Ragtag Daily Prompt: Art

All day the bells had been ringing. Now that the identity of the strange man had been confirmed, and it had been confirmed by the best source in the kingdom, that being the Queen. Now it was time to celebrate. Close all the shops! Fill the public fountains with wine! Let there be music and dancing in the streets. GarGar le comte des Deux Chats was home, safe and sound. If that wasn’t a cause célèbre, then what was?

Like any good politician, GarGar had made courting public opinion into a fine art. Just days after arriving at Court, he was already planning parades, parties, celebratory masses and even a masked ball in order to advance the celebrations. Queen Pirouette was sitting back, watching with bemusement as her future husband took matters into his capable hands. All she had to do at this point was simply to sign the checks.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Carved

Detail of fountain at Dupont Circle, Washington, DC

The ball was in full swing. General Montclair was dancing with one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting. Even as he held the beautiful young woman in his arms, he found it difficult not to look at Queen Pirouette. As for Her Majesty, she could barely hear the music because of the pounding in her ears. She took Abigail’s hand and pressed the back of it against her cheek.

“My Queen!” Exclaimed Abigail. “You are burning up! You need to retire!”

“What rubbish,” replied Pirouette in a deadpan voice. “I never get sick.”

“When are you going to accept the fact that you are not carved from stone?” Said Lady Abigail. “I’m extremely worried about you, Pirouette!” As a rule, even in private, Lady Abigail sought to observe all court etiquette, even though she and the Queen were childhood friends. She chose the informal address in order to underscore her concern.

Pirouette was on the verge of countering Abby with a witty repartee, but suddenly, out of the blue, she felt all of her strength drain from her body, as if it were some liquid spilling on the marble floor. Still holding Abby’s hand, Pirouette leaned in and said, “You’re right. Help me to my rooms. I don’t want to make a fuss in front of all these people.” Then the Queen promptly fainted.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Column

Because Queen Pirouette’s predecessor had lived so long, the number of people who could remember a time before him could be counted on one hand. While the old King had maintained his vigor well into his mid-seventies, as the years rolled by, he grew increasingly decrepit. By the time he finally died, the image of the king as a poor, doddering, half-blind, half-deaf invalid.

Even so, Pirouette decided early on to erect a column that would describe in detailed relief all of the accomplishments of his reign. From all of the sketches and portraits of the old king, from childhood to decrepitude, she chose a pen and ink rendition of the king when he was just becoming elderly, but still possessed all of his faculties. There he was, sharp-eyed, a bit stern and in absolute control of the levers of power. From this flat, two-dimensional depiction of the old king would be fashioned a bronze sculpture to crown the top of the great column. This was just the beginning of an era of building, great building, that would be attributed to the new, young Queen.

PPAC #21

This amazing frieze can be found inside the Circuit Courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland. This was erected as a memorial to honor those lawyers who fought and died in the “Great War.” To me, this depiction brings to mind the famous painting by Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii. A pre-Revolution work of art, the theme is loyalty to the state, without regard to clan or clergy. There is a Latin inscription at the bottom, but it is too faded for me to read. Any thoughts? A translation would be greatly appreciated.

PPAC# 19

I know that I’m late, but circumstances beyond my control have caused me to divert my efforts to other areas. Please accept this post as my contribution to the Photographing Public Art Challenge. Best wishes, Russell

Here are another one of those ugly birds that the city gave to local artists to paint. It’s another example of what I call “committee art.” When more than a couple of people collaborate to create art, the results are never good. If a symphony orchestra took votes on how to play each piece of music, the results would be catastrophic. If a classroom had more than one or two instructors, how could the students learn anything? I’ve been in classes where the teacher abdicates responsibility. Can you imagine taking votes from the students on whether or not to take an exam?