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- Earth Without Art is Just EH
- Art Enables Us To Find Ourselves, and Lose Ourselves at the Same Time
- Relax, Slow Down, Simplify
- One Goes As One Goes, Then One Shall See
- All Shall Be Well
- Magic Is Still Possible
- Art Washes Away from The Soul....
And now here's a free poster BONUS for you:
The remarkable story behind the 16th C. tapestry where this quote was found, as told by my friend Brian Coppola, an avid art collector and professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan.
"In 1996, I attended an exhibit of Medieval tapestries at the Detroit Institute of Arts: "Woven Splendor: Five Centuries of European Tapestry in the Detroit Institute of Arts." One of the pieces caught my attention.
"It is called "Millefleurs Tapestry with the Arms of the Brachet and other Families of Orleans, Blois, and Anjou," probably designed in France and woven in the southern Netherlands, ca. 1500-20, wool and silk, 9'6" x 10'1. It was probably created to honor the joining of the families whose heralds are represented around the borders and in the center.
"This saying hit me (Brian) like a ton of bricks because it captures well the way I think I live in the world. So starting from 1996, I have used this 500 year-old saying as the signature for my e-mail. I know a bit more about the little that is known about this tapestry, but there is no existing context except the study of tapestries in order to try and make sense of them.
"Something we do not know, and never will, is what the meaning of this "Vaille Que Vaille Lors se Verra" inscription meant to people of ca. 1500 who commissioned it. Indeed, no one can even be sure of the translation, itself. Early 16th C. dictionaries do not exist, and if there was any sort of cultural context in which the saying might have been used, then the sense of what was being communicated is simply unknowable.
"I posed this translation question to one of the smartest guys I know, English Professor Eric Rabkin at the University of Michigan. His reply:
"If 'Vaille Que Vaille Lors se Verras' means 'One goes as one goes, then one shall see,' that suggests (a) the speaker's agency and (b) the speaker's ability to reflect on his situation and learn from it. "What will be will be" deflates the speaker's agency, suggesting an essential fatalism. My sense is that the original meant, '[It] is worth what [it] is worth [then, after it has occurred] one shall see [judge].' That suggests to me something in between: what will happen is fated, but what we think about it is not. But as for getting this really right, I'm afraid that all my friends who were fluent in 16th century French died years ago.
"I’m OK with Eric’s translation, too. But I’m sticking with Darr’s."
Thanks for sharing your amazing story, Brian, and for sharing the quote with the world! : )
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