Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July

I'm probably a day late, but here's wishing all my American blogger friends a Happy 4th of July!

© J.L.G. Ferris/Wikimedia Commons
In the picture, Benjamin Franklin reads a draft of the Declaration of Independence as the other Founding Fathers, John Adams (seated) and Thomas Jefferson (standing), listen. The number of key Founding Fathers has been put at seven which includes George Washington. The painting is by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930), an American painter who famously recreated 78 scenes from American history known as The Pageant of a Nation, which, according to Wikipedia, is the largest series of American historical paintings by a single artist. It'd be worth taking a look at the others.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the holiday wishes. We observed the day by watching an Indian movie set in modern-day Mumbai, The Lunchbox (Dabba), with a favorite actor, Irrfan Kahn. Enjoyed it and thought of you riding those commuter trains to work.

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    1. Ron, you're welcome. Irrfan Khan is a noted character actor who also appears in THE NAMESAKE, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and LIFE OF PI. The tiffin carriers of Mumbai are famous for their flawless operation and timely delivery and they have also obtained ISO. Management students often study the "dabbawallas" as part of their curriculum. They're a common sight on the city's suburban railway network. They first earned global recognition after Prince Charles met them in person many years ago.

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    2. Irrfan Khan played a continuing character here in the series IN TREATMENT, about a therapist (Gabriel Byrne) and his patients. He was wonderful. He gets plenty of screen time in THE LUNCHBOX and uses it to get very deeply into a similarly sympathetic character. We know the other films you mention, though have not got around to watching SLUMDOG.

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    3. Ron, I did not know about the IN TREATMENT series or that Irrfan Khan acted in it. Thanks for mentioning it. Khan is a versatile actor although I prefer to see him in character roles in parallel cinema, like THE LUNCHBOX, rather than in the commercial films of Bollywood. I was put off by all the hype around SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE at the time it was released and finally saw it on cable. I didn't like it much.

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  2. Great painting! I love the wadded up drafts of pages on the floor.

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    1. Charles, it certainly is. I liked the ship on the ceiling too though I'm not sure what it's supposed to signify.

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  3. I must admit historical art isn't really my thing, I'm more of a Sunflowers type of guy!

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    1. Col, I like historical art and I'd love it if I could paint anything like that. The detailing in these paintings is amazing.

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    2. I enjoy historical art as well. That would include muralists like Diego Rivera.

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    3. Ron, occasionally I look at historical art online and one can't even say it's the next best thing to a walk through a real art museum. There is no comparison. My first brush with early and historical art was three decades ago, when I picked up a pocket book of paintings by Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel.

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  4. Thanks for the holiday wishes, Prashant. After a very long, very nice weekend, back at work now.

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    1. Tracy, you're welcome. After a hectic fortnight of work I'm still trying to find my feet in the world of reading, reviewing, and blogging.

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  5. We used to live in the USA so I always pay particular attention to the big holidays like this one. Fond memories of Fourths gone by...
    Like your correspondent above, I really enjoyed the film Lunchbox....

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    1. Moira, I'm glad some deserving Indian films are getting recognition abroad. It bothers most Indian filmmakers and filmgoers that the world's largest film industry hasn't made even a noticeable dent in world cinema. It owes its intermittent success overseas to Indian directors settled abroad or western filmmakers like Danny Boyle.

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  6. Prashant: Some years ago I read simultaneously 5 biographies of Founding Fathers and prominent early Americans. The U.S. was fortunate to have the quality of leadership those men provided as it began its existence.

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    1. Bill, among the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin has made it to the English syllabus in Indian schools though the average student would also be aware of some of the others like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. US postage stamps of these statesmen were part of most stamp collections in India. I still have dozens of them. However, I have not read any of their biographies. It's interesting that many countries have produced leaders of great stature that today's politicians would do well to emulate.

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