Sedulous Indulgence and Instruction from Carolus-Duran

Book notes on A Manual of Oil Painting by the Hon. John Collier published in 1887.

sed-u-lous – adjective – (of a person or action) showing dedication and diligence : he watched himself with the most sedulous care.

This book was a great pleasure to read; each paragraph a joyous reminder of all things technically practical and pragmatic.  The biggest surprise for me was finding an anecdote on the teaching methods of Sargent’s teacher, Carolus-Duran:

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Notes on “The Ghosts of Cannae”

P8 – “Verisimilitude is not truth, just the appearance of truth.”

P12 – “Mark Twain seemed to have gotten it about right when he concluded that although history doesn’t repeat itself, it does sometimes rhyme.”  Twain may have said that… but Twain also has the “Periodic Law of Repetition.  See Letters from the Earth.

P42 – Romans were never too proud to learn.

P87 – “At one point Livy has him (Hannibal) say: ‘Many things which are difficult in themselves, are easily effected by contrivance.’  This was tactical Hannibal in a nutshell.”

P162 – Livy’s “cinematic” description of the post-Cannae battlefield.

P184 – Roman siege of Syracuse in 212 b.c.e.  “Property rights were given the same regard as academic freedom by the rampaging Romans, who picked the place (Syracuse) clean–so clean that the haul brought home by Marcellus for his ovation was said to have kick-started the city’s passion for Greek art.”

P239, 240 – Sophonisba’s death: “Choose my fate as your heart may prompt you, but whatever you do, even if it means my death, don’t surrender me to the arrogant and brutal whim of any Roman… What a woman of Carthage–what the daughter of Hasdrubal–has to fear from a Roman is all too clear.”

Notes on “Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling”

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King

P2 – Pieta’ – 1496, “a few years later”, “surpassing not only the sculptures of all of M’s contemporaries but even those of the ancient Greeks and Romans themselves–the standards by which art was judged.”

P3 – Julius’ plan for his monument: “…a memorial that was to be the largest since the mausoleums built for Roman emperors such as Hadrian and Augustus”, 34 x 50 ft, 40 figures.

P7 – Bramante = Ravenous

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