A journey to a meaningful life: Camel→Lion→Child

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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, philologist, poet, and composer whose philosophy has had a profound influence on the modern intellectual world.

“God is Dead” is a widely quoted statement by Nietzsche that was misinterpreted by many theologians and many used it in a literal sense meaning that Christian God ceases to exist.

But Nietzsche’s complete statement is —

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

He believed that men and their potential is bounded by societal norms and culture. They are carried away by the “herd mentality” and fall into the trap of existential…

From ‘masturbating Hitler’ to ‘cannibalistic couple’

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Salvador Dali is inarguably one of the most renowned surrealist painters of the 20th century. Famous for his precise draftsmanship and bizarre images, his artistic repertoire included painting, sculpture, photography, and collaboration with other artists.

While we cannot dismiss the value of Dali’s art, it’s equally important to embrace Dali’s complex mindset.

Dali was allegedly an admirer of Hitler. Later, when the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, ruled Spain, despite his ruthlessness towards the common man, Dali maintained affable relations with him. Dali constantly affirmed his apolitical stance but his paintings and actions did not match with his statements.

George Orwell…

The darkness, decay, and dystopia in Zdzislaw Beksinski’s surrealism

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Zdzisław Beksiński was a Polish painter, photographer, and sculptor. He became famous for his unconventional paintings and photography that had elements of dystopia and surrealism. Even though his art and photography were criticized by many conventional painters and photographers of his times, he continued to refine his trademark existential style.

This article will focus on a few of his art pieces, why he did not name his paintings, and what exactly compelled him to depict anxiety, obscure faces with wrapped bandages, or a doomsday scenario?

The early life of Beksiński and his paintings

Zdzisław Beksiński was born in 1929 in Sanok, Poland. At that time Sanok had the…

The secret behind ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’

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Francisco Goya was a legendary Spanish artist who was accorded the title of the first ‘modern artist’. His initial career was marked with Rococo style paintings portraying drama, peasantry, and exuberance. But between 1819–1823, he illustrated a series of dark and disturbing paintings that were discovered 50 years later from his country house in the outskirts of Madrid.

An ancient crone grins ghoulishly over a bowl of food, an evil-looking figure whispers in the ear of an old man, a drowning dog lost in an unidentifiable mass, and the most disturbing out of them is the demonic figure with protruding…

The literal illustrations of the ‘Netherlandish Proverbs’

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The Netherlandish Proverbs is an oil-on-oak painting that was created by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559. This masterpiece encapsulates approximately 112 proverbs and idioms that are identified in the English language and some of them are still in popular use.

The Netherlanders were fond of proverbs and used them in their language; 100 years before Bruegel’s painting. Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch philosopher, and scholar were the first to publish Adagia which is a wide collection of rich proverbs and idioms.

Bruegel painted several art pieces portraying hidden proverbs and idioms but this was one of his most notable works…

The symbolic interpretation of ‘Abaporu’

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Tarsila do Amaral’s Abaporu (“the man who eats people”) created in 1928 is one of the most influential and valuable paintings from the Brazilian art world. The artist behind this simple yet enigmatic piece, Tarsila do Amaral, is the most celebrated artist amongst the Latin American modernists.

How the composition — one man, the sun, and a cactus could reflect “cannibalism”?

Tarsila do Amaral

The surreal interpretation of Divine Comedy

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Dante’s magnum opus Divine Comedy is considered to be one of the greatest poems in world literature. The poem is a fictitious journey of Dante divided among 100 cantos through the three regions of the afterlife — Hell (Inferno), the region of purification, Purgatory (Purgatorio), and the heavenly Paradise (Paradiso). Exiled for life in 1302, Dante began this long narrative poem probably in 1307 and completed it in 1320, a year before his death in 1321.

Symbolically, Divine Comedy is the journey of the soul towards God with Inferno(hell) recognized as one of the phases for rejection of sin.


The double life of Anaïs Nin

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Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban-American diarist, essayist and novelist. Nin started journaling at the tender age of eleven and expressed her personal thoughts and relationships. During her lifetime, she published several novels and essays but her erotic writing and unconventional personal life (that I’ll discuss later in this article) segregated her from the mainstream literary world for more than half of her career.

It was only in the 1960s when the feminist movement gained momentum, her writings were renewed and garnered attention.

In 1986, when Rupert Pole, her surviving widower, and literary executor published her unexpurgated (uncensored) diaries The Unexpurgated…

The paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

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Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a 16th-century Italian painter who became famous for his grotesque and imaginative portrait heads made up of objects like flowers, fruits, animals, or various inanimate objects. Arcimboldo was a court painter for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague. His juxtaposition of still-life objects on human heads created curiosity in his contemporaries and has given an opportunity for art historians and scholars to interpret his whimsical art.

This article would cover Arcimboldo’s repertoire of art pieces, his most famous painting, and the symbolic interpretations of his paintings.

Arcimboldo’s paintings

The Librarian

An art piece that encapsulates mythology, nature, love, and beauty

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Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera is one of the most magnificent and popular paintings in western art. Apart from its grandeur visual appeal and intricate detailing, it is also famous for its unfathomable symbolism that has attracted art historians time and again.

Primavera means ‘spring’ in English. This painting encapsulates a mythological illustration of the Greco-Roman deities, an allegory of the arrival of spring, and a symbolic depiction of the neo-Platonic ideas about the nature of love.

Giorgio Vasari saw this painting after 70 years and named it Primavera. This painting is housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

In this…

Kamna Kirti

Writer, Podcaster, and Former Data Engineer. https://www.kamnakirti.com/

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