Movers and Shakers

“Ode” from Music and Moonlight by Arthur O’Shaughnessy –

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;-
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

A Summer Night, 1890, Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer - A Summer Night (1890)

Vaudeville Musicians, 1917, Charles Demuth


With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample a kingdom down.

A Pyrrhic Dance, 1869, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema


Joyous Frolics, 1899, Paul Emile Chabas


We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Ninevah with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

The Bacchante, 1872, Mary Cassatt


Sounds of Spring, 1910, Franz Stuck


A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming —
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

The Peasant Dance, 1568, Pieter Brueghel the Elder


Study for the Spanish Dance, 1879, John Singer Sargent


They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man’s soul it hath broken,
A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man’s heart.

The Impassioned Singer, 1510, Giorgione


Chocolat Dancing in the Irish and American Bar, 1896, Toulouse-Lautrec


And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day’s late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

Music (Sketch), 1907, Henri Matisse


Singing Peasants, Filipp Malyavin


But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing:
O men! it must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.

Midsummer Dance, 1903, Anders Zorn


Candle Dancers, 1912, Emil Nolde


For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry —
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God’s future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Dance of the Majos at the Banks of the Manzanares, 1777, Francisco de Goya


Aragon, La Jota, 1914, Joaquin Sorolla


Great hail! we cry to the comers
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,
And things that we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

A Dance to the Music of Time, 1636, Nicolas Poussin


8 thoughts on “Movers and Shakers

  1. Jennifer says:

    That must have taken some photo research to put all those images together! I love the idea of music-makers wandering by lone sea-breakers. A fascinating variety of images, of which I particularly like the Singer Sargent rough of the Spanish dance. The foremost nymph in ‘Joyous Frolics’ reminded me of you!

    • artmodel says:


      Omg, she does look a little like me! Sharp observation.

      Yes, this post took a lot of effort in terms of finding and choosing the images. It was driving me crazy at times! Selecting, arranging, trying to coordinate with the poem, etc. I’m very happy you liked the final result. Readers’ enjoyment makes it all worthwhile 🙂

      And I agree about the Sargent. Just amazing. Those brush strokes, that movement, it’s what he does like nobody else.

      Thanks so much for your comments!


  2. fredh1 says:

    What a great and diverse collection of dancing figures – a subject dear to me, as you know – and many of these pieces are new to me! The ones that strike me most strongly are Homer, Demuth, Brueghel, Sargent, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse. I can imagine being in that Irish and American bar watching Chocolat! And the poem, with its vision of the tides of history arising from the impulses of song and dance, is something to meditate on.

    • artmodel says:


      Like I replied to Jennifer above, it was incredibly difficult deciding on image selections for this post. So many fabulous choices, I wish I could have used all the ones I found! I can’t even begin to tell you how many variations I went through. The Matisse, for example, was in the original set, then got bumped for this Rubens
      But then I thought I had too many groups of circle dancers, so I scratched the Rubens and reinstated the Matisse because it was different. The Demuth was a last minute addition, as was the Homer, which got promoted in placement from the end of the post to the top image because of the moon and sea references in the poem’s first stanza. And those are just a few editorial examples. But one of your favorites, Chocolat, was a permanent fixture from the very beginning. It’s so perfect for the spirit of the poem and post. Fantastic drawing by Toulouse-Lautrec. And I personally love the Giorgione portrait. So expressive.

      Thanks so much Fred for your wonderful comments!


  3. Bill says:

    Really nice job — thank you for taking the time to put this together.
    I first looked at this yesterday morning at about 2:30 — after waking up and not being able to get back to sleep. It was very dream-like — especially considering that, when I saw the Homer painting, I remembered being in a gallery of Homer paintings just a few hours before. It was so strange, but wonderful.
    BTW — a “plug” on Sargent — there’s a major Sargent watercolor exhibit opening in October at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Considering all the other Sargents in the MFA, Boston Public Library and Gardner Museums, Boston will have more Sargents on view than the U.S. Army 🙂

    • artmodel says:


      For some reason I just love that you came to Museworthy at 2:30 AM during a sleepless night. I’ve done it myself on occasion! That really is strange and wonderful about the Homers. Quite a trip.

      I heard about the Sargent show at MFA. I saw the Sargent watercolor exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in the spring. It was fabulous. But Boston is Sargent-town that’s for sure! The magnificent murals at the library have secured that reputation forever.

      Thanks for your comments!


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