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Happy Ides of March!

In case you don’t know what the Ides of March is, please allow me to enlighten you. It is that rare occasion, only twice a year, when the amount of daylight is equal to the amount of night- twelve hours of each. Can you guess when the next Ides is? If you said September 15, then you are pretty much right. The Ides of March was made famous by William Shakespeare, when a gnarly woman (a seer) warns the great noble Roman, “Beware! The Ides of March!” He replies that it’s already the Ides of March, but she cuts him down, saying, “The Ides of March aren’t over yet!”

Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798

Death of Marat, David (1793)

This painting by Vincenzo Camuccini was executed during the beginning of Napoleon Bonaparte’s career. He started off as a revolutionary, and ended up an emperor, the antithesis of revolution, unless you think about the 360° turn. Yes, under Napoleon’s guidance, the French Revolution went from Divine Right of Kings tyranny to near anarchic tyranny, to unstable tyranny under the Directorate and then Imperial Rule under a new monarch, a detested Corsican. At any rate, during the Terror and all the way into the Napoleonic Era, romantic art flourished. It was art that reveled in seeing tyrants crushed. Jacques-Louis David was at the forefront of this movement, called neo-Classical. Check out his two paintings: Oath of the Horatii and The Death of Marat from 1784 and 1793 respectively.

Oath of the Horatii, David (1784)

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About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

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