The Lovely Salome

by Lisa 

     I survived my demo the other day despite a really nasty little cold virus that turned into a fever by the end of the demo. Send soup. Chicken. I’m not happy with the painting yet or I would post it. It will have to sit in the corner for a few days and then we’ll see.

    I had a little on-line argument with Bill yesterday (yes, I really do have better things to do), and he won. And I’m darned mad about it. One of my all time favorite paintings is the Salome by Henri Regnault. I saw it years ago at the Met, and fell in love. I googled it this morning because I was telling my students about it yesterday. Here she is:


 Under images, I also happened upon this:


     It was the cover for The Times in 1916. I immediately came to the conclusion that old Henri had worked from this photograph of a woman posing as Salome. I fired off an incensed email to Bill complaining that Henri had cheated, and how shocked I was. Bill wrote back pointing out that Salome was painted in 1870 according to his research. I argued that The Times had an actual PHOTOGRAPH of her and it was identical to the painting. Surely he copied the photograph. Finally, I realized that The Times “photo” also had the signature that the painting has. It is indeed a photo OF the painting.  Well can YOU tell???

     I just hate it when Bill is right about something. It rarely ever happens, but I never hear the end of it when it does. Please ignore his next post.

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16 Responses to The Lovely Salome

  1. Call me old fashioned if you like but the quality of the photograph of the painting is why I “still” prefer film over digital photography … it is “only” because of the increasing difficulty of getting film developed that I’ve been “forced” to “embrace” digital photography! :(

  2. Sorry for the rant on your blog. ;)

  3. lbtowers says:

    Rant away fellow film lover!

  4. katrinasmall says:

    Thanks to Bill who left a post on my blog I was able to find yours…I love it. I’ll be back often; and thanks to you Lisa, you are so entertaining!

  5. lbtowers says:

    Good to have you Katrina. I enjoyed your site too. Just add a few lines of nonsense like we do, and your hits will be way up there like ours are. Sponsors will be pounding on your door too. And if you believe that, can I sell you a painting?

  6. 100swallows says:

    I take your side, Lisa. From the evidence here I don’t see how Bill can be right–signature in the photo or not. I like the photo better than the painting too.

  7. grfxho says:

    It’s interesting that you’re comparing a photo of a painting to another photo of the same painting and picking one over the other… they’re both not the original–it’s not a comparison of painting to film in this case.

    I’m sure the painting, up close and in-person, is breath-taking.

  8. lbtowers says:

    Whoa, that just blew my mind grfxho. Can you say that again?

    I love you 100swallows.

  9. And I thought we were comparing Lisa’s “memory” of the original with the photo of the painting … silly me!

  10. gypsy-heart says:

    Would it be less beautiful if he had painted it from a photograph? Sometimes i think that is more of a challenge..but what the hell do i know…not much actually. :O

    Bill…Bill who? :)

    i hope you are all well..being sick sucks.

  11. lbtowers says:

    Thanks gypsy-heart. Your sympathy helps. Heep it on. Bill gives me none of course.

    A friend and I went to the Masters of the West show yesterday (I got off my death bed), and the show has a number of masterpieces that were painted from the use of photographs. These paintings are compositions though with people in “action”. When it comes to the matter of a personal portrait of someone, I want to know that it was painted from life. We listened to a lecture by Mian Situ, a great master of paint, and he talked about how he has to sometimes practice painting from life to remember the subtleties of color that you cannot see in photos. He hangs the life paintings in his studio then as reference. In other words, one has to learn how to work from photos, and to earn ones wings first.

  12. wrjones says:

    Grfxho – great observation! You will have to talk a little slower for Lisa.

  13. And I quote, “I saw it (Salome) years ago at the Met,” … come on Lisa, let’s not give up here without a down on the mat fight to the finish! (Even if we’ve gotta “split hairs” here!) ;)

  14. lbtowers says:

    All I have to say is, it still looks like a photo of a woman to me. Maybe Henri shouldn’t have painted SO realistically if he wanted to avoid this confusion for posterity for cryin’ out loud.

    How’d I do Janet?

  15. Excellent! I’m sure you’ve seen the image of a heron with a frog in its bill head first, the frog has its “hands” around the heron’s throat so that it can’t swallow? The caption reads, “Don’t Ever Give Up!” Hey, I live by that one! :D

  16. kevmoore says:

    Henri Regnault…didn’t he make a car or something?

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