Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. sherishine's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 79
    #1

    Question fresco,medieval

    Kip would look up, the arch of the high wounded trees over him, the path in front of him mediaeval, and he a young man of the strangest profession his century had invented, a sapper, a military engineer who detected and disarmed mines. Each morning he emerged from the tent, bathed and dressed in the garden, and stepped away from the villa and its surroundings, not even entering the house—maybe a wave if he saw her— as if language, humanity, would confuse him, get, like blood, into the machine he had to understand. She would see him forty yards from the house, in a clearing of the path.
    It was the moment he left them all behind. The moment the drawbridge closed behind the knight and he was alone with just the peacefulness of his own strict talent. In Siena there was that mural she had seen. A fresco of a city. A few yards outside the city walls the artist’s paint had crumbled away, so there was not even the security of art to provide an orchard in the far acres for the traveller leaving the castle. That was where, she felt, Kip went during the day. Each morning he would step from the painted scene towards dark bluffs of chaos. The knight. The warrior saint. She would see the khaki uniform flickering through the cypresses. The Englishman had called him fato profugus—fate’s fugitive. She guessed that these days began for him with the pleasure of lifting his eyes up to the trees.
    --------------------
    The above is from the English Patient.


    A few yards outside the city walls the artist’s paint had crumbled away, so there was not even the security of art to provide an orchard in the far acres for the traveller leaving the castle.

    Does it mean that the color of the fresco is fading, and some paint in the fresco has crumbled away?

    Then what does" in the far acres " mean?

    Does it mean that the original part of "orchard" in the fresco had crumbled away? Yet, I feel puzzled, why the orchard has to be ourside the city wall ? And why the traveller leaving the castle need this orchard? His own property? Is it a medieval tradition?



    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #2

    Re: fresco,medieval

    The orchard may be outside the city walls because it takes up a lot of space and isn't in such need of protection. The paint has crumbled so the imaginary person leaving the city would no longer have the painting around them.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: fresco,medieval

    Incidentally, a painting applied to plaster after it has dried is made al secco. If the paint is applied while the plaster is still wet, it is al fresco - 'a fresco'. The image pervades the plaster. So if the wall crumbles, the colour doesn't just fade - the image crumbles.

    I've never heard of frescos painted on the outside of city walls. But the mention of 'security' may explain this: perhaps the fresco was aimed at preventing attack, either by means of camouflage ('there's nothing there') or by making it look stronger than it was (things like extra 'arrow slits' that aren't useable). (In fact, frescos like that would make sense; perhaps they're one of those things - like paint on statues - that have only left a few traces because of erosion.*

    (Br English tid-bit [nothing to do with medieval castles]: there was a time when houses were taxed according to the number of windows they had: Window tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . So people painted 'windows' that did nothing, to reduce the tax-bill of a new house, and so make the property look more valuable than it was. Some people even reduced their tax-bills by bricking up real windows.)

    b

    PS *See my later post. I now think that this whole paragraph is wrong - though I'm grateful for Sherishine's thanks!
    Last edited by BobK; 15-Jul-2010 at 15:07. Reason: Fix typos

  3. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #4

    Re: fresco,medieval

    Sherishine sent me a PM pusuing this discussion. The relevant extract is:
    ... I'm still not sure about that paragraph.
    "A fresco of a city. "

    Should that be a fresco that describe a city,rather than one that drawn on the city walls?*

    I think the security of art means that , even in a picture( or a fresco), things won't be permanent either. Time will make everything crumble, the things that keep alive, might be just the tiny moments that hide in our memories .

    What makes me felt puzzled is the" why the traveller leaving the castle need this orchard", but now I think, maybe this point ---- whether it is a property of the traveller, is not so much important.
    ...
    I think this(*) is right. In my earlier reply I was 'barking up the wrong tree'! I imagined that 'the traveller' was leaving a real city, looking back at the fresco. I think now though that 'the traveller's' definite article is justified by the writer's memory of a real fresco.

    I think your interpretation of 'the security of art' is right too. On your last point, perhaps it's relevant that an orchard is somewhere restful and organized and fruitful, with pleasant smells, sights, and shade. I think you meant 'whether it is the property of the traveller'; it is a property of the traveller that he has - say - two legs! But yes, the orchard doesn't have to belong to him to make it pleasant and calming and satisfying to look at.

Similar Threads

  1. medieval pavilons of the book
    By beeja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2008, 16:31
  2. Medieval poetry
    By zrugui in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2006, 05:07

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •