Alphabetarion # Halloween / Jack-O'-Lantern | Yvonne Craig / Mia Farrow / Vampira / Barbara Eden / Rita Hayworth / Veronica Lake / Shirley MacLaine

Yvonne Craig as Batgirl, 1960’s                                            Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby
Vampira, 1954                                                                    Barbara Eden
Publicity photo from the television program The Munsters for Halloween.
Al Lewis (Grandpa), Beverley Owen (Marilyn), and Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster)
Pinky Tomlin and Rita Cansino ( Rita Hayworth), Halloween party, 1936
Alfred Hitchcock with a Skull and a Glass                                Alfred Hitchcock Presents,  1958

Shirley MacLaine in Artists and Models (1955)                                      Veronica Lake as Jennifer / I Married a Witch - René Clair (1942)

A Drinking Song | W.B. Yeats, 1910

Divided Heaven, dir. Konrad Wolf, 1964

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats, A Drinking Song, 
The Green Helmet and Other Poems, 1910 

The right hand of the Colossus of Constantine / Rome

Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Rome, 1952     
 Elliott Erwitt, 1968                                                                                   Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Capitoline Museum, Rome, 1952  
John Vink, 1981      
Josef Koudelka, 1985

The Colossus of Constantine c. 312–315 AD was a colossal acrolithic statue of the late Roman
 emperor Constantine the Great (c. 280–337) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of
 Maxentius near the Forum Romanum in Rome.

Halloween / Chicago | Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1948-1952)

Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Halloween, Chicago, 1948-52
Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Halloween, Chicago, 1950                                                      Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Untitled, Chicago, 1948-52
Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Halloween, Chicago, 1948-52
Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Halloween 2, Chicago, 1950
Yasuhiro Ishimoto, 1949-1950

International Animation Day: 28 Oct. 1892 / Théâtre Optique | Charles-Émile Reynaud (1844 –1918) / Pauvre Pierrot (aka Poor Pete) 1892

Charles-Émile Reynaud (1844 –1918) was a French inventor, responsible for the first projected animated cartoons. Reynaud created the Praxinoscope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888, and on 28 October 1892 he projected the first animated film in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used.

< The Théâtre Optique moving picture show presented for the first time by Charles-Émile Reynaud in Paris ~ 28th October 1892.

The show, billed as Pantomimes Lumineuses, included three cartoons, Pauvre Pierrot, Un bon bock, and Le Clown et ses chiens, each consisting of 500 to 600 individually painted images and lasting about 15 minutes.

Poster advertising Reynard's first Théâtre Optique show / Le Clown et Ses Chiens. >
It was the shortest of the three 1892 films by Reynaud, which only went for a duration of 300 frames. No images from this short-film were recorded or kept. 

< Un bon bock by Charles-Emile Reynaud was also part of his "Theatre Optique" show in 1892, which featured "Pauvre Pierrot". It was a 700 frame short-film.

Reynaud acted as the projectionist and the show was accompanied by a piano player. Although the films shown by the Lumière Brothers in 1895 eclipsed it, the show stayed at the Musée Grévin until 1900 by which time over 500,000 people had seen it.

Pauvre Pierrot (aka Poor Pete) is an 1892 French short animated film directed by Charles-Émile ReynaudIt consists of 500 individually painted images and lasts about 15 minutes.

Ryanaud's late years were tragic after 1910 when, his creations outmoded by the Cinematograph, dejected and penniless, he threw the greater part of his irreplaceable work and unique equipment into the Seine.

The public had forgotten his "Théatre Optique" shows, which had been a celebrated attraction at the Musée Grevin between 1892 and 1900. 

He died in a hospice on the banks of the Seine where he had been cared for since 29 March 1917.
Pauvre Pierrot (Emile Reynaud, 1892)

The madman / Bolero | Maurice Ravel / Ida Rubinstein / Νίκος Καββαδίας, 1928

Ida Lvovna Rubinstein (1885-1960) was a Russian actress, dancer, patron and Belle Époque figure. She commissioned and performed in Maurice Ravel's Boléro in 1928.

Before he left for a triumphant tour of North America in January 1928, Maurice Ravel had agreed to write a Spanish-flavoured ballet score for his friend, the Russian dancer and actress Ida Rubinstein.

< Valentin Serov - Portrait of Ida Rubinstein (as Salome), 1910

Boléro’s famous theme came to him on holiday in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

He was about to go for a swim when he called a friend over to the piano and, playing the melody with one finger, asked: “Don’t you think that has an insistent quality? I’m going to try to repeat it a number of times without any development, gradually increasing the orchestra as best I can.”

He began work in July. By Ravel’s standards the piece was completed quickly, in five months – it had to be ready for Rubinstein to choreograph.

 “Once the idea of using only one theme was discovered,” he asserted, “any conservatory student could have done as well.”

< Romaine Brooks, Ida Rubinstein, 1911- 1912

Boléro was given its first performance at the Paris Opéra on November 20, 1928. The premiere was acclaimed by a shouting, stamping, cheering audience in the midst of which a woman was heard screaming: “Au fou, au fou!” (“The madman! The madman!”). When Ravel was told of this, he reportedly replied: “That lady… she understood.”

''Μες στ' αυτιά μου βουίζουν ώρα πολλη ήχοι μουσικῆς. Το Μπολερο του Ravel. Μοιάζει τη σκέψη ἑνος τρελού αυτό το κομμάτι, μια σκέψη που θέλει να ξεφύγει, ν' ἁπλωθεῖ μα δεν μπορεί και χτυπιέται γυρίζοντας. Μια ἀχτίνα φωτός που παίζει σ' ένα δωμάτιο σκοτεινό! Ἕνα έντομο κλεισμένο σ' ένα δοχείο.''

Νίκος Καββαδίας
γράμμα στην αδερφή του Τζένια, 21.3.41

The dancing ensemble Ida Rubinstein in the ballet 'Bolero' by Maurice Ravel, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, 1929

Ravel - Bolero

Playgrounds | Colin Ward, 1978

 ph. Ann Golzen

"One should be able to play everywhere, easily, loosely, and not forced into 
a 'playground' or 'park'... The failure of an urban environment can be
 measured in direct proportion to the number of playgrounds."

Colin Ward, The Child in the City,  1978


Portraits of Virginia Woolf by her sister, Vanessa Bell (1911-1912)

Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, 1911-1912
Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, 1912
A young Vanessa Bell paints while her sister, Virginia Woolf
and two brothers, Thoby and Adrian, look on.

Vanessa Bell (1879 - 1961) was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury group, and the sister of Virginia Woolf.


Alphabetarion # Escape / Anaïs Nin / W. S. Burroughs / Victor Habchy / Edouard Boubat

Victor Habchy

“Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, 
I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” 

Anaïs Nin, Incest: From a Journal of Love. 1932-34

Edouard Boubat, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, 1978

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything
they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”

William S. Burroughs

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years / Marie van Goethem | Edgar Degas, c. 1881

Francis Schlowsky - Les Jumelles et Degas, 1990

The Little Fourteen–Year–Old Dancer  is a c. 1881 sculpture by Edgar Degas of a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school named Marie van Goethem.

The exact relationship between Marie van Goethem and Edgar Degas is a matter of debate. It was common in 1880 for the "Petits Rats" of the Paris Opera to seek protectors from among the wealthy visitors at the back door of the opera.

When the La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans was shown in Paris at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition of 1881, it received mixed reviews. The majority of critics were shocked by the piece. They compared the dancer to a monkey and an Aztec and referred to her as a "flower of precocious depravity," with a face "marked by the hateful promise of every vice" and "bearing the signs of a profoundly heinous character." She looked like a medical specimen, they reported, in part because Degas exhibited the sculpture inside a glass case.

< Marilyn Monroe and Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, Edgar Degas

''The life of the ballet girl was indeed harsh, and the choices she had to make just to survive sometimes backfired on her and her family members, who had rested all their hopes for success on her malnourished shoulders. An 1859 article published in London Society entitled “The Ballet Girls of Paris” played up the flip side of the pleasure-seeking fantasy for those ballerinas who gambled with their bodies and lost, saying that they were to be found “in hospitals, in streets begging, or worse, in asylums, in gaols, at the solemn little Morgue by the banks of the Seine—very rarely that we do not hear of them in places of misery, in the somber realms of wretchedness. Their lives are frail and brittle, and break often under their burdens.''

Marie van Goethem was one of those girls.

David Potts, Tondi Adams with Degas statue, Epstein retrospective, Tate Gallery, London, 1953 >

''Van Goethem family was obviously doing all it could to survive.
They lived close to Pigalle and the red-light district but also within walking distance of artists’ studios such as that belonging to Degas, who kept lodgings on the lower slopes of Montmartre. The artist knew the van Goethems, and as early as 1873, when the family lived on the boulevard de Clichy, Degas appears already to have started sketching the children, each of whom were students at the École de Danse, the Paris Opéra dance school. A notebook dating from around 1874 makes a reference to “Antoinette Vangutten—aged 12,” suggesting the older sister might have sat for some of his earlier dance paintings. But it was Marie who appears to have posed more frequently for the artist, both clothed and nude, affording Degas an opportunity to study her anatomy from every angle and at close hand. Degas was a committed studio artist, often working from live models paid between six and ten francs for a four-hour sitting at a time when a pound of meat cost a franc.''

Edgar Degas, 1903

''Edgar Degas was forty-seven at the time of the unveiling, but he had already been exhibiting his evocative images of ballerinas for almost a decade, starting in 1871. Degas haunted the backstage world of the Opéra, depending on the generosity of wealthier friends with subscriptions to get him backstage and into the foyer de la danse. His interest in the dancers went beyond the erotic, the glamorous, and the conventional. While his brother kept a ballerina as a mistress, there is no documentation to support that Degas himself ever had sexual relations with any of the ballerinas he portrayed and befriended. He was more interested in the cold, hard stamp of hard work and fatigue he saw imprinted on their bodies. He depicted them not as objects of desire but as spent and sweaty athletes, caught up in the banal act of their training. In sonnets, Degas extolled the truths and the illusions he encountered at the ballet: “One knows that in your world / Queens are made of distance and greasepaint,” he wrote around 1889. “The dance instils in you something that sets you apart / Something heroic and remote.” ''

Deirdre Kelly, Ballerina: Sex, Scandal, and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection, 2012

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