Van Gogh and Britain

We start with a question. Is knowledge of the background of an artist necessary to understanding and appreciating his or her work? The ongoing art exhibit at the Tate and an article on van Gogh seems to think it is. But it can be fun and self-educational to go into a group art show, look…

Succubi

Succubi As mentioned in a previous blog, a succubus is a demon who takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men while they sleep, usually through sexual activity. She is often depicted as a highly attractive enchantress. At times, a succubus is pictured as wearing wings, fangs, hooves or snake-like eyes. The…

Symbols in Art

Symbols in art Vodou like many religions invoke the spirit to address circumstances occurring beyond our comprehension. Figure B-1 is a painting by the Haitian artist, Hector Hyppolite. Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) used symbols for spirits in many of his paintings. Hyppolite was a third generation vodou priest, or houngan. If you remember in an earlier…

Shadows and Symbols in Art

We are aware of our shadows. We sense them, see them and at times feel them. Shadows are universal. In some cultures the shadows are treated as spirits or ghosts and often feared. Chhaya is the Hindu goddess of shadows. Chhaya was born from the shadow of Sanjna and replaced Sanjna in her house. In…