1. Marc Chagall - The Concert (1957)

  2. Kerry James Marshall - Voyager (1992)

    "In the mid-1990s, Kerry James Marshall began using water and boats as metaphors for spiritual transformation, the African Diaspora, and the Middle Passage. Voyager alludes to the schooner Wanderer, the last ship to secretly carry African slaves to the United States.” (Source: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.)

    They’re hard to see, but there are veves throughout the painting, as seen to the left of the female figure in the boat. Veves are symbolic representations of vodou gods. Veve symbols likely have their origins in Nsbidi, an ideographic system of symbols used in southern Nigeria. I once did a research project on vodou and have been fascinated by veves ever since. I’m tired right now (I spent all day researching macaron shops and attempting to purchase an antique bookstand for work, which is actually much more stressful than you might think since macaron shop and antique store employees both tend to have Attitudes), but I have enough mental energy to identify the veve at top right as Ezili’s. Ezili is the loa (goddess) of love and fertility. She has been relegated to the corner, behind the boat, along with an image of home. A skull lurks beneath the west-bound boat instead.

    On that very cheerful note, have a good Friday, tumblr! What is left of it anyway. 

  3. Silvestro Lega - The Visit (1868)


  4. The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck

    At the end of my suffering
    there was a door.

    Hear me out: that which you call death
    I remember.

    Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
    Then nothing. The weak sun
    flickered over the dry surface.

    It is terrible to survive
    as consciousness
    buried in the dark earth.

    Then it was over: that which you fear, being
    a soul and unable
    to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
    bending a little. And what I took to be
    birds darting in low shrubs.

    You who do not remember
    passage from the other world
    I tell you I could speak again: whatever
    returns from oblivion returns
    to find a voice:

    from the center of my life came
    a great fountain, deep blue
    shadows on azure seawater.

  5. Galen Rowell - Split Rock and Cloud (1976)

  6. J.M.W. Turner - Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth (exhibited 1842)

  7. Charles Burchfield - The Insect Chorus (1917)

  8. Joan Miró - Bleu II (1961)


  9. © 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris; used with permission

    Wassily Kandinsky - Several Circles (1926)