…In my opinion my hands have grown too delicate; but what can I do? I shall go out again, even if it cost me a good deal; for my chief concern is that I should not neglect my work any longer. Art is jealous; she will not allow illness to take precedence of her. And I give in to her.
…Men like myself really have no right to be ill. But you must understand what my attitude is to Art. In order to attain to real Art one must work both hard and long. The thing I have set my mind upon as the goal of all my efforts is devilish difficult, and yet I do not think that I am aiming too high. I will make drawings that will amaze some people.
Vincent van Gogh, from a letter to Théo (trans. Anthony M. Ludovici),
The Letters of a Post-Impressionist.
Achilles battles Memnon, with their respective mothers, Thetis and Eos (Dawn), flanking them. Side A of an Attic black-figure amphora, name-vase of the Painter of Munich 1410; ca. 510 BCE. Found at Vulci; now in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich.
Despite her assertive pose, Dutch painter Hannah van Bart’s enigmatic young lady appears to literally blend into the background as a shape-shifting wall the color of her dress manifests over her chest. (At Marianne Boesky Gallery through Feb 4th.)
Hannah van Bart, Untitled, oil on linen, 39 3/8 x 25 5/8 inches, 2016.
Priam arrives at Achilles’ shelter to ransom the body of his son Hector. The youth facing him has been variously identified as an attendant or the disguised Hermes. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, attributed to the Briseis Painter; ca. 480 BCE. Thought to have been found at Vulci; now in the British Museum.
Creusa, princess of Corinth and bride-to-be of Jason, receives wedding presents from Jason’s present wife Medea, including the poisoned robe that will kill her. Side A of a Lucanian red-figure bell-krater, attributed to the Dolon Painter; ca. 390 BCE. Found in Apulia; now in the Louvre.