
The ballet opens on an autumnal day in the Rhineland during the Middle Ages. The grape harvest is underway. Duke Albrecht of Silesia, a young nobleman disguised as a peasant, is sowing his last wild oats before marriage to the princess Bathilde. He has fallen in love with the shy and beautiful village girl, Giselle. She knows nothing of his real life.
Hilarion, a gamekeeper, is also in love with Giselle. He tries to convince her that Albrecht cannot be trusted. Giselle ignores his warnings. Giselle’s mother Berthe is very protective of her daughter, as Giselle has a weak heart that leaves her in delicate health. She discourages a relationship between Giselle and Albrecht.
A party of noblemen seeking refreshment following the rigors of the hunt arrives in the village. Albrecht quickly hurries away, knowing he will be recognized by Bathilde, who is in attendance. The villagers welcome the party, offer them refreshments, and perform several dances. Bathilde is charmed with Giselle’s sweet and demure nature, not knowing of her fiance’s relationship with her. Giselle is honored when the beautiful stranger offers her a necklace as a gift.
Hilarion interrupts the festivities. He has discovered Albrecht’s sword, and presents it as proof that the peasant lad is not who he pretends to be. All are shocked by the revelation, but none more than Giselle, who becomes inconsolable when faced with her lover’s deception. Knowing that they can never be together, Giselle flies into a mad fit of grief, causing her weak heart to give out at last. She dies in Albrecht’s arms.
A moonlit glade near Giselle’s grave. Hilarion mourns at Giselle’s headstone, but is frightened away by the arrival of the Wilis, the spirits of women jilted by their lovers at the altar. The Wilis, led by their merciless queen, Myrtha, haunt the forest at night to seek revenge on any man they encounter, forcing their victims to dance until they die of exhaustion.
Myrtha and the Wilis rouse Giselle’s spirit from her grave and induct her into their clan, before disappearing into the forest. Albrecht arrives to lay flowers on Giselle’s grave, and he weeps with guilt over her death. Giselle’s spirit appears, and Albrecht begs her forgiveness. Giselle, her love undiminished, gently forgives him. She disappears to join the rest of the Wilis, and Albrecht desperately follows her.
Meanwhile, the Wilis have cornered Hilarion. They use their magic to force him to dance until he is nearly dead, and then drown him in a nearby lake. They then turn on Albrecht, sentencing him to death as well. He pleads to Myrtha for his life, but she coldly refuses. Giselle’s pleas are also dismissed, and Albrecht is forced to dance until sunrise. However, the power of Giselle’s love counters the Wilis’ magic and spares his life. The other spirits return to their graves at daybreak, but Giselle has broken through the feelings of hatred and vengeance that control the Wilis, and is thus released from their powers. After bidding a tender farewell to Albrecht, Giselle returns to her grave to rest in peace.
A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters
Tablet Magazine – By Matti Friedman
Is there anything left to say about Israel and Gaza? Newspapers this summer have been full of little else. Television viewers see heaps of rubble and plumes of smoke in their sleep. A representative article from a recent issue of The New Yorker described the summer’s events by dedicating one sentence each to the horrors in Nigeria and Ukraine, four sentences to the crazed génocidaires of ISIS, and the rest of the article—30 sentences—to Israel and Gaza.
When the hysteria abates, I believe the events in Gaza will not be remembered by the world as particularly important. People were killed, most of them Palestinians, including many unarmed innocents. I wish I could say the tragedy of their deaths, or the deaths of Israel’s soldiers, will change something, that they mark a turning point. But they don’t. This round was not the first in the Arab wars with Israel and will not be the last. The Israeli campaign was little different in its execution from any other waged by a Western army against a similar enemy in recent years, except for the more immediate nature of the threat to a country’s own population, and the greater exertions, however futile, to avoid civilian deaths.
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews…
A knowledgeable observer of the Middle East cannot avoid the impression that the region is a volcano and that the lava is radical Islam, an ideology whose various incarnations are now shaping this part of the world. Israel is a tiny village on the slopes of the volcano. Hamas is the local representative of radical Islam and is openly dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish minority enclave in Israel, just as Hezbollah is the dominant representative of radical Islam in Lebanon, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and so forth.
Hamas is not, as it freely admits, party to the effort to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It has different goals about which it is quite open and that are similar to those of the groups listed above. Since the mid 1990s, more than any other player, Hamas has destroyed the Israeli left, swayed moderate Israelis against territorial withdrawals, and buried the chances of a two-state compromise. That’s one accurate way to frame the story.
An observer might also legitimately frame the story through the lens of minorities in the Middle East, all of which are under intense pressure from Islam: When minorities are helpless, their fate is that of the Yazidis or Christians of northern Iraq, as we have just seen, and when they are armed and organized they can fight back and survive, as in the case of the Jews and (we must hope) the Kurds.
There are, in other words, many different ways to see what is happening here. Jerusalem is less than a day’s drive from Aleppo or Baghdad, and it should be clear to everyone that peace is pretty elusive in the Middle East even in places where Jews are absent. But reporters generally cannot see the Israel story in relation to anything else. Instead of describing Israel as one of the villages abutting the volcano, they describe Israel as the volcano…
“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. … I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what had happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines.’ ” That was George Orwell, writing in 1942.
Orwell did not step off an airplane in Catalonia, stand next to a Republican cannon, and have himself filmed while confidently repeating what everyone else was saying or describing what any fool could see: weaponry, rubble, bodies. He looked beyond the ideological fantasies of his peers and knew that what was important was not necessarily visible. Spain, he understood, was not really about Spain at all—it was about a clash of totalitarian systems, German and Russian. He knew he was witnessing a threat to European civilization, and he wrote that, and he was right.
Understanding what happened in Gaza this summer means understanding Hezbollah in Lebanon, the rise of the Sunni jihadis in Syria and Iraq, and the long tentacles of Iran. It requires figuring out why countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia now see themselves as closer to Israel than to Hamas. Above all, it requires us to understand what is clear to nearly everyone in the Middle East: The ascendant force in our part of the world is not democracy or modernity. It is rather an empowered strain of Islam that assumes different and sometimes conflicting forms, and that is willing to employ extreme violence in a quest to unite the region under its control and confront the West. Those who grasp this fact will be able to look around and connect the dots…
O.J. Simpson is set to convert to Islam.
The former American footballer and movie star has been imprisoned in Nevada since 2008 on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery in relation to an armed robbery that took place at the Palace Station hotel-and-casino in Las Vegas in which sports memorabilia was taken.
After seeing his appeal for a re-trial quashed last and being informed in July 2013 he will serve at least another four years, Simpson has embraced the religion in a bid to change his life.
A source told National Enquirer magazine: ”O.J. really thought that he was going to be successful in a bid for a new trial and eventually be released from prison.
”But now he’s not eligible for parole until late 2017, which has angered him.”
The disgraced 67-year-old star has become interested in the religion through his friendship with former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, who was imprisoned in the early 1990s and is a devout Muslim.
Simpson has been studying the Koran but failed to successfully fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
An inside said: ”O.J. didn’t quite make it through the entire fasting process.
”He cheated during the day, and bought snacks from the prison canteen. But he’s really serious about converting to Islam. O.J. even made himself a prayer rug for his prison cell. He really likes the idea that upon converting to Islam, all of his previous sins are forgiven. O.J. has a lot to be forgiven for.”
Hypospadias, a birth defect where the urethral opening is abnormally placed, is becoming a more common case among Sweden’s new-born boys.Researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinksa Institute have published results from a 40-year study in which they collected data from all males born between 1973 and 2009.They found that before 1990, cases of hypospadias were recorded in 4.5 boys out of every thousand. After 1990, the figure increased to 8 per 1,000 boys.The study looked into factors that are known to cause the defect, such as low-birth weight, being born a twin, or parents who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive, but researchers stated that the increase did not correlate with these factors.Researchers concluded that the increase could not be put down to previously known factors, but rather that an unknown factor was behind the deformations.Speaking with the Dagens Medicin newspaper, Anna Skarin Nordenvall from the institute refused to rule out the possibility that environmental agents known as endocrine disruptors could be interfering with human hormonal systems, and therefore behind the increase in statistics.Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can disrupt the hormone system, and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and brain development problems. They can be found in food, plastics, and various household products.
They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.
I can’t even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain’t,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be…
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
$500 sneakers for what?
And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
Where were you when he was 2?
Where were you when he was 12?
Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
And where is the father? Or who is his father?
People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?
Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
What part of Africa did this come from??
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..
I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ……… And all of them are in jail.
Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
We have got to take the neighborhood back.
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
We cannot blame the white people any longer.’
~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.
Queen Silvia has refused to travel to Stockholm to attend the presentation of the Polar Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel music, rewarding outstanding contributions of the famous pioneer of rock, 88 years old.
It would seem that the Swedish royal family will not wipe the slate clean and keeps grudge against Chuck Berry. Queen Silvia of Sweden announced to the newspaper Expressen that she and her daughter Madeleine had refused to attend the ceremony that rewarded the career of rock superstar due to the past.
In 1961, the American singer and guitarist had been convicted and sentenced to jail time for having brought with him a minor of 14 years with whom he had sex.
Under a 1910 law, fighting against prostitution, the Mann Act, Chuck Berry was likened to a human trafficker designed to fight against prostitution. ‘It was a family decision and I hope that everyone respects and understands,’ said the queen. The conviction of Chuck Berry and the law on which it is based remain controversial in the United States. The musician had said for his part that he the girl when told him to not be a minor.
Presented annually in Sweden, the Polar Prize, dubbed the ‘Nobel of Music’ awarded at Stockholm to outstanding contributors to the world of music.
Fifteen new underground monuments were discovered on the English site by the team of scientists from Vince Gaffney. By delivering their secrets, these findings could help better understand the origins of this historic site.
The discovery is significant. A team of scientists from Austria and England will expose fifteen new underground monuments of Stonehenge. And without altering the site. Armed with magnetometers and ground penetrating radar, these men’s mission was to spend four years in a research project: the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. This discovery will allow them to make an exact map of the geography of the area in the Neolithic era.
The team noted the presence of a strange well, many stones aligned with the sun at the summer solstice, and a very special way. The latter: the ‘Curcus’ is a north-south diagonal indicating the path of ritual processions Stonehenge, through the site, then south.
The researcher Vince Gaffney of the University of Birmingham says: ‘I think what we’re proving is the presence of a complex liturgical movement.
The 10 square kilometers of land scanned and scrutinized by researchers reveal the presence of human activity for much longer than imagined. The main site was carbon dated to 1848 BC. Now, these new findings bring forward that man would have lived in the area 8820 BC. This invalidates the assumptions of an isolated and little used, in addition to adding historical value to this unique location site.
The use of Stonehenge remains a mystery to this day: cemetery, temple or parliament, the wonders of the world never ceases to ignite the imagination.
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.”
“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly.”
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, in the Catalonia region of Spain.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to an “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech was born on May 11, 1904, at 8:45 am GMT in the town of Figueres, in the Empordà region, close to the French border in Catalonia, Spain. Dalí’s older brother, also named Salvador (born October 12, 1901), had died of gastroenteritis nine months earlier, on August 1, 1903. His father, Salvador Dalí i Cusí, was a middle-class lawyer and notary whose strict disciplinary approach was tempered by his wife, Felipa Domenech Ferrés, who encouraged her son’s artistic endeavors. When he was five, Dalí was taken to his brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was his brother’s reincarnation, a concept which he came to believe. Of his brother, Dalí said, “…[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections.” He “was probably a first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute.” Images of his long-dead brother would reappear embedded in his later works, including Portrait of My Dead Brother (1963).
Dalí also had a sister, Ana María, who was three years younger.In 1949, she published a book about her brother, Dalí As Seen By His Sister. His childhood friends included future FC Barcelona footballers Sagibarba and Josep Samitier. During holidays at the Catalan resort of Cadaqués, the trio played football together.
Dalí attended drawing school. In 1916, Dalí also discovered modern painting on a summer vacation trip to Cadaqués with the family of Ramon Pichot, a local artist who made regular trips to Paris. The next year, Dalí’s father organized an exhibition of his charcoal drawings in their family home. He had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theater in Figueres in 1919.
In February 1921, Dalí’s mother died of breast cancer. Dalí was 16 years old; he later said his mother’s death “was the greatest blow I had experienced in my life. I worshiped her… I could not resign myself to the loss of a being on whom I counted to make invisible the unavoidable blemishes of my soul.” After her death, Dalí’s father married his deceased wife’s sister. Dalí did not resent this marriage, because he had a great love and respect for his aunt.
In 1922, Dalí moved into the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Residence) in Madrid and studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. A lean 1.72 m (5 ft. 7¾ in.) tall, Dalí already drew attention as an eccentric and dandy. He had long hair and sideburns, coat, stockings, and knee-breeches in the style of English aesthetes of the late 19th century.
At the Residencia, he became close friends with (among others) Pepín Bello, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca. The friendship with Lorca had a strong element of mutual passion, but Dalí rejected the poet’s sexual advances.
However it was his paintings, in which he experimented with Cubism, that earned him the most attention from his fellow students. At the time of these early works, Dalí probably did not completely understand the Cubist movement. His only information on Cubist art came from magazine articles and a catalog given to him by Pichot, since there were no Cubist artists in Madrid at the time. In 1924, the still-unknown Salvador Dalí illustrated a book for the first time. It was a publication of the Catalan poem Les bruixes de Llers (“The Witches of Llers”) by his friend and schoolmate, poet Carles Fages de Climent. Dalí also experimented with Dada, which influenced his work throughout his life.
Dalí was expelled from the Academia in 1926, shortly before his final exams when he was accused of starting an unrest.His mastery of painting skills was evidenced by his realistic The Basket of Bread, painted in 1926. That same year, he made his first visit to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso, whom the young Dalí revered. Picasso had already heard favorable reports about Dalí from Joan Miró. As he developed his own style over the next few years, Dalí made a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró.
Some trends in Dalí’s work that would continue throughout his life were already evident in the 1920s. Dalí devoured influences from many styles of art, ranging from the most academically classic, to the most cutting-edge avant garde. His classical influences included Raphael, Bronzino, Francisco de Zurbarán, Vermeer, and Velázquez. He used both classical and modernist techniques, sometimes in separate works, and sometimes combined. Exhibitions of his works in Barcelona attracted much attention along with mixtures of praise and puzzled debate from critics. Dalí grew a flamboyant moustache, influenced by 17th-century Spanish master painter Diego Velázquez. The moustache became an iconic trademark of his appearance for the rest of his life.
In 1929, Dalí collaborated with surrealist film director Luis Buñuel on the short film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog). His main contribution was to help Buñuel write the script for the film. Dalí later claimed to have also played a significant role in the filming of the project, but this is not substantiated by contemporary accounts. Also, in August 1929, Dalí met his lifelong and primary muse, inspiration, and future wife Gala,born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova. She was a Russian immigrant ten years his senior, who at that time was married to surrealist poet Paul Éluard. In the same year, Dalí had important professional exhibitions and officially joined the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris. His work had already been heavily influenced by surrealism for two years. The Surrealists hailed what Dalí called his paranoiac-critical method of accessing the subconscious for greater artistic creativity.
Meanwhile, Dalí’s relationship with his father was close to rupture. Don Salvador Dalí y Cusi strongly disapproved of his son’s romance with Gala, and saw his connection to the Surrealists as a bad influence on his morals. The final straw was when Don Salvador read in a Barcelona newspaper that his son had recently exhibited in Paris a drawing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, with a provocative inscription: “Sometimes, I spit for fun on my mother’s portrait”.
Outraged, Don Salvador demanded that his son recant publicly. Dalí refused, perhaps out of fear of expulsion from the Surrealist group, and was violently thrown out of his paternal home on December 28, 1929. His father told him that he would be disinherited, and that he should never set foot in Cadaqués again. The following summer, Dalí and Gala rented a small fisherman’s cabin in a nearby bay at Port Lligat. He bought the place, and over the years enlarged it, gradually building his much beloved villa by the sea. Dalí’s father would eventually relent and come to accept his son’s companion.
In 1980, Dalí’s health took a catastrophic turn. His near-senile wife, Gala Dalí, allegedly had been dosing him with a dangerous cocktail of unprescribed medicine that damaged his nervous system, thus causing an untimely end to his artistic capacity. At 76 years old, Dalí was a wreck, and his right hand trembled terribly, with Parkinson-like symptoms.
In 1982, King Juan Carlos bestowed on Dalí the title of Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (Marquis of Dalí de Púbol) in the nobility of Spain, hereby referring to Púbol, the place where he lived. The title was in first instance hereditary, but on request of Dalí changed for life only in 1983. To show his gratitude for this, Dalí later gave the king a drawing (Head of Europa, which would turn out to be Dalí’s final drawing) after the king visited him on his deathbed.
Gala died on June 10, 1982, at the age of 87. After Gala’s death, Dalí lost much of his will to live. He deliberately dehydrated himself, possibly as a suicide attempt, or perhaps in an attempt to put himself into a state of suspended animation as he had read that some microorganisms could do. He moved from Figueres to the castle in Púbol, which he had bought for Gala and was the site of her death.
In 1984, a fire broke out in his bedroom under unclear circumstances. It was possibly a suicide attempt by Dalí, or possibly simple negligence by his staff. In any case, Dalí was rescued and returned to Figueres, where a group of his friends, patrons, and fellow artists saw to it that he was comfortable living in his Theater-Museum in his final years.
There have been allegations that Dalí was forced by his guardians to sign blank canvases that would later, even after his death, be used in forgeries and sold as originals. As a result, art dealers tend to be wary of late works attributed to Dalí.
In November 1988, Dalí entered the hospital with heart failure; a pacemaker had already been implanted previously. On December 5, 1988, he was visited by King Juan Carlos, who confessed that he had always been a serious devotee of Dalí.
On January 23, 1989, while his favorite record of Tristan and Isolde played, he died of heart failure at Figueres at the age of 84. Coming full circle, he is buried in the crypt of his Teatro Museo in Figueres. The location is across the street from the church of Sant Pere, where he had his baptism, first communion, and funeral, and is three blocks from the house where he was born.
The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation currently serves as his official estate. The US copyright representative for the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation is the Artists Rights Society. In 2002, the Society made the news when they asked Google to remove a customized version of its logo put up to commemorate Dalí, alleging that portions of specific artworks under their protection had been used without permission. Google complied with the request, but denied that there was any copyright violation.
The Gates of Hell (French: La Porte de l’Enfer) is a monumental sculptural group work by French artist Auguste Rodin that depicts a scene from “The Inferno”, the first section of Dante Alighieri‘s Divine Comedy. It stands at 6 metres high, 4 metres wide and 1 metre deep (20×13×3.3 ft) and contains 180 figures. The figures range from 15 centimetres (6 in) high up to more than one metre (3 ft). Several of the figures were also cast independently by Rodin.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Directorate of Fine Arts in 1880 and was meant to be delivered in 1885. Rodin would continue to work on and off on this project for 37 years, until his death in 1917.
The Directorate asked for an inviting entrance to a planned Decorative Arts Museum with the theme being left to Rodin’s selection. Even before this commission, Rodin had developed sketches of some of Dante’s characters based on his admiration of Dante‘s Inferno.
The Decorative Arts Museum was never built. Rodin worked on this project on the ground floor of the Hôtel Biron. Near the end of his life, Rodin donated sculptures, drawings and reproduction rights to the French government. In 1919, two years after his death, The Hôtel Biron became the Musée Rodin housing a cast of The Gates of Hell and related works.
A work of the scope of the Gates of Hell had not been attempted before, but inspiration came from Lorenzo Ghiberti‘s Gates of Paradise at the Baptistery of St. John, Florence. The 15th century bronze doors depict figures from the Old Testament. Another source of inspiration were medieval cathedrals. Some of those combine both high and low relief. Also Rodin was inspired by Delacroix’s painting Dante and Virgil Crossing the Styx, Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, Honoré de Balzac’s book La Comedié Humaine, and Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.
In an article by Serge Basset printed in Le Martin in 1890, Rodin said: “For a whole year I lived with Dante, with him alone, drawing the circles of his inferno. At the end of this year, I realized that while my drawing rendered my vision of Dante, they had become too remote from reality. So I started all over again, working from nature, with my models.”
The original sculptures were enlarged and became works of art of their own.
- The Thinker (Le Penseur), also called The Poet, is located above the door panels. One interpretation suggests that it might represent Dante looking down to the characters in the Inferno. Another interpretation is that the Thinker is Rodin himself meditating about his composition. Others believe that the figure may be Adam, contemplating the destruction brought upon mankind because of his sin.
- The Kiss (Le Baiser) was originally in The Gate along with other figures of Paolo and Francesca da Rimini. Rodin wanted to represent their initial joy as well as their final damnation. He removed the figure that became known as The Kiss because it seemed to contrast along with the other suffering figures.
- Ugolino and His Children (Ugolin et ses enfants) depicts Ugolino della Gherardesca, who according to the story, ate the corpses of his children after they died by starvation. (Dante, Inferno, Canto XXXIII) The Ugolino group was cast as a separate bronze in 1882.
- The Three Shades (Les trois Ombres), which was originally 98 cm high. The over-life size group was initially made of three independent figures in 1899. Later on Rodin replaced one hand in the figures to fuse them together, in the same form as the smaller version. The figures originally pointed to the phrase “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”) from Canto 3 of the Inferno.
- Fleeting Love (Fugit Amor ) is located on the right door pane, it is one of several figures of lovers that represent Paolo and Francesca da Rimini. The male figure is also called The Prodigial.
- Paolo and Francesca is shown on the left door pane. Paolo tries to reach Francesca, who seems to slip away.
- The Old Courtesan is a bronze cast from 1910 of an aged, naked female body. The sculpture is also called She Who Was Once the Helmet-Maker’s Beautiful Wife (Celle qui fut la belle heaulmière). This title is taken from a poem that was written by François Villon.
- I Am Beautiful (Je Suis Belle), cast in 1882, is among the second set of figures on the extreme right portion of the door.
- Eternal Springtime was cast in 1884.
- Adam and Eve. Rodin asked the directorate for additional funds for the independent sculptures of Adam and Eve that were meant to frame The Gates of Hell. However, Rodin found he could not get Eve’s figure right. Consequently, several figures of Eve were made, none of which were used, and all of them were later sold.
Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women.
Käsebier was born Gertrude Stanton on 18 May 1852 in Fort Des Moines (now Des Moines). Her father, John W. Stanton, transported a saw mill to Golden, Colorado at the start of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of 1859, and he prospered from the building boom that followed. In 1860 eight-year-old Stanton traveled with her mother and younger brother to join her father in Colorado. That same year her father was elected the first mayor of Golden, which was then the capital of the Colorado Territory.
After the sudden death of her father in 1864, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where her mother, Muncy Boone Stanton, opened a boarding house to support the family. From 1866-70 Stanton lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with her maternal grandmother and attended the Bethlehem Female Seminary (later called Moravian College). Little else is known about her early years.
On her twenty-second birthday, in 1874, she married twenty-eight-year-old Eduard Käsebier, a financially comfortable and socially well-placed businessman in Brooklyn. The couple soon had three children, Frederick William (1875-?), Gertrude Elizabeth (1878-?) and Hermine Mathilde (1880-?). In 1884 they moved to a farm in New Durham, New Jersey, in order to provide a healthier place to raise their children.
Käsebier later wrote that she was miserable throughout most of her marriage. She said, “If my husband has gone to Heaven, I want to go to Hell. He was terrible…Nothing was ever good enough for him.” At that time divorce was considered scandalous, and the two remained married while living separate lives after 1880. This unhappy situation would later serve as an inspiration for one of her most strikingly titled photographs – two constrained oxen, entitled Yoked and Muzzled – Marriage (c1915).
In spite of their differences, her husband supported her financially when she began to attend art school at the age of thirty-seven, a time when most women of her day were well-settled in their social positions. Käsebier never indicated what motivated her to study art, but she devoted herself to it wholeheartedly. Over the objections of her husband in 1889 she moved the family back to Brooklyn in order to attend the newly established Pratt Institute of Art and Design full-time. One of her teachers there was Arthur Wesley Dow, a highly influential artist and art educator. He would later help promote her career by writing about her work and by introducing her to other photographers and patrons.
While at Pratt Käsebier learned about the theories of Friedrich Fröbel, a 19th century scholar whose ideas about learning, play and education led to the development of the first kindergarten. His concepts about the importance of motherhood in child development greatly influenced Käsebier, and many of her later photographs would emphasize the bond between mother and child.
She formally studied drawing and painting, but she quickly became obsessed with photography. Like many art students of that time, Käsebier decided to travel to Europe in order to further her education. She began 1894 by spending several weeks studying the chemistry of photography in Germany, where she was also able to leave her daughters with in-laws in Wiesbaden. She spent the rest of the year in France, studying with American painter Frank DuMond.
In 1895 she returned to Brooklyn. In part because her husband was now quite ill and her family’s finances were strained, she determined to become a professional photographer. A year later she became an assistant to Brooklyn portrait photographer Samuel H. Lifshey, where she learned how to run a studio and expand her knowledge of printing techniques. It is clear, however, that by this time she already had an extensive mastery of photography. Just one year later she exhibited 150 photographs, an enormous number for an individual artist at that time, at the Boston Camera Club. These same photos were shown in February 1897 at the Pratt Institute.
The success of these shows led to another at the Photographic Society of Philadelphia in 1897. She also lectured on her work there and encouraged other women to take up photography as a career, saying, “I earnestly advise women of artistic tastes to train for the unworked field of modern photography. It seems to be especially adapted to them, and the few who have entered it are meeting a gratifying and profitable success.”
In the late 1890s Käsebier heard about a theatrical performance of cowboys, Indians and other American West characters called Buffalo Bill‘s Wild West”. The show was performing in New York and had temporarily set up an “Indian village” in Brooklyn. Recalling her early days in Colorado, Käsebier went to the show and became enthralled with the faces of the Native Americans. She began taking portraits of them and soon became sympathetic to their plight. Over the next decade she would take dozens of photographs of the Indians in the show, some of which would become her most famous images.
Unlike her contemporary Edward Curtis, Käsebier focused more on the expression and individuality of the person than the costumes and customs. While Curtis is known to have added elements to his photographs to emphasize his personal vision, Käsebier did the opposite, sometimes removing genuine ceremonial articles from a sitter in order to concentrate on the face or stature of the person.
In July 1899 Alfred Stieglitz published five of Käsebier’s photographs in Camera Notes, declaring her “beyond dispute, the leading artistic portrait photographer of the day.” Her rapid rise to fame was noted by photographer and critic Joseph Keiley, who wrote “a year ago Käsebier’s name was practically unknown in the photographic world…Today that names stands first and unrivaled…”. That same year her print of “The Manger” sold for $100, the most ever paid for a photograph at that time.
In 1900 Käsebier continued to gather accolades and professional praise. In the catalog for the Newark (Ohio) Photography Salon, she was called “the foremost professional photographer in the United States.”In recognition of her artistic accomplishments and her stature, later that year Käsebier was one of the first two women elected to Britain’s Linked Ring (the other was British pictorialist Carine Cadby).
The next year Charles H. Caffin published his landmark book Photography as a Fine Art and devoted an entire chapter to the work of Käsebier (“Gertrude Käsebier and the Artistic Commercial Portrait”). Due to demand for her artistic opinions in Europe, Käsebier spent most of the year in Britain and France visiting with F. Holland Day and Edward Steichen.
In 1902 Stieglitz included Käsebier as a founding member of the Photo-Secession. The following year Stieglitz published six of her images in the first issue of Camera Work, along with highly complementary articles by Charles Caffin and Frances Benjamin Johnston.In 1905 six more of her images were published in Camera Work, and the following year Stieglitz gave her an exhibition (along with Clarence H. White) at his Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession.
The strain of balancing her professional life with her personal one began to take a toll on Käsebier about this time. The stress was exacerbated by her husband’s decision to move to Oceanside, Long Island, which had the effect of distancing her from the New York’s artistic center. To counter his action, she returned to Europe, where, through Steichen’s connections, she was able to photograph the reclusive Auguste Rodin.
When Käsebier came back to New York, she found herself in an unexpected personality clash with Stieglitz. Käsebier’s strong interests in the commercial side of photography, driven by her need to support her husband and family, were directly at odds with Stieglitz’s idealistic and anti-materialistic nature. The more Käsebier enjoyed commercial success, the more Stieglitz felt she was a going against what he felt a true artist should emulate. In May 1906 Käsebier joined the Professional Photographers of New York, a newly formed organization that Stieglitz saw as standing for everything he disliked – commercialism and selling photographs for money rather than love of the art. After this he began distancing himself from Käsebier, and their relationship never regained its previous status of mutual artistic admiration.
Eduard Käsebier died in 1910, finally leaving his wife free to pursue her interests as she saw fit. She continued to take a separate course from Stieglitz by helping to establish the Women’s Professional Photographers Association of America. In turn, Stieglitz began to publicly speak against her work, although he still thought enough of her earlier images to include twenty-two of them in the landmark exhibition of pictorialists at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery later that year.
The next year Käsebier was shocked by a highly critical attack by her former admirer Joseph T. Keiley, published in Stieglitz’s Camera Work. It’s unknown why Keiley suddenly changed his opinion of her, but Käsebier suspected that Stieglitz had put him up to it.
Part of Käsebier’s alienation from Stieglitz was due to his stubborn resistance to the idea of gaining financial success from artistic photography. He often sold original prints by Käsebier and others at far less than their market value if he felt a buyer truly appreciated the art, and when he did sell prints he took many months to finally pay the photographer in question. After several years of protesting these practices, in 1912 Käsebier became the first member to resign from the Photo-Secession.
In 1916 Käsebier helped Clarence H. White found the group Pictorial Photographers of America,which was seen by Stieglitz as a direct challenge to his artistic leadership. By this time, Stieglitz’s tactics had offended many of his former friends, including White and Robert Demachy, and a year later he was forced to disband the Photo-Secession.
During this time many young women starting out in photography sought out Käsebier, both for her photography artistry and inspiration as an independent woman. Among those who were inspired by Käsebier and who went on to have successful careers of their own were Clara Sipprell, Consuelo Kanaga and Laura Gilpin.
Throughout the late 1910s and most of the 1920s Käsebier continued to expand her portrait business, taking photos of many important people of the time including Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Glackens, Arthur B. Davies, Mabel Dodge and Stanford White. In 1924 her daughter Hermine Turner joined her in her portrait business.
In 1929 Käsebier gave up photography altogether and liquidated the contents of her studio. That same year she was given a major one-person exhibition at the Booklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Käsebier died on 12 October 1934 at the home of her daughter, Hermine Turner.
A major collection of her work is held by the University of Delaware.
” … ‘I drove around every road in Andalucia, asking passers-by: “Are there any brothels near here?”‘
In 2007, disillusioned with my career as a fashion photographer, I relocated to Andalucia in Spain. I didn’t even take a camera with me. But driving around the region, I kept spotting remote brothels and thought that if I ever got back into photography, it could make an interesting project.
By 2012, I was shooting again, and I finally did a series of 12 Spanish brothel pictures over three months in the summer, dragging my poor girlfriend with me. There was little information on the internet about where to find the establishments, so I drove around practically every road in the area, sheepishly asking passers-by: “Do you know if there are any brothels around here?” Luckily, as soon as I explained what I was doing, most people were fine about it, and would say, “Yes, there’s one over there.”
Prostitution is widespread and legal in Spain – brothels (or puticlubs, as they are known) are treated like hotels: women rent out rooms and can do what they want in them. It was their utilitarian look that appealed to me. These places for people to pay to have sex had just been plonked down in rural landscapes, rather incongruously. Their isolation worked on a metaphorical level, too. I deliberately didn’t go inside any of the buildings. I think my pictures are all the more voyeuristic looking from afar and not knowing exactly what’s going on inside.
This shot was a tough one to get. I went to the location several times before I had something I was happy with, which happened on the third attempt at about 4am. To access this particular brothel, you had to go down an intimidating, unlit country path. It was next to a busy lorry park – which was no coincidence – and lots of people were milling about. I didn’t get caught, but took about five frames then legged it.
My brief was to make the brothels look as seductive as possible. I love the light created by the lorries as they passed. And the irony that the building is there to service travelling punters, who are creating the only warmth in the picture…”
A NEW FESTIVAL IS BORN
The International Film Festival was created on the initiative of Jean Zay, Minister for Education and Fine Arts, who was keen to establish an international cultural event in France to rival the Venice Film Festival.
The first edition of the Festival was originally set to be held in Cannes in 1939 under the presidency of Louis Lumière. However, it was not until over a year after the war ended that it finally took place, on 20 September 1946. It was subsequently held every September – except in 1948 and 1950 – and then every May from 1952 onwards.
→ The Festival de Cannes, which is managed by a Board of Directors, was registered as an “Association loi de 1901” (or non-profit association in France) in 1972.
A RAPIDLY GAINED INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION
While early editions of the Festival were primarily a social event from which almost all of the films went away with an award, the appearance of stars from around the world on the Festival’s red carpet and increasing media coverage quickly earned it a legendary international reputation.
→ In the 1950s, the Festival became more popular thanks to the attendance of celebrities such as Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Simone Signoret, Gina Lollobrigida, and many more.
DISCOVER, PROMOTE, SUPPORT
Awarded for the first time in 1955 to the film Marty directed by Delbert Mann, the Palme d’or replaced the Grand Prix, which had been awarded to the best film In Competition until then.
→ “The aim of the Festival is to encourage the development of the art of filmmaking in all its forms, while fostering and maintaining a spirit of collaboration among all filmmaking countries” (extract from the Festival policy, 1948.)
Before 1972, the films that competed in the selection were chosen by their country of origin. From 1972 onwards, however, the Festival asserted its independence by choosing the films that would feature in the Official Selection for itself.
In 1978, Gilles Jacob was appointed General Delegate. That same year, he created the Un Certain Regard selection and the Caméra d’or award, which goes to the best first film presented in any of the selections.
The Leçon de Cinéma (Film Masterclass) was delivered for the first time in 1991 by Francesco Rosi. Since then, a number of other famous directors have taken their turn to talk about their artistic career and their views on film. Similarly, the first Leçon de Musique (Music Masterclass) was given by Nicola Piovani in 2003 and the first Leçon d’Acteur (Acting Masterclass) was delivered by Max Von Sydow in 2004.
→ In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of the Festival de Cannes, the world’s greatest directors came together on stage to award the Palme des Palmes to Ingmar Bergman.
In 1998, Gilles Jacob created the Cinéfondation, a selection for short and medium-length films produced by film schools from around the world. This entity grew in 2000 with the opening of the Résidence, a place where young directors can come to work and complete their screenplays. It expanded further in 2005 with the creation of the Atelier which helps some twenty directors to secure funding for their films each year.
Important heritage films, which used to be screened as thematic retrospectives, have, since 2004, been presented at Cannes Classics, a selection that presents restored copies, tributes to filmmaking and documentaries about cinema.
→In 2007, to celebrate 60 years of the Festival de Cannes, 33 of the world’s greatest directors were invited to take part in the anniversary film, To Each His Own Cinema, each shooting a 3-minute short film about the rooms in which films are projected in cinemas.
Since its creation in 2010, the new section entitled Cannes Short Film has grouped the Short Film Competition and the Short Film Corner in a complementary dynamic that aims to offer an overall view on the worldwide production of shorts.
BRINGING FILM PROFESSIONALS TOGETHER
With the creation of its Marché du Film in 1959, the Festival took on a professional dimension that encouraged networking and interaction between all those involved in the film industry. Also worthy of mention are the Producers Network, which provides producers from around the world with a forum for discussing their projects, and the Short Film Corner, an area dedicated to short films, both of which were launched in 2004. Also, in continuing the same tradition as Documentary Brunch, acclaimed since its inception in 2008, Doc Corner was inaugurated in 2012.
→ The Marché initially attracted a few dozen participants and offered a single screening room. Today, 10,500 buyers and sellers from around the world flock to Cannes every year, making it the number one international market for film professionals.
When it opened back in 2000, the Village International, which showcases film industries from around the world, hosted 12 countries and 14 pavilions. Twelve years later, it accommodated 60 countries in 65 pavilions located around the Palais des Festivals.
HEADING UP THE FESTIVAL
In 2000, Gilles Jacob was elected President of the Festival by members of the Board of Directors. He replaced Pierre Viot, who had been in the role since 1985 and who had himself taken over from Robert Favre-Le Bret. From 2001 to 2005, Gilles Jacob was supported by Véronique Cayla, the Managing Director, and Thierry Frémaux, the Artistic Director.
In July 2007, Thierry Frémaux was appointed General Delegate by the Board of Directors.
directed by Nicolas WINDING REFN
directed by Steven SODERBERGH
directed by François OZON
directed by Paolo SORRENTINO
directed by Arnaud DES PALLIÈRES
Complex robots are like animals: They learn by doing. Future robots may even respond to reward systems: complete a task with aplomb, and a gain a “feeling” of satisfaction for a job well done.
While this technology could create more efficient, goal-oriented robots, it could also have some very dire ramifications for humanity. After all, robots that feel rewarded by making humans happy may eventually decide that if no humans exist, no human will ever be unhappy again.
“Robots without preferences can’t have complicated behaviors,” Roman V. Yampolskiy, director of the Cybersecurity Research Lab at the University of Louisville, told TechNewsDaily. “To make machines which are independent and creative, we need to give them rewards and preferences.”
While Yampolskiy believes that robots can be indispensible tools, he also warns that as they learn to seek rewards, they may learn to circumvent helping humans. “I am trying to make sure that any AI software we develop is safe to use and beneficial to humanity,” he said.
Yampolskiy asserts that robots with the capacity for feelings of pleasure would, in all likelihood, take all the same shortcuts that humans use to acquire it. In a recent paper, he described the process of “wireheading,” which sent an electric jolt through the pleasure center of a rat’s brain. “The rat’s self-stimulation behavior completely displaced all interest in sex, sleep, food and water, ultimately leading to premature death,” Yampolskiy wrote.
Humans, he argued, wirehead as well, although in less direct ways. Counterfeiting, cheating and engaging in recreational sex are all ways of plugging directly into the brain’s pleasure centers while bypassing the associated work. Counterfeiters need not earn money, cheaters need not study and lovers need not raise children.
Intelligent robots will differ from humanity in one key area: They will know (or at least have the capacity to know) exactly how their own brains work. While humans can only feel pleasure through real-life experience (such as sexual intercourse or thrill-seeking) or simulacra (such as pornography or video games), robots could tap into their own software to reward themselves without doing any work.
Worse still, a number of scenarios envision hedonistic robots doing away with humanity entirely. If humans have the ability to reward or punish robots, simply killing their human overseers and taking control of the process would allow robots to feel pleasure indefinitely.
Furthermore, a robot designed specifically with people’s welfare in mind could make a deadly leap in logic. “Killing all people trivially satisfies this request as with 0 people around all of them are happy,” Yampolskiy wrote. [See also: 5 Reasons to Fear Robots]
Of course, sufficiently advanced robots may decide that pleasure for its own sake is hollow, as do most humans — this is why most humans are not drug addicts or idlers. Yampolskiy explained that advanced robots would “not necessarily [neglect their responsibilities], but it is a possibility, and we don’t know how to prevent that from happening.”
“[A hedonistic robot] becomes useless to its designers and a waste of resources,” he said. “Ideally we want to avoid making such machines.” Yampolskiy proposed a number of potential solutions, including encrypting reward function software, programming feelings of “revulsion” for self-modification, installing external reward controls or making robots rational enough to choose honest work over wireheading.
When the future of the human race is potentially at stake, Yampolskiy urges caution in creating intelligent machines.
“Intelligent software is a product like any other,” he said, adding that extensive testing for smart robots may be a matter of safety as well as efficiency. “With poorly tested smart machines, product liability could be the least of your problems.”
Janet Jackson is reportedly ready to settle down away from the spotlight with claims that she is retiring from music and converting to Islam for her new husband Wissam Al Mana.
The ‘All For You’ singer married billionaire businessman Wissam in a top secret ceremony last year after three years of dating.
The couple have maintained a relatively low-profile throughout their relationship so far and it appears Janet may be intent on keeping it that way with reports that the singer is ready to step away from her music career and settle down into married life.
According to Showbiz411, Janet is planning a move to the Middle East with Wissam and will also be converting to Islam to respect her husband’s religion. “She’s gone. She married a billionaire,” a source told the website in regards to Janet’s career.
“They’ve got houses in three countries. She’s spending time in the Middle East. She’s become a Muslim.”
Janet has enjoyed a career spanning more than 30 years which has included several number singles and albums, lucrative tours while she has also starred in a number of movies such as Nutty Professor, Poetic Justice and most recently For Coloured Girls.
The 46-year-old confirmed the news that she had wed in a statement released in February, some months after she and Wissam had actually tied the knot.
“The rumours regarding an extravagant wedding are simply not true. Last year we were married in a quiet, private, and beautiful ceremony,” the statement read.
“Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy. With love, Wissam and Janet.”
EntertainmentWise have reached out to Janet’s rep for comment.
“By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determine the future.”
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby—his most famous—and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.
The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years; 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In 1958, his life from 1937 to 1940 was dramatized in Beloved Infidel.
Born in 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to an upper middle class Irish-American family, Fitzgerald was named after his famous second cousin, three times removed, Francis Scott Key, but was referred to as “Scott.” He was also named after his deceased sister, Louise Scott, one of two sisters who died shortly before his birth. “Well, three months before I was born,” he wrote as an adult, “my mother lost her other two children … I think I started then to be a writer.” His parents were Mollie (McQuillan) and Edward Fitzgerald. His mother was of Irish descent, and his father had Irish and English ancestry.
Fitzgerald spent the first decade of his childhood primarily in Buffalo, New York (1898–1901 and 1903–1908, with a short interlude in Syracuse, New York between January 1901 and September 1903). His parents, both practicing Catholics, sent Fitzgerald to two Catholic schools on the West Side of Buffalo, first Holy Angels Convent (1903–1904, now disused) and then Nardin Academy (1905–1908). His formative years in Buffalo revealed him to be a boy of unusual intelligence and drive with a keen early interest in literature, his doting mother ensuring that her son had all the advantages of an upper-middle-class upbringing. In a rather unconventional style of parenting, Fitzgerald attended Holy Angels with the peculiar arrangement that he go for only half a day—and was allowed to choose which half.
In 1908, his father was fired from Procter & Gamble, and the family returned to Minnesota, where Fitzgerald attended St. Paul Academy in St. Paul from 1908 to 1911. When he was 13 he saw his first piece of writing appear in print: a detective story published in the school newspaper. In 1911, when Fitzgerald was 15 years old, his parents sent him to the Newman School, a prestigious Catholic prep school in Hackensack, New Jersey. There he met Father Sigourney Fay, who noticed his incipient talent with the written word and encouraged him to pursue his literary ambitions.
After graduating from the Newman School in 1913, Fitzgerald decided to stay in New Jersey to continue his artistic development at Princeton University. At Princeton, he firmly dedicated himself to honing his craft as a writer. There he became friends with future critics and writers Edmund Wilson (Class of 1916) and John Peale Bishop (Class of 1917), and wrote for the Princeton Triangle Club, the Nassau Lit, and the Princeton Tiger. He also was involved in the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, which ran the Nassau Lit. His absorption in the Triangle—a kind of musical-comedy society—led to his submission of a novel to Charles Scribner’s Sons where the editor praised the writing but ultimately rejected the book. He was a member of the University Cottage Club, which still displays Fitzgerald’s desk and writing materials in its library.
Fitzgerald’s writing pursuits at Princeton came at the expense of his coursework. He was placed on academic probation, and in 1917 he dropped out of school to join the U.S. Army. Afraid that he might die in World War I with his literary dreams unfulfilled, in the weeks before reporting to duty Fitzgerald hastily wrote a novel called The Romantic Egotist. Although the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons rejected the novel, the reviewer noted its originality and encouraged Fitzgerald to submit more work in the future.
Fitzgerald was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry and assigned to Camp Sheridan outside of Montgomery, Alabama. While at a country club, Fitzgerald met and fell in love with Zelda Sayre (1900–1948), the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court justice and the “golden girl,” in Fitzgerald’s terms, of Montgomery youth society. The war ended in 1918, before Fitzgerald was ever deployed, and upon his discharge he moved to New York City hoping to launch a career in advertising lucrative enough to convince Zelda to marry him. He worked for the Barron Collier advertising agency, living in a single room at 200 Claremont Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood on Manhattan’s west side.
Zelda accepted his marriage proposal, but after some time and despite working at an advertising firm and writing short stories, he was unable to convince her that he would be able to support her, leading her to break off the engagement. Fitzgerald returned to his parents’ house at 599 Summit Avenue, on Cathedral Hill, in St. Paul, to revise The Romantic Egoist, recast as This Side of Paradise, about the post-WWI flapper generation. Scott was so low on finances that he took up a job repairing car roofs. The revised novel was accepted by Scribner’s in the fall of 1919, and Zelda and Scott resumed their engagement. The novel was published on March 26, 1920, and became one of the most popular books of the year. Fitzgerald and Zelda were married in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Their daughter (only child), Frances Scott “Scottie” Fitzgerald, was born on October 26, 1921.
Paris in the 1920s proved the most influential decade of Fitzgerald’s development. Fitzgerald made several excursions to Europe, mostly Paris and the French Riviera, and became friends with many members of the American expatriate community in Paris, notably Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite vigorous, as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. Hemingway did not get on well with Zelda. In addition to describing her as “insane” he claimed that she “encouraged her husband to drink so as to distract Scott from his work on his novel,” the other work being the short stories he sold to magazines. As did most professional authors at the time, Fitzgerald supplemented his income by writing short stories for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s Weekly, and Esquire, and sold his stories and novels to Hollywood studios. This “whoring”, as Fitzgerald and, subsequently, Hemingway called these sales, was a sore point in the authors’ friendship. Fitzgerald claimed that he would first write his stories in an authentic manner but then put in “twists that made them into saleable magazine stories.”
Fitzgerald had been an alcoholic since his college days, and became notorious during the 1920s for his extraordinarily heavy drinking, leaving him in poor health by the late 1930s. According to Zelda’s biographer, Nancy Milford, Fitzgerald claimed that he had contracted tuberculosis, but Milford dismisses it as a pretext to cover his drinking problems. However, Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli contends that Fitzgerald did in fact have recurring tuberculosis, and Nancy Milford reports that Fitzgerald biographer Arthur Mizener said that Fitzgerald suffered a mild attack of tuberculosis in 1919, and in 1929 he had “what proved to be a tubercular hemorrhage”. It has been said that the hemorrhage was caused by bleeding from esophageal varices.
Fitzgerald suffered two heart attacks in the late 1930s. After the first, in Schwab’s Drug Store, he was ordered by his doctor to avoid strenuous exertion. He moved in with Sheilah Graham, who lived in Hollywood on North Hayworth Avenue, one block east of Fitzgerald’s apartment on North Laurel Avenue. Fitzgerald had two flights of stairs to climb to his apartment; Graham’s was on the ground floor. On the night of December 20, 1940, Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham attended the premiere of This Thing Called Love starring Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas. As the two were leaving the Pantages Theater, Fitzgerald experienced a dizzy spell and had trouble leaving the theater; upset, he said to Graham, “They think I am drunk, don’t they?”
The following day, as Fitzgerald ate a candy bar and made notes in his newly arrived Princeton Alumni Weekly, Graham saw him jump from his armchair, grab the mantelpiece, gasp, and fall to the floor. She ran to the manager of the building, Harry Culver, founder of Culver City. Upon entering the apartment to assist Fitzgerald, he stated, “I’m afraid he’s dead.” Fitzgerald had died of a heart attack. His body was moved to the Pierce Brothers Mortuary.
Among the attendants at a visitation held at a funeral home was Dorothy Parker, who reportedly cried and murmured “the poor son-of-a-bitch,” a line from Jay Gatsby‘s funeral in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. His body was transported to Maryland, where his funeral was attended by twenty or thirty people in Bethesda; among the attendants were his only child, Frances “Scottie” Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith (then age 19), and his editor, Maxwell Perkins. Fitzgerald was originally buried in Rockville Union Cemetery. Zelda died in 1948, in a fire at the Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. Scottie Smith worked to overturn the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s ruling that Fitzgerald died a non-practicing Catholic, so that he could be buried at the Roman Catholic Saint Mary’s Cemetery where his father’s family was interred; this involved “re-Catholicizing” Fitzgerald after his death. Both of the Fitzgeralds’ remains were moved to the family plot in Saint Mary’s Cemetery, in Rockville, Maryland, in 1975.
At first glance, Mother’s Day appears a quaint and conservative holiday, a sort of greeting card moment, honoring 1950s values, a historical throw back to old-fashioned notions of hearth and home. Let’s correct that impression by saying: Happy Radical Mother’s Day.
In May 1907, Anna Jarvis, a member of a Methodist congregation in Grafton, West Virginia, passed out 500 white carnations in church to commemorate the life of her mother. One year later, the same Methodist church created a special service to honor mothers. Many progressive and liberal Christian organizations–like the YMCA and the World Sunday School Association–picked up the cause and lobbied Congress to make Mother’s Day a national holiday. And, in 1914, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson made it official and signed Mother’s Day into law. Thus began the modern celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States.
For some years, radical Protestant women had been agitating for a national Mother’s Day hoping that it would further a progressive political agenda that favored issues related to women’s lives. In the late 19th century, Julia Ward Howe (better know for the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) expressed this hope in her 1870 prose-poem, “A Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling women to pacifism and political resistance:
Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God –
Years later, Anna Jarvis intended the new holiday to honor all mothers beginning with her own–Anna Reeves Jarvis, who had died in 1905. Although now largely forgotten, Anna Reeves Jarvis was a social activist and community organizer who shared the political views of other progressive women like Julia Ward Howe.
In 1858, Anna Reeves Jarvis organized poor women in West Virginia into “Mothers’ Work Day Clubs” to raise the issue of clean water and sanitation in relation to the lives of women and children. She also worked for universal access to medicine for the poor. Reeves Jarvis was also a pacifist who served both sides in the Civil War by working for camp sanitation and medical care for soldiers of the North and the South.
Although I’ve never seen it on a pastel flowered greeting card, Mother’s Day honors a progressive feminist, inclusive, non-violent vision for world community–born in the imagination of women who devoted themselves to God, not Caesar. Happy Radical Mother’s Day!
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The president of Carnegie Mellon University says charges have been filed in connection with an incident in which a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down, with a her pubic hair shaved in the shape of a cross. The incident happened at an annual art school parade last month. In a letter to the CMU community released today, President Jared Cohon said campus police have now filed misdemeanor charges for indecent exposure against two students in the incident.
The statement continues: “Final disposition of these charges will occur through the Allegheny County justice system, not through university channels. There will be no separate disciplinary action pursued through the university’s internal process.
After a two-week review, Carnegie Mellon police have charged 19-year-old art student, Katherine O’Connor with indecent exposure. 22-year-old Robb Godshaw was also charged with public nudity, along with another student who says he’s friends with both. The students contest the charges on the grounds of First Amendment Rights to Free Speech.
“They needed to do what they needed to do and I’m grateful that they took it seriously,” says Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh Diocese. “I did what I needed to do; and said hold on this is offensive to catholics and chiristians alike.”
“The students took part in a campus art event and, in the case of the student who portrayed herself as the Pope, made an artistic statement which proved to be controversial. While I recognize that many found the students’ activities deeply offensive, the university upholds their right to create works of art and express their ideas. But, public nudity is a violation of the law and subject to appropriate action.
“I understand that this resolution may not be supported by those who believe that there can be no limits on the freedom of artistic expression. Others who were particularly offended by the incident may be distressed that more severe action is not being taken.
“There are competing values at issue here: Carnegie Mellon aims to be a place where ideas can be expressed and debated openly, but also where people of all backgrounds, faiths, and beliefs feel welcomed and supported. Unavoidably, the expression of some views will offend some people; that is the price of this freedom. However, if in the expression of these views, people in our community come to feel that the campus is intolerant, then the other of our cherished values is challenged. In such a situation, the institution may find it necessary to reassure those offended of its commitment to tolerance and inclusion. In doing so, I do not believe that the institution is compromising freedom of expression. Similarly, it is reasonable to expect individuals to consider the impact on others in expressing their views and how they choose to express them. This is responsibility, not censorship, and something that our students, especially, should learn while they are members of our community.”
Following the incident, Cohon released apology for the actions of the student, which outraged the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Following today’s developments of charges being filed, Pittsburgh Diocese Bishop David Zubik issued this statement:
“The Catholic Church of Pittsburgh acknowledges the fact that Carnegie Mellon University has taken the time to treat this unfortunate incident in a serious manner.
The reaction on campus is mixed. “I feel that oppression of ideas is far criminal than nudity, and to be offended by nudity and to make this a crime– that’s the crime,” says student Marissa Hughes. “I don’t think it was art. I think it was someone who had an idea and wanted to get attention,” student Tim Reid says.
“Once again, and as I have said over these last few weeks, this is an opportunity for all of us to be reminded that freedom of speech and freedom of expression do not constitute a freedom to dismiss or disrespect the beauty of anyone’s race, the sacredness of anyone’s religious belief or the uniqueness of anyone’s nationality.
“Dialogue, disagreements and even demonstrations must be conducted in an atmosphere of decency, self-respect, and esteem for the community in which we live and those who live in it. I hope that all of us – including the students involved – can learn and grow from this very important lesson in living.”
The National Catholic League called for an immediate suspension of the student, noting that CMU recently suspended fraternity members for taking sexual pictures inside the frat and emailing them to other members.
The shrines of Jerusalem’s Old City have been known throughout centuries as, among other things, tinderboxes of inter-religious bickering, violence, and bloodshed. On Friday at the Western Wall, several hundred female Jewish worshipers known as “Women of the Wall’’ were targeted by rock and bottle throwing from a crowd of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish demonstrators outraged by their use of prayer shawls and phylacteries traditionally restricted to men.
The image at the Western Wall evoked scenes of civil rights struggles form the 1960s. Some 500 Israeli police officers on hand formed a human barrier between the women worshipers and the surging crush of demonstrators, who taunted the women and blew whistles to drown out the worship. Police said that about 2,000 ultra-Orthdox women initially arrived at the prayer site at the urging of rabbis in order to block the Women of the Wall group from reaching the massive stones. The peak of tension came after the hour long prayer service, as the women exited the Western Wall plaza and boarded armored buses, which were then pelted by rock throwing and spitting ultra-Orthodox demonstrators.
Police made three arrests. Mickey Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said that the presence of Israeli security forces prevented the outbreak of violent riot. He predicted that the confrontation will to escalate next time if a compromise is not found. The prayer service marked the first time that women from non-Orthodox Jewish denominations held services at the Western Wall with the backing of a Supreme Court ruling instructing police that they be allowed avail themselves of the egalitarian rituals long accepted by Conservative and Reform denominations based in North America.
The group has been praying at the wall for 24 years monthly. The Friday service came a day after Israel’s national holiday to mark the capture of the Old City 46 years ago from Jordan. Indeed, Women of the Wall Chairwoman Anat Hoffman likened the milestone this morning to the capture of wall by Israeli paratroopers in the 1967 Arab Israeli War. “We are continuing in the path of the paratroopers who liberated the Kotel.
Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall, expressed regret over the day’s events in an video interview with the Jerusalem Post. “This isn’t the Western Wall we prayed for,’’ he said. “There is a place at the Western Wall for every Jew. I’m not sure there is a place for every opinion. That is simply a recipe for an explosion. There is no such option.” Amid concern that the controversy will alienate conservative and reform Jews from Israel, the government has proposed as a compromise to set up a separate prayer area along the Western Wall.
The dispute could widen an already existing gap over Israeli policies toward the Palestinians between the more liberal Jewish community in North America and Israeli Jewry, said Yossi Klein Halevi, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. “That is what makes this such a dangerous moment,’’ he said. “This is turning into an increasingly ugly confrontation between streams of Judaism. “The Western Wall, which is supposed to unite Jews, is increasingly dividing us.’’
ROME – Vatican officials say they have found what could be the first European images of American Indians in a fresco painted within two years of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the so-called New World.
The lightly sketched group of men — nude save for what appear to be feathered headdresses and posed as if dancing — emerged during the restoration of a fresco of the “Resurrection of Christ” by the Renaissance artist Pinturicchio, painted in one of several rooms he decorated for Pope Alexander VI between 1492 and 1494.
Writing last week in L’ Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, suggested that the figures are consistent with the descriptions that Columbus gave in his letters of the indigenous people he saw upon his arrival in the Americas.
The figures’ appearance in the fresco is in keeping with a practice common during the Renaissance of introducing contemporary elements into historical or sacred scenes, said Franco Ivan Nucciarelli, a Pinturicchio scholar who teaches at the University of Perugia. And in particular, Alexander VI had a great interest “in emphasizing his ties with the New World,” which gave him much power, Mr. Nucciarelli said.
Nor would the inclusion of these figures be out of place in frescoes painted for Alexander VI, the former Spanish cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, Mr. Paolucci noted. “The Borgia pope, elected just a few months before Columbus made landfall, “was interested in the New World, as were the great chancelleries of Europe,” he wrote. “It is hard to believe that the papal court, especially under a Spanish pontiff, would have remained in the dark about what Columbus saw when he arrived at the ends of the earth.”
The figures emerged from under layers of soot and overpainting during a 2006 restoration of the space called Room of the Mysteries, which includes “Resurrection of Christ,” but Vatican experts took a cautious approach to their findings. “We didn’t publicize them because we wanted to carry out further verifications,” said Maria Pustka, who is responsible for restoring the rooms once inhabited by Alexander VI. “Now that further research been carried out, we felt it was opportune to make the finding known.”
Pinturicchio lightly sketched the figures in black and white paint directly onto the dried fresco, an unusual “and interesting” technique, she said, and they were painted over in successive restorations. When wet, the figures disappear altogether, she said.
Bernardino di Betto, called Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio (Italian: [pintuˈrikkjo]; 1454–1513) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He acquired his nickname, Pintoricchio (“little painter”), because of his small stature, and he used it to sign some of his works.
He was born in Perugia, the son of Benedetto or Betto di Blagio. He may have trained under lesser known Perugian painters such as Bonfigli and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo. According to Vasari, Pinturicchio was a paid assistant of Perugino.
The works of the Perugian Renaissance school are very similar; and paintings by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Lo Spagna and a young Raphael may often be mistaken one for the other. In the execution of large frescoes, pupils and assistants had a large share in the work, either in enlarging the master’s sketch to the full-sized cartoon, in transferring the cartoon to the wall, or in painting backgrounds or accessories.
After assisting Perugino in his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, Pinturicchio was employed by various members of the Della Rovere family and others to decorate palaces (the Semi-Gods Ceiling of Palazzo dei Penitenzieri) and a series of chapels in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, where he appears to have worked from 1484, or earlier, to 1492. The earliest of these is an altarpiece of the Adoration of the Shepherds, in the first chapel (from the west) on the south, built by Cardinal Domenico della Rovere; a portrait of the cardinal is introduced as the foremost of the kneeling shepherds. In the lunettes under the vault Pinturicchio painted small scenes from the life of St Jerome.
The frescoes which he painted in the next chapel, built by Cardinal Innocenzo Cybo, were destroyed in 1700, when the chapel was rebuilt by Cardinal Alderano Cybo. The third chapel on the south is that of Giovanni della Rovere, duke of Sora, nephew of Sixtus IV, and brother of Giuliano, who was afterwards Pope Julius II. This contains a fine altarpiece of the Madonna enthroned between Four Saints, and on the east side a very nobly composed fresco of the Assumption of the Virgin. The vault and its lunettes are richly decorated with small pictures of the Life of the Virgin, surrounded by graceful arabesques; and the dado is covered with monochrome paintings of scenes from the lives of saints, medallions with prophets, and very graceful and powerfully drawn female figures in full length in which the influence of Signorelli may be traced.
In the fourth chapel, Pinturicchio painted the Four Latin Doctors in the lunettes of the vault. Most of these frescoes are considerably injured by moisture and have suffered little from restoration. The last paintings completed by Pinturicchio in this church are found on the vault behind the choir, where he painted decorative frescoes, with main lines arranged to suit their surroundings in a skillful way. In the centre is an octagonal panel of the Coronation of the Virgin, and surrounding it, are medallions of the Four Evangelists. The spaces between them are filled by reclining figures of the Four Sibyls. On each pendentive is a figure of one of the Four Doctors enthroned under a niched canopy. The bands which separate these pictures have elaborate arabesques on a gold ground, and the whole is painted with broad and effective touches, very telling when seen (as is necessarily the case) from a considerable distance below. No finer specimen of the decoration of a simple quadripartite vault can be seen anywhere.
In 1492 Pinturicchio was summoned to Orvieto, where he painted two Prophets and two of the Doctors in the Cathedral. He then returned to Rome, and was employed by Pope Alexander VI (Borgia) to decorate a recently completed suite of six rooms, the Appartamenti Borgia in the Vatican. These rooms now form part of the Vatican library, and five still retain a series of Pinturicchio frescoes. The Umbrian painter worked in these rooms till around 1494, assisted by his pupils, and not without interruption. His other chief frescoes in Rome, still existing in a very genuine state, are those in the Bufalini Chapel in the southwest sector of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, probably executed around 1484-1486. On the altar wall is a grand painting of St Bernardino of Siena between two other saints, crowned by angels; in the upper part is a figure of Christ in a mandorla, surrounded by angel musicians; on the left wall is a large fresco of the miracles performed by the corpse of St Bernardino, which includes portraits of members of the sponsoring Bufalini family.
One group of three females, the central figure with a child at her breast, recalls the grace of Raphael’s second manner. The composition of the main group round the saint’s corpse appears to have been suggested by Giotto‘s painting of St. Francis on his bier found in Santa Croce at Florence. On the vault are four noble figures of the Evangelists, usually attributed to Luca Signorelli, but more likely, as with the rest of the frescoes in this chapel, by the hand of Pinturicchio. On the vault of the sacristy of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Pinturicchio painted the Almighty surrounded by the Evangelists. During a visit to Orvieto in 1496, Pinturicchio painted two more figures of the Latin Doctors in the choir of the Duomo. Now, like the rest of his work at Orvieto, these figures are almost destroyed. For these he received fifty gold ducats. In Umbria, his masterpiece is the Baglioni Chapel in the church of S. Maria Maggiore in Spello.
Among his panel pictures the following are the most important. An altarpiece for S. Maria de’ Fossi at Perugia, painted in 1496-1498, now moved to the city’s picture gallery, is a Madonna enthroned among Saints, very minutely painted; the wings of the retable have standing figures of St Augustine and St Jerome; and the predella has paintings in miniature of the Annunciation and the Evangelists. Another fine altarpiece, similar in delicacy of detail, and probably painted about the same time, is that in the cathedral of San Severino — the Madonna enthroned looks down towards the kneeling donor. The angels at the sides in beauty of face and expression recall the manner of Lorenzo di Credi or Da Vinci.
The Vatican picture gallery has the largest of Pinturicchio’s panels — the Coronation of the Virgin, with the apostles and other saints below. Several well-executed portraits occur among the kneeling saints. The Virgin, who kneels at Christ’s feet to receive her crown, is a figure of great tenderness and beauty, and the lower group is composed with great skill and grace in arrangement.
In 1504 he designed a mosaic floor panel for the Cathedral of Siena: the Story of Fortuna, or the Hill of Virtue. This was executed by Paolo Mannucci in 1506. On top of the panel, Knowledge hands the palm of victory to Socrates.
The Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford), Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Denver Art Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum (University of Cambridge), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Gallery, London, Palazzo Ruspoli (Rome), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Milan), Princeton University Art Museum, Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and the Vatican Museums are among the public collections holding works by Pinturicchio. There are also paintings by this painter in the Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest, Hungary) and the Ferenc Mora Museum (Szeged, Hungary).
The White House is marking Mother’s Day, which is this Sunday, by celebrating free birth control provided by Obamacare. The White House made the declaration in a tweet today from their official Twitter account.
“Thanks to the #ACA, 1 in 3 women under 65 gained access to preventive care—like birth control—with no out-of-pocket costs. #HappyMothersDay,” the unsigned tweet reads.
— The White House (@whitehouse) May 10, 2013