Not often do you find a painting depicting something that’s already in the news, but apparently this painting was in the news, because it happened to be the subject of a painting that was created in 1836. This painting is titled “Freedom Famine”, and it depicts the aftermath of the 1817-1819 Irish Potato Famine. The painting was done by an unknown artist, however, the news is that the artist made a mistake.
A painting by John Leech that hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London for decades was recently rediscovered in the collection of the Museum of London. It depicts the 18th century English inventor and physicist William Whiston — you might also recognise his name as the co-author of the famous “Principia Discordia”, a notorious cult text about religion, magic and Time travel
Can time travel? Why do you ask? We don’t ask Ebenezer Scrooge, but we are taken into the past and future of Christmas. On the contrary, we readily accept movement in either direction, do we not? Even though the story was written almost two centuries ago, we tell it to our children as gospel, even though Scrooge is fiction, as he travels through time, we accept it.
And yet the question of the existence of time travel resurfaced last week, as if the ghosts of Christmas never existed. This confusion was reflected on June 2 in an article in Yahoo News, entitled People are freaking out about this 1860 painting, which appears to be depicting an iPhone. According to Yahoo, people who see the painting Waiting by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller at the Neue Pinakothek in Munich are looking at their mobile device. The painting shows a young woman walking along a path, so engrossed in the object she is holding that she does not notice the young man waiting impatiently with the flower. The way she holds the object with both hands is similar to what we do when we text. But, of course, this is impossible. Smartphones didn’t come on the market until 2007. They existed in the 19th century. Not in the nineteenth century, unless a young woman has made a time travel to the nineteenth century. The century has done.
But wait, isn’t there a more important point here? Doesn’t the interpretation of art depend on the context, on a personal perspective? We see the small object in the young woman’s hand as a smartphone because we see it with the eyes of the 21st century. Look at the twentieth century. So the main point of the Yahoo story is not whether time travel exists, but the reliability of any forbidden interpretation of the art. Let us take the extreme case of the Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus by Peter Paul Rubens. The title convinces us that we are dealing with a criminal robbery. But this is not what Rubens painted. Instead, he illustrated the Greek myth of Phoebe and Hilair as it was written. The myth shows how the sisters are carried off by Pollux and Castor, who, according to the myth, were fascinated by the sisters’ beauty. Rubens even paints Castor as concerned and caring.
I think Rubens identified with Castor. In the history books, the artist appears as a happy family man. He didn’t have a Dark Side But I know, and I can see, that something bad is going on in this picture. Maybe I feel this way because of today’s feminist attitude. The sight of naked women with men dressed on horseback does not fit the #MeToo mentality. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe from Rubens’ point of view this scene is not an abduction, but a frolic, and the women are not fighting, but in the throes of a wild release and having a good time. It’s in the sun, after all. There are no chilling shadows here to mark the horror scene. British Rubens expert Kerry Downs even went so far as to call the painting a romance. The personal perspective determines the interpretation in art. All the rest of this story is just hot air. NASA’s Space Place website states that time travel does exist, but not in the Hollywood sense: Under certain circumstances it is possible to get the impression that time is passing at a different speed. But NASA is talking about seconds, not centuries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED