On the other hand, if we do think of a star as being
“the light of a loved one shining down on us from from heaven to let us know they are there,” then the whole journey of the wise men to Bethlehem takes on a whole new meaning.
“Peace on Earth, Good Intentions toward all mankind.”
Young Paul Cézanne became friends with an aged Joseph Monticelli in the 1860s, and the influence of the older painter’s work can be seen in Cézanne’s work of that decade. Between 1878 and 1884 the two artists often painted landscapes together, once spending a month roaming the Aix countryside. Although Monticelli experimented briefly around 1870 with a treatment of light reflecting the discoveries of the Impressionists, he found the objectivity of this approach uncongenial.
Confronted with criticism of his style of painting Monticelli himself remarked, “I paint for thirty years from now”. The work of this instinctive painter reached its greatest spontaneity in the decade before his death in 1886.
More than a century after his death, Monticelli’s art is still subject to controversy.
In its painterly freedom Monticelli’s work prefigures that of
Vincent van Gogh, who greatly admired his work after seeing it in Paris when he arrived there in 1886. Van Gogh immediately adopted a brighter palette and a bolder attack, and later wrote, “I sometimes think I am really continuing that man.” In 1890, Van Gogh and his brother Theo published the first book about Monticelli.
Monticelli’s reputation grew after his death.
Among his collectors was Oscar Wilde who, after going to prison in 1895, wrote of his bankruptcy in a letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, “De Profundis”: “That all my charming things were to be sold: my Burne-Jones drawings: my Whistler drawings: my Monticelli…” – Wikipedia
The encounter of the wise-ards and the christ child
at the top of this page is a Monticelli from his final years.
It hangs over the wizard’s desk in his private study
where its light shines over his shoulder as he writes.