By Blanche Cirker
Royalty-free illustrations from 1909 French typography foundry catalog: greater than a hundred plates, over 3,200 images and motifs, together with end result, flora, vegetation, and timber; animals; stray eyes and ears; cards; angels, saints, and non secular motifs; musical tools; carriages and crusing vessels; physical games; plus decorative borders, mortised cuts, banners, wreaths, and different line artwork.
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Extra info for 3200 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments (Dover Pictorial Archive)
By the same token, they transform the inﬁnitude of the texture into inextricable confusion, and liberation into imprisonment. The cone-shaped, sagging body refuses to be elevated in the ﬂames of transcendence. Firmly ﬁxed on its disk-shaped base, the body remains heavy and does not believe in miracles. But still, its sagging pose is as abandoning as Teresa’s S-shape. Bourgeois is not deeply devout. Nor would her historical position encourage her to be so in the way Bernini’s did him. In a post-Catholic culture, she is therefore able to point out that Bernini’s devotion does not exclude the sensuality the nineteenth century has taught us to unlearn.
7 But to stop before the painted surface is not only to question the object of our gaze. It is also to stop before time. It is therefore to question, in art history, the object “history,” historicity itself. 8 It is an urgent, speciﬁc, and everyday question—does not every act, every decision of the historian, from the humblest ordering of index cards to the most lofty synthetic ambitions, spring every time from a choice of time, from an act of temporalization? That is diﬃcult to clarify. It soon appears that nothing here remains for long in the serene light of what is evident.
How does one translate a ﬂame? Given the metonymic logic of narrativity, any attempt to do so consumes it. As soon as one attempts to trace its shape, one falls back onto cold marble, and the ﬂame disappears. Is it a coincidence, then, that the ﬂame is also the image Benjamin used to characterize the work of the critic as distinct from that of the philologist? In a beautiful passage quoted by Hannah Arendt in her in- Ecstatic Aesthetics 17 troduction to Illuminations, set in a characteristically melancholic tone, Benjamin supplements Austin’s emphasis on the occurrence in time of the performance of speech acts by insisting on the present (“being alive”) of the critic’s activity.