Below is the finished painting by the world-renowned painter, Tomasz Rut, titled ‘To Kalon’ (The Beautiful), a recurring ideal in the Platonic dialogues. The painting was a collaborative effort between Tomasz and I with many of the themes drawn directly from my satirical poem, American Bards & The London Reviewer. The aesthetic blog ‘L’estata Moderna’ has just published a short essay on the painting, which can be read here, To Kalon Essay. Beneath the painting is my ekphrastic poem titled ‘Ode on Tomasz Rut’s ΤΟ.ΚΑΛΟΝ’
Ode on Tomasz Rut’s ΤΟ.ΚΑΛΟΝ
A Renaissance of The Beautiful
sprung from the dextrous, deft hand
of Tomasz Rut:
a Modern Michelangelo
the veritable son of Caravaggio;
whose refined sensibility
is worthy of Apollo, the father of Beauty.
Though he is descended from the heroic Hussars,
his Soul is fully Italian, fully Grecian.
For he is a disciple of The Beautiful
in a world that is often hostile
to this everlasting, ever-beautiful ideal.
He is an apostle of The Aesthetic
Painting the celestial dreams of the human Soul.
Every work a gospel inscribed with the breath of divinity -
Rich in Romantic Poetry
and long-forgotten Mythology.
His brush-strokes sing the very songs of beautiful-songed Arcady.
Expressing the Passion, the Emotion, and the suffering of Pompeii:
Hopeful, yet tinged with a hint of invariable decay,
but always avoiding the Modern cliché
of abject, abysmal Despair.
And so as I begin the steady procession of Aging,
My hair receding, becoming threadbare and comically thin.
My skin surely sagging, even wrinkling.
My once youthful muscles redolent of an ancient Olympian,
a champion of wrestling, boxing or even of Pankration,
gradually softening –
possessing only the strength of a flowery maiden
I still will be able to say:
‘In my youth, I too was strong and beautiful
The progeny of Herakles and Alcibiades
The very essence of ΤΟ.ΚΑΛΟΝ
For I was once painted by the Immortal Master,
Tomasz Rut, son of Tadeusz, the celebrated Olympian,
And heir to the great Apelles.’