Monday, December 11, 2006

Art appreciation 101

I'd like to dedicate today's piece to George Bush and the rest of his administration upon whom aesthetics seems lost. For that reason, I chose this particular piece from 19th Century painter, Théodore Géricault. It's entitled "Raft of the Medusa" (larger version here) and it looks like this:


As a student of art history, I was very moved by this painting and the story that inspired it. It depicts survivors of a French ship, The Medusa, that sank in 1816. One hundred and forty passengers and crew died as a result and, as Answers.com tells us, the story became legend throughout Europe, leading "to a scandal in the French government because of the incompetence of the ship's captain and the feeble rescue effort."

Which, now that I think about it, is probably also lost on George Bush and his administration.

(Credit where credit is due: Thanks to Enigma over at Watergate Summer for this inspiring piece!)

9 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

Incompetent Ship's Captains need to read Mutiny on the Bounty. Is there room on the nightstand beside Camus & all those Shakespeare's?

This is a gorgeous piece, dada, even though there's no frame for me to critique (see my comment at enigma's, though I hope I've evolved somewhat since then).

I was wondering why it looked a bit familiar to the non-artist. nope, can't be that trip to the Louvre I never took. ahah! Your link to Answers.com reveals that The Pogues used it for cover art on their "Rum, Sodomy & The Lash" album. hmmm, now there's a good starting formula for bush in prison. ~~ D.K.

enigma4ever said...

OMG.... I inspired a Painting of a sinking raft with nude survivors...oh no , I see I inspired tales of survivors ? ...no, I look like someone hanging off the raft ? ( boy there are days I feel like that) ..oh ....oh.....Great Art about Incompetence...ahhhhh, now that I dig...

( wow Dk I am going to go look for that album...with a title like that it must be good...ah...interesting?)

Seriously Dada...great post...It fits the King's presidency....on so many fronts...

enigma4ever said...

wow Dada this is such an interesting tale....
some info...
(1) the Painter used bodies from the morgue to paint this ( all I have to say is I have never seen such fine bodies at any morgue I have been to...must be a French thing).
(2) The Captain was more than "unqualified" for his job, never been captain, and limited water experience- had not been at sea in 25 years, and was a customs agent ( boy sounds like a Brownie tale - doesn't it ?)
(3) the raft was made for the Boat crew, while the life boats were for the wealthy, it was stocked poorly , NO oars, and no compass, and was made from pieces of the Boat - including the mast, it was initially tied to the Lifeboats- and then it was untied from the lifeboats and set adrift( minus the captain - of course)
(4) 13 days later the raft was found- it was only 4 miles from shore. ( the Medusa was never "lost" at sea- it had been Stuck on a Sandbar...yup... a sandbar....there were only 15 left out of the original 148, and the rest had died from suicide and murder- 20 the first night....that and food and drink had been thrown overboard so the raft would be lighter....( 4 miles ???? couldn' t they see shore?)

The tale goes on and on and on...each version more gory than the next...Makes the Titanic look like a Carnival Cruise delight....

wow...Incompetence has no limits...

D.K. Raed said...

wow such a tale of incompetence has to be inspirational for our bushgangf*ckups. so what actually happened to the captain?

enigma, if you ever venture into Pogues territory, be sure to have printed words available for your first few listenings. Shane Macgowan has a Dublin accent so thick, you could plaster paris with it. Quite inventive swearing, too ... hmmm, might be something to look into.

ps, I do hope the 3 shakespeares Bush lied about reading in the wake of Katrina were Julius Caesar, MacBeth, and King Lear. ~~ D.K.

enigma4ever said...

So DK there is a Scottish fella out there with inventive swearing- well lassie sign me up- I am more than curious- looked them up- turns out their other "big" album is the "Hell Ditch:" ( well, these Scottish badboys sound just like my Celtic cup o tea)...

Anayways back to the plight of the Customs Officer- cough- "Captain"...he of course went to shore in a poshy life boat left his crew hanging off the "raft" and as far as I know did not face charges , or criminal penalty by the surviving 15 of the crew, and the rich didn't press charges, but that was just two websites, I will keep digging to find out the fate of his sorry ass...( I would love to find out that he was hung at midnight and then heaved into the murky waters as sharkbait..yup that would cheer me up immensely.....hell even inspire me....)

enigma4ever said...

Okay DK back to the swearing-singing fella- is he Scottish or Irish- I read two different things about the group- see if it is Irish I probally won't understand the poor fella- now if he is Scottish I stand a better chance- found this out wondering around over there in my youth ( drinking pints in strange pubs- people would lay bets whether I understood WHAT was said...turns out the Scottish blood line and an Uncle that was Scottish won me a"few" pints...sigh)...

Now back to the Captain- it gets worse- he was originally kicked out the navy ( doesn't that remind of us of Bush ?) he was recieving Navigational Information on board from an EX -CON- yup the french dude had been in prison for 10 years- oh that is just the naval experience one needs to guide a ship...so the ship steered right into shore- right into the sand bar- and the other three ships left the Medusa- and then the Argus came back four days later to see it trapped- they didn't notice for FOUR days- WTF?????

Okay I am done beating the Medusa tale...geeez. EVERY VERSION gets uglier....wow...

( well , wait until the Bush Tale gets FULLY documented....it'll scare the kiddies...)

thanks for the History lesson Dada....

D.K. Raed said...

oh, enigma, I'm afraid the puir lad is irish. too bad, cuz he really needs a good nurse! I know it's his trademark by now, but he's really let all his teeth just rot to hell. Guess the euro health plans don't include dental. Look on YouTube for videos of The Pogues. Shane is the dark-haired singer. Though I have to say at this point, he's better to listen to than view.

So you wandered around Scotland for awhile? With the highest % of redheads in the world, I bet you fit right in. I supposedly have some relatives in the Ayrshire area which would be fun to pop in on some day.

Yes that whole Medusa Captain thing stunk. Thank you for digging in & giving the gory details. Too bad that type of criminal incompetence is all too often rewarded. You are so right about when (and if!) the full bush tale is ever revealed.

I was thinking about being 4-miles offshore. I'm not sure if they would've seen land. Even with good weather, there's the curvature of the earth to consider. Ah well, 'tis a rough life & the sea takes no prisoners. The Gericault painting really captured something, huh? ~~ D.K.

dada said...

Wait Deke: Maybe they could...maybe they hadn't discovered the Earth was round yet. (Hmmm, what year was that anyway? [grin]}

Wow e4e, thanks for not only the refresher course, you uncovered things I never knew.

Anyways, I was in the middle of my comment over on Watergate Summer. Of how much I enjoyed your You Tube Monet. Of how I wished I'd seen that Sunday BEFORE I went a watched Gore's "Truth" movie; of how Deke made me laugh at her critiques of frames surrounding great master's museum quality pieces (of her ability to see the greater whole, i.e., the bad context within which the lesser all exists, er, or something?); of how it reminded me of the movie "What Dreams May Come" where life in the after world is like living in some impressionist painting fresh with thick paint of riotous colours; of your son's taste in painters for whom I share an equal a appreciation when suddenly I got the urge to "show" him a Géricault. But so rapt in the process of finding it, then blogging it, by day's end my comment--never posted--vanished from this computer. And when you consider the return I got for the comment never posted, never made, if it were like that with investments, I could afford to retire. Thank you, luv! And remember:

Ya canna fotten a grerhund!

enigma4ever said...

whelp DK- toothless and Irish- I think he may sing alone for a bit longer ;-0

( the music tain't bad...but they be better put on the radio....)
So there Dada we came here and had quite a chat about the shipwreck..or is it raftwreck ? it's a great picture...and truly inspiring...

and yup with this group you don't have to invest much...just put another nickel in baby...we spew like a Vegas slot machine....or was that a broken jukebox ?
well, either way ....

you inspired us.....