To be honest, dear reader, there are many things about August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck’s circa 1878 Anguish that I find a little bit tedious.
It’s not exactly groundbreaking to anthropomorphize animals into some sort of vague allegory of motherly bravery in an uncaring world—and the low-angle view of an unforgiving winter landscape tips the composition into the realm of melodrama.
There is one touch, though, that I consider worth pointing out—the means by which Schenck conveys the lead-up to the scene: the snow.
A flat wedge of snow beneath one of the lamb’s front legs records its death throes, while the foot-printed paths around the edges show where the crows have circled—judging by the quantity of prints, for some time.
To redeem the past and to transform every ‘It was’ into an ‘I wanted it thus!’ — that alone do I call redemption!
Will — that is what the liberator and bringer of joy is called…but now learn this as well: The will itself is a prisoner.
Willing liberates: but what is it that fastens in fetters even the liberator?
‘It was’: that is what the will’s teeth-gnashing and most lonely affliction is called. Powerless against that which has been done, the will is an angry spectator of all things past. The will cannot will backwards; that it cannot break time and time’s desire — that is the will’s most lonely affliction.
'O Zarathustra, you stone of wisdom, you projectile, you star-destroyer! You have thrown yourself thus high, but every stone that is thrown — must fall!'
Thereupon the dwarf fell silent; and long he continued so. But his silence oppressed me; and to be thus in company is truly more lonely than to be alone…
But there is something in me that I call courage: it has always destroyed every discouragement in me. This courage bade me stop and say: ‘Dwarf! You! Or I!’
For courage is the best destroyer — courage that attacks: for in every attack there is a triumphant shout…
Courage also destroys giddiness at abysses: and where does man not stand at an abyss?
Courage destroys even death, for it says: ‘Was that life? Well then! Once more!’” —Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (via sisyphean-revolt)
Basilica of Septimius Severus, Leptis Magna. (x)
"Oh, what’s that in the hollow, so pale I quake to follow?". Amor Mundi. c1895. Edward Robert Hughes
Forest Scene, Vladimir Archipovich Bondarenko
Terrace by the Sea, Ivan Fedorovich Choultsé
Marble Grave Stele of Antigenes
Late 6th Century BC
Attic grave monuments of the end of the sixth century B.C. tend to be simpler than their earlier counterparts. In particular, the sculpted finials in the form of sphinxes are replaced by palmettes that are integral with the shaft. The figures, moreover, may be painted instead of carved in relief. It is enlightening to compare a representation such as this with contemporary vase-painting. The light figure against a darker background is comparable to the red-figure technique in pottery. Indeed, the influence of painted sculpture has been adduced in precipitating the change from black-figure to red-figure.
(Source: The Met Museum)
Statue of Dionysos leaning on a female figure (Hope Dionysos)
c. 27 BC - AD 86
Augustan or Julio Claudian
The head is ancient but from another statue. Restorations by the eighteenth-century Italian sculptor Vincenzo Pacetti: (on Dionysos) ivy wreath, neck, both arms, lower right leg, calf and boot of left leg, hanging drapery on right side; (on the archaistic image) uplifted corner of drapery, both arms, lower half of lower legs, feet, pedestal, entire base.
Roman copy of Greek original. Adaptation of a Greek work of the 4th century B.C.
Dionysos, god of wine and divine intoxication, wears a panther skin over his short chiton and his high sandals with animal heads on the overhanging skin flaps. He
stands beside an archaistic female image whose pose and dress imitate those of Greek statues carved in the sixth century B.C. It is difficult to know whether the original Greek bronze statue of Dionysos, of which this is a copy, included the female figure. Supports in the form of pillars, herms, and small statues were not uncommon in Classical art, but this figure may have been added to support the outstretched arm and may represent Spes, a Roman personification of Hope, who was commonly shown as an archaistic maiden.
(Source: The Met Museum)