I visited the Art Institute of Chicago during my visit. They had the most amazing exhibit: Cezanne to Picasso, Ambroise Vollard. Vollard was one of the biggest art dealers in Paris, and dealt with a number of enormously amazing artists. They had over 200 paintings that had passed through his hands at the exhibit, including a ton of Van Goghs (Starry Night), Cezanne, Gauguin and Picasso. But some of the pieces that struck me the most were from Maurice Denis. The one above was a cover of a collection called Amour about his courtship of his wife. I found the image above so striking – detailing the starry-eyed nature of love, the sense of peace and the grace depicted through the feminine form. It was simply heartbreaking to read the titles of the other paintings. Wishing that I really could experience something that inspired even such beautiful titles.
Some of my favorite titles (French and my English interpretation):
- Les attitudes sont faciles et chastes – Simple and pure intentions
- Le bouquet matinal, les larmes – The morning bouquet, the tears
- Le chevalier n’est pas mort à la croisade – The knight who did not die in his crusade
- Les crépuscules ont une douceur d’ancienne peinture – The twilight has the softness of an old painting
- Elle était plus belle que les rêves – She was more beautiful than dreams
- Et c’est la caresse de ses mains – And it is the caress of her hands
- Nos âmes en des gestes lents – Our hearts move in slow gestures
- Mais c’est le coeur qui bat trop vite – But it is the heartthe beats too quickly
To view the actual images, you can visit: http://mountshang.blogspot.com/2007/03/amour.html
I also suggest listening to Sarah McLachlan – Answer, which I can’t embed into this, since WordPress doesn’t do Flash. It is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in ages.