Wolfgang Robert Paalen was a German-Austrian-Mexican painter and art philosopher. A member of the Abstraction-Création group from 1934–35, he joined the influential Surrealist movement in 1935 and was one of its prominent exponents until 1942. Whilst in exile in Mexico, he founded his own counter-surrealist art-magazine DYN, in which he summarized his critical attitude towards radical subjectivism and Freudo-Marxism in Surrealism with his philosophy of contingency, he rejoined the group between 1954, during his sojourn in Paris. Wolfgang Paalen was born in one of the famous Wienzeilenhäuser designed by Otto Wagner in Vienna, Austria, he was the first of four sons of the Austrian-Jewish merchant and inventor Gustav Robert Paalen, his German wife, the actress Clothilde Emilie Gunkel. Gustav Robert, who had Polish-Ashkenazi and Spanish-Sephardic origins, converted to Protestantism in 1900 and changed his name from Pollak to Paalen in the same year, his considerable wealth was based on modernist inventions and patents such as the vacuum cleaner, the vacuum flask, known under the name Thermos bottle, the first flow-type heater, amongst others.
In a short period Gustav R. Paalen managed to ascend into the distinguished Viennese upper-class of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he became a well known collector of Old Master paintings with masterpieces, like Francisco Goya´s Señora Sabasa Garcia, which he had acquired from the Berlin patron Henri James Simon and is today one of the highlights of the National Gallery, Washington. As a friend of Wilhelm von Bode and member of the Freundeskreis des Kaiser-Friedrich Museums, Berlin, he financed the acquisition of the famous Titian painting Venus with the Organ-Player; the first years of his life Wolfgang Paalen spent between Vienna and Styria where his father had opened the fashionable health resort Tobelbad, in the presence of Franz-Joseph I of Austria, to whom he dedicated a memorial still visible today. In Tobelbad Paalen senior received such prominent guests as Gustav Mahler and artist Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando, Julius Meier-Graefe, Ida Zweig, among others; some sources claim that it was Paalen who introduced Alma Mahler, during her visit in Tobelbad in 1910, to the German architect Walter Gropius, whom she married later.
1912 the Paalen family moved to Berlin and to the Silesian city of Sagan, where his father had bought and rebuilt the castle of St. Rochusburg. During World War I Gustav Robert served both empires, the Austrian and the German, with the organization of food supply and worked together with Walther Rathenau and Albert Ballin´s Zentral-Einkaufsgesellschaft. Wolfgang attended different schools in Sagan, during the war his parents engaged a private tutor; the teacher was an organist who specialized in Johann Sebastian Bach, who thus became Wolfgang's favourite composer. In 1919 the family moved to Rome, where they kept a luxurious household in the Villa Caetani on the Gianicolo and received many guests, such as the German painter Leo von König who became Wolfgang's first art teacher, it was in Rome, under the guidance of his father's friend, the archeologist Ludwig Pollak, that he became an expert in Greek and Roman archaeology. In 1923 he returned to Berlin alone to apply for the Academy. Although unsuccessful, he met his lifelong friend and patron, the Swiss violinist, collector and photographer Eva Sulzer.
In 1925 he exhibited at the Berlin Secession and studied further in aesthetics influenced by Julius Meier-Graefe, Nietzsche and the Gestalt theory of Max Wertheimer. It is here and with hypnopompic hallucinations in the castle in Sagan that he found the base for his ideas of a deep entanglement of vision and outer world. After another year of studies, in Paris and Cassis, where he met Roland Penrose, Jean Varda and Georges Braque, he visited the art school of Hans Hofmann in Munich and, in 1928, Saint-Tropez, he decided to settle in Paris. The year 1928 marks the beginning of the decline of the family's splendour, once founded on the patriarchal rules of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. After a homoerotic affair with a mental healer, his younger brother Hans-Peter died unexpectedly in a Berlin insane asylum of suicide. A tragedy, crucial to Paalen's development, was his beloved brother Rainer's shooting himself in head with a pistol. Wolfgang witnessed the event, although Rainer survived, following treatment in a Berlin hospital and escaped from the city in 1933.
He died in a mental hospital in Czechoslovakia in 1942. In Paris he studied for a short time with Fernand Léger and in 1933 became a member of the Abstraction-Creation group, he left the group in 1935, together with Jean Hélion. His work at this time was inspired by Paul Valery´s Eupalinos and tends to macerate and condensate the abstract hardliners with regard to the Surrealists; the pictorial results may be seen as language games: testing the point to which concrete forms may be reduced to latency and the point where they transmit multiple meanings. Paalen anticipated with this research, in a certain sense, the attempts of such abstractionists as Mark Rothko and Arshile Gorky and amplified his attempts to visualize his idea of human perception as linked to a cosmic texture of latent or possible contents, with whom every organism is interweaved. In 1934 he married the French poet Alic
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture; the innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral was begun in 1160 and completed by 1260, though it was modified in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. Soon after the publication of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, popular interest in the building revived. A major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845 and continued for twenty-five years. Beginning in 1963, the facade of the Cathedral was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime, returning it to its original color.
Another campaign of cleaning and restoration was carried out from 1991-2000. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris. 12 million people visit Notre-Dame yearly. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris was built on a site which in Roman Lutetia is believed to have been occupied by a pagan temple, thence by a Romanesque church, the Basilica of Saint Étienne, built between the 4th century and 7th century; the basilica was situated about 40 meters west of the cathedral and was wider and lower and half its size. King Louis VII of France wanted to build monuments to show that Paris was the political and cultural capital of France. In this context, Maurice de Sully, elevated Bishop in 1160, had the old basilica torn down to its foundations, began to build a larger and taller cathedral; the cornerstone was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The design followed the traditional plan, with the ambulatory and choir, where the altar was located, to the east, the entrance, facing the setting sun, to the west.
By long tradition, the choir, where the altar was located, was constructed first, so that the church could be consecrated and used long before it was completed. The original plan was for a long nave, four levels high, with no transept; the flying buttress was not yet in use, so the walls were thick and reinforced by solid stone abutments placed against them on the outside, by chapels placed between the abutments. The roof of the nave was constructed with a new technology, the rib vault, which had earlier been used in the Basilica of Saint Denis; the roof of the nave was supported by crossed ribs. The pointed arches were stronger than the earlier Romanesque arches, carried the weight of the roof outwards and downwards to rows of pillars, out to the abutments against the walls. Construction of the choir took from 1163 until around 1177; the High Altar was consecrated in 1182. Between 1182 and 1190 the first three traverses of the nave were built up to the level of tribunes. Beginning in 1190, the bases of the facade were put in place, the first traverses were completed.
The decision was made to add a transept at the choir, where the altar was located, in order to bring more light into the center of the church. The use of simpler four-part rather than six-part rib vaults meant that the roofs were stronger and could be higher. After Bishop Maurice de Sully's death in 1196, his successor, Eudes de Sully oversaw the completion of the transepts, continued work on the nave, nearing completion at the time of his own death in 1208. By this time, the western facade was largely built, though it was not completed until around the mid-1240s. Between 1225 and 1250 the upper gallery of the nave was constructed, along with the two towers on the west facade. Another significant change came in the mid 13th century, when the transepts were remodeled in the latest Rayonnant style. Shortly afterwards Pierre de Montreuil executed a similar scheme on the southern transept. Both these transept portals were richly embellished with sculpture. An important innovation in the 13th century was the introduction of the flying buttress.
Before the buttresses, all of the weight of the roof pressed outward and down to the walls, the abutments supporting them. With the flying buttress, the weight was carried by the ribs of the vault outside the structure to a series of counter-supports, which were topped with stone pinnacles which gave them greater weight; the buttresses meant that the walls could be higher and thinner, could have much larger windows. The date of the first buttresses is not known with any precision; the first buttresses were replaced by stronger ones in the 14th century. 1160 Maurice de Sully orders the original cathedral demolished. 1163 Cornerstone laid for Notre-Dame de Paris. 1182 Apse and choir completed. 1196 Bishop Maurice de Sully dies. C.1
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish painter and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his native city of Barcelona in 1975, another, the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, was established in his adoptive city of Palma de Mallorca in 1981. Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, declared an "assassination of painting" in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting. Born into a family of a goldsmith and a watchmaker, Miró grew up in the Barri Gòtic neighborhood of Barcelona; the Miró surname indicates Jewish roots. His father was Miquel Miró Adzerias and his mother was Dolors Ferrà, he began drawing classes at the age of seven at a private school at Carrer del Regomir 13, a medieval mansion.
To the dismay of his father, he enrolled at the fine art academy at La Llotja in 1907. He studied at the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc and he had his first solo show in 1918 at the Galeries Dalmau, where his work was ridiculed and defaced. Inspired by Fauve and Cubist exhibitions in Barcelona and abroad, Miró was drawn towards the arts community, gathering in Montparnasse and in 1920 moved to Paris, but continued to spend his summers in Catalonia. Miró went to business school as well as art school, he began his working career as a clerk when he was a teenager, although he abandoned the business world for art after suffering a nervous breakdown. His early art, like that of the influenced Fauves and Cubists, was inspired by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne; the resemblance of Miró's work to that of the intermediate generation of the avant-garde has led scholars to dub this period his Catalan Fauvist period. A few years after Miró's 1918 Barcelona solo exhibition, he settled in Paris where he finished a number of paintings that he had begun on his parents’ summer home and farm in Mont-roig del Camp.
One such painting, The Farm, showed a transition to a more individual style of painting and certain nationalistic qualities. Ernest Hemingway, who purchased the piece, compared the artistic accomplishment to James Joyce's Ulysses and described it by saying, "It has in it all that you feel about Spain when you are there and all that you feel when you are away and cannot go there. No one else has been able to paint these two opposing things." Miró annually returned to Mont-roig and developed a symbolism and nationalism that would stick with him throughout his career. Two of Miró's first works classified as Surrealist, Catalan Landscape and The Tilled Field, employ the symbolic language, to dominate the art of the next decade. Josep Dalmau arranged Miró's first Parisian solo exhibition, at Galerie la Licorne in 1921. In 1924, Miró joined the Surrealist group; the symbolic and poetic nature of Miró's work, as well as the dualities and contradictions inherent to it, fit well within the context of dream-like automatism espoused by the group.
Much of Miró's work lost the cluttered chaotic lack of focus that had defined his work thus far, he experimented with collage and the process of painting within his work so as to reject the framing that traditional painting provided. This antagonistic attitude towards painting manifested itself when Miró referred to his work in 1924 ambiguously as "x" in a letter to poet friend Michel Leiris; the paintings that came out of this period were dubbed Miró's dream paintings. Miró did not abandon subject matter, though. Despite the Surrealist automatic techniques that he employed extensively in the 1920s, sketches show that his work was the result of a methodical process. Miró's work dipped into non-objectivity, maintaining a symbolic, schematic language; this was most prominent in the repeated Head of a Catalan Peasant series of 1924 to 1925. In 1926, he collaborated with Max Ernst on designs for ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered the technique of grattage, in which one trowels pigment onto a canvas scrapes it away.
Miró returned to a more representational form of painting with The Dutch Interiors of 1928. Crafted after works by Hendrik Martenszoon Sorgh and Jan Steen seen as postcard reproductions, the paintings reveal the influence of a trip to Holland taken by the artist; these paintings share more in common with Tilled Field or Harlequin's Carnival than with the minimalistic dream paintings produced a few years earlier. Miró married Pilar Juncosa in Palma on 12 October 1929, their daughter, María Dolores Miró, was born on 17 July 1930. In 1931, Pierre Matisse opened an art gallery in New York City; the Pierre Matisse Gallery became an influential part of the Modern art movement in America. From the outset Matisse represented Joan Miró and introduced his work to the United States market by exhibiting Miró's work in New York; until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Miró habitually returned to Spain in the summers. Once the war began, he was unable to return home. Unlike many of his surrealist contemporaries, Miró had preferred to stay away from explicitly political commentary in his work.
Though a sense of nationalism pervaded his earliest surreal landscapes and Head of a Catalan Peasant, it was not until Spain's Republican government commissioned him to paint the mural, The Reaper, for the Spanis
Djuna Barnes was an American artist, illustrator and writer best known for her novel Nightwood, a cult classic of lesbian fiction and an important work of modernist literature. In 1913, Barnes began her career as a freelance journalist and illustrator for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. By early 1914, Barnes was a sought feature reporter and illustrator whose work appeared in the city's leading newspapers and periodicals. Barnes' talent and connections with prominent Greenwich Village bohemians afforded her the opportunity to publish her prose, poems and one-act plays in both avant-garde literary journals and popular magazines, publish an illustrated volume of poetry, The Book of Repulsive Women. In 1921, a lucrative commission with McCall's magazine took Barnes to Paris, where she lived for the next ten years. In this period she published A Book, a collection of poetry and short stories, reissued, with the addition of three stories, as A Night Among the Horses, Ladies Almanack, Ryder. During the 1930s, Barnes spent time in England, New York, North Africa.
It was during this restless time that she published Nightwood. In October 1939, after nearly two decades living in Europe, Barnes returned to New York, she published her last major work, the verse play The Antiphon, in 1958, she died in her apartment at Patchin Place, Greenwich Village in June 1982. Barnes was born in a log cabin near Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, her paternal grandmother Zadel Barnes was a writer and Women's Suffrage activist who had once hosted an influential literary salon. Her father, Wald Barnes, was an unsuccessful composer and painter. An advocate of polygamy, he married Barnes's mother Elizabeth in 1889, they had eight children. Zadel, who believed her son was a misunderstood artistic genius, struggled to provide for the entire family, supplementing her diminishing income by writing begging letters to friends and acquaintances; as the second oldest child, Barnes spent much of her childhood helping care for siblings and half-siblings. She received her early education at home from her father and grandmother, who taught her writing and music but neglected subjects such as math and spelling.
She claimed to have had no formal schooling at all. It is possible that at the age of 16 she was raped, either by a neighbor with the knowledge and consent of her father, or by her father himself. However, these are rumors and unconfirmed by Barnes, who never managed to complete her autobiography. What is known is that Barnes and her father continued to write warm letters to one another until his death in 1934. Barnes does refer to a rape obliquely in her first novel Ryder and more directly in her furious final play The Antiphon. Sexually explicit references in correspondence from her grandmother, with whom she shared a bed for years, suggest incest, or overly familiar teasing, but Zadel—dead for 40 years by the time The Antiphon was written—was left out of its indictments. Shortly before her 18th birthday she reluctantly "married" Fanny Clark's brother Percy Faulkner in a private ceremony without benefit of clergy, he was 52. The match had been promoted by her father, grandmother and brother, but she stayed with him for no more than two months.
In 1912 Barnes' family, facing financial ruin, split up. Elizabeth moved to New York City with Barnes and three of her brothers filed for divorce, freeing Wald to marry Fanny Clark; the move gave Barnes an opportunity to study art formally for the first time. Upon arriving at the Daily Eagle, Barnes declared, "I can draw and write, you'd be a fool not to hire me", words that were inscribed inside the Brooklyn Museum. Over the next few years her work appeared in every newspaper in New York, including The New York Press, The World and McCall's, she published short fiction in the New York Morning Telegraph's Sunday supplement and in the pulp magazine All-Story Cavalier Weekly. Much of Barnes' journalism was experiential. Writing about a conversation with James Joyce, she admitted to missing part of what he said because her attention had wandered, though she revered Joyce's writing. Interviewing the successful playwright Donald Ogden Stewart, she shouted at him for "roll over and find yourself famous" while other writers continued to struggle said she wouldn't mind dying.
For "The Girl and the Gorilla," published by New York World Magazine in October 1914 she has a conversation with Dinah, a female gorilla at the Bronx Zoo. For another 1914 New York World magazine article she submitted to force-feeding, a technique being used on hunger-striking suffragists. Barnes wrote, "If I, play acting, felt my being burning with revolt at this brutal usurpation of my own functions, how they who suffered the ordeal in its acutest horror must have flamed at the violat
Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centered at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail. Montparnasse has been part of Paris since 1669; the area gives its name to: Gare Montparnasse: trains to Brittany, TGV to Rennes, Bordeaux, Le Mans. The Pasteur Institute is located in the area. Beneath the ground are tunnels of the Catacombs of Paris. Students in the 17th century who came to recite poetry in the hilly neighbourhood nicknamed it after "Mount Parnassus", home to the nine Muses of arts and sciences in Greek mythology; the hill was levelled to construct the Boulevard Montparnasse in the 18th century. During the French Revolution many dance halls and cabarets opened their doors; the area is known for cafés and bars, such as the Breton restaurants specialising in crêpes located a few blocks from the Gare Montparnasse. In the 18th century, students recited poems at the foot of an artificial hillock of rock rubble from the catacombs, a near-by network of underground galleries.
They decided to baptize this mound "Mount Parnassus", named after the one celebrated by Greek poets. In early 20th century, many Bretons driven out of their region by poverty arrived by train at Montparnasse station, the heart of the district, settled near-by. Montparnasse became famous in the 1920s, referred to as les Années Folles, the 1930s as the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. From 1910 to the start of World War II, Paris' artistic circles migrated to Montparnasse as alternative to the Montmartre district, the intellectual breeding ground for the previous generation of artists; the Paris of Zola, France, Fauré, a group that had assembled more on the basis of status affinity than actual artistic tastes, indulging in the refinements of Dandyism, was at the opposite end of the economic and political spectrum from the gritty, tough-talking, die-hard, emigrant artists that peopled Montparnasse. Penniless painters, writers and composers came from around the world to thrive in the creative atmosphere and for the cheap rent at artist communes such as La Ruche.
Living without running water, in damp, unheated "studios" free of rats, many sold their works for a few francs just to buy food. Jean Cocteau once said. First promoted by art dealers such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, today works by those artists sell for millions of euros. In post-World War I Paris, Montparnasse was a euphoric meeting ground for the artistic world. Fernand Léger wrote of that period: "man…relaxes and recaptures his taste for life, his frenzy to dance, to spend money…an explosion of life-force fills the world." They came to Montparnasse from all over the globe, from Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, from the United States, Mexico and South America, from as far away as Japan. Manuel Ortiz de Zárate, Camilo Mori and others made their way from Chile where the profound innovations in art spawned the formation of the Grupo Montparnasse in Santiago. A few of the other artists who gathered in Montparnasse were Jacob Macznik, Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, Ossip Zadkine, Julio Gonzalez, Moise Kisling, Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Marios Varvoglis, Marc Chagall, Nina Hamnett, Jean Rhys, Fernand Léger, Jacques Lipchitz, Max Jacob, Blaise Cendrars, Chaim Soutine, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, Amedeo Modigliani, Ford Madox Ford, Toño Salazar, Ezra Pound, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp-Crotti, Henri Rousseau, Constantin Brâncuși, Paul Fort, Juan Gris, Diego Rivera, Federico Cantú, Angel Zarraga, Tsuguharu Foujita, Marie Vassilieff, Léon-Paul Fargue, Alberto Giacometti, René Iché, André Breton, Alfonso Reyes, Nils Dardel, Salvador Dalí, Henry Miller, Samuel Beckett, Emil Cioran, Reginald Gray, Endre Ady poet and journalist, Joan Miró, Hilaire Hiler and, in his declining years, Edgar Degas.
Montparnasse was a community where creativity was embraced with all its oddities, each new arrival welcomed unreservedly by its existing members. When Tsuguharu Foujita arrived from Japan in 1913 not knowing a soul, he met Soutine, Pascin and Léger the same night and within a week became friends with Juan Gris and Matisse. In 1914, when the English painter Nina Hamnett arrived in Montparnasse, on her first evening the smiling man at the next table at La Rotonde graciously introduced himself as "Modigliani and Jew", they became good friends, Hamnett recounting how she once borrowed a jersey and corduroy trousers from Modigliani went to La Rotonde and danced in the street all night. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of Americans in Paris swelled from 6,000 to 30,000. While most of the artistic community gathered here were struggling to eke out an existence, well-heeled American socialites such as Peggy Guggenheim, Edith Wharton from New York City, Harry Crosby from Boston and Beatrice Wood from San Francisco were caught in the fever of creativity.
Robert McAlmon, Maria and Eugene Jolas came to Paris and published their literary magazine Transition. Harry Crosby and his wife Caresse would establish the Black Sun Press in Paris in 1927, publishing works by such future luminaries as D. H. Lawrence, Archibald M
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor and photographer who made his career in France. Considered a pioneer of modernism, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century, Brâncuși is called the patriarch of modern sculpture; as a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest to Munich to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1905 to 1907, his art emphasizes clean geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Brâncuși sought inspiration in non-European cultures as a source of primitive exoticism, as did Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, André Derain and others. However, other influences emerge from Romanian folk art traceable through Byzantine and Dionysian traditions. Brâncuși grew up in the village of Hobiţa, near Târgu Jiu, close to Romania's Carpathian Mountains, an area known for its rich tradition of folk crafts woodcarving. Geometric patterns of the region are seen in his works.
His parents Nicolae and Maria Brâncuși were poor peasants who earned a meager living through back-breaking labor. He showed talent for carving objects out of wood, ran away from home to escape the bullying of his father and older brothers. At the age of nine, Brâncuși left the village to work in the nearest large town. At 11 he went into the service of a grocer in Slatina; when he was 18, Brâncuși created a violin by hand with materials. Impressed by Brâncuși's talent for carving, an industrialist entered him in the Craiova School of Arts and Crafts, where he pursued his love for woodworking, graduating with honors in 1898, he enrolled in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, where he received academic training in sculpture. He worked hard, distinguished himself as talented. One of his earliest surviving works, under the guidance of his anatomy teacher, Dimitrie Gerota, is a masterfully rendered écorché, exhibited at the Romanian Athenaeum in 1903. Though just an anatomical study, it foreshadowed the sculptor's efforts to reveal essence rather than copy outward appearance.
In 1903, Brâncuși traveled to Munich, from there to Paris. In Paris, he was welcomed by the community of intellectuals brimming with new ideas, he worked for two years in the workshop of Antonin Mercié of the École des Beaux-Arts, was invited to enter the workshop of Auguste Rodin. Though he admired the eminent Rodin he left the Rodin studio after only two months, saying, "Nothing can grow under big trees."After leaving Rodin's workshop, Brâncuși began developing the revolutionary style for which he is known. His first commissioned work, The Prayer, was part of a gravestone memorial, it depicts a young woman crossing herself as she kneels, marks the first step toward abstracted, non-literal representation, shows his drive to depict "not the outer form but the idea, the essence of things." He began doing more carving, rather than the method popular with his contemporaries, that of modeling in clay or plaster which would be cast in metal, by 1908 he worked exclusively by carving. In the following few years he made many versions of Sleeping Muse and The Kiss, further simplifying forms to geometrical and sparse objects.
His works became popular in France and the United States. Collectors, notably John Quinn, bought his pieces, reviewers praised his works. In 1913 Brâncuși's work was displayed at both the Salon des Indépendants and the first exhibition in the U. S. of modern art, the Armory Show. In 1920, he developed a notorious reputation with the entry of Princess X in the Salon; the phallic appearance of this large, gleaming bronze piece scandalized the Salon and, despite Brâncuși's explanation that it was meant to represent the essence of womanhood, removed it from the exhibition. Princess X was revealed to be Princess Marie Bonaparte, direct descendant of the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte; the sculpture has been interpreted by some as symbolizing her obsession with the penis and her lifelong quest to achieve vaginal orgasm, with the help of Sigmund Freud. Around this time Brâncuși began crafting the bases for his sculptures with much care and originality because he considered them important to the works themselves.
One of his major groups of sculptures involved the Bird in Space — simple abstract shapes representing a bird in flight. The works are based on his earlier Măiastra series. In Romanian folklore the Măiastra is a beautiful golden bird who foretells the future and cures the blind. Over the following 20 years, Brâncuși made multiple versions of Bird in Space out of marble or bronze. Athena Tacha Spear's book, Brâncuși's Birds, first sorted out the 36 versions and their development, from the early Măiastra, to the Golden Bird of the late teens, to the Bird in Space, which emerged in the early 1920s and which Brâncuși developed throughout his life. One of these versions caused a major controversy in 1926, when photographer Edward Steichen purchased it and shipped it to the United States. Customs officers did not accept the Bird as a work of art and assessed customs duty on its import as an industrial item. After protracted court proceedings, this assessment was overturned, thus confirming the Bird's status as a duty-exempt work of art.
The ruling established the important principle that "art" does not have to i
A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held to amuse one another and to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate". Salons in the tradition of the French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries were carried on until as as the 1940s in urban settings; the salon was an Italian invention of the 16th century, which flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The salon continued to flourish in Italy throughout the 19th century. In 16th-century Italy, some brilliant circles formed in the smaller courts which resembled salons galvanized by the presence of a beautiful and educated patroness such as Isabella d'Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga. One important place for the exchange of ideas was the salon; the word salon first appeared in France in 1664. Literary gatherings before this were referred to by using the name of the room in which they occurred, like cabinet, réduit and alcôve.
Before the end of the 17th century, these gatherings were held in the bedroom: a lady, reclining on her bed, would receive close friends who would sit on chairs or stools drawn around. This practice may be contrasted with the greater formalities of Louis XIV's petit lever, where all stood. Ruelle meaning "narrow street" or "lane", designates the space between a bed and the wall in a bedroom; the first renowned salon in France was the Hôtel de Rambouillet not far from the Palais du Louvre in Paris, which its hostess, Roman-born Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet, ran from 1607 until her death. She established the rules of etiquette of the salon which resembled the earlier codes of Italian chivalry; the history of the salon is far from straightforward. The salon has been studied in depth by a mixture of feminist, cultural and intellectual historians; each of these methodologies focuses on different aspects of the salon, thus have varying analyses of its importance in terms of French history and the Enlightenment as a whole Major historiographical debates focus on the relationship between the salons and the public sphere, as well as the role of women within the salons.
Breaking down the salons into historical periods is complicated due to the various historiographical debates that surround them. Most studies stretch from the early 16th century up until around the end of the 18th century. Goodman is typical in ending her study at the French Revolution where, she writes:'the literary public sphere was transformed into the political public'. Steven Kale is alone in his recent attempts to extend the period of the salon up until Revolution of 1848:A whole world of social arrangements and attitude supported the existence of French salons: an idle aristocracy, an ambitious middle class, an active intellectual life, the social density of a major urban center, sociable traditions, a certain aristocratic feminism; this world did not disappear in 1789. In the 1920s, Gertrude Stein's Saturday evening salons gained notoriety for including Pablo Picasso and other twentieth-century luminaries like Alice B. Toklas; the content and form of the salon to some extent defines the character and historical importance of the salon.
Contemporary literature about the salons is dominated by idealistic notions of politesse, civilité and honnêteté, but whether the salons lived up to these standards is matter of debate. Older texts on the salons tend to paint an idealistic picture of the salons, where reasoned debate takes precedence and salons are egalitarian spheres of polite conversation. Today, this view is considered an adequate analysis of the salon. Dena Goodman claims that rather than being leisure based or'schools of civilité' salons were instead at'the heart of the philosophic community' and thus integral to the process of Enlightenment. In short, Goodman argues, the 17th and 18th century saw the emergence of the academic, Enlightenment salons, which came out of the aristocratic'schools of civilité'. Politeness, argues Goodman, took second-place to academic discussion; the period in which salons were dominant has been labeled the'age of conversation'. The topics of conversation within the salons - that is, what was and was not'polite' to talk about - are thus vital when trying to determine the form of the salons.
The salonnières were expected, ideally, to moderate the conversation. There is, however, no universal agreement among historians as to what was and was not appropriate conversation. Marcel Proust'insisted that politics was scrupulously avoided'. Others suggested that little other than government was discussed; the disagreements that surround the content of discussion explain why the salon's relationship with the public sphere is so contested. Individuals and collections of individuals that have been of cultural significance overwhelmingly cite some form of engaged, explorative conversation held with an esteemed group of acquaintances as the source of inspiration for their contributions to culture, art and politics, leading some scholars to posit the salon's influence on the public sphere as being more widespread than pre