Wednesday 29 February 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 29/2/12

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.  

This weeks words come from two newspaper articles on art.

The first two from a review of the new biography of Vincent van Gogh, which I would be tempted to look at if I was the sort of reader to ever make it through a 912 page biography of an artist. 

1. Tenebrous (adjective)

When van Gogh finally gets to Paris in the spring of 1886, he has only one significant painting to his credit, the tenebrous The Potato Eaters.

Picture credit
Gloomy, shadowy, dark. The Free Dictionary. 

2. Pointillism (Noun)

It marked the ascendency of pointillism as the leading edge of contemporary art. 

The technique of painting elaborated from impressionism, in which dots of unmixed colour are juxtaposed on a white ground so that from a distance they fuse in the viewer's eye into appropriate intermediate tones. The Free Dictionary. 

Is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term Pointillism was first coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation. Wiki

My last word comes from my local small town paper, and an article about the Archibald exhibition at our local art gallery. 

3. Panjandrum (Noun)

Like it or not, this is the grand panjandrum with the little red button on top of Australian art exhibitions. 

i) An important or self-important person. 
ii) A pompous, self-important official or person of rank.
iii) Designation for a pompous official, taken from a story by Samuel Foote (1775). The Free Dictionary.

 The Samuel Foote story is The Great Panjandrum Himself. 

Picture credit
Somehow, The Great Panjandrum become a massive, rocket-propelled, explosive-laden cart designed by the British military during World War II.


MedicatedMoo said...

Knew pointillism, but not the other two. Do you read with a dictionary by your side? :)

Louise said...

No, but I should! So many words I don't know. so many words that I've learnt before, and have forgotten....

bermudaonion said...

I actually knew pointillism, but the other two are new to me. I've know quite a few panjandrums!

Louise said...

Sadly I think we all know a few panjandrums....

Tea said...

First and third word is very interesting. Have read Pointillism in a novel or two. Just don't know how to spell it.

Louise said...

I must have been the last known person to have never heard of pointillism.. Good to know that you ladies are so learned.

Mary R. said...

Tenebrous is a great word to learn. We have a lot of days that might be described that way in northern New England. It isn't, however, what I think of when I think of van Gogh.

Margot said...

I'll admit to not knowing any of your new words. I especially like tenebrous. That's the perfect word for that painting as well as the our current weather situation. I will use that word today.

Anonymous said...

Love tenebrous, and I'm curious about the Van Gogh biography - might be one for me to purchase though since the library probably wouldn't take kindly to me renewing it for several months to get through it! I had the pleasure of learning about pointillism when I was studying in France and saw some examples on display. I remember thinking what a remarkable skill and art form it was - such patience to form all those dots for one picture!

Libby said...

I did not know ANY of these. But the great thing I know all three! Thanks for an interesting post, Louise, and thank you also for having stopped by my place earlier!

Joy said...

I knew pointillism -- largely because I saw that very Seurat painting in Chicago. It's huge!

The other two words are new and very good to know!
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