Saturday, 17 August 2013

Nothing is more mysterious than the 'seizure' of a personality by a work of art. A work of any of the arts, which may have been familiar for years, suddenly, like an act of focusing, falls into place. Becoming lucent, intelligible - extra dimensional? Whatever phrase you like, but the person to whom it happens is in a state of enlarged being; at the top of their powers, but in tranquility. An experience not of strangeness but of intimacy. 'At that instant her mind was ennobled in Islam' as it was said of the woman in the Arabian Nights.

- Mary Butts (The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns, 1937).

Picture: 'In the Hold' by David Bomberg (1913-14).

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