Monday, August 12, 2013

I wonder what her story is ....

I published another view of this portrait on one of my posts in March 2009. It, like this one, was taken in 2004 when I made sort of a "grand tour" of Europe. It was not grand enough, because most of Europe remains unseen by me and I would like to explore more, more, more. The reason I have this photograph of this painting today is because a segment of my post is about Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and the model for his masterpiece. You can read about that below. In the meanwhile .... hmmmm .... 2004 .... nine years ago! Do you believe it? I do not. It does not seem like yesterday. It seems like a lifetime ago and, for some, it was that long ago. A lifetime ago. How many people do you know who were here then, but no longer are? Time waits for no man, for no woman; for nothing nor for no one. To borrow a few lines from Whitesnake:

Restless heart, restless mind,
I'm tired of wasting,
My precious time.

Just for fun .... No. 1

For those of you who do not keep up with developments in the realm of archaeology, researchers are excavating the remains of Lisa Gherardini's husband and sons as the next step in the quest to identify the skeletal remains of Leonardo da Vinci's model for the "Mona Lisa." The Gherardini family once was Leonardo's neighbor in Florence, Italy.

DNA samples taken from the family's bones will be compared to samples from skeletal remains excavated last year at the Florence convent where Lisa Gherardini became a nun after her husband's death and was eventually buried.

But first, the skeletons uncovered at the convent will be examined to determine how old the women were when they died and narrow the field of eight possible Mona Lisa candidates. If Lisa Gherardini's remains are identified, scientists plan to virtually reconstruct her face from her skull.

I am not so sure if this is a good idea or a bad idea. The quest for knowledge is admirable, but, I think, some things are better left a mystery. Some researchers also are theorizing and attempting to learn why the Mona Lisa's smile is a bit strange or unique. Did she have crooked teeth? Did she have congenital palsy?

My god, who cares? Some people are born idiots, but not all of them are driven to publicly demonstrate it. Admire the painting, adore the face with its wonderful expression and keep your idiocy to yourself. Whatever was the cause of her special smile, I, for one, would have loved to kiss the lips which formed it.

Just for fun .... No. 2

The writer of the The Sixties classic song, "Hey, Joe," is disputed still today. Tim Rose is listed as the author by the record company that owns the rights to the piece, but Rose himself said it was a traditional song (i.e., original author unknown and/or sort of a folk song) and a number of others claim credit for it. What cannot be disputed is that it has been recorded by literally dozens of individuals and bands. 

In my not so humble opinion, Jimi Hendrix owns the best version of it no matter who wrote it. His rendition of it is, probably, the best known and the most often heard on classic rock radio stations today. No one comes close to performing it the way Hendrix did. I could say more, but will not at the moment.

A little-known, little-heard adaptation of the song was recorded by Deep Purple on the band's first album in 1968. Without adding an abundance of flowery adjectives in praise of Deep Purple, I will say two things:

First, I think this band -- with its varying faces and battling personalities -- was the greatest of the rock era. It was not afraid to experiment or to try anything in a musical sense, and usually succeeded in accomplishing what it set out to do.

Next, after Hendrix, I like the Deep Purple version of, "Hey Joe," more than that of any other musician or group. It is done very differently from the customary manner and is, I think, a perfect example of this band succeeding at leaving its own unique imprint on a song really owned not by an individual, but by an era: The Sixties.

What do you think? Keep listening, even when the song seems to be over. And, it is a great song to dance to .... try it, but listen to it a time or two first.


ANITA said...

Hello Fram!The Mona Lisa:))

Yes the news were all over the television here..but as you say let her rest in peace and enjoy the painting..who cares if she smiled or not?Its like Shaeksphere..Was he France Bacon or was he real?i think we shall let the old masters leave their secrets in peace and rather enjoy what they did.

I have listened to Deep Purple and think the beginning is very good guitar play!however i love Jimi Hendriks Hei Joe because its so many memories attacked to it!And with Janis Joplin Wooooo!

Those were real musicians!

Thanx for sharing this nice post with us..iam very happy to see those old paintings!Love it:)))) the ending of the song of Deep Purple he closed the door:)))

A Cuban In London said...

Wow, a Purple song I have not heard for... let me see... 25 years? Maybe. Not part of the mainstream Purple catalogue, if you know what I mean. Not a Black Knight, or Smoke on the Water. That riff and march-like at the beginning remind me of Miles Davis Sketches of Spain album. Go figure, whereas Jon Lord reminds me of Pink Floyd's Syd Barret's early composition. All in all, this is Purple at their best.

Re the Mona Lisa, to me there's a whole "Does he know that I...?" vibe about the painting.

Great post. I really enjoyed it.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Joe closed the door and walked off toward Mexico .... at least he did in the creative vision of Deep Purple.

There is not much more for me to add in relation to your words here, Anita. We agree on Mona Lisa, and about the power and provenance of art. We agree about music and musicians.

I am very glad you came to visit me. Thank you.

Fram Actual said...

It is strange, CiL, but I once loved this version of, "Hey Joe," and over the years had forgotten it existed .... until a few days ago. I once had all of the band's albums, and now I am re-gathering them in CD and DVD form. I like the "Latin flavor" of this version. It seems appropriate with Joe heading "way down South maybe outside Mexico Way."

Ah, yes .... Mona Lisa .... the painting, the face, the lips, the look .... they are meant for emotion, for feeling, for imagination .... not for scientific investigation or quackery.

By the way, I once thought I would be living in Firenze, at least for a few months, but I was told the apartments there are very cold during the winter months and I became discouraged.

It is a pleasure to see you here, CiL.

Smareis said...

Olá Fram, Boa tarde!

Esse quadro da Mona Lisa é muito bonito. Uma obra-prima com toda certeza.
O tempo passa muito rápido mesmo... 2004 já ficaram pra traz, não parece muito tempo, mas pra certas coisas já foram um mundão de tempo. E eu, comecei aqui nos blogs em 2001, já faz um tempinho distante. Como o tempo passa, de repente ficamos assim quase que perdido no meio dessa corrida. O tempo não espera por ninguém, as pessoas chegam, e se vão assim como poeiras ao vento, mas muitas delas deixam lembranças que jamais serão apagadas pelo tempo.

Esses pesquisadores sempre estão querendo aparecer, escavar restos mortais para amostras de DNA da família Gherardini. Daqui a pouco vão querer pintar outro quadro dizendo como era ela realmente antes de morrer.

Você disse tudo em pouquíssimas palavras "A busca pelo conhecimento é admirável, mas, eu acho que, algumas coisas é melhor deixar um mistério".

Gosto de "Hey Joe", realmente foi gravado por dezenas de pessoas e bandas.

Eu ainda não tinha ouvido essa banda, eles cantam muito bem, e essa música é ótima pra dançar. Hoje não se faz mais musica bonita assim.

Aqui no Brasil o Fank esta ganhando muito espaço, e as músicas boas, está sendo menos tocadas. Pena, porque o Brasil tem muitas bandas principalmente de rock que são excelentes, sem contar outros recém chegados no mundo musical.

Fram, se eu gostar da música eu irei continuar ouvindo mesmo que todo não ouve mesmo que a música já saiu da mídia, acho que gosto musical é único.

Linda essa música, amo as banda de rock. Gosto de guitarra muito, pena que não tive o prazer de aprender a tocar um dia.
Adorei a postagem, sempre muito bem tecida, e assunto com bastantes informações. Gosto muito de vim te visitar e ler suas publicações. Já estava vindo te ler quando vi seu comentário.

Deixo um grande abraço e desejo de uma continuação excelente da semana!

Fram Actual said...

I know there is nothing that can be done about it, but to view the Mona Lisa or other comparable works which are magical in both a historical and an artistic sense and which are encased in a box and can be viewed only through a plate of glass, is little better than to see them on television or in a photograph in a book. Places like Paris and Rome have many treasures, but they are locked away from you and I and everyone. It should not be this way. Art belongs to people, not to governments or to churches or to collectors.

Not to drift too far sideways, but this is why I prefer going to stage plays than to films: To see an actor perform on stage a few feet from you is to see reality; to see an actor's image on screen in a movie theatre is to see an illusion.

The same is true with people, I think. When I was in my incarnation as a journalist, I interviewed people who have become part of history and whose work and names will be remembered long after any of us alive today are dead. It simply feels good to have spoken face-to-face with an individual in real time whose contributions have been significant. Sometimes, it is enough to have walked with a few actual giants, and there is no need to be one yourself.

I only became aware of the Mona Lisa/Gherardini family connection a year or two ago. I shudder at the thought of someone trying to reconstruct her face based on her skull. The very idea seems sacrilegious to me. I think the problem with most in the human race is that they leap from cliffs without looking to see what is below them. Unfortunately, they often drag others with them.

As for music, I wish I had been more attentive and continued lessons beyond childhood. At one time, I played coronet, clarinet and drums, but my interests leaned more toward sports, hunting, cars and girls -- none of which served me well in the long run. I once planned on hibernating for a winter and learning how to play the organ, but I was talked out of it. I wish you luck if you should decide to pick up a guitar.

I am not sure I knew blogs existed in 2001, although I had been computer literate long before then. You have been involved with blogs a long, long time. You make me curious to know what you were doing with them back then.

Also, you remind me of someone who once came to my blog, but no longer does. I am glad you come. You have many interesting and thoughtful things to say. I hope all your days are exactly what you wish them to be, Smareis.

ANITA said...


hahahahha!Yeah muissed the deadline :))))

i t was soo long and i have to read it quiet!Beside i am working!

well better lucky me next time:))

Fram Actual said...

Well, at least you made it here, Anita. That is the important thing.

Thank you, for your visit ....

ANITA said...

Thank you Fram!
I will read it on my lonely nightshifts tonight!
Wish you a great weekend!

The passanger is just great!

A Cuban In London said...

I will have to leave my comment about Bowie and Pop here since I missed the deadline! :-)

I have just come back from Shropshire, in the British countryside and whilst there I visited a little town where they had photos of times gone by. That took me down a memory lane that I had never travelled upon before, since I wasn't born here, not even in the town I was in. Photos have that power, the power to anchor you to a time and place you have no physical connection with. And yet... isn't that what spirituality is? That sensation based on an immaterial and otherworldly experience for which there's no plausible and coherent explanation and yet it touches us and leaves an indelible mark on us?

Thanks for the clip. Enjoyed it.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita. It will make good reading during a lonely nightshift.

"The Passenger" is an interesting song, for sure ....

It will be Labor Day weekend in America -- a three-day weekend -- which is more an inconvenience than anything else to me. But, it is a good opportunity for families with smaller children to do something enjoyable together.

Fram Actual said...

Women fascinate me. I am not being facetious or trying to be funny. They really do, perhaps because I believe them to be an unsolvable mystery. And, I do not only mean women in the here and now. There are photographs of some women from decades past which hold me captive wondering who they were, what they dreamed of, if their lives had been happy, where and when they died.

There is an element to some photographs of battles and battlefields which never let me go. Robert Capa's famous shot of the militiaman falling dead in the Spanish Civil War is one such photograph. Some claim the photo is not authentic. Speaking with a degree of experience, I believe it is real and, either way, it is haunting. And, through the lens of Capa, I am not in the here and now looking at a photo, but in the there and then, watching the man collapse as it actually happens.

Photographs have the capability of providing a visceral link, in a way, to places, people, events and times .... yes, it is true, CiL.

Sorry, about the deadline. I am glad you found your way around the obstacle and in through a side door.

Something special ....