Surprised by Art: Righteous Defiance

Updated: Jun 22, 2020




Welcome to the second episode of Surprised by Art, a new podcast where two art experts surprise each other (and YOU) with great works of art.

This is how it works. Each week you the audience can vote on a topic. This week you voted on the topic of "Righteous Defiance." Then Luc Travers selected a painting and Kirk Barbera selected a poem to surprise everyone with.

This is done primarily for an audio listening audience. You can hear them wherever you listen to podcasts. The podcast is tailored to explaining is as clear terms as possible the visuals in the painting.


Of course, we recommend that you also take a moment and look at the painting itself. We have provided an image below.


Give it a title. Doesn't matter if you are correct. Just think, what is the first word that comes to mind?

Then, give a literal description of everything in the painting.

In the show, we have various audience members doing exactly this, and if you listen to them this can help give you ideas on how to accomplish this investigation.


Lastly, interpretation. You can do your best on your own or listen to Luc and Kirk's exploration.

Ok here comes the painting! Remember: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE ARTIST'S NAME OR THE TITLE OF THE ARTWORK UNTIL AFTER YOU SEE THE PAINTING!




Here's the full painting:

Here's a close up on our main figure:


And even closer:


The title of the painting is "The Tulip Folly" by Jean-Leon Gerome.



 

THE POEM


The New Jerusalem

By William Blake


And did those feet in ancient time

Walk upon England's mountains green?

And was the holy Lamb of God

On England's pleasant pastures seen?


And did the Countenance Divine

Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

And was Jerusalem builded here

Among these dark Satanic Mills?


Bring me my bow of burning gold!

Bring me my arrows of desire!

Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!

Bring me my chariot of fire!


I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England's green and pleasant land.