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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Thursday, May 17, 2012

John Walford, "The Dream of a Shadow," 2012


The Dream of a Shadow, 2012, originally uploaded by johnwalford.

My Flickr contact, Actaeon, provided this image of mine with a wonderful quote from Pindar, which, roughly translated from Actaeon's French reads thus:

"Ephemeral beings, who are we then?
Man is the dream of a shadow,
But when the gods direct, a beam
Of shining light surrounds him,
And his existence becomes sweet as honey."

--Pindar, his conclusion to An Ode for an Olympic victor.

Also translated thus:

Creatures of a day! What is a man?
What is he not? A dream of a shadow
Is our mortal being. But when there comes to men
A gleam of splendour given of heaven,
Then rests on them a light of glory
And blessed are their days. (Pythian 8)

As given in French by Actaeon:

"êtres éphémères, qui sommes nous donc ?
l'homme est le rêve d'une ombre
mais quand les dieux dirigent sur lui un rayon
une lumière brillante l'environne
et son existence devient douce comme le miel"

Pindare pour un Olympionique

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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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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