Sunday, September 13, 2020

Artnotes: Samuel Pepys


Elephant Carrying Candle   Laurie Fox  Pessemier  acrylic/canvas  13 x 9"  33 x 23 cm  425.00
A few years ago I read the Diary of Samuel Pepys, every night over a period of a year or more.  He was an early blogger, of sorts.   In his life, he was Secretary of Naval Affairs and President of the Royal Society, mingling with great people, a friend of the king.   He lived through civil war, plague, and the greatest fire London has suffered (outside of the Blitz in World War II). In 1660, at the age of 26, he began a diary.
Laurie at the Vernissage   Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 20  x  12"  50 x 30 cm   450.00
We were listening last night, on BBC Sounds, to excerpts of the account of the Fire, which took place from 5 September, 1666, until much later in the month (in fact, there were entries in October referring to smoldering embers).  It included an account for the very day we were listening, 354 years ago. 
The Painter  Laurie Fox  Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 54 x 17"  137 x 50 cm   650.00   *unstretched, could be hung as panel
It was not unlike the account of the fires burning in American today:  parts of the population blamed the Papists (Catholics), Dutch and French for starting the fires, when in fact, it was started in a Bakery.  People thought it was the end of the world, as indicated in the year they were living: 666.  The wind fanned the flames, and by the end of the fire, 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul’s Cathedral and most of the City buildings were destroyed.  Essentially, it burned everything inside the old Roman city walls.   The King himself, with his Duke, was out trying to fight the fire, but people in the city were just running away as fast as they could.
The Puritan (era Sam Pepys)  and Valdimir Nabakov  Laurie Fox Pessemier  acrylic/linen  72 x 28 (approx)"  183 x 71 cm  panels  500.00 each     (painted in early 2000s)
Samuel Pepys’ house was spared (meanwhile he’d buried his wine and parmesan cheese in the back yard) and he went on to write another 3 years worth of entries.  He also wrote about the plague, which made a sweep through London just a year before the fire.  He is a somewhat humorous writer, so even though these were dire events, the reading is interesting.  More than that, he gives me hope that even under impossible circumstances, life goes on.
Butcher on St. Germaine  (56 x 28"  142 x 71cm)  and Amelia Earhart     Laurie Fox Pessemier  acrylic/linen  72 x 28 (approx)"  183 x 71 cm  panel  500.00 each     (painted in early 2000s)
I am looking forward to the days when everything settles down, and I can kiss my friends, eat in a restaurant, and sing very loud:  Hallelujah!!!  Meanwhile, I am treading water in my safe little haven, painting pictures, cooking, and walking my dog (I wear the muzzle these days).

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