...or 1023. Or something.
For with Constable only starting his warm-up exercises, Degas still formulating his game plan, and Goya still knowing he's got at least a year before he needs to start worrying about it -- metaphorically speaking, of course -- the first artist has tried, and lost, and drops from the Infinite Art Tournament.
His loss leaves us with 999 artists, if you count the 1000 of the original list. It leaves us with 1023, if you add the 24 that will eventually round out the bracket to the 1024 -- and by the way, feel free to nominate newer artists or artists you fear might not have made the initial 1000! Or, it leaves us with 999 + x, where x = the number of additional artist nominations received in order to determine the additional 24 -- speaking of which, did I mention, feel free to nominate newer artists or artists you fear might not have made the initial 1000?!
And the first to drop is...
The "American Titian," painter and poet Washington Allston, one of the leading UnitedStatesian intellectuals of the early nineteenth century. The IAT community didn't hate his stuff -- he lost his two contests by a combined total of only four votes -- but someone had to be the first to fall. Hats off to Mr. Allston for helping us launch the Infinite Art Tournament!
Here's my favorite of the great man's poems, which are... well... very much of his century! This is one of his more compact and edgy works. Enjoy!
The Mad Lover At the Grave of his Mistress.
Stay, gentle Stranger, softly tread!
Oh, trouble not this hallow'd heap.
Vile Envy says my Julia's dead;
But Envy thus Will never sleep.
Ye creeping Zephyrs, hist you, pray,
Nor press so hard yon wither'd leaves;
For Julia sleeps beneath this clay--
Nay, feel it, how her bosom heaves!
Oh, she was purer than the stream
That saw the first created morn;
Her words were like a sick man's dream
That nerves with health a heart forlorn.
And who their lot would hapless deem
Those lovely, speaking lips to view;
That light between like rays that beam
Through sister clouds of rosy hue?
Yet these were to her fairer soul
But, as yon op'ning clouds on high
To glorious worlds that o'er them roll,
The portals to a brighter sky.
And shall the glutton worm defile
This spotless tenement of love,
That like a playful infant's smile
Seem'd born of purest light above?
And yet I saw the sable pall
Dark-trailing o'er the broken ground--
The earth did on her coffin fall--
I heard the heavy, hollow sound
Avaunt, thou Fiend! nor tempt my brain
With thoughts of madness brought from Hell!
No wo like this of all her train
Has Mem'ry in her blackest cell.
'Tis all a tale of fiendish art--
Thou com'st, my love, to prove it so!
I'll press thy hand upon my heart--
It chills me like a hand of snow!
Thine eyes are glaz'd, thy cheeks are pale,
Thy lips are livid, and thy breath
Too truly tells the dreadful tale---
Thou comest from the house of death!
Oh, speak, Beloved! lest I rave;
The fatal truth I'll bravely meet,
And I will follow to the grave,
And wrap me in thy winding sheet.