Art gift book “Odyssey of Life – Odyssee des Lebens – Homage to Homer”

Book series LOUNGE 2 – volume V

Editor: Kurt Ries

He believed the “Fountain of Cressida” in Corfu was the place where Nausicaa had washed her laundry, but the island of the Phaeacians remains a dream. The German wholesale merchant Heinrich Schliemann was a cosmopolitan and a genius. Or was he just a dreamer? He sees Homer´s epics mainly as works of art but reads them in his own way. Eventually, he excavates a seafarers´ realm from the Late Helladic period and becomes the father of Mycenaean archeology.

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A Modern Odysseus on the Trail of Homer’s Epics

Excerpts from the book “Odyssey of Life – Homage to Homer”

This book was conceived and planned in early 2021 out of enthusiasm for the art and culture of ancient Greece. Homer has inspired both archeologists and artists from antiquity to the present day. Today, the hill of Hisarlik in western Turkey is considered the actual site of the city of Troy described in his epics. It was the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822 – 1890) who finally discovered it, even though he initially took a wrong turn, accidentally destroying part of the place he longed so much to discover. To honor the English archeologist Frank Calvert, the monument of the Trojan Horse was erected at the former site of the British consulate. With a clever move, Schliemann got Calvert to hand over his excavation plans to him.

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En plein air – Claude Monet in Giverny

Excerpts from the book “Flowers for Monet”

Don’t we all long to live like flowers, alive with perfect beauty? The work of Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) is a seed that has firmly taken root in the world’s artistic heritage. As an artist and editor of intercultural art books, the occasion of Monet’s 180th birthday and my visit at his garden in Giverny inspired me to create an homage for him – in the form of a book featuring flower paintings. Flowers possess a lyrical aura; trees are said to be antennae connected with the universe. Rejoicing in the beauty of a flower or a picturesque landscape often makes us feel like we, ourselves, are bursting into bloom. Every flower has a “deva”, a “higher spirit” possessing a mysterious power of attraction that can be further intensified by the spiritual aura of artworks. Like Claude Monet’s Giverny, like his paintings, this gift book, too, emanates its own, unique scent. While the subtle color shades of flowers often exceed our imagination, artworks and poems have one advantage over them: They do not wilt. We can lean back and enjoy their emotionally charged beauty any time. “Flowers for Monet”, however, is not a printed florilegium, but a garden designed as an homage inspired by poetic spirit. In the broadest sense, flower paintings are also gifts of nature, because the aura of the flowers is reflected in their artistic expression – we may discover it in the artists’ delicacy of style, or in their pursuit of botanical precision. Equally, flower paintings, like Dutch vanitas still lifes, may be inspired by the unstoppable decay of nature. My selection of haiku poems was doubtlessly influenced by the lyrical poetry of Claude Monet’s own œuvre.

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