Influenced by the Shoreham landscapes of Samuel Palmer, and his teacher John Nash, here are the eerily empty landscapes of Essex, Sussex Downs, and elsewhere.Quiet Landscapes: watercolours of Eric Ravilious 1 — The Eclectic Light Company
Self portrait Irish-born English figurative painter Francis Bacon was born, October 28, 1909 in 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, Ireland ❦ Focusing on the human form, his subjects included crucifixions, portraits of popes, self-portraits, and portraits of close friends, with abstracted figures sometimes isolated in geometrical structures. Rejecting various classifications of his work, Bacon claimed […]Francis Bacon [1909-1992] — Marina Kanavaki
Paul Cézanne is perhaps one of the best-loved painters of Western art. Yet the popularity of his still life and landscape works has perhaps tamed the radicality of his vision in our own eyes. It is easy to forget that these seemingly traditional 19th century Post-Impressionist paintings caused ‘a landslide in art’. Jacky Klein explains […]Cézanne: ‘The Father of Modern Art’ — msamba
Some arresting civil war portraits,
they are not easy to share.
Two young men posing awkwardly,
bow ties for battle, their absent smiles
due to the long exposure.
A picture may say a thousand words
but raises profound questions too.
It’s brother versus brother,
one in blue, the other in gray
and no quarter will be given,
courtesy of sponsors miles from the front.
There’s no fear in their eyes,
only the vacancy of open fields.
They will show allegiance to their flag,
let’s hope it protects them.
Both think their causes are just,
but many have come this way
and many more will follow –
in the name of liberty.
Their country may need them
but is it theirs?
These faded pictures
Forgotten names of young men
copyright Francis Barker 2020
*To the uninitiated, a haibun is the combination of a prose poem and a haiku.
Black paint on the front door
was peeling badly. Before knocking
I ran a crackling finger over it,
flakes falling into shade around my feet.
A small grey lady in garish pink
dressed for bed, squinted up at me,
something akin to Stravinsky
played in the darkness behind her.
“Take a pew!” – words betraying her age,
her station, a headmistress perhaps,
Arnold’s paintings in primaries all over low,
leaning walls in a room of gloom,
as if yellowed by years of smoke
and smelling of rose and age.
His preference for palette knife
and fingers were evident at once –
then a portrait, blue eyes staring at me,
almost violet, gorgeous like Liz Taylor
and hints of a grey uniform with pips.
Tea and scone arrived on Royal Albert
with shuffles of pink slipper.
“The portrait,” I pointed.
“Oh, that’s me, circa 1944,” she croaked,
standing bent. “But not his usual style.”
“No,” I had to agree, writing frantically,
excitement like sap
sent tingling up my spine.
So, let’s get this right:
She had trained in Ireland,
was deployed to France,
following allied troops into Germany
all the way to the end, in Berlin.
Hers an eccentric family of noble stock,
a quite irregular life lived on the edge.
Did I believe her? At first, yes.
At least until I closed the door
with that peeling paint.
Then I noticed the corner in the road,
breathed in the fresh air,
saw the rush of wind in poplars
and rooks cawing their honest presence.
The further I drove the less I believed.
Narrow roads led into town, a realisation
that still – the artist had eluded me
Poem and image © copyright df barker 2012