An old Peepshow.

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I love the craftsmanship in this piece of wonder.  It has lifted my spirits today, on a day when I am finding it hard to pick myself up from a very low place.  How long must it have taken Samuel van HOOGSTRATEN , in the late 1650’s, to complete this magical glimpse of domestic life?  It’s painted using oil and egg, onto wood, with breath taking precision. It is a box, with slits in the two shorter sides through  which the viewer can see the illusion of three dimensional views of a domestic interior. This is a particularly elaborate example, and one which the artist took considerable effort over, decorating the exterior with allegorical paintings corresponding to a theoretical book he was to complete later. The stand it is on is modern, and this example of a peepshow a fine example of only a few remaining.If you want to see it, pop down to the National Gallery, it’s exhibit NG3832.D9. Check they have it on display before you get your train ticket though. Sometimes these things are archived and I wouldn’t want to send you on a wasted journey. Alternatively, check out their website ; http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/

It’s where I always head, when I’m lonely, bored or just melancholic.  I go there alot!  Food for the soul, enjoy.

Just to finish with a short poem from the same period, just because it too is lovely.

 

from The World
 
 
I saw Eternity the other night
 Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
 All calm, as it was bright,
 And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years
 Driv`n by the spheres
 Like a vast shadow mov`d, in which the world
 And all her train were hurl`d.
 
Henry Vaughan (1621 – 95)
 
 
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