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Peace and War

Peace and War by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Italian (1708-1787), 1776, Oil on canvas 53 1/2 x 39 in. (136 x 99 cm) Gift of the Old Masters Society to The Art Institute of Chicago

If you’re wondering where my avatar comes from, here’s how I came upon it.

I’m an electrical engineer. I design hardware and write software for the printing industry. My motto: blame your junk mail on me.

I was traveling for business, learning to interface to a new machine, and I was in Chicago. I had a free afternoon and had never been to The Art Institute of Chicago, so I decided to enjoy some culture.

When I go to an art museum I like to play a game. I pretend that I can have a single piece of art to take home, and I ask myself, which would I choose?

I found lots of lovely art on the first two floor, but nothing that shouted out, “Take me!”

When I got to the third floor I saw War and Peace and was blown away.

Pax is painted in white. She is bare breasted and glows from the canvas. Her head is tilted, her eyes implore, she gently pushes on Mars’ sword; she begs, but she is brave too; she does what she has to do to get Mars’ attention to tell him how she feels. She offers everything: herself, peace, instead of war.

Mars is brave. He holds his sword and shield, but he is a young man and is susceptible to Pax’s charms. His shield arm encircles her, and they intensely stare into each others eyes.

Pax asks, “Do you want war? Or do you want peace?”

I don’t know what you guys would pick, but I wouldn’t care if  I was the God of war or not. If I had a girlfriend like Pax tickling my neck with an olive branch I know what I’d choose.

Categories: Art
  1. January 23, 2011 at 10:06 am

    A great first post Matt and well done on starting your own blog.
    I love art too and this indeed is a breathtaking painting.
    Thanks for taking up the idea of your own blog, and thanks for sharing this too.
    I’ll often go to an art gallery and just stand and stare at one painting for about 30 minutes..this indeed is inspirational.
    Looking forward to more posts 🙂

    January 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Excellent choice for an avatar, and excellent post, overall.

    Good luck with the blog, Matt. 🙂

    January 23, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Oooooo, I forgot to mention….ENUFF JUNK MAIL, ALREADY. 😉

  4. kellythegreat
    January 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Congrats on your own blog. I love the painting. 🙂

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