Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What’s Left After Art

The only visible sign of the effort that went into the manuscript I will send to my publisher tomorrow are the huge stacks of worked over pages that will occupy a cardboard box in a closet in my apartment until the book comes out. Irrationally, I keep them as a talisman against loss. They are otherwise worthless.

Painters have their sketches and studies, which are surely art in and of themselves. Even their palettes look like art to me.

 I saw Vincent Van Gogh’s palette in an exhibit here in New York. It was so beautiful and exciting to see that the Metropolitan Museum made post card of it. I bought one. Here it is! It has all the beautiful hues that you find in his canvasses, and look at the energy with which he painted.

It seems the palettes of many painters have been preserved.

Here’s Delacroix’s and an example of the marvelous precisely detailed pictures he painted using it. You see him in both.

Gustave Moreau worked from this palette:

Here’s what he made with those colors:

This is Georges Seurat’s:

This palette is where he created his vocabulary. Here is how he put it all together, more like the experience of writing, it seems — point by careful point.

I could look at this stuff all day. But now I have to dot a couple of “i’s” and cross a couple of “t’s” before I send in that manuscript tomorrow.

Annamaria Alfieri


  1. Your knowledge of and appreciation of art is truly amazing... thank you for this very insightful piece. T. Straw

  2. Brava! Ce l'hai fatta!E ora celebriamo!

  3. Another novel in the can. Nice work, maestro!

  4. Thank you all! Grazie, NIco. I get it in on time. Now I wait for the word from my editor. Yes, Robert, the detective fell in love with the tango dancer as you predicted he would. I named him Robert in your honor!