A Fortune Teller's Hand Restored

September 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The video below is not about Tarot, but it is loosely connected with fortune telling.

The Shape of Time, Reconsidered is an except from a slightly longer film by Annie MacDonell. It features a conservator restoring a resin hand from an old fortune telling machine.

MacDonell’s purpose in the piece is to highlight questions surrounding consumption, authenticity, and originality, and to reflect on our perception of time.

While restoring the old fortune teller’s hand she shows us that time can heal as well as decay, and that honouring what has already been created is at least as valuable an enterprise as making something new just to throw it away.

Using the fortune teller’s hand is perfect. The whole story was in her palm.

Visit MacDonell’s website to see still shots from the short film, and from her AGO show The Fortune Teller. I wish I’d seen it.

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Caravaggio's 'The Fortune Teller' is in Louisville, Kentucky

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

'Fortuneteller' by Caravaggio

'The Fortune Teller' by Caravaggio

If you’re in or around Louisville, Kentucky, get down to Speed Art Museum by June 5th.

The museum, in association with the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, has brought to the US a few paintings by the Italian master Caravaggio.

These pieces are rarely seen outside of Italy, so it’s quite a treat. Especially exciting is his masterpiece entitled The Fortune Teller, created in 1595.

On loan from the Capitoline Museum and Picture Gallery in Rome, it depicts a young woman reading the palm of a foppish young man, while surreptitiously slipping a gold ring off his finger.

It looks like there’s been unscrupulous types in this business for some time now.

Though it might portray the worst of the trade, it’s a gorgeous painting and well worth seeing in person.
And if you’re interested in themes of fortune-telling in art, you might want to check out Mary K. Greer’s webinars, Cartomancers in Western Art, Part 1 and 2 (available for download), or cruise around her website. She’s done a lot of incredible work on the subject.

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