Sunday, November 27, 2011

the worlds best loved poems

Pliny the Elder, retells the myth of the origins of painting and sculpture in his encyclopedic collection of knowledge, Natural Historia. According to the story, the night before her lover departs for far away lands, The Maid of Corinth (the daughter of the potter Butades), traces her sleeping lover's shadow onto the wall.  A keepsake portrait to forestall her loss. This outline, a negative space projected by candlelight onto the wall, is later filled with clay by her father, and becomes both the first painting and the first sculpture. The desire that compelled the Corinthian Maid to create her lover's portrait is the same desire behind all image making, the need to keep hold of someone we fear to lose.

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