Lin Fengmian’s Wild Geese

“You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert repenting”, is how Mary Oliver starts off Wild Geese, a short, heart-warming poem about coming home to oneself, the same way wild geese return to their nesting grounds after long…

Paul Cadmus – Seeing the New Year In (1939)

“I like to have a Martini / Two at the very most / After three I’m under the table / After four I’m under the host”, Dorothy Parker allegedly quipped. Though these playful rhymes are, by all indications, misattributed, they fit right in in the life story of the American poet, who was known for…

Fleury François Richard – Montaigne and Tasso (1821)

“We must become like the animals in order to be wise, and be blinded in order to be guided”, advised Michel de Montaigne in his Essays. The French philosopher wasn’t referring to a state based on primal instincts, but to the silencing of the mind, for an overthinking mind is more unreasonable than one lacking…

Alfredo Ramos Martínez – Juanita Amongst the Flowers

As a young Mexican artist, Alfredo Ramos Martínez had spent almost a decade in Paris at the turn of the 20th century, bathing in the light of Impressionism and being hypnotized by the vibrancy of Van Gogh’s and Gauguin’s works. While he never joined the French avant-garde circles, his stay in Paris turned fortuitous when…