Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tomato Sepal Sprites

At this time of the year, Tomato Season, I am always amused by the tops of the fresh garden tomatoes. Also known as the sepals of the tomato flower and fruit, the tops are very animated looking, almost like little happy people.

Here are some of today's freshly picked Sweet Gold tomatoes. The sepals look like they are dancing, jitterbugging, karate-kicking, and jumping figures.

You rarely get to see such fresh sepals on tomatoes from the store. They are usually all dried up or have been removed.

I drew some of the sepals and now they look even more like sprites.

These shapes reminded me of Matisse's cut-outs, some of which are plant forms.

So I searched and instead found one of his paintings, "Dance", which reminds me even more of these shapes.

A copy of this picture was found here
This painting resides in the State Hermitage Museum.
Was it a coincidence that I drew five sepals and Matisse has five dancers? Probably not, because that seems like the right number, doesn't it?

An interesting digression: Wikipedia says that "Dance" is often associated with Stravinsky's "Dance of the Young Girls" in "Rite of Spring (Le Sacre de Printemps)". Listen here.

The opening night of the ballet in 1913 caused a riot in the audience, because the music was so strange to their ears. A recent Radiolab "Musical Language" explains why (in terms of brain science) the music caused such an uproar.

The painting "Dance" is given the date 1909-1910, so it predates the 1913 performance. So it would be interesting to see if there was any connection or not.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Back to my search for Matisse cut-outs...

The cut-out "Icarus" looks pretty close to a tomato sepal!

Some people find the face of Elvis in their toast. Now I will be looking for Matisse on my tomatoes.

While looking for that Matisse cut-out picture that might look like tomato sepals, I found out that there is show at the Tate and later at MOMA focussing on the Matisse cut-outs. B & M, wanna go?

picture from WSJ

The end of the Tomato sepals drawing session.

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