Posts Tagged ‘Jean Gabin’

Blackpaint 669 – From the Lockdown

April 15, 2020

Some pictures that I really like

Very lame heading, I know, but no exhibitions accessible during the lockdown, so I’m forced to improvise and go back to the archives.

 

Red Nude, Karel Appel (Ghent)

He can smash those colours together and they never turn into mud.  the black ground too…

 

Sleeping Child, Will Barnet (Washington)

I’d never heard of this US artist, despite the fact that he lived to over 100 (died 2012) and ran a famous print studio in the States.  Very stylised, Japanese-y…

 

The Entombment, Caravaggio (Vatican)

Nothing needs to be said about this – so I’ll say nothing.

 

Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling, Holbein (London)

Is there another portraitist who comes anywhere near Holbein?  Might get a blog out of that in the future…

 

Orange and Black Wall, Franz Kline (Madrid)

The colours here I think  detract from the trademark starkness of Kline’s monochrome pictures – but they add something too; variety obviously!

 

The Rape of Europa. Titian (Boston)

There was a TV prog last week on the series of paintings which Titian did for Philip II of Spain.  The paintings are, or were, on exhibition at the National Gallery – but the lockdown has closed the NG.  Some of the TV prog was taken up with discussion about objectification and sexualisation of women by male artists and purchasers.  Mary Beard opined at the end that the pictures should be shown because they tell us a lot about sexual violence against women.

I seem to recall reading or hearing on TV somewhere that the word rape, as in the example above and in the various kidnappings of the Sabine women, meant abduction, rather than the assault itself.  That’s clearly the case with Titian’s painting – yet Beard asserted several times (I think) that we were seeing a rape in progress.  It’s confusing for us old, white men.

 

Comtesse d’Haussonville, Ingres (New York)

Stunning portrait, but like the paintings in the Tate Britain’s “British Baroque” exhibition, the real focus of interest is the dress.

 

Cemetery in Corsica 1948, John Minton

A re-showing last week of Mark Gatiss’ great documentary on the painter, teacher and illustrator John Minton.  I have to say that I loved the Cornish pictures, reminiscent as they were of Sutherland and Piper, but found the bright colours of his Thameside paintings rather jarring.  I really like this Corsican one with the green sky, though.

 

I haven’t mentioned any films of late; in recent weeks, however, the virus has led me to do little else but watch DVDs.  Here are a few-

 

Caravaggio, Derek Jarman (1987)

Tilda Swinton as Lena, an angel with a dirty face.  I don’t know if Jarman’s film has any connection to historical reality, but it’s certainly visually brilliant, especially the colours and the bodies on show – all swathed in Caravaggian blacknesses as above.  Sean Bean and Dexter Fletcher sneer, grin threateningly, brandish knives, pop their pecs and sweat glossily and Nigel Terry, as the adult Caravaggio, has the necessary authority – and looks just like the painter.  There is also the impish Dawn Archibald, who does amazing things with her body – to loosen up after modelling.  I was saddened to discover that she died in her 50s in 2016, having been a peace activist for some time in the Edinburgh Women in Black group. RIP.

Dawn Archibald in Caravaggio

 

Le Jour se Leve, Marcel Carne (1939)

Jean Gabin and Arletty in a Parisian bar, prior to the killing of the dog trainer (don’t ask) and the ensuing siege in the top apartment.  Gabin’s character, despite the gangster cap and hard man expression, works as a paint sprayer and rides a drop handle bike…

 

Hotel du Nord, Marcel Carne (1938)

Arletty again, this time with pimp Louis Jouvet and a couple of police heavies.  Arletty, also a star of Carne’s Les Enfants du Paradis, was imprisoned for collaboration after WW11; she “had an affair” (seems a quaint phrase to me now) with a German officer who later became a diplomat in Africa – and was eaten by a crocodile.  Which has nothing to do with the merits of the film; like the other two Carne fims mentioned, it’s still sort of hypnotic and archetypal in settings, characters and story.

To end, two recent paintings of mine:

Drop in the Ocean

Sonia’s Twisting Pose

Blackpaint

15th April 2020