The face of Keats

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Nonedo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:21 pm

Malia wrote:Great Avitar, Nonedo :) Keats always looks great in a laurel crown!


Yes, this is my favorite portrait of him. This and where he sits in forest, listening to a nightingale. First shows his greatness and second his nature.

Actualy this is a cover of Russian Keats book with which (not THIS one, I havent scanned it) I found him. I was searching my house library for verses and I've opened this book (book actualy starts with his masterpieces, with fairly good translations) and I started: Why did I laugh tonight? And I felt as if I was Keats and He was me, I realised that nothing has tuched me nor Faust nor Dante as this line did. I saw how I wake up from laughter which I can not explain. For the next 15 minutes I was sitting silent in full silence. I fell in love with him. I did. And Odes? I read them, especialy To Nightingale, almost every day, and they never get old! They are like Immortal Columns of Poesy, that hold heaven.
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:55 pm

Great Avitar, Nonedo :) Keats always looks great in a laurel crown!


I have to say he looks quite gorgeous! :D



And I felt as if I was Keats and He was me, I realised that nothing has tuched me nor Faust nor Dante as this line did. I saw how I wake up from laughter which I can not explain. For the next 15 minutes I was sitting silent in full silence.


Wow- how amazing! All of the above I mean...


I fell in love with him. I did.


Completely understandable- he is very loveable. :D


And Odes? I read them, especialy To Nightingale, almost every day, and they never get old! They are like Immortal Columns of Poesy, that hold heaven
.

No they are ever fresh ever new- timeless wisdom. I love your last sentence- you are rather poetic yourself!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby presently » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:01 am

I'm new to the forum and registered because I've looked everywhere for an image referred to in Stanley Plumly's book Posthumous Keats and thought the extremely knowledgeable folks here might know where to find it.

Plumly mentions a painting housed in the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London called "Portrait of a Young Man, Rembrandt School" that was supposedly a depiction of the artist Philip Wouwerman. Charles Cowden Clarke and his father-in-law both thought the man in the painting closely resembled Keats, the father-in-law saying, "I was particularly struck with the portrait of Wouwerman, which is so extraordinary a likeness of Keats that if his name had been inserted in the catalogue, no one could have doubted it had been painted for him instead of the Flemish artist."

This is the first mention I've seen of this in my Keats readings. Plumly says the subject is turned to the left, has long fair hair, a mustache, and wears a black cap.

I love all the images that have been posted here! The ones that particularly caught my eye were the shipboard sketch of Keats reading and the photo of Fanny Keats in later life.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:37 pm

presently wrote:I'm new to the forum and registered because I've looked everywhere for an image referred to in Stanley Plumly's book Posthumous Keats and thought the extremely knowledgeable folks here might know where to find it.

Plumly mentions a painting housed in the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London called "Portrait of a Young Man, Rembrandt School" that was supposedly a depiction of the artist Philip Wouwerman. Charles Cowden Clarke and his father-in-law both thought the man in the painting closely resembled Keats, the father-in-law saying, "I was particularly struck with the portrait of Wouwerman, which is so extraordinary a likeness of Keats that if his name had been inserted in the catalogue, no one could have doubted it had been painted for him instead of the Flemish artist."

This is the first mention I've seen of this in my Keats readings. Plumly says the subject is turned to the left, has long fair hair, a mustache, and wears a black cap.

I love all the images that have been posted here! The ones that particularly caught my eye were the shipboard sketch of Keats reading and the photo of Fanny Keats in later life.


Welcome to the board!
I really would love to see this portrait! I have looked on the Dulwich Picture Gallery website and couldn't find it. However, I found a website about the artist which has a drawing of him- do you see a likeness to John Keats?

http://www.wouwerman.org/biography.html

What is your fave portrait of him? Mine are his life mask, the Hilton portrait and Severn's charcoal drawing.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Cybele » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:37 pm

Nonedo wrote: . . . and I started: Why did I laugh tonight? And I felt as if I was Keats and He was me, I realised that nothing has tuched me nor Faust nor Dante as this line did. I saw how I wake up from laughter which I can not explain. For the next 15 minutes I was sitting silent in full silence. I fell in love with him. I did. And Odes? I read them, especialy To Nightingale, almost every day, and they never get old! They are like Immortal Columns of Poesy, that hold heaven.


Oh, Nonedo, I'd be willing to bet that most of us forum participants were struck breathless by a poem. Led on by one poem, we found the others. Led on by an incomparable collection of poetic works, we found the letters, and from there we found the man.

And we, too, were in love.

About 25 years ago I read, really read (as opposed to memorizing for the purpose of getting a good grade in an English class) "To Autumn." I couldn't breathe, blink or talk. I thought, "What are you doing in my head? And how did you get there?"

I was hopelessly hooked, and happily so.
"The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence."
Wallace Stevens
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby jesleeall » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:44 pm

Hello. I'm new to the forum and am enjoying it very much. I was excited to see some images of Keats I hadn't yet seen anywhere else. I was absolutely bowled over by the watercolor Severn painted on the Maria Crowther. I can't believe I haven't seen it in one of the biographies I've read. I think it is as poignant and expressive and beautiful as the deathbed portrait. Can you tell me, Malia, where you found it? I wonder if there are copies for sale anywhere? When I look at it I see Keats doing his best to lose himself in a book, but not quite succeeding. To me, he looks like he's not reading so much as staring down at the page. It makes me think of the letter he wrote to his sister where he joked about how he'd like to be sitting by a window overlooking Lake Genevea, and how he'd "sit and read all day like the picture of somebody reading." I think this picture is inexpressively sad and lovely.
The picture on the front of the famous authors series isn't Keats - at least according to Andrew Motion's biography. It's a portrait by Severn of John Hamilton Reynolds, Keats's friend. And the picture that Stanley Plumly mentions, the one he says Keats's friends agreed looked just like him is, I think, not the one posted. It can be seen at this link:
http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnai ... ng-Man.jpg
You can see the resemblance to Keats, I believe, in the large eyes, straight nose, expressive face, and reddish-gold hair.
Thanks for all of your posts and the great pictures. Oh, and the one of Keats as a child is wonderful, too!
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Malia » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:39 pm

Hi Jesleeall,
The picture of Keats on board the Maria Crowther and the schoolboy silhouette are great, aren't they? I'm always on the lookout for obscure images of Keats. The sketch on board ship I found in Sheila Birkenhead's biography of Joseph Severn "Against Oblivion". The image of Keats at 15 was taken from Amy Lowell's 1925 biography of Keats. I have no idea if either is in print anywhere else--I have a feeling they are not. But it would be good to at least see the Maria Crowther image a little more often in print as I totally agree with you--it is an extraordinary snapshot of Keats' emotional struggle as he sails toward exile and death.
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:42 pm

jesleeall wrote:Hello. I'm new to the forum and am enjoying it very much. I was excited to see some images of Keats I hadn't yet seen anywhere else. I was absolutely bowled over by the watercolor Severn painted on the Maria Crowther. I can't believe I haven't seen it in one of the biographies I've read. I think it is as poignant and expressive and beautiful as the deathbed portrait. Can you tell me, Malia, where you found it? I wonder if there are copies for sale anywhere? When I look at it I see Keats doing his best to lose himself in a book, but not quite succeeding. To me, he looks like he's not reading so much as staring down at the page. It makes me think of the letter he wrote to his sister where he joked about how he'd like to be sitting by a window overlooking Lake Genevea, and how he'd "sit and read all day like the picture of somebody reading." I think this picture is inexpressively sad and lovely.
The picture on the front of the famous authors series isn't Keats - at least according to Andrew Motion's biography. It's a portrait by Severn of John Hamilton Reynolds, Keats's friend. And the picture that Stanley Plumly mentions, the one he says Keats's friends agreed looked just like him is, I think, not the one posted. It can be seen at this link:
http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnai ... ng-Man.jpg
You can see the resemblance to Keats, I believe, in the large eyes, straight nose, expressive face, and reddish-gold hair.
Thanks for all of your posts and the great pictures. Oh, and the one of Keats as a child is wonderful, too!


Welcome!
Thanks very much for the portrait- there is a slight similarity. The Maria Crowther portrait is "inexpressively sad and lovely", I agree- yes, I too think he was trying to read but wasn't- it's as though he is trying to distract himself from his thoughts being consumed with Fanny Brawne and his impending death.I think Malia found this portrait in a biography of Joseph Severn.The picture on the book is John Hamilton Reynolds- I have a few books on our dear poet and that portrait is in nearly all of them.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Malia » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:44 pm

jesleeall wrote: And the picture that Stanley Plumly mentions, the one he says Keats's friends agreed looked just like him is, I think, not the one posted. It can be seen at this link:
http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnai ... ng-Man.jpg
You can see the resemblance to Keats, I believe, in the large eyes, straight nose, expressive face, and reddish-gold hair.



Thanks for that portrait, Jesleeall--I'd wondered just what picture Plumly referred to! I can absolutely see the resemblance to other portraits of Keats. If his friends thought it was a good likeness, that gives the picture special merit.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:50 pm

Thanks for that portrait, Jesleeall--I'd wondered just what picture Plumly referred to! I can absolutely see the resemblance to other portraits of Keats. If his friends thought it was a good likeness, that gives the picture special merit.


I just enlarged it and can see the resemblance better- I think John was more handsome than this fellow though... :wink:
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby jesleeall » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:35 pm

More handsome? Absolutely! :)
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:49 pm

jesleeall wrote:More handsome? Absolutely! :)


I see you have excellent discernment on male beauty jesleeall! John was very handsome indeed. :D
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:15 pm

John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Raphael » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:21 pm

John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Ennis » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:20 pm

Raphael:

His face in words -- lovely!!
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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