the death of marat (1793)

With the stroke of a brushthe artist makes the fallen hero beautifulsmoothing the ravages of illnessthat marred his skin;a reposing pietΓ , sublime in his baptismal font,asleep, but forthe tell-tale violence of his death:the bathwater stained redby the hear that bled for France,his fallen hand still holding the penthat named himself l’ami du pueple,a revolutionarypatron saint…… Continue reading the death of marat (1793)

an experiment on a bird in an air pump (1768)

A flicker revealstheir horror, their wonder,small white faces aglow in the oppressive shadowas the scientist begins his drawing-room experiment.A charlatan,a philosopher,a magician,a god,his hands hold life and death in their balance.Innocence turns its facewhile science awaits the spectacle ofthe little dove, emissary of peace, the holy spiritcaptured in a glass prison for its voyeuristic pleasure.With…… Continue reading an experiment on a bird in an air pump (1768)

landscape with the fall of icarus (1560)

They keep their heads bent to their tasks:the peasant tilling at the field, andthe shepherd tending to his flock,who glances heavenwardto track the moment of the sunand count the last few golden hours of the daywith which to graze.In the bay, sails filled with wind,a ship approaches the setting sun,the barrel-man in his crows-nest fixed…… Continue reading landscape with the fall of icarus (1560)

oh, lascaux

This is how we became:the stone ceiling a flicker of candle-flamefrom our faces.We learned a kind of magic,a spell of charcoal, that spills like words across the cave walls,weaving stories on dark mid-winter nights.The long-horned elk,the barrel-chested aurochs,the slender, flighty gazelle,the hoary-maned carmargues,mapped like constellations in a stone sky.We pressed our painted palms to the…… Continue reading oh, lascaux