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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Loving with the mind

“To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.” – Theophile Gautier

Born this day in 1811, Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, but mostly journalist, where he excelled as an art critic.  Gautier spent the majority of his career at La Presse and later on at Le Moniteur universel after starting his career as an artist.  Because of that experience, he became one of the premier art critics of the 19th Century. 
Gautier’s writing was in a form not previously seen because he wanted the ordinary reader to better understand art through his writing.   Instead of taking on the classical criticism of art that involved knowledge of color, composition and line, Gautier was strongly committed to the idea that the critic should have the ability to describe the art so that the reader might "see" the piece through his description.

And, he wrote poetry.  “I like to think that art and poetry are intertwined,” he said.  “The word poet literally means maker: anything which is not well made doesn't exist.”
Like his art criticism, his poetic writing took new twists, giving the public yet another way to look at things.  Here’s an exerpt from his poem,
Unknown Shores
I may not ask again:
where would you like to go?

Have you a star; she says,
O any faithful sun
Where love does not eclipse?

Ah child, if that star shines;
is in chartless skies,
I do not know of such!
But come, where will you go?

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