Friday, January 21, 2005


"Two profiles face each other. One the profile of a pure white heifer, with a particularly mild and tender expression, the other that of a green-faced man who is neither young nor old. He seems to be a minor official, maybe a postman-he wears that sort of cap. His lips are pale, the whites of his eyes shining. A hand that is probably his offers up, from the lower margin of the painting, a little tree or an exuberant branch, fruited with jewels.

"At the upper margin of the painting are dark clouds, and underneath them some small tottery houses and a toy church with its toy cross, perched on the curved surface of the earth. Within this curve a small man (drawn to a larger scale, however, than the buildings) walks along purposefully with a scythe on his shoulder, and a woman, drawn to the same scale, seems to wait for him. But she is hanging upside down."

The third story in Alice Munro's Runaway opens with this description of the Chagall painting we saw at the MOMA exhibit in Berlin last summer and R. saw in NY earlier this month. Unlike the Munro character to who buys a print of the green man and cow, I bought a print of the blue bear attacking the hunter from the Chagall exhibit at the gallery beside the Brandenburg Gate.

1 comment:

andrew said...

wow, i googled "painting moma woman milking cow scythe," and your blog was the first hit, AND this painting was exactly what i was searching for (and it looks like your blog examines literature, which may prove an added bonus)! isn't the internet wonderful...

anyway, this post is old so you may never know i found you. oh, well....