And On the Dachshunds Go

Fashion illustrations by René Gruau

 

“The deer and the dachshund are one”

Wallace Stevens

Loneliness in New Jersey

 

DACHSHUNDS

“The Dachshund leads a quiet life
Not far above the ground;

He takes an elongated wife,
They travel all around.

 

Lady Rendlesham With Her Daughter, Antonia, by The Serpentine, Walking Tess D’Erlanger’s Dachshund. Photo by Norman Parkinson. Vogue, May 1959

 

They leave the lighted metropole;
Nor turn to look behind
Upon the headlands of the soul,
The tundras of the mind.

They climb together through the dusk
To ask the Lost-and-Found
For information on the stars
Not far above the ground.

 

Photograph by Robert Doisneau

 

The Dachshunds seem to journey on:
And following them, I
Take up my monocle, the Moon,
And gaze into the sky.

Pursuing them with comic art
Beyond the cosmic goal,
I see the whole within the part,
The part within the whole;

 

Coiffure for Harper’s Bazaar. Photo by Lillian Bassman, c. 1954

 

See planets wheeling overhead,
Mysterious and slow,
While morning buckles on his red,
And on the Dachshunds go.”

William Jay Smith

We Are an Observer

Basquiat smooches his last girlfriend, Kelle Inman, in 1987 in his studio. Inman and Basquiat met when she was working as a waitress at Nell’s; two days later, she was living with him.

 
 

COSMOPOLITAN GREETINGS

(Fragment)

“…Advise only yourself.

Don’t drink yourself to death.

Two molecules clanking against each other requires an observer to become
scientific data.

The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal
world after Einstein.

The universe is subjective.
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is person.

Inside skull vast as outside skull.
Mind is outer space.
“Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound.”
First thought, best thought.

Mind is shapely, Art is shapely…”

Allen Ginsberg

The Desire to Reach for The Stars

A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem),  Joan Miró, 1938

 
 

Joan Miró’s ‘painting-poems’ combine painted and written elements. This work was built around the first line of an erotic poem, balancing words and signs. The two touching triangles represent a woman in Miró’s language of signs, and the bulbous outline with hairs relates to his usual sign for the female sex. The star appears only as a word, although the ladder alludes to the desire to reach for the stars. This exemplifies Miró’s ability to combine simple imagery with ancient symbolism and make contact with deeply held instincts.

Earth Dreams

 
 

In the night, a billion dreams
Float upwards and outwards
From earth like soap bubbles.
Each with an illusion inside.
And they sail silently
Like whispers into space.
Some reach Andromeda
And more distant galaxies.
Where they burst,
Showering the stars there
With earth dreams.

Duane Michals

A Memorable Scene Over Breakfast

Still from Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

 
 

Iris (Jodie Foster) is here seen with the Graal of orange juice (previously discussed). Butterflies are symbolic of the soul, both being the Greek word psyche–and not “mind control,” as conspiracy theorists would have it. Sugar, spice, and everything nice are at the capstone of the Food Pyramid.

Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) succinctly labels Iris’ state in analogous terms, “You can’t live like this. It’s hell.” … The infernal nature of Iris’ situation becomes still more evident in a five-scene sequence documenting her world. First, Sport (Harvey Keitel) describes to Travis all of the perverse sexual acts a customer can perform with Iris…. After a scene between Travis and Iris in a coffee shop, we return to Iris’ room. Sport has metamorphosed into the demon who seduces pubescent girls for his sexual gratification and for financial gain. Lest we doubt the hellish subtext, Martin Scorsese shoots the scene with a conspicuous red lighting, as Sport entrances this child with his embrace and swaying dance.

The hero figuratively descends into an infernal realm in order to save a wayward feminine character (who is not even aware of the diabolic threat facing her), and the hero exposes evil and attempts to rescue the woman. The harrowing of hell, salvation offered to a prostitute, and a vengeful wrath directed against immorality suggest a hagiographic tone … Scorsese explicitly labels him “a would-be saint, a Saint Paul” … (Andrew J Swensen, The anguish of God’s Lonely Men).

In this brilliant, memorable scene over breakfast, Travis takes Iris to a coffee shop where she has toast with jelly and sugar on top. [This conversational scene parallels his coffee shop “date” with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) , but this time it follows an ‘aborted’ sexual encounter.] He becomes obsessed with saving the fresh-faced girl from her circumstances and restoring her to her family and school:

Iris: Why do you want me to go back to my parents? I mean they hate me. Why do you think I split in the first place? There ain’t nothin’ there.
Travis: Yeah, but you can’t live like this. It’s hell. Girls should live at home.
Iris: (playfully) Didn’t you ever hear of women’s lib?
Travis: What do you mean ‘women’s lib’? You sure are a young girl. You should be at home now. You should be dressed up. You should be goin’ out with boys. You should be goin’ to school. You know, that kind of stuff.
Iris: Oh god, are you square.
Travis: Hey I’m not square. You’re the one that’s square. You’re full of s–t, man. What are you talkin’ about? You walk out with those f–kin’ creeps and lowlifes and degenerates out on the street and you sell your, sell your little p—y for nothin’ man. For some lowlife pimp – stands in a hall. I’m, I’m square? You’re the one that’s square, man. I don’t go screw and f–k with a bunch of killers and junkies the way you do. You call that bein’ hip? What world are you from?
Iris: Who’s a ‘killer’?
Travis: That guy Sport’s a killer. That’s who’s a killer.
Iris: Sport never killed nobody.
Travis: He killed someone.
Iris: He’s a Libra.
Travis: He’s a what?
Iris: I’m a Libra too. That’s why we get along so well.
Travis: Looks like a killer to me.
Iris: I think that, that Cancers make the best lovers, but god, my whole family are air signs.
Travis: He’s also a dope shooter.

Giving Birth to a New Race

“The nexus of Born This Way and the soul of the record reside in this idea that you were not necessarily born in one moment. You have your entire life to birth yourself into becoming the ultimate potential vision that you see for you. Who you are when you come out of your mother’s womb is not necessarily who you will become. Born This Way says your birth is not finite, your birth is infinite.”

Lady Gaga
(talking about the meaning of Born This Way)

 
 

 
 

The first song written and recorded for the album was the title track itself which she wrote in Liverpool and Manchester, England, described by Lady Gaga as a “magical message” song. She wrote it in ten minutes and compared the process to an Immaculate Conception.

“I want to write my this-is-who-the-fuck-I-am anthem, but I don’t want it to be hidden in poetic wizardry and metaphors. I want it to be an attack, an assault on the issue because I think, especially in today’s music, everything gets kind of washy sometimes and the message gets hidden in the lyrical play. Hankering back to the early ’90s, when Madonna, En Vogue, Whitney Houston and TLC were making very empowering music for women and the gay community and all kind of disenfranchised communities, the lyrics and the melodies were very poignant and very gospel and very spiritual and I said, ‘That’s the kind of record I need to make. That’s the record that’s going to shake up the industry.’ It’s not about the track. It’s not about the production. It’s about the song. Anyone could sing Born This Way. It could’ve been anyone.”

Nick Knight directed the accompanying music video, which was inspired by painters like Salvador Dalí and Francis Bacon and their surrealistic images. Gaga is depicted as giving birth to a new race during a prologue. A series of dance sequences later, the video concludes with the view of a city populated by this race. Critics noted cultural references to the work of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Björk, late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, as well as to Greek mythology, magical realism and surrealism.

Laurieann Gibson explained the inspiration behind the video to MTV News:
“When she played it for me, it took me a while to find out the visual interpretation that I could give back to her. And so I woke up one night and I got it, and I said, ‘I got it: We have to birth a new race.’ From the gate, Gaga was like, ‘I want Nick Knight for this video. I want a visual.’ She was always birthing something visual in her head, and Nick Knight is just, well, he’s prolific but he’s so genius. It was about pushing the bar of what a music video should be and can be. […] It’s a different time; it’s a different era; there are no limits. It is a viral message. I think that there’s something in there for everyone, and that’s what’s so amazing about the video and so specific about the message.”

Released on Monday, February 28, 2011, the video begins with a brief shot of a unicorn’s silhouette in a steam-filled alley, inside a pink triangle frame. The triangle transitions to a shot of Gaga, with two opposite facing heads, inspired by Janus, the Roman god of transition and beginnings, sitting in an ornate glass throne amidst a star-filled space. As Bernard Herrmann‘s prelude to the movie Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) plays, Gaga tells the story of the creation of an extraterrestrial race that “bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom.” Gaga sits in the throne, giving birth to a “new race within the race of humanity.” She explains that this was followed by the birth of evil, due to which Gaga splits into two opposing forces of good and evil. Her new half gives birth to a machine gun and fires it. The prologue concludes with Gaga questioning, “How can I protect something so perfect, without evil?”

 
 

 
 

The video featured full-bodied tattooed model Rick Genest (Rico), better known by his stage name Zombie Boy. Gaga painted her face in a similar way to Genest, in one of the main series of sequences. She said that the sequences displayed the fact that she would not allow society or critics to dictate her sense of beauty. “I tell you what I think is beauty, and hence the scene was of me and Rico defining ourselves in artistic way and not relying on society to dictate it,” she added. The costumes for the video were designed by Nicola Formichetti, who blogged about the various designer pieces shown in it. In the opening sequence of the video, Gaga wore a head accessory by Alexis Bittar, a diamond neckpiece by Erickson Beamon with earrings by Pamela Love, and a stained-glass dress by Petra Storrs. Finger rings were provided by Erickson Beamon and chiffon clothes by Thierry Mugler. For the skeletons sequences, both she and Rico wore tuxedos by Mugler while the slime during the orgy scenes were courtesy of Bart Hess. For her Michael Jackson impression in the alley at the video’s end, Gaga wore shirt and pants by Haus of Gaga, shoes by Natacha Marro, a Billykirk belt and LaCrasia gloves.

Tribute to Van Gogh on the Catwalk

Yves Saint Laurent, Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, haute couture collection, Spring-Summer 1988

 
 

Detail of a jacket embroidered by François Lesage

 
 

Saint Laurent and Mr. Lesage recreated the irises and sunflowers of  Van Gogh’s paintings

 
 

Widely known for his use of watercolor, Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous artwork has been transformed into garments and adapted into fashion trends. Van Gogh’s paintings are not always clear and may even appear distorted in order to drag the 19th century art into current times. Although his work may not be directly printed on garments, designers tend to use his color palette in product design and production. Four of his famous creations included the Sunflowers still life series,Blossoming Almond Tree, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and Starry Night.

the sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy from Rodarte, sent out a collection that was one part Sleeping Beauty and another part Vincent Van Gogh. They explained that they fell for the greens and purples of the 1959 animated Disney classic, and asked themselves who else uses colors like that. They found their answer in the Dutch postimpressionist painter beloved by millions.

Those sunflowers appear woven into elaborate Lyons brocades of the type favored by the great mid-century couturiers such as Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, although the Mulleavys seem to have washed and treated them to deflate some of that sumptuousness. Those optimistic, life-affirming blooms also appear in delicate silk-floss embroideries, scattered over fragile tulle ruffles.

There is more mid- and late-century couture influence in some of the gala shapes: swathed fichu necklines and bodices erupting into buoyant skirts, for instance, and even a Reine Margot bodice or two that seems plucked from the Christian Lacroix archive. But the fertile and poetic Mulleavy imagination grafts these touches onto modernistic effects. Mediterranean skies are lit by a full moon, and a brilliant Milky Way is evoked in gleaming metallic brocades, crystals nestling in the folds of knits, and clunky heeled sandals in reflective-mirror silver. Meanwhile, ruched glove leather, and exaggerated layered peplums and winged sleeves suggest the princess in an Alex Raymond‘s Flash Gordon story.

 
 

Rodarte, Spring-Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

 
 

Textures from Rodarte SS 2012 collection

The Concept of Travel in an Emotional Sense

“The Journey of a star, captured in a flash”. Annie Leibovitz and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Annie’s studio, New York

 
 

“Is there any greater journey than love?” Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. New York

 
 

“There are journeys that turn into legends”. Sean Connery, Bahamas Islands

 
 

“Every journey began in Africa”- Ali and Bono. Uganda

 
 

“A journey bring us face to face with ourselves”. Mikhail Gorbachev, Berlin, Germany

 
 

“Some stars show you the way”. Muhammad Ali and a rising star. Phoenix, Arizona

 
 

“Three exceptional journeys. One historic game”. Pelé, Diego Armando Maradona and Zinadine Zidane. Madrid, Spain

 
 

“Some journeys change mankind forever”. Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lowell. California

 
 

“A single journey can change the course of a life”. Angelina Jolie. Cambodia

 
 

“Inside every story, there is a beautiful journey”. Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola. Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
 

Louis Vuitton Core Values campaigns revisit the brand’s heritage with a completely fresh interpretation of the concept of travel in an emotional sense, viewed as a personal journey, a process of self-discovery. The campaign debuted in September 2007 in major international titles featuring no other but the former Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev, the French movie siren Catherine Deneuve, the founding member of The Rolling Stones Keith Richards and the tennis power couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, among many other influential and famous people.

Pietro Beccari, Senior VP of Communication explains this shot: “Not only does it capture the unique quality of a father-daughter relationship, in which both are enriched by a shared experience, but it also evokes the heritage of Louis Vuitton with its suggestion of know-how being passed from one generation to the next.”

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s first steps on the Moon, the ad features legendary astronauts Sally Ride (first American woman in space), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11, first steps on the Moon, 1969) and Jim Lovell (Apollo 13) looking up in the Californian desert night sky.

In 2010 Brazil’s Pelé, Argentina’s Diego Maradona and France’s Zinedine Zidane all won football’s ultimate prize, and all wore the emblematic N°10 shirt. They met up in the Café Maravillas, a typical bar in Madrid, and were tempted into a game of table football. The image leaves the suspense intact, but clearly captures the atmosphere of fun and friendly rivalry.

Given the photographer of all Core Value campaigns personal and financial troubles in 2010, Louis Vuitton wished to offer support in the most positive way and suggested that Annie Leibovitz become the next campaign’s hero. She accepted on the condition that she appears alongside for friend and one of the foremost dancers of the 20th century, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

This is the first time U2 frontman Bono has appeared in an ad sans his bandmates, but instead with his wife Ali Hewson. It’s also the first time that a label other than Louis Vuitton is getting a fashion credit – the pair are wearing their own clothing line Edun, a line of ethical fashion. Proceeds from the sales will go to TechnoServe, which supports sustainable farming in Africa.

As the pioneer of the art du voyage, Louis Vuitton is always on the look out for the exceptional people with extraordinary journeys. The question is who will be next?

A Novelty Cover

Their Satanic Majesties Request is the sixth British and eighth American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released on 8 December 1967 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States by London Records. Its title is a play on the “Her Britannic Majesty requests and requires…” text that appears inside a British passport. Their Satanic Majesties Request was the Stones’ only self-produced album, which Mick Jagger admitted was not for the best.

There’s a lot of rubbish on Satanic Majesties. Just too much time on our hands, too many drugs, no producer to tell us, “Enough already, thank you very much, now can we get just get on with this song?” Anyone let loose in the studio will produce stuff like that. There was simply too much hanging around. It’s like believing everything you do is great and not having any editing.

The working title of the album was Cosmic Christmas. In the hidden coda titled “Cosmic Christmas” (following “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)”), Wyman tells “it’s slowed-down: ‘We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!'” Some of the album’s songs were also recorded under various working titles, some appearing rather non sequitur and radically different from the final titles. These working titles include: Acid in the Grass (In Another Land), I Want People to Know (2000 Man), Flowers in Your Bonnet (She’s a Rainbow), Fly My Kite (The Lantern), Toffee Apple (2000 Light Years from Home), and Surprise Me (On with the Show).

 
 

 
 

One proposed cover-a photograph of Mick Jagger naked on a cross-was scrapped by the record company for being “in bad taste”. Initial releases of the album featured a three-dimensional picture of the band on the cover by photographer Michael Cooper. When viewed in a certain way, the lenticular image shows the band members’ faces turning towards each other with the exception of Jagger, whose hands appear crossed in front of him.

 

 
 

Looking closely on its cover, one can see the faces of each of the four Beatles, reportedly a response to the Beatles’ inclusion of a doll wearing a “Welcome the Rolling Stones” sweater on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. Later editions replaced the glued-on three-dimensional image with a photograph, due to high production costs. A limited edition LP version in the 1980s reprinted the original 3D cover design; immediately following the reissue, the master materials for reprinting the 3D cover were intentionally destroyed. The 3D album cover was featured, although shrunk down, for the Japanese SHM-CD release in 2010.

The original cover design called for the lenticular image to take up the entire front cover, but finding this to be prohibitively expensive it was decided to reduce the size of the photo and surround it with the blue-and-white graphic design.

 
 

 
 

The entire cover design is elaborate, with a dense photo collage filling most of the inside cover (along with a maze) designed by Michael Cooper, and a painting by Tony Meevilwiffen on the back cover depicting the four elements (Earth, Water, Fire, and Air). In some editions the blue-and-white wisps on the front cover are used in a red-and-white version on the paper inner sleeve. The inner-cover collage has dozens of images, taken from reproductions of old master paintings (Ingres, Poussin, DaVinci, among others), Indian mandalas and portraits, astronomy (including a large image of the planet Saturn), flowers, world maps, etc.

It was the first of four Stones albums to feature a novelty cover (the others were the zipper on Sticky Fingers, the cut-out faces on Some Girls, and the stickers on Undercover). The maze on the inside cover of the UK and US releases cannot be completed: a wall at about a half radius in from the lower left corner means one can never arrive at the “It’s Here” in the centre of the maze.

Woodland Creatures

Supermodel Kate Moss was into vintage David Bowie as she wore one of his Ziggy Stardust outfits to collect a prize on his behalf at the Brit Awards 2014

 
 

The catwalk star was on hand for the ceremony because David Bowie, 67, chose to stay at home in New York rather than attend the event to pick up his best British male award – his first Brit for 18 years.

Moss arrived secretly, avoiding the red carpet, to surprise guests at the event. And when she arrived on stage, the 40-year-old model was wearing an outfit which Bowie himself made famous at one of the most celebrated stages of his career.

He originally donned the leotard-style garment while appearing at London’s Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park on August 19, 1972.

 
 

The costume, called Woodland Creatures but popularly known as his ‘rabbit costume’ was designed by Kansai Yamamoto

 
 

Noel Gallagher announced Bowie – who made a comeback after a ten-year absence – had taken the prize

 
 

The ex-Oasis star said: ‘You maniacs didn’t think David Bowie was actually going to be here? David Bowie’s too cool for that – he doesn’t do this s***.

‘David Bowie has sent his representative on earth. The one and only Kate Moss is going to receive this award on his behalf.’

Moss said: ‘Good evening ladies and gentleman, David has asked me to say this.

‘In Japanese myth the rabbits from my old costume that Kate’s wearing live on the moon.

‘Kate comes from Venus and I from Mars, so that’s nice. I’m completely delighted to have a Brit for being the best male, but I am, aren’t I Kate? I think it’s a great way to end the day.

‘Thank you very, very much and Scotland – stay with us’.

Bowie previously won the prize 30 years ago, after his comeback last year with album The Next Day, following an absence of 10 years.

The only other win he has notched up during his long career was an honorary title in 1996 for his outstanding contribution to music.

The 67-year-old music legend is now the oldest recipient of a Brit Award, taking over from Sir Tom Jones, who was given an honorary prize for his outstanding contribution to music in 2003 when he was 62.

Moss and Bowie have had an association for a number of years, with the model interviewing Bowie for Q magazine more than a decade ago, also posing for a cover shoot together.

Bowie returned to the music world early last year surprising his fans by coming out of what had appeared to be retirement, releasing his album The Next Day after a ten-year recording silence.

Ruled by Venus

Bob Dylan and his son Jakob. Photo: Eliott Landy, 1968

 
 

Born under opposite signs, the two Dylans have astrological connections that are respectful but distant. Father Bob is a Gemini (with the three planets in the brilliant and quick-witted sign), while son Jakob is a Sag (with four planets in this restless sign of the student and teacher). Jakob’s Venus in Sagittarius is in the same sign as his father’s rising sign. The rising sign (also known as Ascendant) is all about a person’s image in the world. The Venus-rising sign connection is warm, but the underlying message from the father is “You are a romantic reflection of me and my artistic talent” (Venus rules romance and art).

Star-Crossed Lovers

Poster designs by BLT Communications, LLC. BLT is an independently owned advertising agency founded in 1992.

 
 

For the Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) movie poster, the film’s producer James Schamus wanted to emulate the one-sheet for the biggest film of all time, the Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) movie poster. For that reason they similarly used the theme of star-crossed lovers.

When it came time to design the poster for the film, Schamus didn’t research posters of famous Westerns for ideas. He looked at the posters of the 50 most romantic movies ever made. “If you look at our poster,” he said, “you can see traces of our inspiration, ‘Titanic’.”

By Following a Star

The Adoration of the Magi (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: A Magis adoratur) is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him.

It is related in the Bible by Matthew 2:11: “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path”.

 
 

Adoration of the Magi. Panel from a Roman sarcophagus, 4th century CE. From the cemetary of St. Agnes in Rome.

 
 

In the earliest depictions, the Magi are shown wearing Persian dress of trousers and Phrygian caps, usually in profile, advancing in step with their gifts held out before them. These images adapt Late Antique poses for barbarians submitting to an Emperor, and presenting golden wreaths, and indeed relate to images of tribute-bearers from various Mediterranean and ancient Near Eastern cultures going back many centuries. The earliest are from catacomb paintings and sarcophagus reliefs of the 4th century. Crowns are first seen in the 10th century, mostly in the West, where their dress had by that time lost any Oriental flavor in most cases.

Occasionally from the 12th century, and very often in Northern Europe from the 15th, the Magi are also made to represent the three known parts of the world: Balthasar is very commonly cast as a young African or Moor, and old Caspar is given Oriental features or, more often, dress. Melchior represents Europe and middle age. From the 14th century onwards, large retinues are often shown, the gifts are contained in spectacular pieces of goldsmith work, and the Magi’s clothes are given increasing attention. By the 15th century, the Adoration of the Magi is often a bravura piece in which the artist can display their handling of complex, crowded scenes involving horses and camels, but also their rendering of varied textures: the silk, fur, jewels and gold of the Kings set against the wood of the stable, the straw of Jesus’s manger and the rough clothing of Joseph and the shepherds.

 
 

The Adoration of the Magi (Arena Chapel), Giotto di Bondone, 1304-1306

 
 

Also by Giotto, 1320

 
 

The Adoration of the Magi, by Fran Angelico, 1433-35

 
 

By Sandro Botticelli, 1475

 
 

Studio per l’adorazione dei magi (Design for The Adoration of the Magi), Leonardo da Vinci, between 1478 and 1481

 
 

Perspectival study of The Adoration of the Magi, circa 1481

 
 

L’adorazione dei magi (The Adoration of the Magi), Leonardo da Vinci, 1481

 
 

Owing to the painting’s unfinished status in 1481, the commission was handed over to Filippino Lippi, who painted another Adoration of the Magi, completed in 1496, in substitution of the one commissioned to Leonardo da Vinci . It is housed in the Uffizi of Florence. Domenico Ghirlandaio, completed a separate painting, expanding upon Leonardo’s theme, in 1488.

 
 

 Adorazione dei magi, (The Adoration of the Magi), Filippino Lippi, 1496

 
 

Much of the composition of this Da Vinci’s painting was influenced by an earlier work of the Northern artist Rogier van der Weyden. The relationship between figures, space and the viewer’s standpoint, the high horizon, slightly raised viewpoint, space receding into the far distance, and a central figural group poised before a rock formation in the middle of the landscape are all copied from van der Weyden’s Entombment of Christ (1460, Uffizi Gallery, Italy).

 
 

Saint Columba Altarpiece (central panel), Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1464–65

 
 

Diego Velázquez, 1619

 
 

Rembrandt, 1634

 
 

Versions by Peter Paul Rubens, from 1617 to 1634

On a Starry Night

“Someday death will take us to another star”
Vincent Van Gogh

 
 

The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

 
 

De sterrennacht (Starry Night) is a painting by the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889, it depicts the view outside of his sanitarium room window at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (located in southern France) at night, although it was painted from memory during the day.

 
 

The drawing Cypresses in Starry Night, a reed pen study executed by Van Gogh after the painting in 1889.

 
 

In a letter written to Émile Bernard in April 1888, Van Gogh expressed his desire to paint the night sky, and questioned whether he could achieve his intention by painting from nature as the Impressionists did:

“The imagination is certainly a faculty which we must develop and it alone can bring us to creation of a more exalting and consoling nature … A star-spangled sky, for instance, that’s a thing I would like to try to do … But how can I manage unless I make up my mind to work … from imagination?”

In September 1888, before his December breakdown that resulted in his hospitalization in Arles, he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone. Working by night under a gas lamp, Van Gogh painted this work (seen at left) directly from nature. Van Gogh wrote about this painting:

“… it does me good to do what’s difficult. That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word – for religion – so I go outside at night to paint the stars.’

 
 

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888

 
 

In May 1889, Van Gogh decided to enter the asylum at Saint-Rémy, where he stayed for the next year. His time there was very productive, although interrupted by incapacitating nervous attacksInspired by the landscape surrounding the asylum, he painted Starry Night in June 1889. Unlike the earlier Starry Night Over the Rhone, the new night scene was painted in daylight, from memory. In mid-September 1889, following a heavy crisis which lasted from mid-July to the last days of August, he thought to include Starry Night in the next batch of works to be sent to his brother, Theo, in Paris. In order to reduce the shipping costs, he withheld three of the studies, including Starry Night. These three went to Paris with the shipment that followed. When Theo did not immediately report its arrival, Vincent inquired again and finally received Theo’s commentary on his recent work.

The center part shows the village of Saint-Rémy under a swirling sky, in a view from the asylum towards north. The Alpilles far to the right fit to this view, but there is little rapport of the actual scene with the intermediary hills which seem to be derived from a different part of the surroundings, south of the asylum. The cypress tree to the left was added into the composition. Of note is the fact Van Gogh had already, during his time in Arles, re positioned Ursa Major from the north to the south in his painting Starry Night Over the Rhone.

In a letter to his brother Theo, Van Gogh wrote of it:

“At last I have a landscape with olive trees, and also a new study of a starry sky. … It’s not a return to the romantic or to religious ideas, no. However, by going the way of Delacroix, more than it seems, by color and a more determined drawing than trompe-l’oeil precision, one might express a country nature that is purer than the suburbs, the bars of Paris.”

 
 

Sketch of the Whirlpool Galaxy by Anglo-Irish astronomer Lord Rosse in 1845, 44 years before Van Gogh’s painting