The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Supplication: Christmas/New Year, 2007

Guns, bombs, assassination (Bhutto), war, violence, famine, cruelty, sorrow, suffering, and death...

God have mercy on us all---we are all so selfish, greedy, ambitious, cruel, and, worse yet, indifferent to the well-being of others. Teach us all a better way....and grant us the will and grace to follow it. Let not the darkness, let not all that is evil, have the last word. May thy light shine into our darkness.

I recall John, my esteemed namesake, a visionary prophet, now long ago, gazing at the heavens from the Isle of Patmos! He, John of old, described--as depicted in one of Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalyptic woodcuts, of about 1498--how he saw, in a vision, four horsemen, riding into battle, one called "War" one "Death" one "Plague" and one "Famine" --well, they do not appear to have run out of steam, alas--none of them, not in all these centuries. Again, God have mercy on this wretched, war-torn planet.

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I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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