Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Saved by A Piece of Charcoal

Filippo Lippi (1406-1469) and a few of his friends took to sea in a boat from Italy, but "they were all caught by the Moors who ranged about those coasts, and taken into Barbary (North Africa) and kept in slavery, each one being put into chains."

Standing woman (c. 1460–69), Fra Filippo Lippi 
(c. 1406–69) British Museum, London

"There he remained with great distress during eighteen months. But one day, being much in the company of his master, he had a fancy for drawing his portrait. Having taken an extinguished charcoal from the fire, he drew him full length, with his Moorish costume, upon the surface of a white wall." 

Painting by Frederick Bridgman, 1886

"This being told to the master by the other it seemed a miracle —neither drawing nor painting being practiced in those parts—it was the cause of his liberation from the chains that had so long confined him."
The story comes from Vasari's "Lives of the Painters," as quoted in "Winters in Algeria," by Frederick Bridgman (1847-1928).


Sweeney said...

My apologies as this is not related to this blog post, but I was hoping you could help me identify what the statues depict on Fountain Avenue in Waterfall City?

James Gurney said...

Sweeney, I don't know if I've done a closeup of those statues on Foutain Avenue, but at least one of them shows a pair of Icthyosaurus riders from Prosperine.

Unknown and H, I'll be glad to publish your comments if you would please identify yourselves.

Sweeney said...

Dear Mr. Gurney,

That is extremely helpful, thank you!! On a side note, love your work and I love following you on Instagram! Thank you for being such an incredible person and amazing artist!