Gauguin placed this painting on consignment at the exhibition at a price of 1,500 francs, the highest price he assigned and shared by only one other painting, but had no takers.
Gaugin didn’t always crush it with his titles (Study of A Nude, etc) but sometimes he nailed it. Here is Where Are You Going?
(sometimes less interestingly called Woman Holding A Fruit)
Of course best of all, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? at the good ol’ Boston MFA.
Charles Moricetwo years later tried to raise a public subscription to purchase the painting for the nation. To assist this endeavour, Gauguin wrote a detailed description of the work concluding with the messianic remark that he spoke in parables: “Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not”. The subscription nevertheless failed.
You can read about Geoff Dyer’s frustrating experiences with these paintings and Gaugin and Tahiti in:
I was bummed I missed that dude at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, bet we could’ve had some laughs.
At his death, Watson bequeathed the 1778 painting to Christ’s Hospital, with the hope that it would prove “a most usefull Lesson to Youth”.
Little did I know that the MFA version, which proved so useful to me in my own youth, was “a replica Copley made for himself.”
Not to worry, Brook Watson survived the attack depicted, and grew into this happy fellow:
Says the great Wiki article:
A verse penned by one of Watson’s political enemies poked fun at his ordeal (and perhaps at his abilities):
- Oh! Had the monster, who for breakfast ate
- That luckless limb, his noblest noddle met,
- The best of workmen, nor the best of wood,
- Had scarce supply’d him with a head so good.
Now, what does this have to do with the previous post? :
Three years later [Watson] was sent to supervise the expulsion of the Acadians from the Baie Verte area.
That’s in Havana harbor, btw.
Herb Ritts, 1988, from the MFA.
We here at The Hely Times are shameless about catering to our readers. We’ve discovered that pictures depicting beheadings are among our most popular subjects. So, today, a review of one of the great themes in Western Art, John the Baptist’s head on a charger. NOTE: some other day we’ll do actual action-shot beheadings of John the Baptist. Today, we’re just dealing with the paintings that include the charger as well.
Caravaggio did it twice. There’s the National Gallery, London:
And the Palacio Real, Madrid:
Met has a good one by Aelbert Bouts:
MFA has one by Bernardo Luini:
Lucas Cranach the Elder, now hanging in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest: