Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Soul of the World"

from Henry Purcell's "Hail Bright Cecilia:"

Soul of the World! Inspir'd by thee,
The jarring Seeds of Matter did agree,
Thou didst the scatter'd Atoms bind,
Which, by thy Laws of true proportion join'd,
Made up of various Parts one perfect Harmony.

Nicholas Poussin, Landscape with Three Travelers

Poussin composed this painting using the Golden Section ratio of proportion first described by Euclid.  It was Pythagoras who said that nature was organized according to mathematics.  This painting declares in every part that the world is orderly and harmonious.  Poussin, like the Roman Stoic philosophers he admired, believed that time and wisdom were our consolations in the perpetual struggle between life and death.  This painting is filled with imagery suggesting death and regeneration.


Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks for this. I just read a quote today from the Leslie Lohman Gallery comparing your work to Poussin:
"Doug Blanchard’s gay reinterpretation of the Passion of Christ weds a shockingly modern vision with classical compositions reminiscent of artists Poussin and Tiepolo."

Counterlight said...

High praise to be compared to both of those artists, and I am unworthy of it.