Elderly Artist unable to paint, addressed by Death
In the warm air of the ceiling the footlights of dreams are illuminated.
The white walls have curved. The burdened chest breathes confused words. In the mirror, the wind from the south spins, carrying leaves and feathers. The window is blocked. The heart is almost extinguished among the already cold ashes of the moon – the hands are without shelter – as all the trees lying down. In the wind from the desert the needles bend and my hour is past.
– Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960), translated by Lydia Davis (2013)
In Camera (man watching another working in photographer's studio)
Portrait of Théophile Alexandre Steinlen in his Studio
Prince Paul Troubetzkoy in his Studio
Prince Paul Troubetzkoy working on a Bust
etching, aquatint, drypoint
The Fox and the Bust
The great man's an actor who parades in a mask
And glamor is all that hero-worshippers ask.
The donkey judges by superficialities;
Whereas a fox sees all that there is to be seen,
And from all sides. Since his sensibilities
Discern more than surface sheen,
He dares say what he once said of a hero's bust –
A quip that certainly was just.
Though larger than life, it was a hollow affair.
The fox in commending the sculptor's gift as rare,
Remarked, "Fine head, but it lacks a mind."
How many grandees have fine heads of that kind!
– Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695), translated by Marianne Moore (1953)
Le repos du modèle (seconde planche)
Work (The Studio)
Studio Interior - Artist sketching a Couple
Self Portrait No. 7
from Evenings of Certain Lives
Never painted anything
in frost-white or ice-skater blue
or that Irish green
in which the purple shimmers through –
always my own monotone,
my compulsion to shadows –
to pursue that path so clearly.
– Gottfried Behn (1886-1956), translated by Michael Hofmann (2012)
|Philip Wilson Steer|
The Artist's Studio - Blue Nudes
lithograph on blue paper
Poems from the archives of Poetry (Chicago)