Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

June 28, 2020

“E l’Eterno disse: ‘Ecco, essi sono un solo popolo e hanno tutti il medesimo linguaggio; e questo è solo il principio della loro opera; ora nulla gli impedisce di condurre a termine ciò che disegnano di fare. Orsù, scendiamo e confondiamo quivi il loro linguaggio, sicché l’uno non capisca il parlare dell’altro!'” ~ Genesi

May 3, 2020

“There were moments in Humboldt’s life when he was so pessimistic that he painted a bleak future of humankind’s eventual expansion into space, when humans would spread their lethal mix of vice, greed, violence and ignorance across other planets. The human species could turn even those distant stars ‘barren’ and leave them ‘ravaged’, Humboldt wrote as early as 1801, just as they were already doing with earth.”

~ “The invention of nature”, Andrea Wulf.

May 3, 2020

“A few months after the publication [of the Origins of Species] in England, it had come to a big public showdown in Oxford between the bishop Samuel Wilberforce and Darwin’s fiery supporter, the biologist and later president of the Royal Society, Thomas Huxley. At a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Wilberforce had provocatively asked Huxley if he was related to an ape on his grandomther’s or grandfather’s side. Huxley had answered that he preferred to be descended from an ape rather than a bishop.”

~ “The invention of nature”, Andrea Wulf.

Cyanometer

April 26, 2020

“Humboldt, ‘the first of travellers’, but not
the last, if late accounts be accurate,
invented, by some name I have forgot,
as well as the sublime discovery’s date,
an airy instrument, with which he sought
to ascertain the atmospheric state,
by measuring ‘the intensity of blue’:
O, Lady Daphne! let me measure you!
~ Lord Byron

German Romanticism and Saxony

April 26, 2020

“The philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher had been brought up among Herrnhuters, as had Novalis, in whose poems the mark of Herrnhut-inspired mystical spirituality can still be discerned.”

“The journey to Italy would start with a slightly unlikely swerve to the east, to Dresden. Alexander wanted to meet the astronomer Johann Gottfried Koehler, who was then the director of Dresden’s Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments, and who had offered to give Alexander further advice on how to handle a 14-inch sextant.”

“When Humboldt was ill in early 1844, people were quick to jump to conclusions. Carl Gustav Carus, the painter and physiologist, dispatched a letter to the sculptor Christian Rauch, asking him to take possession of Humboldt’s skull. Rauch took the letter to Humboldt, who replied that while, for the moment, he still had use for the skull himself, he would be happy to be of service at a later point.”
~ “A longing for wide and unknown things”, Maren Meinhardt.

“Accommodating his mother’s wishes, Humboldt enrolled at the prestigious mining academy in Freiberg, a small town near Dresden.”
~ “The invention of nature”, Andrea Wulf.

Sail

January 6, 2019

(taken from There There Workshop)

A lonely sail is flashing white
Amidst the blue mist of the sea!…
What does it seek in foreign lands?
What did it leave behind at home?..

Waves heave, wind whistles,
The mast, it bends and creaks…
Alas, it seeks not happiness
Nor happiness does it escape!

Below, a current azure bright,
Above, a golden ray of sun…
Rebellious, it seeks out a storm
As if in storms it could find peace!

~ Mikhail Lermontov

December 18, 2018

“Florence had always had an affinity for the mystic and dreamy philosophy of Plato, while the colder and more practical philosophy of Aristotle had flourished in Padua, and other cities of the north.”

“The Renaissance of the fifteenth century was, in many things, great rather by what it designed than by what it achieved. Much which it aspired to do, and did but imperfectly or mistakenly, was accomplished in what is called the éclarissement of the eighteenth century.”

~ “The Renaissance: studies in art and poetry”, Walter Pater.

June 18, 2018

“God is a gaseous vertebrate” ~ E. Haeckel, “The riddle of the universe”.

May 20, 2018

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National Gallery Berlin, 2

January 14, 2018

Mill on the river Stour, Constable

The wave, Courbet.

Deep in the forest, De la pena

Georg_Kolbe_-_The_Golden_Isle_(1898)

Cliffs at Étretat, Courbet

The grove, or the admiral's house in Hampstead, Constable