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Monday, February 21, 2011

Fries, Rilke, Chopin

Ernst Fries, 1827 - Römische Gebirgslandschaft - Blick aus südlicher Richtung nach der Rocca di Mezzo in den Sabiner Bergen mit der vorgelagerten Felsenstadt Civitella

Ernst Fries (b Heidelberg, 22 June 1801; d Karlsruhe, 11 Oct 1833): Draughtsman, painter and lithographer. He received his first drawing lessons from the university drawing master in Heidelberg, Friedrich Rottmann (1768-1818), the father of the painter Carl Rottmann. In 1815-18 he studied drawing and watercolour painting in Karlsruhe, landscape and figure drawing at the Akademie in Munich, and optics and perspective in Darmstadt. In about 1817 he started producing lithographs based on his own drawings or on works by other artists. Around 1820 he made his first attempts at oil painting. During the years 1819-23, Fries often went on sketching trips, alone or with friends, both in the area near his home and further afield, for example in Switzerland. Throughout this period he sought to develop a personal style out of diverse influences: his teachers, his father's collection of Dutch 17th-century works, and the contemporary painters Georg Augustus Wallis (1768-1847), Carl Kuntz and Joseph Anton Koch. Fries's wash drawings reveal a measure of independence in their light touch and free execution, and in the attempt to reproduce light and variety of tone.

Wunderliches Wort: die Zeit vertreiben!
Sie zu 'halten', wäre das Problem.
Denn, wen ängstigts nicht: wo ist ein Bleiben,
wo ein endlich 'Sein' in alledem? -

Sieh, der Tag verlangsamt sich, entgegen
jenem Raum, der ihn nach Abend nimmt:
Aufstehn wurde Stehn, und Stehn wird Legen,
und das willig Liegende verschwimmt -

Berge ruhn, von Sternen überprächtigt; -
aber auch in ihnen flimmert Zeit.
Ach, in meinem wilden Herzen nächtigt
obdachlos die Unvergänglichkeit.

(Rainer Maria Rilke - In meinem wilden Herzen)

A strange expression: to kill time!
How to keep it is the real problem.
For whom does it not worry: where can we stay,
where is it at last a being in all of this? -

See, the day is slowing, going towards
that space that takes it on towards the evening:
rising became standing, and standing lying,
and what wants to lie just drifts away -

Mountains rest, out-shone by all the stars: -
but Time still twinkles even in all of them.
Ah! in my wild heart there is a bed
unsheltered for imperishableness.

(Trans. Brian Cole )

Chopin - Nocturne
(video by klausknulp)

(Rainer Maria Rilke)


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