Thursday, December 06, 2012


Staying with Fools again today - this time in art.

Quentin Massys 1465 - 1530
Belgian Painter, many religious subjects and portraits. See some examples via thumbnails HERE

His painting An Allegory of Folly

Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550) was a German printmaker who did his best work as an engraver, and was also a designer of woodcuts and a painter and miniaturist. He is one of the most important of the "Little Masters", the group of German artists making printss in the generation after Dürer. See Wikipedia.

Two Fools, circa 1532-1550.

'Stanczyk', by Polish artist Jan Matejko (1837-1893).
The jester is depicted as the only person at a royal ball who is troubled by the news that the Russians have captured Smolensk. This event happened in 1514.
Stańczyk (c. 1480–1560) was the most famous court jester in Polish history. He was employed by three Polish kings: Alexander, Sigismund the Old and Sigismund Augustus.

Cecil C. Collins (See more here)

Cecil Collins was born in Plymouth, Devon, England. He studied at Plymouth School of Art and at the Royal College of Art, London. For a while he was interested in Surrealism but in the later 1930s, after meeting the American painter Mark Robey, he became interested in the art and philosophy of the Far East. He taught for a time at Dartington Hall, a progressive boarding school in Devon, and published The Vision of the Fool in 1947. He frequently drew on symbolism in his work and had a special interest in the figure of the fool. This creature came to signify for him such qualities as spontaneity, purity and light, unappreciated but for the artist, in modern capitalist life. He painted some powerful faces staring out at the viewer with large sad eyes. These expressive surveys recur throughout his work and the brush strokes echo these rhythms, while pattern and detail are applied in brief dark outline. .......The fool does not see the world with the disillusioned knowingness of the scientist; rather he marvels; he looks with the eyes of a child. Collins is not a conventionally religious man: indeed he is deeply critical of the world’s established faiths. He believes that they have lost sight of this ‘vision of the fool’.............
See also HERE.

The Sleeping Fool, 1943.

The Joy of a Fool, 1944.

Michael Cheval (born Mikhail Khokhlachev, Russian: Михаил Хохлачев; 1966, in Kotelnikovo, Russia is a contemporary artist specializing in Absurdist paintings, drawings and portraits (inverted side of reality, a reverse side of logic). Amazing artist! More on him and his work tomorrow.

His painting Ship of Fool

And: Art of Diplomacy

Michael Parkes His lovely paintings often include references to a Fool motif (see my post about him and his natal chart HERE)

Finally, back to tarot representations of The Fool - variations on a theme ~~~

From the Thoth Tarot deck, painted by Lady Frieda Harris according to instructions from Aleister Crowley:

From the Quantum Tarot - The Fool, the archetypal beginning is represented by Event One - The Big Bang

The card below - of course - is from The Peanuts Tarot:

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anyjazz said...

Good post. As you know I have a special affinity for the fool. It takes a unique mind to create humor principally about one's self. I admire that sort of humor.

In standup comedy, the ones who joke about their own shortcomings or appear to be clueless about nearly everything, are the funniest.

In comedy partners such as Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, the Smothers Brothers, the comedy genius often came from the one who played the fool.

mike said...

Surrealists and Impressionists are my favorite art genres...ah, to have some on my walls to savor at my whim. Surrealistic style almost always has clear-view backgrounds that seem to go on forever, drawing me in...not required for that style, but seems to be relevant to it. I've always been enamored by Maxfield Parrish and had a number of his reproductions over the years.

I began appreciating photorealism and hyper-realism a few years ago. Some of these artists are amazing. In certain respects, the surrealists you display here are photorealists, too. Check-out Jerry Ott's slide show:

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~ Yes - LOL! As a Sun Aries person you have an innate appreciation of the original version of The Fool - translated into modern life. :-)

The humour you describe - the "cluelessness" is part and parcel of those original medieval fools, mentioned in yesterday's post, chosen by the aristocracy for their entertainment (and cruelly I think) for their chosen Fool's mental disabilities, and childlike demeanours. This has now transitioned in a more kindly mode for our delight in the 20th century onward.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Surrealist art is a favourite of mine too - Impressionist not so much. I admire photo/hyper-realism also, flabbergasted at the skills involved.

Parrish's paintings are lovely, yes - I'd really like to see an original to properly savour that wonderful blue of his, but all I've seen so far, apart from on-line are faded prints in antique stores.

I'm a fan of the pre-Raphaelites' art too, and for me Michael Parkes and newly discovered Michael Cheval (more tomorrow) are a kind of modern version of their style.....minus the overt religious references.

Jerry Ott's new to me - I shall investigate further. I quickly Google Imaged him and see he seems to specialise in female nudes - which I don't mind, but a little goes a long way. ;-)

Re airbrush art - I love 20th century American pin up art, which I'm sure would annoy feminists greatly. These females aren't nude but playfully suggestive at times, and mainly beautifully airbrush drawn - especially the Vargas Girls and the Petty Girls.