Populist Culture? Or It's Just A Blog?
This morning I slogged through an article in the New Yorker ["The Missing Madonna" by Calvin Tomkins] about the above painting, an early Renaissance “Madonna and Child” by Duccio di Buoninsegna (circa 1300).
As I read about this painting, recently purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art for between forty-five and fifty million dollars, I chanced upon a paragraph that neatly addressed my point of pique this morning: the disparagement of blogs by those who reserve their intellect for higher (or no) writing pursuits.
According to Keith Christiansen, the Met's Jayne Wrightsman Curator of European Paintings, “'[This painting is part of] the whole revolution in expression that takes place in the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century—the revolution which, of course, has as its real figurehead neither Duccio nor Giotto but Dante.
"'Dante is an absolute contemporary of Giotto, and a near-contemporary of Duccio … [and] … the fact that Dante chose to write in the vernacular, in Italian rather than Latin, is one of the turning points of the West.
… this is precisely what these artists were about as well—finding a vernacular as opposed to an intentionally élitist, anti-popular form of painting ...'"
... in order to meet other humans in situ ... and evoke response from them where they exist, since most humans are unlikely to seek out culture in more rarified environments.
This idea of bringing paintings ... or music ... or writing ... to the people, then, is not so new. And blogs are merely the most recent incarnation of carting culture to the people. In this case, via Internet.
It isn't all Duccio, as you will be quick to point out. But bloggers, consciously and unconsciously, are communicating a broad range of culture, within a populist venue that today is where one is most likely to connect with other humans. And, as populist culture, it can have a veracity, a validity that may be overlooked if one looks only for "real art" (what is that?) in stereotypic media.
Today's fragrance: the very low-brow Tipton Charles Sandalwood with top notes of jasmine, lime, rose, clove; middle notes of pine needle, heliotrope, lavender; basenotes of musk, vanilla and sandalwood. An unpretentious, yet oddly satisfying little fragrance. *sniff*