Take a look at these images and just study them for a minute. Examine the expressions, the details, and, most importantly, the feeling that is conveyed by them. Here you go, I’ll wait:
Think they have anything in common? Obviously, they’re all featuring young women who appear to be in vulnerable situations. All imply that there is a change in the season coming (as shown by the falling leaves and snow), and the women appear to be..shall we say….not exactly hard workers. The first woman appears to be a courtesan, or perhaps a dancing girl, who is vulnerable and helpless now that the music has stopped and the reality of winter is approaching. Same for the second and third girl, evidenced by her mandolin…ill-clothed and ill-prepared for the coming winter she clutches her mandolin and hopes for the best.
Follow that up with this bit of artwork:
Another girl, with a mandolin, standing at the threshold of what appears to be a decently provided-for house where the woman of the house looks upon her disdainfully. Have you figured out what all three of these paintings (admittedly, the last three moreso than the first) represent? They are all artistic interpretations/representations of the parable of The Ant And The Grasshopper. The grasshopper, as we recall, fiddled away the summer as the ant worked hard in preparation for the winter. When the seasons changed and winter came blowing, the grasshopper was (depending on your version of the story) left to beg the from ant to survive, or in the more classic cases he dies from his lack of foresight. These bits of artwork convey that story by putting human faces on the characters. The girl with the instrument is the grasshopper who, having whiled away the productive summer in song and dance, has found herself caught in the cold and is not able to fend for herself.Left in the cold, without the aid of the ant, she’ll surely perish.
I share these because every so often I stumble across images on the internet that evoke feelings in me that keep me focused and driven when I get a little complacent and start thinking “Ahhhh..this is good enough. We’ll be okay.” I find them to be good reminders of what I should be doing and why. The Grasshopper one I’ve been aware of for a while. Here’s one I stumbled across on the internet yesterday:
From the caption I found, this is a six-year-old boy in Austria in 1946 who has just received a new pair of shoes from the International Red Cross. You can see the detail of the shoes on his feet and then contrast that with the absolutely unbridled joy on his face and the way he clutches the new shoes to his chest. Six years old and the thing that makes him happy beyond measure is new shoes…at a time in his life when all he should be thinking about is toys, games, hanging out with his friends, and doing kid stuff. If that image doesn’t make you wanna go stock up a few more things in the basement I dunno what would.I don’t ever want to be in a situation where a new pair of shoes, a hot meal, a warm blanket, or anything like that becomes so scarce a commodity in my life that when I finally get it I become this overwhelmed with joy. My goal in life is to find things like that to be dull and unremarkable because they are always available and present in my life.
I think I’d like to get a print of that second and third painting, though.
No tag for this post since ‘art interpretations’ aren’t something I expect to be posting about very often.