Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015 11:28 am by M. in , , , , ,    1 comment
The Telegraph gives more information about the National Portrait Gallery research about the Pillar Portrait and the forthcoming Brontë exhibition:
A study of paintwork, which allowed experts to date different part of the portrait, has shown Branwell only made the briefest of sketches of himself, and did not begin painting his skintone at all.
The pillar is now believed to have been painted on immediately by Branwell, likely as an artistic decision, rather than seeing him covered up at a later date.
By February, when the exhibition opens, curators hope to use the latest technology to show what the original image looked like in its most detail yet, and tell the full story of how it came to the public eye.
A spokesman said: “Central to the display will be the presentation of new research into the only surviving painted portraits of Charlotte with her two sisters, Emily and Anne, by their brother Branwell, in the Gallery’s Collection.
“This will explore the intriguing story of its discovery folded on top of a wardrobe, subsequent acquisition by the Gallery and its restoration.”
Lucy Wood, assistant curator of the exhibition, said latest research had shown there was no sign of “flesh paint” under the pillar, adding: “It appears that he was only ever loosely sketched and never fully painted up.
“The pillar was added in at an early stage, so it appears he painted himself over.”
The painting will go on display alongside dozens of items loaned from the Bronte Parsonage Museum, home of Charlotte and her siblings.
It includes paintings and drawings by Charlotte, letters and journals, the famous ‘little books’ created by the Brontë sisters as children and the first book Charlotte ever made.
Other items include a pair of cloth ankle boots worn by Charlotte, first editions of Jane Eyre, chalk drawings of the author and Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography, Life of Charlotte Brontë.
Ms Wood said: “This rare chance to see the only painted portrait of Charlotte Brontë alongside illuminating personal treasures from the Brontë Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating opportunity to celebrate her life and remarkable achievements as one of the most celebrated authors of the 19th century.
“It will enable visitors to learn more about her private life, her influences and come away with a real sense of who she was.” (...)
Similar studies had been done in the 1980s at the Parsonage, she said, building an image of the Brontë brother with his red hair between his sisters.“There had always been this myth that Branwell had painted himself in and either painted himself out in a fury or someone else had painted a column over him to hide him because he was supposedly such a bad lot," she said.
"When they did all this investigation in the late 21st century, they discovered that the paint was becoming more translucent and the painting of Branwell was emerging from underneath it."
It is now instead thought Branwell Brontë painted himself out after realising the "composition was too cramped", with the pillar added in too carefully to have been in a fit of pique.
Barker added: “The techniques they will be able to use now will be infinitely superior so they probably can tell a great deal more about it.“It is the iconic portrait of the Brontës and anything more we can learn about it is obviously of great interest.” (Hannah Furness)
Also in The Telegraph the best 25 walks for the winter season:
22. Brontë Walk, Haworth, Yorkshire (8 Miles)
This year (2016) marks another literary anniversary, the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. Her spirit lives on, with those of her sisters and brother, on Haworth Moors – at their wildest and most atmospheric in winter and the inspiration for so much of the Brontës’ work. Heading out west from the pub, past Lower Laithe Reservoir and then back through Stanbury to the Museum Parsonage, you will pass, on the return, the Brontë Waterfall described by Charlotte as a “perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful”.
Start/Finish: Fleece Inn (01535 642172, fleeceinnhaworth.co.uk) ;OS Explorer Map OL21 (Richard Madden)
The Huffington Post also talks about the pleasures of winter:
Why I was excited about being cold and needing to wear my gloves was a total mystery to my friend and, I guess, me too. (Actually, I know that part of it is because it makes me feel a little like Jane Eyre on the moors, mourning over the discovery of Bertha in the attic.) (Laura Maisey)
The Conversation is compiling different dark literary takes on Christmas
Chapter seven of Wuthering Heights presents a rural homely Christmas – before all is ruined. The housekeeper-narrator Nelly Dean sets the scene:
[After] putting my cakes in the oven, and making the house and kitchen cheerful with great fires, befitting Christmas Eve, I prepared to sit down and amuse myself by singing carols, all alone … I smelt the rich scent of heating spices; and admired the shining kitchen utensils, the polished clock, decked in holly, the silver mugs ranged on a tray ready to be filled with mulled ale for supper; and above all, the speckless purity of my particular care – the scoured and well-swept floor.
The context is that Hindley Earnshaw, the master of Wuthering Heights, is bent on making his adoptive brother Heathcliff’s life a misery. Heathcliff was taken in as a homeless gypsy boy by Hindley’s father, who grew more fond of him than his son. Now that the father is dead, Hindley is finally able to take revenge.
Hindley’s sister Catherine, with whom Heathcliff is in love, has just returned from five weeks away. After Hindley tells her she may treat him as a servant, she greets him haughtily, identifying how dirty he looks. Nelly fears this has deeply wounded Heathcliff and persuades him to become more presentable. Her efforts are thwarted when Edgar Linton, Catherine’s rich suitor, laughs at Heathcliff’s long hair. Heathcliff seizes “a hot tureen of Apple sauce” and throws it at him, resulting in a sound flogging from Hindley. (Claire Nally)
PPCorn lists the hottest male characters:
Number One: Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre. Sullen and stiff, Mr. Rochester appears absolutely repulsive and even quite ugly at first. With the appearance of governess Jane Eyre, however, Rochester shows another side of himself – he is deeply unhappy, struggling within himself and his love for Jane. Like in all good books, we slowly realize that this loving “hero” is also gentle and caring. (Peter Foy)
The Wrap reviews the film 45 Years:
Kate begins to realize how much this woman she never met has influenced her marriage, and it’s a slowly-dawning tragedy: the Sensuous Woman discovering that she is, in fact, the second Mrs. DeWinter, or worse, Jane Eyre. And as wrenching as the story becomes, it’s all the more engrossing thanks to Haigh’s understated script and direction. (Alonso Duralde)
TeenInk discusses the overanalysis of literature using Wuthering Heights basically:
We’ve all been there before- sat in an English class teetering on the last dregs of our will to live as our teacher demands to know what exactly the colour of Heathcliff’s coattails symbolises. (...)
Obviously, there are parameters- I can’t just throw my copy of “Wuthering Heights” in the air screaming “HEATHCLIFF IS A TRANSMAN” just for the heck of it (well, I could, but that would be completely unrelated to literary analysis).(...)
 Analysis for me is a wonderfully creative process that ties straight back to 1+1=3. The author presents the reader with a text in all it’s glory, and the way the reader interprets that text fashions it into something new entirely. The idea that I can work with Emily Bronte or William Shakespeare from my own bed thrills me to the core, and it doesn’t stop there. Everyone on the planet is different, and that means that everyone’s interpretation of a book is different. Let’s say then that at a wild guess, 10 million people in the world have read “Wuthering Heights ” since its publication. Therefore there are 10 million different interpretations of Wuthering Heights around. Let me reiterate- there are 10 million different versions of Wuthering Heights in the world, simply by virtue of it having been read and interpreted by 10 million different people. And when these people come together to discuss and exchange ideas about the book, that creates even more versions. Good versions, bad versions, scary versions, sad versions… the possibilities are endless and that excites me more than I can possibly express! (TheBibliophile)
Diário de Noticias (and here) (Portugal) reviews the film Amor Impossível by António-Pedro Vasconcelos:
Aliás, é ela que alimenta uma idealização da sua relação (inspirada na herança de Emily Brontë) que irá deparar com os elementos machistas do comportamento dele. (João Lopes) (Translation)
 Há na sua relação uma energia visceral, de que o sexo será apenas o sinal mais evidente, que os transporta para um domínio puramente utópico - para Cristina, Emily Brontë é mesmo a referência inspiradora; ao mesmo tempo, porém, sabemos praticamente desde o começo que se trata de uma paixão funesta que, através de uma teia de flashbacks, vamos conhecer nos seus segredos mais perturbantes.(João Lopes) (Translation)
Frankfurter Allgemaine (Germany) reviews the latest film adaptation of Madame Bovary:
Nein, es liegt daran, dass Flaubert als Romancier ein ganz anderes Kaliber ist als die Brontë-Schwestern oder Jane Austen, dass er ein viel gemeineres und moderneres Spiel mit seinen Figuren und Lesern treibt – und dass der Film, seinen Kulissen, Kostümen und seiner virtuosen Kamera zum Trotz, diesem Spiel nicht annähernd gewachsen ist.  (Andreas Kilb) (Translation)
The writer and TV presenter Chiara Gamberale recommends Wuthering Heights in La Stampa (Italy):
Lo stesso si può dire per Cime tempestose (Mondadori, pp. 400, € 10): libro-sorpresa speciale per me, perché ogni volta che lavoro a un romanzo mi rifugio nelle pagine di un classico per allontanarmi, e poi riavvicinarmi, a quello che sto scrivendo, ed è stata proprio la Brontë a farmi compagnia durante tutto quest’anno, a consolarmi quando le mie pagine non mi convincevano e a spingere quelle che, voilà, improvvisamente sembravano venire da sole. Scoperta degli ultimi giorni è che, fra i suoi tanti appassionati lettori, ci fosse Balthus che nel 1933 ha dedicato a Cime tempestose un intero ciclo di disegni e un quadro di straordinaria bellezza, La toletta di Cathy.
«Balthus ha capito che una delle chiavi di questo libro in cui l’amore urla con rabbia adulta è il ricordo degli amori infantili di Cathy e Heathcliff e la terribile nostalgia che queste creature hanno portato con sé fino al momento della separazione definitiva». Ha scritto, al proposito Albert Camus: ce lo ricorda una targa accanto ai disegni, nella mostra dedicata a Balthus che fino al 24 gennaio sarà a Roma, divisa fra le Scuderie del Quirinale e l’Accademia di Francia. E che nel mio gioco trionfa, nella categoria mostra-sorpresa 2015. (Translation)
The novel by Emily Brontë is one of the Christmas books chosen by the readers of LiveUniCT (Italy):
Cime tempestose”, Emily Brontë: classico sicuramente intramontabile e uno dei più bei romanzi d’amore della letteratura inglese. Della storia d’amore tra Heathcliff e Catherine sono stati realizzati anche adattamenti cinematografici, ma niente può essere equiparato al romanzo e al modo in cui la scrittrice parla di questa grande passione. Adatto sicuramente agli inguaribili romantici. (Elide Barbanti) (Translation)
Biblioteca sin espacio (in Spanish) and Read and Dream post about Jane Eyre.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fascinating to learn the history ; that Branwell did not cover over a finished self portrait. In fact other parts of the painting seem unfinished as well, though not to the same degree( the dresses and table area at bottom ) The sketch is taller than it should be , that is taller than Emily, but so is Charlotte's figure. However the scale of Branwell's self sketch is significantly bigger that the sister's as well . It seems he decided to remove himself very early in the process and I wonder if it was planned to be just the girls at the start, then he added himself briefly ...Artists play around with pictures

    Ah yes the top of the wardrobe in Banager. People see that as a boorish disregard for a Bronte relic. They do not see the Rev. Nicholls's grief,pain and yes, rage.

    We must view this emotional man as involved in the most personal manner possible and remember he lost Charlotte as a deeply in love newlywed and then judge him. In 1895 when Rev. Nicholls gave Shorter Anne and Emily's diary papers he recently found , he said feelingly ," Those poor girls " If Arthur's feeling and pity still ran so strongly in the 1890'a, what must they had been 40 years before?

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