The Lover’s Almanac – 22 May – No Comfort

Hey Z, Today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag.  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

Tell all, tell it
Will  dazzle
With in kind explanation
Lightnin’ to the eased
Or all be blind


Twilight, fast fallin’
A horseman crosses
the dark line of low ground
to become more distinct
as he climbs the slope,
movin’ swiftly, comin’ sharply
into sight as he tops a ridge
to show wild and black
above the horizon,
and then passes down ,
dimmin’ into the purple of the sage

The pale afterglow in the west
darkens with the mergin’
of twilight into night
The sage spreads out black and gloomy
One dim star glimmers
in the southwest sky
The sound of the trottin’ horse
ceases, and there is silence
broken only by the faint,
dry patterin’ of cottonwood leaves
in the soft night wind

no home,
no comfort,
no rest,
no place
to lay your weary head

© copyright 2016 Mac tag all rights reserved

On this day in 1762 the Trevi Fountain in Rome is officially completed and inaugurated by Pope Clement XIII.

Trevi Fountain
Italian: Fontana di Trevi
Panorama of Trevi fountain 2015.jpg

The Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi) is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and the eponymous Three Coins in the Fountain.

Gérard de Nerval
Félix Nadar 1820-1910 portraits Gérard de Nerval.jpg

Gérard de Nerval, by Nadar

Today is the birthday of Gérard de Nerval (Gérard Labrunie; Paris 22 May 1808 – 26 January 1855 Paris); French writer, poet, essayist and translator.  A major figure of French romanticism who worked in many genres, he is best known for his poems and novellas, especially the collection Les Filles du feu (The Daughters of Fire), which includes the novella Sylvie and the poem El Desdichado.  He committed suicide during the night of 26 January 1855, by hanging himself from a sewer grating in the rue de la vieille-lanterne, a narrow lane in the fourth arrondissement of Paris.  He left a brief note to his aunt: “Do not wait up for me this evening, for the night will be black and white.”  The poet Charles Baudelaire observed that Nerval had “delivered his soul in the darkest street that he could find (délier son âme dans la rue la plus noire qu’il pût trouver).”


Mazetto : Vous avez l’air contrarié.
Fabio : C’est que le bonheur me rend triste ; il me force à penser au malheur qui le suit toujours de près.

  • Corilla dans Les Chimères – La Bohême galante – Petits châteaux de Bohême, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Poésie / Gallimard, 2005, partie Second château, Petits châteaux de Bohême, p. 224

Il est sage d’aimer dans la belle saison de l’âge ; plus sage de n’aimer pas.

  • Corilla dans Les Chimères – La Bohême galante – Petits châteaux de Bohême, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Poésie / Gallimard, 2005, partie Second château, Petits châteaux de Bohême, p. 239


Vallier : Eh bien ! C’est toute l’aventure du sergent prussien tué par Desroches.
Wilhelm : Desroches ! Est-ce du lieutenant Desroches que vous parlez ?

  • Emilie dans Les Filles du feu, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Folio, coll. Classique/Folio, 2007, p. 295

Aurélia, 1853

Le rêve est une seconde vie.

  • Aurélia, dans Œuvres, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1960, p. première phrase

Rien n’est indifférent, rien n’est impuissant dans l’univers ; un atome peut tout dissoudre, un atome peut tout sauver.

  • Aurélia, dans Œuvres, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1960, p. 404

Les Faux Saulniers, 1868

Il est des gens qui crient très haut qu’ils n’ont jamais voulu se vendre ; c’est peut-être qu’on ne se serait jamais soucié de les acheter.

  • Les Faux Saulniers, dans Œuvres, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1960, p. 443

Le carnet de Dolbreuse

La vertu, chez les uns, c’est peur de la justice ; chez beaucoup c’est faiblesse ; chez d’autres, c’est calcul.

  • Le carnet de Dolbreuse, dans Œuvres, Gérard de Nerval, éd. Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1960, p. 430

 Uhde in 1902

Today is the birthday of Fritz von Uhde (Friedrich Hermann Carl Uhde; Wolkenburg, May 22, 1848 – February 25, 1911 Munich); German painter of genre and religious subjects.  His style laying between Realism and Impressionism, he was once known as “Germany’s outstanding impressionist” and he became one of the first painters who introduced en plein air art in his country.


 Uhde, young

 Uhde, self-portrait, 1898

The Mealtime Prayer or Grace before the Meal (1885) by Fritz von Uhde


 Heideprinzeßchen (Heathland Princess or The little princess of the heath),[23] 1889



Modell med spegel (Model with a Mirror), oil on canvas (1899).

Today is the birthday of Hildegard Katarina Thorell (née Bergendal; Kroppa parish, Värmland County  22 May 1850 – 2 February 1930); Swedish painter.  She travelled to Paris, where she studied for Léon Bonnat and Jean-Léon Gérôme.  Thorell mainly painted large portraits, for example “Modersglädje” (Maternal Joy) och “Damporträtt” (Female Portrait).

 Self-portrait (1883)

Today is the birthday of Belmiro Almeida (Belmiro Barbosa de Almeida 22 May 1858, Serro – 12 June 1935, Paris); Brazilian painter, illustrator, sculptor and caricaturist.



Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt - Portrait of the Artist - MMA 1975.319.1.jpg

Self-portrait by Mary Cassatt, c. 1878, gouache on paper, 23⅝ × 16 3/16 in.,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Today is the birthday of Mary Cassatt (Mary Stevenson Cassatt; Pennsylvania, May 22, 1844 – June 14, 1926 Château de Beaufresne, near Paris); American painter and printmaker.  She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.  Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women.  She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Berthe Morisot.



 Young Woman in a Black and Green Bonnet, 1890, Princeton University Art Museum


 The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt, 1893–94, oil on canvas, 35½ × 46 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington


Tea by Mary Cassatt, 1880, oil on canvas, 25½ × 36¼ in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 Summertime by Mary Cassatt, c. 1894, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago


 Mary Cassatt, Woman Standing Holding a Fan, 1878–79, (Amon Carter Museum of American Art)


 Reading “Le Figaro” by Mary Cassatt (1878), Collection Mrs. Eric de Spoelberch, Haverford, Pennsylvania


Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt Seated, Holding Cards, c. 1880–84, oil on canvas, 74 × 60 cm, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC. NPG.84.34 Cassatt hated it later and wrote to her dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in 1912 or 1913 that “I don’t want anyone to know that I posed for it.”


Mary Cassatt, Self-Portrait, c. 1880, gouache and watercolor over graphite on paper, 32.7cm x 24.6cm, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC. NPG.76.33


 The Child’s Bath (The Bath) by Mary Cassatt, 1893, oil on canvas, 39½ × 26 in., Art Institute of Chicago


Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child Before a Pool, ca. 1898. Drypoint and aquatint on laid paper, Brooklyn Museum


 Under the Horse Chestnut Tree by Mary Cassatt, 1898, drypoint and aquatint print, 19 x 15.4 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


 Mère et enfant (Reine Lefebre and Margot before a Window), c.1902


 Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge, 1879, oil on canvas, 81.3 c 59.7 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art


Cherie, on this day in 1885, poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France, Victor Hugo died in Paris at the age of 83.  His best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)  and for his poetry, particularly Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles.  His books are in my library.  In 1833 he met the French actress Juliette Drouet.  They became lovers and she abandoned her theatrical career afterwards to dedicate her life to her lover.  Oh to know what it would feel like to be loved like that!  Is he more fortunate to have been blessed with his writin’ skills or to have been blessed with her love?

Au revoir Cherie,

Mac Tag

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