Friday, October 2, 2009

HAS TIME CUT THE WINGS OF YOUR LOVE...?

Postcard www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com -Click on the image to enlarge it!

"Le temps coupe les ailes de l'Amour"
Anton VAN DYCK (1599-1641)
Musée Jacquemart-André - Paris

Did you ever stumble into an exhibition and got completely absorbed by one painting or object?
You see all the other paintings and/or object too but this one painting gets to you? First the title, then the subject then both. It's cruel, brutal and I can't accept the message. Or can I?


An old man with a muscular body, naked but a cloth over his loins, he holds a chubby little angelbaby on his lap. The baby is fighting to get off the old man's lap, mouth open, crying, contorting itself. The old man cuts into the babyangels right wing with nasty looking pliers, he is cutting off the upper third of the angel's wing. On the bottom, beside the old vital man's left foot lies a scull. Blackened and already half eaten by time. Death. There is also the scythe.

Oh, this old man has wings too! Bright, beautiful, feathery strong wings. So, TIME never gets it's wings cut, but LOVE does, as early as that? There is also a vessel carrying some arrows lying on the ground, probably the arrows LOVE has been hunting with. I can see big withered flowers, which must have been so beautiful once, and everything except the old man and the angel, has the "color of night", there is only one glimmer of light in the upper left background, but I don't know if it means sunset or dawn....


Before seeing the temporary exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart André here in Paris: Flamish masters (Bruegel, Memling, Van Eyck and more) of the 15th and 16th Century,
I went through some of the rooms of this "hôtel particulier" (wikip.def.:In French contexts an hôtel particulier is an urban "private house" of a grand sort.), incredibly decorated, and stumbled upon this huge painting. I wrote the text in my notebook while standing in the dark, under this painting which measures at least 80 x 60 in. and it's a pleasure to share with you what I saw and felt!

10 comments:

Odd Chick said...

ahh..time and death may cut the wings of love but they will never be able to destroy it because it is forever young!

i loved your blog and your art is fantastic! i especially liked your self-portrait from age 6! you've always been an artist and illustrator apparently!

sukipoet said...

Such a wonderful story and thanks for sharing your reflections on the painting. Well, it does seem like love changes through time, sometimes diminishing, sometimes growing. Sometimes showing differing facets. Young love, which to me tends to be sort of wild, passionate and mindless, perhaps has its wings cut through time and then becomes something else. Another facet of love. another dimension. have never heard of this artist.

Martine said...

Dieses bild von Anton van Dyck ist schön aber macht mich überhaupt nicht glücklich. Ich denke ich müsste davor stehen und zeit haben es richtig auf zu nehmen. Aber dir hats gefallen, das ist wichtig.
XXXm

Lynn said...

Very heavy feeling with this painting and thanks for your reflections on it as I then saw more than I did just looking at the picture. Still cannot see the shears but now I know they are there and it gives this a much more ominous feel to it.

Andrea, thanks so much for the beautiful postcards, copies of your wonderful paintings that arrived in my mail this week. I love them both. The detailed landscape sits on my desk and I marvel at it daily.

Peter J. Crowley said...

Yes I am often taken by one piece in a gallery. Look, study absorb, wander the rest of the show but always return to one image. Sometimes I see more, sometimes I see it differently. The story told is understood on another level.
enjoy pjc

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Interesting subject. But to dark for moi. Funny how some see certain things in paintings and others see what they see. Probably was amazing in person.

Kim said...

Like you, I often have these times of being drawn to some particular painting when I visit a gallery or museum. I think it has to do with where we are psychologically as to what draws us in.

This subject of time snipping the wings of love is particularly timely for me as we attended a wedding this weekend of a young (20 something) couple. The ceremony was lovely (although a wet outdoor wedding) and the reception was a lot of fun. Clearly the focus was on the party and the looking forward to the honeymoon and not so much on the future life, but isn't this just the way young love is and probably should be? If we don't enter into those relationships with rose colored glasses, then do we not give ourselves the opportunity to nuture and mature them?

I suppose this is where I am today!

Thank you, Andrea, this is a beautiful, thoughtful post.

Ben said...

overpowering and overwhelming. you are right, the idea and its execution has the strength to rule your mind. very powerful.

human being said...

yes this is one of those paitings that really pins one for a long time...
love reading your reflections on it too... you've drawn our attention to some good points in the paiting...


and now i understand your emphasis on the power of time in your comment on my blog... in a way i feel these are the same wings and feathers in my work... how it is great to be connected to others through our works...


thanks my dearest Andrea for your visit and your precious words...

you are such an unforgettable gem...

love and peace to you

human being said...

love Suki's interpretation a lot...

re: change in love is not always diminishing... it can be a growth too... a change in perspective...

great!