Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts

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'I thought my ordinary appearance was a perfect disguise' – Charles M. Schulz. #CharlieBrown, the lead protagonist of #PEANUTS, embodied many character traits of his creator Charles M. Schulz and indeed took his name from the cartoonist. Born on 26 November 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in a small town in the American midwest to a German father and Norwegian mother. His parents did not encourage him to stand out from the crowd or aspire to success, yet instilled a strong work ethic that can be seen his lifelong commitment to the daily Peanuts strips. Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts is open now until 3 March 2019 #goodgrief

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The exhibition on Peanuts runs at Somerset House until March 3, 2019

An exhibition, titled Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts is currently being held at Somerset House. It explores the world of Peanuts – a daily comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz in 1950, with the help of some its strips and more. Peanuts feature many interesting characters, such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Woodstock and Peppermint Patty.

In my outlook, Peanuts is more than just a daily comic strip which can make you laugh because it is a comic strip where characters remark on social, cultural and political subjects of its time; that is why Peanuts has an enduring appeal – its strips include good stories and also puts the spotlight on serious topics such as feminism, religion and war which the exhibition explores. I think Peanuts is not just a comic strip which can make you feel good when you read it because of its comic nature, it is also a comic strip which can make you aware of what life can be like and also make you look on the bright side.

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The Mystery with Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa-LF-restoration-v2

What is it about an infamous painting by an Italian artist that has eluded generations?

One of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings: the Mona Lisa, is a very mysterious piece of art because of the smile of the woman in the painting. The painting is a portrait of an Italian woman called Lisa Gherardini, which was done in the early part of the 16th century. It is thought that the painting was contracted by Gherardini’s husband to mark an important event; when she was only a teenager, Lisa had wed a 30-year-old slave trader called Francesco del Giocondo, whose business involved bringing in slaves from Africa.

The mystery in the portrait is associated with the smile of the woman and what type of sentiment that smile portrays: sadness, happiness or something else, but an examination recently has pointed towards that emotion being one of happiness. And yet, even then the wonder with the smile in the painting, in my outlook, doesn’t really seem to stop because even though the subject of the painting might be concluded as being happy, her smile still continues to appear either unrelaxed or resolute; perhaps, what is required is a deeper understanding of Lisa’s sentiments surrounding the portrait before the mystery with her smile can truly cease to exist.

Hell In Paintings

Gustave Doré - Dante Alighieri - Inferno - Plate 22 (Canto VII - Hoarders and Wasters)

When art and theology collide, the results are portraits that express truths about mysterious topics

With the help of art, I have always found that it gets simpler to visualize an idea: hell, which is depicted as a place of immense suffering in paintings, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymous Bosch and The Abyss of Hell by Sandro Botticelli, can be understood to be a place where a person pays for all the wrong acts that they committed in their lifetime; that particular train of thought holds very well with Dante’s Inferno (it is a really old poetry by an Italian poet called Dante Alighieri), in which several important figures, such as Cleopatra, Fra Alberigo and Jason are shockingly described to be in Hell too. What’s the most remarkable aspect of the study is that the paintings seem very realistic and that is probably the most important quality they possess, which makes art really aid with the gaining of a deeper understanding of this mysterious existence of Hell.

…just set the table!

...just set the table!