Alternate title: This, my friends, is why we have
crappy old books
Not long ago I picked up The World’s Great Madonnas: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music, and Stories Centering in the Life of the Madonna and Her Son (1947; which can be yours for one shiny penny). The largest portion of the book deals with non-Western art. As today is Annunciation day, I thought it might be fun to post a work of art from a different point of view.
This, “The Visitation of Mary” by Takahira Toda, seemed just the thing. There’s just one small problem. The book is in black & white and the work doesn’t exist anywhere on the World Wide Web.
That’s not quite right. I did find it in another book archived at archieves.org. But it’s in black & white, too.
I looked everywhere. I searched all manner of permutations of the artist’s name, etc. I can’t find it. And that’s a shame.
In this reproduction one misses the delicate coloring of the hills, the red bodice with its slender golden outlines which make the original a never-to-be-forgotten work of art. … The long graceful folds of Mary’s veil, Puritan almost in simplicity, the upturned face surrounded by a delicate halo of light… .
That’s what we are missing. And indeed, if it weren’t for this
crappy old book, we wouldn’t even know what we were missing.