one day at a time…
Sunday 30 June 2002

Pix of the Day: Through A Glass Darkly

Claude Clouds © John H. FarrOver at FotoFeed.com John H. Farr has been showing a series of moody, late evening, desert cloudscapes. The reduced palette of these images brought to my mind the paintings of Claude. Claude's full name was Claude Gellée (1604/5?-1682), but he was often called 'Le Lorrain' because he was born in that part of France. Such was the popularity of his work that he became known simply as 'Claude'. The style of painting was revived in the 19th century by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875).

When the picturesque style was at its height gentlemen even carried 'Claude Glasses', which were smoked glass mirrors through which they might properly appreciate the picuresque qualities of landscape. Many wealthy admirers of the style were influenced to have gardens and landscapes constructed on their country estates in emulation of the style of Claude paintings. ArtCaf.com have an easily read art appreciation page on Claude, which will give a good idea of what his work looked like, though confusingly they use "Gennée" and "Lorraine"… take your pick.

John Pfahl does 'Computer Claude' in an exhibition called 'Permutations on the Picturesque' from the wide range of interesting exhibitions at the 'Light Work' website. Ruth Wallen has an outdoor recreation of Claude Glasses with her 'View Points' interactive web exhibition, which will give you a feel for what art aficionados got up to in the picturesque period.

Death of Dooce

Heather B. Hamilton has abandoned her Dooce.com weblog because "...this website has caused more damage and sorrow to my personal life than it has good. I can't take it anymore." Heather vented about the frustrations of her workplace and the the shortcomings of her coworkers. One of her enemies anonymously emailed every vice-president of her company with the URL, so they fired her. This is the core question: was she fired for telling lies or for telling the truth? Sympathy, Heather. I'm trying not to get angry. Sounds like a case for Jackie Chiles. The Dooce Archives are still there though, and I enjoyed browsing through the eclectic mix of Heather's images. She is particularly rewarding when she spots things like a cluttered table in a shadows & sunlight corner, or a festering old drain outlet in an alley. This kind of response triggering iconography series is harder to do than you might imagine, unless of course you have tried it yourself.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)