Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Somebody had to make the first apple!

“The First Apple”

God as architect of the world, a moralized Bible from Paris, ca. 1220-1230.
(from Gardner’s Art through the Ages)

by Ekaterina Levina

A few years ago I wrote a term paper for a Medieval Art History class about an illustration from the Bible “God as architect of the world”.
A medieval artist clearly understood that such complicated thing as creating a new world required some thought, planning and draft drawing.

Artists imagine and create impossible things. They paint gods, angels, dreams, nightmares, moods, and even things that don’t have names.

I imagined how the first apple was made.
First, there was a thought, an idea, then a plan, then a draft (a drawing on the right side of the painting). Now, add some light, some color, some juice and substance – and you have your very own apple, at least on the painting!

I included this painting in my café show last spring.
A local San Franciscan poet Steven Mackin saw it there and wrote a poem:

A History of Apples

Did the First Apple
Stem from a Platonic ideal
Somewhere in the sublime still

Is there a form
The Perfection of Apple
Equation of seed core flesh and skin

From brown leaves black thorns chaos
A Fibonacci derivation
Begins the Second Apple

And how many apples had to fall
From trees in Kazakhstan
Before Apple replaced Fig

As the Fruit of the edenic Tree
Or was it the Grape
Made old Adam Dumb


Steve is a regular feature at the café, and I know that he writes a lot about art.
You can read some of his poems here:


For me it was a wonderful gift to meet Steve and read his poetic response to the painting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog. love all the paintings. I am a huge Lalique fan, have 3 teensy pieces and do need to see this show before it ends. And, next time you go to Stanford, let me know and perhaps we could go together. Am huge Diebenkorn fan also.
Keep doing it, girl. Ciao, Alena Howard