Monthly Archives: April 2016
There are many remarkable features about the ruins of Pompeii, the Roman city destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in AD79. Countless volumes have been written and programmes televised about the remains – the streets, the buildings, artefacts, bodies frozen in time.
Among these ‘preserved’ remains were many wonderful frescoes that provide a detailed and,often, revealing record of life at that time. Most of these have been transferred to the security of Naples Museum but a few remain in situ. The colour in the frescoes is often incredibly beautiful – especially the reds.
But it is only comparatively recently that research has revealed that much of the distinctive character of these colours was a consequence of exposure to the excessive heat and the gasses produced by the erupting volcano. Indeed, many of the exquisite reds were initially yellow!
Some of the frescoes were still under restoration wraps at the time of my visit.
I enjoy creating and posting abstract images and often feel that it would be appropriate to attach the following extract from Kandinsky:
‘The spectator is too ready to look for a meaning in a picture—i.e., some outward connection between its various parts. Our materialistic age has produced a type of spectator or “connoisseur,” who is not content to put himself opposite a picture and let it say its own message. Instead of allowing the inner value of the picture to work, he worries himself in looking for “closeness to nature,” or “temperament,” or “handling,” or “tonality,” or “perspective,” or what not. His eye does not probe the outer expression to arrive at the inner meaning. In a conversation with an interesting person, we endeavour to get at his fundamental ideas and feelings. We do not bother about the words he uses, nor the spelling of those words, nor the breath necessary for speaking them, nor the movements of his tongue and lips, nor the psychological working on our brain, nor the physical sound in our ear, nor the physiological effect on our nerves. We realize that these things, though interesting and important, are not the main things of the moment, but that the meaning and idea is what concerns us. We should have the same feeling when confronted with a work of art. When this becomes general the artist will be able to dispense with natural form and colour and speak in purely artistic language.’ (Kandinsky Concerning the Spiritual in Art)