Tag Archives: art

Guest book

Title: Portrait of a Carthusian, Artist: Petrus Christus (Netherlandish, Baarle-Hertog (Baerle-Duc), active by 1444–died 1475/76 Bruges)
Date: 1446, Medium: Oil on wood, Dimensions: Overall 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (29.2 x 21.6 cm); painted surface 11 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (29.2 x 18.7 cm)
Classification: Paintings, Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949, Accession Number: 49.7.19
You came in
I watched you
You looked at me
I saw you
You came closer
I felt you

You looked closer
I touched you

I wonder who made you
Petrus Christus made me 
Title: Woman with a Parrot, Artist: Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)
Date: 1866, Medium: Oil on canvas, Dimensions: 51 x 77 in. (129.5 x 195.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings, Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number: 29.100.57
You mean all those dressed people?
Nah, they were boring
Title: Self-Portrait, Artist: Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)
Date: 1660, Medium: Oil on canvas, Dimensions: 31 5/8 x 26 1/2 in. (80.3 x 67.3 cm)
Classification: Paintings, Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number: 14.40.618
The youth of today
Doesn’t pay attention
As did not-todays youth

Their day watch
A mess
They’re worth painting though
Title: The Wood Sawyer, Artist: Charles E. Weir (American, 1823–1845)
Date: 1842, Culture: American
Medium: Oil on board, Dimensions: 22 1/4 × 18 1/4 in. (56.5 × 46.4 cm)
Framed: 29 7/8 × 25 5/8 in. (75.9 × 65.1 cm)
Credit Line: Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 2018, Accession Number: 2018.6
Today brought many free people
Just like me

Dressed up for leisure
As I will be
Next Sunday

In enjoyed your laughter
Thanks for dropping by!
Title: Pes-Ke-Le-Cha-Co, Artist: Henry Inman (American, Utica, New York 1801–1846 New York)
Date: 1832–33, Culture: American
Medium: Oil on canvas, Dimensions: 30 × 25 in. (76.2 × 63.5 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Gerald and Kathleen Peters, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2018
Accession Number: 2018.501.2
Gratitude, Crystal Echo Hawk 
Skee-Haru-Ha-Tawa, Kitkehaki Band, Pawnee
For mentioning the dignity and strength 
of the Pawnee people 
For honouring the strenght of our Pawnee leaders
And for protecting our people today
Respect for family, 
Responsibility for the land
Our obligation to do right by the next generation 
We share strength, innovation, beauty, and resiliency
I see you
A fearless warrior

Title: Mäda Primavesi (1903–2000), Artist: Gustav Klimt (Austrian, Baumgarten 1862–1918 Vienna)
Date: 1912–13, Medium: Oil on canvas, Dimensions: 59 x 43 1/2 in. (149.9 x 110.5 cm)
Classification: Paintings, Credit Line: Gift of André and Clara Mertens, in memory of her mother, Jenny Pulitzer Steiner, 1964, Accession Number: 64.148
Truth or dare?
The dress is mine
Though I’d rather wear pants
Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florence ca. 1406–1469 Spoleto) Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, ca. 1440 Tempera on wood; 25 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (64.1 x 41.9 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/436896
To all the lovers
who kissed
in front of us

May your love
last as long
as ours
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris) Comtesse de la Châtre (Marie Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps, 1762–1848), Later Marquise de Jaucourt, 1789 Oil on canvas; 45 x 34 1/2 in. (114.3 x 87.6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Jessie Woolworth Donahue, 1954 (54.182) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/437900
They didn’t look
like royalists to me
Hopefully tomorrow
the crowd will be better

Today’s prompt blew me away. First because of the incredible Spoon River Anthology we were introduced to. How I wish I’d written that! Please do click on the link, it leads you to this brilliant book, free to read online. It’s from 1915, but I don’t think it will ever wear.

Being some much in awe, I tried to figure out what I love so much about this book that consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois. What makes it so exciting? There’s a strange reversal going on. The town is made up, but it reveals the true lives of people instead of their masks. The fictive persons are dead, but the poem brings them alive. The concrete little snippets tell a big story about us, the people…

And then I had to write something myself. The prompt suggested to “write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.” But I wasn’t willing to compete with Edgar Lee Masters. So I tried to come up with something different. A reversal that would make sense in a way. Or reveal something, or bring something alive…

That’s how I ended up with this guest book, where the paintings write the messages instead of the visitors. It was SO much work. To choose which paintings to use, from The Met open access collection. To download and annotate. To put them on here… and do the writing too.
I would have loved to create a lay-out that was an actual guest book. Alas, I’m tired, I want to share this with you, and I want to read your pieces. So I call it a day, and hope you enjoy!

One last thing. I’d like to point out that The Met has a page called:

Native Perspectives

Contemporary Native artists and historians have been invited to respond to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Euro-American works in the American Wing’s collection. They present alternative narratives and broaden our understanding of American art and history. It’s well worth a look. You’ll notice that my ‘guest book entry’ for Pes-Ke-Le-Cha-Co draws from the words provided by Crystal Echo Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation, and advocate for the rights of Native peoples.

Gustave Flaubert sees his lover

Gustave Flaubert sieht seine Geliebte

A figure in rotation

Nude with upraised arm

Her second arabesque

The make-up that’s barely there

Multiple exposures of the moon

Double virginal

Our prompt today at napowrimo.net write a poem inspired by one of the odd, in-transition spaces provided by “the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot“. I stuck with the collection of The Met instead, and searched for terms like liminal and transition. I found many lovely pieces of work with great titles. The titles themselves were poetic enough for a poem 🙂 I’ve copied the works that are open access in this post, and provide clickable links to the other ones beneath the pictures. The art piece that provided the first line of this poem is especially liminal.

Oh, and my book is still free today and tomorrow!

Title: Second Arabesque
Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)

Founder: Cast by A.-A. Hébrard et Cie (Paris)

Date: modeled probably before 1890, cast 1920
Culture: French, Paris
Medium: Bronze
Dimensions: Overall: 11 3/8 × 17 1/8 × 3 7/8 in. (28.9 × 43.5 × 9.8 cm)
Classification: Sculpture-Bronze
Credit Line: H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number: 29.100.399
Title: [Multiple Exposures of the Moon]
Artist: Antoine-François-Jean Claudet (French, Lyon 1797–1867London)

Photography Studio: John Jabez Edwin Mayall (British, Oldham, Lancashire 1813–1901 West Sussex)

Date: 1846–52
Medium: Daguerreotype
Dimensions: Plate: 2 1/2 × 2 in. (6.4 × 5.1 cm)
Case (approx.): 5.5 × 2.5 cm (2 3/16 × 1 in.)
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2019
Accession Number: 2019.47
Title: Double Virginal
Maker: Lodewijck Grouwels (Flemish, active Middelburg, Zeeland, The Netherlands 1593–1600)

Date: 1600
Geography: Middelburg, Zeeland, The Netherlands
Culture: Flemish
Medium: Pine, spruce, paint, gilding, ivory
Dimensions: W. 75 × D. 20 in. (190.5 × 50.8 cm)
Classification: Chordophone-Zither-plucked-virginal
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number: 89.4.1196

Gustave Flaubert sieht seine Geliebte

A figure in rotation

Nude with upraised arm

Her second arabesque

The make-up that’s barely there

Multiple exposures of the moon

Double virginal


Pixels, organised in rows and columns
Charcoal, pushed by dark and light
Acrylics, messily patterned by colour

I still don’t know what she thinks

Today’s prompt on napowrimo.net: “I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view.”

I looked around my room for inspiration, and noticed a drawing I worked on yesterday. It is based on a picture, and I’ve also painted her. Writing this poem made me realise what’s missing.

Juna Lady Charcoal

Juna Lady picture

Wounded angel

The angel was blindfolded, but she knew her fate

“Why do we bury her alive?”
the boy asked
“What did she do?”

The angel was grateful to be carried

“Why us?”
the boy moped
“I wanted Beelzebub,
not a stupid girl.”

“She wounded him pretty badly”
his companion said
“I lost money on that bet!”

I know I wanted to write a poem when I saw this painting. What I don’t know is how I came across the painting. Was it a prompt somewhere? Was it on the app on my phone called Daily art (highly recommend if you’re into art, they come up with both well knows and unknown masterpieces)?

There’s more I don’t know. Did I read A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven (called A Time for Everything in the US) by the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård before I wrote this? That book is so strange that you can’t look at an angel the same way after reading it.

The painting holds a sense of mystery, so I guess it fits that my memory is blurred. I’m posting this poem for #NaPoWriMo say 28 in the hope that as many people as possible get to see the beautiful painting by Hugo Simberg: The wounded angel (1903)

Outside in

Outside the clear glass bowls
are listening into space
collecting rain water

Inside a colourful noise invites me
to go inside, dig deeper
and find what’s within me

The visions compete
though their frames warn them
to mind their own business

Visitors avoid digging
by taking the audio tour

Goosebumps in the shade
The wind chills my thoughts

The glare of the glass bowls blinds me


I was happily surprised to find myself the featured participant on napowrimo.net today (day 17). It’s an honour, and it brought new readers to my site, so I was thrilled!

Thank you all for visiting here, reading and for leaving your likes and kind words. This has been a happy day!


I was away for much of the day (the sauna, yay!) and haven’t had the chance to work on today’s promt: to use a special dictionary as a starting point. Hopefully tomorrow. Look at how beautiful thsi prompt can work out: https://benitakape.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/back-when-i-napowrimo-2016-day-17/

Today’s poem is one I found in my note book. In my own handwriting, but I couldn’t remember writing it. But the glass bowls got me thinking, and after a while I remembered a visit to the Singer Museum in Laren. This picture shows how this poem started. Sitting in the beautiful museum garden, looking at my beautiful surroundings.

The picture shows the art work Drie Balansen by Bert Frijns. The beautiful picture of it was taken by a blogger called Maria-levenin Almere.

There’s no art in that

napowrimo1I guess it’s too late to be a farmer
now that my hands are tied
to the hind legs
of a raging bull

He’s constrained now
but he won’t be
in a minute
when the gates open
after they’ve prodded his balls
with a pitchfork

Well, do I need to explain that?

The peasants did not take my art too well
They mind pictures of naked women raping bulls
in their butt hole
more than they mind real life violence

There’s no art in that

I guess it’s too late to be a farmer


On day 12 I wrote a palinode for this poem:  a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem. It’s called There’s art in that.

More images on this subject can be found on http://www.fscclub.com/muse/sculpture-rape-europa-e.shtml

She craved vision

Her eyes were thirsty
for paintings
she knew she’d die
if she didn’t find some soon

Where in this desert
were paintings to be found?
She looked around and saw
nothing but mirrors

Here eyes ran dry
the headaches began
it became harder to swallow

If only
the hallucinations
would come soon

She’d be saved

Until she opened her eyes
and the thirst

(This came 5 seconds after He craved poetry)