Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TC: Carl Spitzweg: Back to Books



Reading the Breviary, Evening
: Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885), 1839, oil on canvas (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

Dear Margie, hello It is 5.15 a.m.
dear Berrigan He died
Back to books.

Ted Berrigan, Sonnet II (excerpt), from The Sonnets, 1964

O bliss of the collector, bliss of the man of leisure! Of no one has less been expected, and no one has had a greater sense of well-being than the man who has been able to carry on his disreputable existence in the mask of Spitzweg's "Bookworm." For inside him there are spirits, or at least little genii, which have seen to it that for a collector -- and I mean a real collector, a collector as he ought to be -- ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them. So I have erected one of his dwellings, with books as the building stones, before you, and now he is going to disappear inside, as is only fitting.

Walter Benjamin: from Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting, 1931

Even the dream of a "better humanity" in which our children would "have a better life" is only a sentimental fantasy reminiscent of Spitzweg when it is not, at bottom, a dream of a better nature in which they would live.

Walter Benjamin: from Das Passagen-Werk, 1982

The Bookworm (Der Bücherwurm): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1850, oil on canvas;
image by Tagada Victoria, 10 October 2008 (Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt)

File:Carl Spitzweg - Der arme Poet (Neue Pinakothek).jpg

The Poor Poet (der Arme Poet): Carl Spitzweg, 1839, oil on canvas, 36.2 x 44.6 cm; image by Cybershot 800i, 20 June 2011 (Neue Pinakothek, Munich)

Perfume of a Rose, Memory (Rosenduft, Erinnerung): Carl Spitzweg, oil on canvas, 1849

The Professor (Zeitungsleser im Hausgarten): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1860, oil on panel, 21.3 x 15.5 cm (Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern)

Art and Knowledge (Kunst und Wissenschaft): Carl Spitzweg, 1880, oil on canvas

File:Carl Spitzweg - Der verbotene Weg.jpg
The Forbidden Path (Der verbotene Weg): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1840, oil on canvas, 38.3 x 31.2 cm; image by LeastCommonAncestor, 17 November 2010 (Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt)

File:Der Hagestolz (Carl Spitzweg).jpg

The Bachelor (Der Hagestolz): Carl Spitzweg, n.d., oil on panel, 38.2 x 46 cm (Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig)

File:Carl Spitzweg - Ein Gelehrter der Naturwissenschaften.jpg

Scholar of Natural Sciences: Carl Spitzweg, c. 1875-1880, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 57.15 x 31.93 cm (Milwaukee Art Museum)


The Cactus Lover: Carl Spitzweg, c. 1850, oil  on canvas (Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt)


A Visit: Carl Spitzweg, c. 1850, oil on cardboard, 22.1 x 26.7 cm (Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt)

File:Ein Besuch 2 (Carl Spitzweg).jpg

A Visit (Ein Besuch) (detail): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1850; image by Immanuel Giel, 3 September 2007
(Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt) 

File:Ein Besuch 1 (Carl Spitzweg).jpg

A Visit (Ein Besuch) (detail): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1850; image by Immanuel Giel, 3 September 2007 (Sammlung Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt)

File:Der Rabe (Carl Spitzweg).jpg

The Raven: Carl Spitzweg, c. 1840, oil on canvas (Baxerische Staatsgemäldesammlung, Munich)

File:Der Rabe (Carl Spitzweg, Ausschnitt).jpg

The Raven (detail): Carl Spitzweg, c. 1840 (Baxerische Staatsgemäldesammlung, Munich)