I don’t think I will ever tire of anthropomorphic animals, no matter how old I get. This weekend, to mark National Handwriting Day (not really, but any excuse to shop), I purchased a print of a letter-writing fox from the Litus Gallery, and then went back for more. The very dynamic discussion in response to my Samantha statue post last week referenced the word “whimsical” several times, so I wanted to reorient myself to that word and sense and to me, these works are most definitely whimsical, fanciful, even dreamy. But beyond the aesthetics, many of the Litus images (as alluded to by their titles) are also referential: the title of my fox is “Michael Drayton writing the Second Part of the ‘Poly-Olbion’, Fleet Street, 1617 and I also purchased a print of a clerk-like cat titled “John Selden leaving Hare Court, Inner Temple, August, 1614.” I don’t think that either the poet or the jurist was painted in these situations, but other examples of the Gallery’s work are based directly on particular paintings. I thought it would be interesting to match up the originals with the adaptations. The differences are not hard to discern!
Weighing the Fruits after Jan Vermeer’s ‘Woman Holding a Balance’; Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, 1664, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./ The Turnip Spinner (After Chardin’s ‘Gabriel Godefroy watching a top spin’/ Jean-Siméon, Portrait of the Son of M. Godefroy, Jeweler, Watching a Top Spin, c. 1735, The Louvre/ The Eight Lives of Mr. Tybalt (after Nicolaes Eliaszoon’s ‘Portrait of Nicolaes Tulp’; Nicolaes Eliaszoon Pickenoy, Portrait of Nicolaes Tulp, 1633, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam/The Book-Keeper (after Rembrandt’s ‘Young Man at His Desk,’); Rembrandt, Scholar at his Desk, 1631, Hermitage Museum/ I want, I want, after William Blake; William Blake, “I want, I want” from For Children: the Gates of Paradise (1793)/ Il Ladro di Fragola (after Jean Baptiste Chardin’s ‘Basket with Wild Strawberries’; Jean Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Basket with Wild Strawberries, 1731.
January 25th, 2016 at 7:57 am
These are really interesting! Cool 🙂
January 25th, 2016 at 8:52 am
Those are wonderful! I actually purchased the fox and rabbit, both with book and quill, as a themed display above my desk. They are so whimsical yet enigmatic! 🙂
January 25th, 2016 at 9:03 am
I started with the fox and then went back for more!
January 25th, 2016 at 9:08 am
I know what you mean… I love the match-ups you did with art works.
I have a friend who has a farm near Annapolis. He lost all his chickens to a fox he said was astoundingly wily, even for a fox. I think I have to get one of these for him. He has a sense of humor and respects the fox even as he laments his chickens.
January 26th, 2016 at 2:52 pm
I too have fallen victim to the delights of Litus Gallery.
Thank you so much for this connection!
February 28th, 2016 at 11:32 am
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