Temptations of St. Anthony
I was in a bit of artistic limbo, when a guardian voice, funnily, of an american president, asked “What is the strongest artwork You had done in your childhood or teens which had been lost?” I said, “Truly illustrations to Temptations of St.Anthony by Gustave Flaubert”, to which he said “Why dont You redo it then”. Some people talk to guardian voices, You know, like character of Stendahl’s Red and Black talked to Napoleon, which is fine if they come with good ideas and do not get You into trouble like Stendahl’s character.
So i went to the library, ordered Flaubert and got mesmerised by both advanced occult depth of the play and the fact that my edition was illustrated by Rochegrosse, my otherwise recent artistic passion.
Unexpected link lead to this work. While working on biography of Marchesa Casatti i learned about scandalous Paris production of Temptations of St.Anthony to music of Claude Debussy, starring Marchesa as Queen of Sheeba and bisexual malelooking Sarah Bernhard as St.Anthony, taken down by police and even attended by Marcel Proust, otherwise never leaving soundisolated room.
So Queen of Sheeba was decided as central motif. So was Orphic Egg, both having origins in the play plot.
A friend suggested, why not use St.Anthory chapel ruins on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh, as setting. Too touristy, i thought, too obvious. But that led me to knowledge that hermit St Anthony was one of favourite saints in mediaeval Scotland. I searched and found Chapel og St.Anthony in Murthly, dating to 14 century, ruined and rebuilt in late romantic period, but remaining catholic throughout time. It is situated on the grounds of Murthly Castle, rebuilt in same time, now being venue of weddings of like of Middleton family friends, but going back far enough to be mentioned in Macbeth.
Murthly is spelled in gaelic as Mortlaich. Mortlake, thought i? How accurate is the fact of immortal Mortlake of John Dee being in Richmond, not Scoton river Thames and not Tay, sounding similar to be confused that early in history. I have not checked and promise to do that.
But i came to another interesting train of thought. Same friend mentioned that hurricane, causing scattering of Spanish Armada, was conjured by scottish witches, not by John Dee as common legend says. Scottish witches? I got into studying navigation maps of Armada, and came to conclusion that hurricane’s epicenter could not have been Richmond, London. Fifeshire in Highlands indeed.
The castle belongs to a family called Stewarts of Grandtully, as well as the St.Marys chapel of Grandtully in Pitcairn, Grandtully being placename where clan originates. Grandtully is spelled in gaelic Gar-An-Tulli, yes, the last part possibly rendering Thule of germans. ‘Gar’ dictionaries translate as anything from ‘little’ to ‘sword’, giving root to name Gary, but same friend enlightened: In esoteric gaelic Gar means ‘light’, yes, he said, like in ‘Gar-U-Salem’ (Jerusalem). Salem is known to be the place of Tabernacle of Melchizedek, and later merged with Jerusalem. Merged, but not alltogether, as according to Latter Day Saints, it disappeared, as they call it, ‘translated’, into higher realm. Light of Salem teleported into Light of Thule, the ultimate fronteer, for safekeeping till the latter days?
The motifs of S.Anthony’s hallusination bubbles are frescos from St.Marys of Grandtully in Pitcairn, a secret gathering place of Kinghts Templars built as far back as 12-13, frescos dated as 16th century, humouristically, or esoterically, nicknamed by researchers as “pregnant angels’, ‘Queen of Heaven holding a blond or ginger babygirl instead of a boy’ and Black Madonna (yes, known from France and described in latest Michelle Huillebecque dystopia Submission) with grail and egg, all of which i discovered, unfolded and sketched live after i painted in the models in the triptych, all authentic.
The left part comprises the pictish stonecarving. It was a high climb and it is located some climbing steps towards St.Davids well, featured in central piece. I insist it is a star map of constellations Orion and Taurus, the brightest being Betlegeuse known as the star of Bethlehem as it is brightest in Rome on 25. December, the Anchor known from Fisher King (grailkeeper) symbol, very obvious, The Three Kings, here not so aligned, leading to Aldebaran in Taurus known as Masonic Tau, buildingstone. The location is village of Weem, archaic for Womb. Does the map show towards the birth of Savior?
Interesting fact. Temptations of St.Anthony was painted by many: Bosch, Dali, mostly featuring distorted cosciousness. It was, unnoticed, painted by Tennier, yes, the one mentioned in Abbot Sauniere scrolls together with Poussin, also off public knowledge. Teniers interpretation indeed features a pregnant woman.
I was not planning to paint a pregnant woman. Thus happened that two scheduled models could not participate, and only Tanya Fraser, a former artist and Dundee art college graduate, agreed to pose. She gas a rare condition, unoperateable cysts, that make her look highly pregnant while she is not. Pregnant angels were led upon after.
I am opening all information I encoded in the triptych in writing, because unlike with Poussins paintings, not sure anyone would be able to decipher it precisely.
The riddle of Menzies Clan: Magdalene legacy
This evening i had one of my revelatory trances when i had to process lots of linguistic information.
A visit to little Perthshire village called Weem, archaic for Womb, would not allow it to leave it. The village is the heritage territory of clan Menzies, rumoured to have been family of mother of Pontius Pilate (father being a roman officer) and according to long lost friend Barry Dunford claiming bloodline of Mary Magdalene primarily, rather than Sinclairs or Stuarts known for DaVinci Code.
Here are my results.
Magdala or Magdalena means a person from Magda or Magadan, also spelled Mageddon. Yes, same word root as in “Armageddon”, where Ar (hebrew Har means mountain). Not widely known, but term Armageddon is mentioned in Bible only once, and only in Revelations, which is not part of Old or New Testament, but a later addition.
According to hebrew scholar Abraim.publications, proper hebrew name is thus Har Megiddo, referring to Canannite town of Megiddo or Megiddon, of which prefix Me- the scholar omits, and root Giddo he traces to name of Tribe of Gad, translated as “fortune”.
Here is what i came up with. Gaelic is rumored by locals to be a form of semitic, which any linguist would put to laughter, but me, having lived in Scotland for five years, seeing how many, coincidential might be, phonetic similarities words have, would not deny it alltogether.
Gaelic for Misfortune is Mì-àgh, where iagh is root for “fortune” and mi is negation, possibly linked to latin mal (malady, malnutrition).
Hebrew scholar Abraim omits explanation of prefix in Me-giddo, could it thus be not just “fortune”, but Mis-fortune, an event we traditionally see as Armageddon?
Here is what i further came up with. Family crest of clan Menzies comprizes two letters M, could be just initials for Menzies, but why twice? Mary Magdalene initials? The name of clan did not let me go and i had a revelation: Menasseh. Menzies derives from Menasseh, lost brother half-tribe comprising together with Tribe of Ephrahim the House of Joseph. Surprise:wiki quotes Talmud depiction of the flag of the Tribe, being that of black background with A UNICORN on it.
By coincidence i looked at a map of ancient Israel and had a shock: Megiddo is historically situated on the territory of Tribe of Menasseh.
House of Cards: building Orkadian Identity
House of Cards and Local portrait by Stanley Cursiter
Skech from early period, Stanley Cursiter
Stanley Cursiter is a person not known to modern audience. I stumbled upon his grand painting House of Cards in Museum of Kirkwall, was mesmerised by subtle merging between cubist architectural sense and classical softness and fluidity, and stepping stone by stepping stone, his story unfolded.
Born in Orkney, he had vast knowledge to strange and soaked in mystery history of Orkneys, to later, in spite of not having academic arts degree, become in 1948 director of National Galleries of Scotland, be appointed as His Majesty’s Painter and Limmer, and initiate foundation of Scottish Modern Art Gallery, now occupying two buildings in Dean Village.
He has given the grandfather of a person I had a chance to meet, the mansion owner next to Scara Brae Megalithic Village, a strange Viking artifact, presumably a calendar; called his permanent house guest herring gull he was feeding, “Sigurd”, and invested in reconstruction of St.Rognvald’s chapel in St.Magnus cathedral, Kirkwall.
Viking calendar, private
I need to take a tiny swing back in history. Old days Orkney, rumoured by historian Neil Oliver to be as fertile and vastly populated that is was the actual capital of prehistoric Europe, was invaded by Vikings under king Harald the FairHair, who added the islands to Norway, while making his cousin, Earl Rognvald, the first Earl of Orkney, who’s cousin in turn, St.Magnus, is still venerated in Norway as one of Catholic Saints, having amongst others a dedicated shrine in Trondheim Cathedral. Later on, the Orkney Earls participated in Jerusalem Crusades which were depicted in poetry of Earl Kari Kohlsson of same family, took up family name Rollo deriving from longer version “Rongvald”, married to French /Norman nobility on way back from Jerusalem and took up family name Sinclair, under which Earls of Orkney, Caithness and Roslyn are known to present day, not the least through famous polpularisation in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. All the family timeline is recorded in Orkneyinga Saga, of islandic origin.
Stanley Cursiter knew this story well, and was captured by it. Here is an abstract from his biography: “Throughout his busy retirement, Cursiter was also broadcasting regularly on local and national radio, and writing many articles, and even some short stories. He was resident celebrity; the spokesman for Orkney, turned to whenever information was needed on cultural or historical questions or any kind of public debate required a rational and architectural response.
The project that probably meant most to him, however, was when he was given the opportunity to make a significant contributing to a building he had loved all his life. In 1965 he proposed and designed the St.Rognvald’s Chapel in the east end of the choir of St.Magnus Cathedral; a labour of love which stands as a permanent memorial to his contribution to local heritage. He designed a pulpit, a communion table and lectern, incorporating some wooden panels of 16th and 17th centuries, and the three distinctive figures that stand behind them representing the founding fathers of the Cathedral: The Norse earl Rognvald, his father Kol, and bishop William the Old, first bishop to be associated with the cathedral. Some of the wood used for new carvings had been found in the Cathedral crypt by Cursiter. “
During his time as a youth in London, he dedicated himself to study of illuminated books, amongst others, Manuscript of Henry III and Arthur, King of Britain, and illustrated in Arts and Crafts style George Eliot’s scenes from Clerical Life.
His portraits of local persons of prominence and their family members are still decorating many private collections throughout Scotland.
His portraiture in a step away from gentle realist society style of Sargent portraits towards more graphic Scottish Colorists like People, who he wrote a monograph about. Still in the time between two World Wars his painterly style retains incredible cerenity and vital stability.
Answering to an open call by Poets and Artists publication about a themed “Venus” issue, i decided to participate. Open calls to me are not a competitive challenge, but an idea for work, an opportunity to explore a theme.
Venus is obviously associated with iconic Boticcelli tempera, although it had been rendered endlessly over the ages. I came across a story once, that Venus came out of a severed penis of a male god (Neptune?) which gives the subtle erotic explanation of metaphoric meaning of foam she, more commonly, appears from.
I never found any reference to this story, either in Virgil or Ovid. It might have been someone’s modern fantasy.
Still in my painting both the foam and the Venus-shell are present.
A more biologically correct version of a Venus-shell is a clam shell, also known as christian symbol further pointing to Magdalelene, and familiar as a prize one receives after completing a piligrimage to Santiago de Compostella, in its turn having Roslyn as first, or reversed, final destination in old days. It is often seen as decoration of altars, a symbol integrted as jewelry, or a randomly scattered object in christian artworks. Mine is more of a fantasy oyster shell, having venus as a little hidden pearl, just about to come out.
Edvard Munch Studio in Ekely, Oslo
Edvard Munch bought the estate Ekely, a former plant nursery at Skøyen on the outskirts of Oslo, in 1916. Ekely became his permanent residence until his death in 1944, and here he finally had enough space for his work. It consisted of two buildings, a main house, and studios, built especially for him after own drawings by his architect friend. It has fantastic high half glass ceiling giving cold luminous atmosphere of norwegian sun.
(Photo from 1916)
After artis’t death the main building got demolished and the studios stood in ruins until recently, when Munch Museum gave support to open studios for visitors.
Also, the studios are now let to artists and for painting groups. The exhibition of works of modern artists in residence is on the walls, as all Edvard Munch possessions had been stored in Munch Museum under desolation years.
(c) Carl-Martin Sandvold who also administers live figure drawing sessions at Ekely
For a model at evening live figure drawing sessions we have a fantastic young russian ballerina from Yoshkar-Ola, which is a very exotic place. She did some yoga poses and very expressive character short poses for this weeks evening session.
(Edvard Munch Studio in Ekely, view from outside. Photos and sketches by Natasha Kimstatsch)
Just in time for premiere of film D.Strange, on William Fettes-Douglas
I was mentioning the scottish family of Douglas-Hamilton and the famous ancestor Douglas, who together with Sinclair headed the crusade to Jerusalem carrying a cask with heart of Robert the Bruce which gave them victory in battles and guided to find and bring back to Scotland, according to the legend, unknown treasures of templars, after which on return to Scotland the families became very rich (in fact, two of most powerful) and received their titles and lands around Edinburgh.
Now i am going to draw attention to another Douglas, this time artist Fettes-Douglas. Coming from family of founders of Fettes College which later educated hundreds of prominent members of british elite from James Bond prototype to Tony Blair, his works exhibit unprecedental knowledge, read initiation, into mysteries of occult. There is not a hint of vague fantasy in his works, they are detailed depictions of alchemic process and occult ceremonies.
Scottish social scene of the period was full of occult societies and organisations, but none of them were ever open about the rituals. Fettes-Douglas is probably the only artist, apart from Rembrandt, who has insight into alchemic “kitchen” and knows what he is talking about. His colors also follow alchemic scene, this one called “The Alchemist” being in emerald green, while Rembrandt kept to secretive sketchy black-white etching. But please study the seal appearing in the ray of light in Rembrand’s etching – it is for real and he knew what he was drawing!
Dr. Faustus, Rembrandt
From the Scottish Rite of Masonry to Hellfire Club, floating gradually into Golden Dawn, Scotland was the cradle of occult. They knew rituals from necromancy to transmutation of metals, most practices lost otherwise in 15-16 century. This painting by Fettes-Douglas represents such a ritual, and the objects point towards artist-s own initiation into the mysteries.
Now, to the new Marvel blockbuster Dr.Strange: we see there same seals as in Rembrandt’s etching, which proves that it is not modern fantasy imagination, but glimpses into lost reality. Lost, or?
Channel the Spirits, on Georgiana Houghton in Courtauld Gallery
As some migt know, i had started my artistic career by channeling dead artists. When i was taking the very frist class, untutored, i was getting tuition from a spirit of pre-raphaelites. It is very good solution for chosen sensitive souls when quality tuition is not available.
With people who paint by channeling, their expectation and the result often differ, the works being mostly abstract or some other way different from the hand of the artist they are channeling. In my case i used too bright colours. I also hesitated with putting in the pupils of eyes, as if the information was coming from there. Nevertheless, i am very proud of it, as it is first, completely untutored experiment of mature person who was never taught before, guided in advice by departed John Everett Milais, with only model and artist supervisor present.
Portrait in studio, 2010
Another famous person who was painting guided by spirits is Aleister Crowley. He depicted the spirits themselves, aliens, and painted esoteric frescos on walls of OTO mansion in Sicily.
This summer Courtauld gallery of Somerset House saw exhibition of Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings, who created a series of spirit guided abstract pieces in 1860s-70s. Starting from spirit of her uncle, she moved to deeper realization of Godhead-trinity. The drawings are very musical, and we know that many music pieces, from masonic to Paul mcCartney’s Yesterday, are being dictated by spirits or come in sleep as well.
Most of my own paintings’ motifs still come in sleep on the moment of awakeing, so that i can rememebr them and carry through execution, although studying the technique too thoroughly in the analytical atelier method does make the thin and gentle bond with spirit world weaker.
Memorial blog entry for Christopher Van Schaak, the person who made me my first silverpoint pen
Last week close friends gathered in a garden of mansion near Temple, Midlothians to plant a memorial palm tree for Chris Van Schaak, who passed away after lung infection which he caught treating a rose in his garden in rainy weather, over half a year ago.
Christopher was a person who made for me by hand my first silverpoint appliance, and who accompanied me on a road trip to Borders looking for Merlins grave and baptism stone, which we both identified.
He probably identified himself with Merlin a little, maybe the astral meeting exploded the vortex of wisdom and carried him away into the realm of ancients.
Posting abstracts from memorial speech by his friend, photos from palm ceremony and some silverpoints i had done on a journey to Merlindale, Stobo.
“Christopher van Schaack would surely want to have been thought of for his labours and for his legacy. I thought I knew a bit about Artists materials. It was all readymade out of acrylics and pastels and chalks and inks and oils and pencils and wax and it came in pretty tubs and tubes and plastic pots that you could buy at Artists suppliers. You did not consider where it came from. In his choosing to create using the old methods of grinding down minerals at source to acquire pigmentation for painting – when just about everyone else had turned their back on this as a viable method and indeed forgot or held it in modern contempt – Christopher van Schaack was utterly unique in the Art world. At that level of unique in the sense that his was of a kind of weird esoteric genius and a labour of love. He truly believed in his Art.
Others I have talked to do so too.
I was fortunate to be able to help him one afternoon. All we were doing were making explanatory labels for some completed artworks that were due to be used for a forthcoming exhibition to be held in London. You will some of you recall that Christopher was dyslexic and needed assistance with reading and writing. So there he is dictating to me the names of the minerals that had produced these pigments used in his
pictures! The only one to my shame I can recall now was the lovely sounding mineral, “Chrysacolla.” Very difficult to spell. That is some of Christopher’s important legacy.”
“There was something old fashioned and Thomas Hardy-esque about Christopher and the way he would dress for special occasions with his bow tie. Perhaps he had been born in the wrong time period. It was during the time when our sun was in the constellation of Sagittarius that he was born in 1947. To a well to do Southern family from Birmingham Alabama in the US. They had owned plantations and also apparently slaves. His grandfather was a doctor. He had a stormy relationship with his father, though, who according to one source, kind of abandoned him. His mother, Margaret and he were very close though and they maintained a special connection up to her death in 2008. She was a noted researcher, writer and curator in the field of fine arts and a specialist in 19th Century furniture. Christopher also had a sister, Anne Hope but she died earlier. One senses that there is a family tragedy to be found there.
Christopher being a child of the sixties went in a more diverse direction than most. This is born out by his knowledge of many people who were movers and shakers of the American counter-culture and of the Art world and the acting world of the 80’s 60s and 70s. Warhol for example. Or Peter Fonda. Country Joe, Edie Sedgwick. Jack Nicolson. Then the earlier surrealist, De Chirico who he had met and studied under. Christopher through the Art world was in fact acquainted with quite a few names. And also some highly connected and powerful top flight US familes through his associations. The strength of his own convictions alone can tell you that Christopher was certainly one who might be considered not just of the counterculture but “radical.” He was often to be found venting to us on the subjects of the CIA, (did you ever hear the story of how they tried to recruit him?) Or of the Chemtrails in the Sky, or of Syria, False flags? What he considered was the, “Global warming hoax.” You name it. MK ULtra, “the evil Royal Family.”
“They’re all morons! Ruled by Satan!”
But people told me he would talk about these subjects and then mysteriously after they had discounted them as paranoid nonsense he’d be proven right in some manner. Not always though…
He moved from The South state of Alabama over to West Port in Connecticut where he developed a love of sailing and retained strong associations with that Eastern Seaboard of the United States all his life. I have said that I would speak for some of those who knew him intimately and cannot be here with us today. Anthony the son of Stevan Dohanos an acclaimed and noted social realist painter is now a fair-trade cocoa
farmer in his beloved Hawaii. Then he was a radical and fellow painter. He had been at the boarding school Avon Hills Connecticut with Christopher in 1966-1967 and had dated the same girl in Westport as Christopher. In Southport Connecticut they had sailed together as children: He had this to say:
“Christopher was a classy guy, he was a gentleman.. And generous.. I remember he gave my father a few gifts.. The one time I remember he gave my dad a bag full of Old Pocket watch Faces.. And he gave me a whole bag of Silver dollars once.. Lol.. I helped him get to Hawaii in ’69 . I have a photograph of him, 19 years old or so in Alabama and he looks like a young Marlon Brando!”
Anthony told me that within the American counterculture Christopher was in fact instrumental in setting up Health food stores in Hawaii and also bicycle racks. Anthony was in Glasgow at the time and got Christopher his ticket. They swapped in fact. Christopher to Europe, Anthony to Hawaii. Christopher lived in a famous “let it all hang out” type hippie commune called “Taylor camp” in Maui, Hawaii in 1969 at the time.
To sketch this biography out briefly now. I apologise for any errors. I will do better next time. He had then lived in a sort of villa upon the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy and also in Switzerland (the details absent) with Christine, his wife. There they began to raise his two sons, Justin Ten Haaf and Manolis Ten Haaf. There it was too that he rode horses. Afterward he moved over to a house in Amsterdam. There he continued with his art work until he came finally to his beloved Scotland in 1980. This proved an inspiration to him. In Glasgow he started to make his etchings. Then later at Edinburgh in the Printmakers studio.”
from left: Gordon, neighbour, George, KT chevalier, me, Author of speech, John, Chris’s art agent
Recently, in one of my revelationary trances, i had to check some data. Here are some interrsting calculations i came up with.
The year 1322bc saw a comet landing in Britain, whos impact on Scotland was so noticeable it was recorded in pictish stones, and in cave drawings in Wemys Cave near Kircaldy. It is often depicted as a twin comet, and is rumoured to thus symbolise a twin indoeuropean deity, or others say Ishtar or Venus.
If one takes the amount of years between now, 2016, with huge anticipstion of Nibiru, and this day and divides by two it gives number 1665, pointing to year when Sir Isaac Newton was personally appointed by court to watch over a Red Comet which was omenous for Plague of London.
Further. The amount of years between 2016, 1665 and 1322 would give 3338 years, which is approximate amount of years between creation and foundation of First Temple of Solomon, set to be between 832 and 997 bc, but more exactly number 666, as the amount of years after creation of world.
The year the interval is pointing to is 347ad, while year 365 is mentioned in regards of huge earthquake which altered much of shoreline of mediterranean.
Is the Nibiru to be expected? Are we to buy Newtonian telescopes to watch?
Botticellis Divine Comedy: Trick or treat?
This spring saw epochal exhibition in Somerset House of treasures from auctioned in early decades of last century collection of 13th Duke Douglas-Hamilton. The family, one of scottish oldest, has a haunted history. Known from Black Douglas featured in scoolbooks as Robert Bruce opponent, at the same time another Douglas, whos job was to carry around enbalmed and encapsuled in gold Robert Bruce head as talisman for battle victories, accompanying Sinclair known from notorious Dan Brown fiction in crucade to Jerusalem upon which sharing the legendary Templar treasures, 13th Duke was a charitable person. It was going bad for family for some generations. With arrival of electicity the bills were just tooo huge for a non-working person, although the family had stakes in newly fashionable aviation. WWI saw the estate used for hospital, then sold, then demolished. Yes, the beautiful 16c paladian mansion, upgrafed and enlarged in stages to become one of the biggest estate houses in Britain, is now grounds of parking lot and sports field, except for Mausoleum in Hamilton village.
Now to Botticelli, known as one of first Grand Masters of Sion from Sauniere files. Duke of Hamilton owned a sequence of drawings, chapter by chapter, the same way as Gustave Dore illustrating Dante.
Not only that. According to the legend, Botticelli had framed the drawings in a special way. Drawn on half transparent, almost rice paper, he layered handwritten text underneath, halfseen through the drawing. Which is how Duke of Hamilton re-framed it later, to be exhibited in Somerset collection.
Subtle effect of heavenly beauty.
Why does is mimick my grandfathers silkscreen, which unveiled a level of handwritten poetry after upper silkdrawing of ravens was taken off by me to be frsmed separately?
Another question: why is Botticelli so profound judging by exhibition, not mentioned in my Silverpoint and Goldenpoint all-embracing anthology, apart from one single piece, where he is mentioned in collaboration with Lippi?
We all have a seen a Boticelli coloured chart of hell in Dantes house in Florence. Why is it so different in style?
My good old friend, granddaughter of Duke of Hamilton, has mentioned that her daughter, my former best friend, graduate of Edinburgh Art College with history of burlesque and methadon, is dating Banksy, who happens to be son of Jenners former owner.
But who is Banksy? Can she be sure he is who he says he is? Or is it a hoax from her?
Is Botticelli exhibition, so subtle and so advanced, a hoax grom Banksy, commisioned to draw to a japanese anime artist?