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Pansies. An original watercolor by Bishop, gouache and graphite on paper, 15 ?? wide x 12 ¼? high, 1960
Benton 75. Bishop?s largest and most finished recorded painting, a basket of pansies ? the name derives from the French ?pensée? ? beside a pair of books, was a deeply symbolic gift from Bishop to her lover Lota de Macedo Soares, inscribed ?L. de M. S. from E. B. 10-28-60.? In Pansies, Bishop balances the domestic tableau with memories and intimations of travel: beside the basket of flowers, its title barely legible, is Baedeker?s Northern Italy. Bishop first visited Italy with Louise Crane in 1937 and would spend a month visiting Venice, Florence and Milan with Lota in the late spring of 1964. In Shakespeare, the pansy, then known as heartsease, was associated with contemplation and love, the juice from its flowers most memorably used as an aphrodisiac in A Midsummer Night?s Dream. ?In her simple ink drawings and watercolor sketches, often unfinished but always enchanting, one can find the style and matter of her poetry. A richly colored image of pansies beside a pile of books on a checkered tablecloth conveys her instinctive association of word and image. Bishop?s words become visible in odd angles of vision, the play with scale, the emotional language of colors, the affection for the humble.? ? Bonnie Costello, Planets On Tables: Poetry, Still Life, and the Turning World (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2008), p. 84
      [Bookseller: James S. Jaffe Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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