A Few Aspects of the Artworks that Inspired the Artists of Following…

A Few Aspects of the Artworks that Inspired the Artists of Following…
Dr. Dorit Kedar

(Exhibition curated by Irit Levin, Arie Berkowitz for The Artists’ House, Tel Aviv, July 2017; Research: Gall Orian, Natalie Abigail Tiznenko; Translation: Tzach Ben Josef)



Caravaggio - Medusa

Caravaggio, ”Medusa”, 1597, Oil on Canvas Mounted on Wood, 60X55cm, Uffizi Firenze.

Medusa (Caravaggio), descended from Gaia and Oceanus. Beautiful, unsullied, mortal. Religious officiant at the temple of the Goddess of War. Ensnared by the passion of the God of the Sea and forthwith, turned hideous, snakes teeming in her hair, eyes that bleed. Petrifying and wretched. Restlessly wandering to and fro until beheaded; a mysterious, winged horse emerging from within her.



Albrecht Durer, ”Portrait of the Artist’s mother at age 63”, 1514, Charcoal on Paper, 82X60.5cm, Berlin Museums

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (Dürer) terribly shriveled, metamorphosing into a skull. At the mercy of a vivifying, nurturing, encompassing, and preserving Mother. But also the one who veils, buries and annihilates.



Pablo Picasso, "LesDwmoiselles d'Avignon

Pablo Picasso, ”Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, 1907, Oil on Canvas, 243.9X233.7cm, MOMA NYC.

Les demoiselles d’Avignon of Barcelona (Picasso) – their bodies bare and exposed, arms flung in the air, breasts jutting out, genitalia perspicuous, wearing masks, summoning demons and plagues that bring life gratification or death.



Van Gogh - The Shepherdess

Vincent van Gogh, ”The Shepherdess”, 1889, Oil on Canvas, 53X41.5cm, Tel-Aviv Museum.

A majestic Shepherdess (Van Gogh), withered away by the sun, seated on a stool in a field of straws, like the Holy Virgin, Queen of blue heavens, adorned by a yellow halo.




Gargoyles at St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague.

Gargoyles (St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague). Malevolent animals, dragons, and chimeras, clandestinely spewing fire and openly omitting water. Warding off insects and heretics, specters, and evil presences.



Paolo Veronese

Paolo Veronese, ”Venus with a Mirror”, C.1585, Oil on Canvas, 163X121cm, Joslyn Art Museum.

Venus with a Mirror (Veronese) in which she attempts to catch her fleeting reflection, haphazardly offered to the viewer.



Man Ray, ”Les Larmes”, 1932, Photography, Getty Museum

Man Ray, ”Les Larmes”, 1932, Photography, Getty Museum

A blonde-haired beauty from a comic book (Man Ray), despondent by an untruthful love. And another type of Beauty, crowned, humble, weeping for the loss of her Son sacrificed by man in the name of God.




Francisco Goya, ”Los desastres de la guerra” (Plate 14), c.1810-20, 15X21cm.

The Disasters of War do not retain the soldiers (Goya), nor their names or pedigree. They hang loose on a tree, bare, downcast, disparaged, deformed bodies and souls, degraded in the hunt for bread, famished, hardship and pain and nothing but desolation.




Paul Gauguin, ”D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous”, 1897-98, 139X375cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Under the great Blue Idol (Gauguin) loom three questions: from whence does life originate, what is its purpose, and where to does it disappear.




Louise Bourgeois, ”Girl with Hair”, 2007-09, Archival des on silk hemmed to linen, 60.3X44.5cm, Cornell University.

Girl with Hair (Bourgeois), unkempt, as a personal tribute of the artist to her mother.
The hair of Lilith and Samson, of the shaman and the yogi, the femme fatale, the fairy and the witch. One resurrects while the other abolishes.




Vincent van Gogh, ”L’Arlésienne”, 1888, Oil on Canvas, 92.5X73.5cm, Orsay Museum, Paris.

Madame Ginoux (Van Gogh). Précis: owner of the Café de la Gare, Arles. Likes folklore and traditional costumes, ungainly, tends to read a lot, skims through the pages and folds their corners, poised as The Thinker (Rodin) against a background of drinks and game tables.



Felix Nussbaum: Triumph des Todes

Felix Nussbaum, ”Triumph of Death”, 1944, Oil on Canvas.

Triumph of Death (Nussbaum) after it snatched the metal wires from the clinging hands of a boy in his tomb to fly an iron kite.




Maurycy Gottlieb, ”Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur”, 1878, Oil on Canvas, 192X245cm, Tel Aviv Museum.

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement; Gottlieb) while the figure of the fiancée, who breached her betrothal promise, ubiquitously appears twice while the groom is depicted thrice, perhaps already planning out of despair, his terminal disease.



Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with the Ermine), about 1488

Leonardo da Vinci, ”Lady with an Ermine”, 1489-90, Oil on wood panel, 54X39cm, Krakow Museum.

The Lady with the Ermine (Da Vinci). Young mistress of the duke, like the animal on her lap, is fair, supple, destined to be hunted by a beguiling nobleman.




Albrecht Dürer, ”Portrait of the Artist Holding a Thistle”, 1493, Oil on vellum, 56.5X44.5cm, Louvre Museum.

Portrait of the Artist Holding a Thistle (Dürer) as a symbol of a faithful, providing, future husband and as a symbol of the religious morals suggested by Christ’s crown of thorns.




Rembrandt, ”A Woman bathing in a Stream”, 1654, Oil on oak, 61.8X47cm, National Gallery, London.

A Woman Bathing in a Stream (Rembrandt). Flowing waters, a former servant to a recently deceased woman, now a living wife of the artist, soaking a pair of sturdy legs.




Boy Bitten by a Lizard (Caravaggio) that leaped out of flowers and fruit, like the blooming of a white flower in the hair, a bare shoulder slumped, fleshy lips surging an inter-gender storm.


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About Dr. Dorit Kedar

Forced to continuously change nations, cultures and schooling - I had to develop a wider sense of communication, a way of thinking-feeling-behaving which stresses the common denominators. The need to adapt new landscapes and land-souls has taught instinctive means to overcome separatism, prejudices, dogmatic beliefs and suspicions. While looking for the common gathering denominators, I have also increased the ability of perception and individuation. Being constantly in estranged places has triggered psychological processes to turn the unfamiliar into familiar. As an art critic in the Israeli press, a curator, a writer - have always dealt with the otherness, the different and the infinite variety of the Existent. My Book of Peace is the result.
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