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Re: Acanthus
  • Subject: Re: Acanthus
  • From: James Singer <inlandjim1@q.com>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 07:46:50 -0800

Auralie, if you google acanthus, it'll cough up four or five pictures of
acanthus--including a pretty good one of the blooms.

On Dec 1, 2012, at 7:19 AM, Aplfgcnys@aol.com wrote:

> Yesterday we were taken by a younger couple to see the newly opened
> Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum.  Chet allowed himself to be
> pushed in a wheelchair, and I took advantage of benches when I could.
> It is a fantastic exhibit which shows paintings of the same subject but
> in different stages or forms side by side, with several showing photographs
> of the developmental stages.
> In his later life, Matisse had used many botanical motifs - most frequently
> palms, but in his late book illustration period other leaf patterns.  At
> point the explanatory signs said he was using Acanthus.  My friends asked
> me what an Acanthus flower looked like.  I could not immediately call to
> mind what the flower was, but assured them that it was the foliage that
> was a standard feature of ancient columns.  I guess my art history
> goes back farther than theirs.
> I have now checked and confirmed that Acanthus is what we popularly call
> Bear's breeches, and I'm still not certain that I have ever seen its bloom.
> It was very interesting to compare the classic examples I remembered to
> the abstracted forms conceived by Matisse.  But as ever, botany is a
> major element in art.
> Auralie
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