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3. Write about your experience of looking at the art.

03

Landscape with The Three Trees

"A couple in the bushes? Where? I don't see anything."

Three women have crowded around an art work that's on the acoustiguide tour. Their faces are almost against the picture frame but two of them don't understand what the audio track is telling them. The third has positioned herself next to the etching like a docent leading a tour group.

"Right foreground, " she says. "They're hard to see because this pull of the print is dark. Here's his head, and there's hers."

Their conversation trails off into chatter about the exhibition, about this, about that--and I'm stuck behind them, willing myself to patience. Between their heads I glimpse the upper parts of the composition: the golgotha of trees dominating a flat Dutch landscape, the ruler-drawn slanting lines of a rainstorm and a sky of towering summer clouds. How frustrating! I want to get closer, immerse myself in the lushness of the intaglio.

Then, suddenly, the women move on and for one long moment I'm alone with the Rembrandt.

squall with lovers—
the artist's ink black fingertips
as he caressed the plate

 

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)
"The Three Trees", 1641
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Author's note: The occasion was an exhibition "Rembrandt's Century" at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, in 2013. The haibun was published in Kernels, the Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, March 2013. I don't think that issue is available online.
~lmp


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Previous page Index page Next page

3. Write about your experience of looking at the art.

03

Landscape with The Three Trees

"A couple in the bushes? Where? I don't see anything."

Three women have crowded around an art work that's on the acoustiguide tour. Their faces are almost against the picture frame but two of them don't understand what the audio track is telling them. The third has positioned herself next to the etching like a docent leading a tour group.

"Right foreground, " she says. "They're hard to see because this pull of the print is dark. Here's his head, and there's hers."

Their conversation trails off into chatter about the exhibition, about this, about that--and I'm stuck behind them, willing myself to patience. Between their heads I glimpse the upper parts of the composition: the golgotha of trees dominating a flat Dutch landscape, the ruler-drawn slanting lines of a rainstorm and a sky of towering summer clouds. How frustrating! I want to get closer, immerse myself in the lushness of the intaglio.

Then, suddenly, the women move on and for one long moment I'm alone with the Rembrandt.

squall with lovers—
the artist's ink black fingertips
as he caressed the plate

 

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)
"The Three Trees", 1641
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Author's note: The occasion was an exhibition "Rembrandt's Century" at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, in 2013. The haibun was published in Kernels, the Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, March 2013. I don't think that issue is available online.
~lmp