PARA: Tom Normand; Claire Grainger – Universidad de Saint Andrews
FECHA: sábado 6 de mayo de 2006 17.58 y 18.02
August 19th 1996 I were at the Duncan of Jordanstone talking long and cordially with Will McLean. The conversation turned on topics of Scottish archaeology and points of contact among pictorial currents that for more than three centuries had flew back taking Europe as bed. The Baroque came out in the conversation, without it being necessary to make the interpretation of its reflux that spread for likeness of concentric circles from Italy toward Dresden of the margraves, the Florence of the Elba, Salzburg, Prague, Krakow, upwards, and toward the left France and Catalonia (in Barcelona, where I live), and that it was not only limited to the architectural aspect in the Islands —British, it is understood—, in the same integration effort.
For example, we were commenting and asking us mutually questions about an unfolding of certain characteristics observable in the English masters of the portrait that they can be considered “composed,” a “hydrolysis” caused by the continental Baroque. We adduced the array of buttons, the Byronian posture, as proof up to the limit of being able to say that they acted in the most famous The Blue Boy of Gainsborough of the Huntington Collection as characteristic made up of one of the theoretical platforms that distinguish the Baroque: the “subordination of the parts to a primordial motif.”
There was a sparkle of scrupulous controversy when Will showed the reticences of the case, but, anyway, we kept an uniform temperature in the theory, contributing each one shades to the “unfolding” that the Baroque caused in Gainsborough’s painting with another of his features of which we well know the progress, the “relative clarity, subordinated to the general effect,” the one that has aged more and has more easily been and more frequently caricatured and ridiculed.
The fortune accompanied the painter who had force enough to give a first lesson to the ridicule in what it is, of course, the Gospel of the blue. The primordial motif, put to the test in his boasting of being the everything, it is unfolded, for the relative clarity, in the boastful blue by means of which the painter wanted to demonstrate with big laughter to his rivals and to his time that a colour could recommend a canon, and in the bottom of “fleeting optic appearance” or turbulent —another added feature— that it serves as term (is that so?) to Jonathan Buttall, the model.
The “hydrolysis” continues “unfolding” seventy years after Gainsborough in the dull reds and the whites that do not alight with those that Sir Thomas Lawrence uses to manufacture the exterior of his lords, silly ladies, countesses and marquises. That whole material, that should be active for itself, it is subjected passively to the multipolarity and continuity that Eugeni d’Ors knew how to appreciate in Lo barroco (1944).
Then we spoke of the seamanship, of how was being lost the vocabulary of the sails, the knot types and the manoeuvrings, that during centuries were believed intemporal. Will told me that he was a sailor. With the years I have seen him as Alasdair Mor Grant with the curragh of waterproofed canvas, impelling it in sight of some novelesque and gloomy mull of the West.
The sympathy and the understanding were immediate; partly it is explained because of my extraacademical and antituristical curiosity: although my implantation is Latin, my roots are Scottish.
I know that Will lived in Fife, he gave me his address, but I have not been able to find it. I have looked for his e-mail address in the net and the quest has been also fruitless. Can you help me to locate him? I would be grateful.
On the other hand, although we do not know each other (neither we had occasion of meeting that time I was in the Duncan of Jordanstone), I would like to make you arrive my CV, enhanced version of the one that I delivered in hand to Will. You will see for it the works that I have had, the classes that I have given, and that I am graduate in Hispanic Philology and doctor in Art History. The thesis that I defended is a vast fork of painting, cinema and literature.
I persevere in the same purpose that took me for first time to the University of St Andrews: to be able to find a job in Scotland to live there and to recover my roots (what I told to Dr Findlay). Although it is difficult to believe, in this moment in Spain there is no job for someone with two careers. To this labour horizon lack it is added, then, the return yearning and a freedom of movements that maybe most of the people do not have: I can travel soon after, for minimum or pale the possibility of a job could be. Having a small salary, I could rent an apartment, don’t you believe?
I send you as enclosed file the CV and I trust in obtaining some answer.
SAXON A.dair (I am legally changing my two birth names).