Monthly Archives: June 2012

Quotation: Peter Abelard (1079 – 1142)

“The first key to wisdom is defined, of course, as assiduous and frequent questioning.”

from Sic et Non, translated by W. J. Lewis

Short Verse Friday: Free Will

We slip the inborn straits of fate
like exits on the Interstate.

To hell with a hand bag

Chartres has been on my mind a lot this week. In July of 1992, a few days after my eighteenth birthday I spent about three hours at Chartres as part of a whirlwind ten day tour of France. I remember very few visual details from those hours though I tried to see a much as I could in the meager time allotted to us. I suppose at the time I assumed that I would have the opportunity to see it again one day soon. After all, it was my second trip to Europe in as many years. It is curious how my European travels came to complete cessation after my parents were no longer picking up the tab.

I didn’t take any photos while there, instead trying to focus on more direct experience. But I did purchase the little print below. When I got back home that summer I had it matted and it has traveled with me to many dorm rooms, apartments and houses and it remains a source of reflection and inspiration. It is a fairly unremarkable image but it does give me hope that I will again one day gaze up in wonder at that amazing place.

A print which hangs in my workspace. “A demon leading a miser to Hell.” Chartres Cathedral, South Portal.

Thank you Dr. Stuart Whatling

…for making your doctoral thesis and research, The Corpus of Medieval Narrative Art, available on the internet. It is a treasure trove of imagery and scholarship.

As of today he has posted over 2,700 pages of images from Amiens, Chartres, Bourges, and others. What a resource!

Chartres Cathedral, The “Seraph” Clerestory Window, (bay 103, panel 04).
© Stuart Whatling, 2008

Idle Angels: forgotten inspiration

Last night I was organizing some visual research for Pinterest (I still don’t quite understand the utility of Pinterest but I’m using it anyway) and buried in some forgotten folder in plain site I happened upon this image that I downloaded back in 2009 when I first drew “The Voyeur.”

I am startled to see how many lessons I have learned from this panel of stained glass from the Musée de Cluny. But I can also see I have a lot to yet learn.

A stained glass panel depicting “judgement day” from the Musée de Cluny.

The Insomniac and The Vigilante: nearly finished

Still tweaking to do but very close now.

Quotation: Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809 – 1894)

Most persons have died before they expire, –died to all earthly longings, so that the last breath is only, as it were, the locking of the door of the already deserted mansion.

from The Professor at the Breakfast Table, 1860.