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Victor Brauner- "Signe" 1942- Mounted on his tomb in Montmartre

Victor Brauner- “Signe” 1942- Mounted on his tomb in Montmartre

Painting is life, the real life, my life.

Victor Brauner, epitaph on his grave in Paris

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The sculpted piece above is part, along with the quote above,  of the Montmartre tomb of Victor Brauner, a Romanian Jewish painter/sculptor who lived from 1903 to 1966, spending most of his life in France.  It depicts the heads he often portrayed in his Surrealistic paintings.

I can’t quite remember how I first came across the work of  Brauner.  I think it might have been in an article that had anti-Nazi art from the 1930’s.  He had painted a couple of paintings in 1934 and 1935 during Hitler’s rise, one depicting a fantasy portrait of Hitler with his head being pierced with all sorts of implements.  A knife in the eye , for example.  The other depicted a German military figure standing atop a swastika that is crushing the bodies under it. Both are powerful propaganda images and are shown below.

But I stumbled across his other work apart from these images and they caught my attention on their own.  They are surreal images that often have a Paul Klee-like mysticism in them that I am drawn to.  Maybe I also identify with something Brauner once wrote in his notebooks: Each painting that I make is projected from the deepest sources of my anxiety…

Whatever the case, I find them interesting, something more to delve into.  Take a look.

Victor Brauner- The Surrealist 1947

Victor Brauner- The Surrealist 1947

Victor Brauner- Hitler 1934

Victor Brauner- Hitler 1934

Victor Brauner- Untitled 1935

Victor Brauner- Untitled 1935

Victor Brauner- La Petrification de la Papesse

Victor Brauner- La Petrification de la Papesse

Victor Brauner- Prelude to a Civilization 1954

Victor Brauner- Prelude to a Civilization 1954

Victor Brauner- Consciousness of Shock 1951

Victor Brauner- Consciousness of Shock 1951

Victor Brauner- Antithesis 1937

Victor Brauner- Antithesis 1937

Victor Brauner- The Triumph of Doubt 1946

Victor Brauner- The Triumph of Doubt 1946

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Sapanta_Peri_monastery_1Last week I showed the Merry Cemetery in Romania with its colorful wooden tombstones.  After that, a friend sent me a link to another blog that showed an image of a  nearby monastery, Peri Monastery,  in the same town, Sapanta.  It was a magnificent structure, supposedly the tallest wooden structure in Europe, that looked like something pulled from a fairy tale.  Despite its appearance, it is a new structure but one that is in the tradition of the wooden churches of that region, with wooden shingles on the roof and wooden pegs used throughout instead of nails.

Nearby is the bell tower for the monastery.  It is an equally striking building as is the carved gate to the grounds.

sapanta-peri-monastery-bell tower

Bell Tower, Peri Monastery, Sapanta, Romania

sapanta-peri-monastery-02-gateWhile looking at some other images of this monastery, I came across these images below that captured my imagination.  One is a winter scene of a destroyed church.  I don’t have any info on the story behind this but it is an intriguing photo.  The other is of haystacks in the field.  They stack the hay on poles which creates these slender, almost human-like shapes, that seem to be marching across the fields. Fittingly, the Romanians call them Germans.  I kind of think they look like the Shmoos from the old Li’l Abner comics.

Sapanta Romania Winter Scene Romanian Hay Stacks- Germans

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