Day in History 27 August – Stevie Ray Vaughan – Titian – Cesare Pavese

stevierayvaughanSvaughanOn this day in 1990, legendary blues guitarist, Grammy award winner, SRV, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin at the age of 35.  Born 3 October 1954 in Dallas, Texas.  He was only 35.  Younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan.  As a founding member and leader of Double Trouble, with drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, they ignited the blues revival of the 1980s.  In March 1983, veteran record producer John Hammond Sr. of Epic Records signed Vaughan and Double Trouble and released their debut album, Texas Flood in June of that year.  While successfully touring, the group released the albums, Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984) and Soul to Soul (1985).  In June 1989, they released In Step, which earned them a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Performance.  In my opinion, Vaughan is one of the greatest musicians to come from the state of Texas.  He derived his uniquely eclectic yet intense style from a variety of musical genres.  His guitar playing, for which he has received wide critical recognition, reflected the pentatonic blues scales.  I know exactly where I was when I heard the news; at home in Victoria, Texas.  Do you know where you were?  The Final Footprint – Vaughan is interred in the Vaughan Estates in Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas.  His grave is marked by a full ledger custom bronze on granite with the epitaph:  Thank you … for all the love you passed our way.  In 1994, the city of Austin, Texas erected the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial bronze statue by Ralph Roehming on the south shore of Town Lake (now known as Lady Bird Lake).  I have visited the statue many times to pay my respects.  A fitting final footprint for someone whose music has touched many lives.  Every time it rains hard I hear the songs “Texas Flood” and “The Sky is Cryin'” in my head.  What do you think of SRV’s final footprint?  How has his music touched you?

titianTizian_090On this day in 1576, artist/painter Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, da Cadore, Titian died from a fever in Venice, in his eighties or nineties.  He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto, Republic of Venice) around 1490.  In my opinion, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school.  Recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars” (recalling the famous final line of Dante’s Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects.  Titain was noted for his mastery of colour.  The Final Footprint – Titian was entombed in the Frari (Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari).  He lies near his own famous painting, the Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro.  No memorial marked his grave, until much later the Austrian rulers of Venice commissioned Canova to provide a large monument.


A Man with a Quilted Sleeve, an early portrait, c. 1509, National Gallery, London.

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist c. 1515, (Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome), or Judith; this religious work also functions as an idealized portrait of a beauty, a genre developed by Titian, supposedly often using Venetian courtesans as models. 

Bacchus and Ariadne, c. 1520-1523. 

Venus and Organist and Little Dog, c. 1550.

Danaë is one of the paintings from the Danaë (Titian series), completed between 1553 and 1556.

Equestrian Portrait of Charles V, 1548, Museo del Prado. 

The Rape of Europa c, 1560-1562, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is a bold diagonal composition that Rubens admired and copied. In contrast to the clarity of Titian’s early works, it is almost baroque in its blurred lines, swirling colors, and vibrant brushstrokes. 

Pietà, c. 1576, his last painting. 

The Allegory of Age Governed by Prudence (c. 1565–1570) is thought to depict (from left) Titian, his son Orazio, and his nephew, Marco Vecellio. 

Diana and Actaeon, 1556–1559 


Cesare_paveseOn this day in 1950, Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator Cesare Pavese, committed suicide by an overdose of barbiturates in Turin, Italy at the age of 41.  Born 9 September 1908 in Santo Stefano Belbo, in the province of Cuneo.  Literary critic Leslie Fiedler wrote of Pavese’s death “…for the Italians, his death has come to have a weight like that of Hart Crane for us, a meaning that penetrates back into his own work and functions as a symbol in the literature of an age.”  The circumstances of his suicide, which took place in a hotel room, mimic the last scene of Tra Donne Sole (Among Women Only), his penultimate book.  The Final Footprint – His final resting place is in the Cimitero di Santo Stefano Belbo, Piemonte, Italy.

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