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ART OF BOULDER
BOY AND GIRL KNITTING ⎔ HORSE AND TRAIN ⎔ MYSTERIES ⎔ NAPOLITANO POSTCARD ⎔ NEIL THE FROG ⎔ OLD RALPH POSTCARD ⎔ WOMAN AND TERRIER
On the Torrance fridge for 11 seconds (10:48-10:59), right after Tony tells Danny that Jack’s about to call Wendy about the job.
For the record, I’m discovering this after my recent Vesuvius/Naples/Four Bird Key discoveries.
It’s an ancient statue of Augustus Caesar, looking out at Mt. Vesuvius, in Naples. Here’s an analysis of the statue, and of the dramatic scenes depicted on Caesar’s breastplate.
It was a gift from Mussolini to Naples in 1936 (the same year as the Berlin Olympics), replacing a bust of a 9th century Italian naval hero that was there before, Cesario Console (AKA Caesar of Naples, AKA Caesar the Brave) and which the adjoining street is still named after (in fact the other wraparound streets are also named for Italian naval heroes).
What I thought was a neat coincidence was the graffiti at the base (lower right box), which reads Rocky, twice (The Shining has a few subtle connections to the film Rocky).
Did the Torrances take a trip to Naples, after Jack became jobless? Seems, dare I say, unlikely. But what, if anything, would be the rational explanation for its coveted wedged-sideways-into-the-fridge-decal position? Did they pick it up at some 50 cent store, and are using it to feel faux-cosmopolitan? Do they wish they were part of the jet set? (Ullman brags that the Overlook was a “stopping place” for the jet set.) Did a friend send it to them? The same one who would’ve sent them the copy of Julius Caesar’s biography by Christian Meier (only available in English by 1982)? Jack has a copy of Shakespeare in Russian, so this wouldn’t be totally left-field.
The postcard seems to either be for the area of Naples known as Santa Lucia (where the Caesar statue is located), or possibly for the greater Naples area, since one part is almost certainly showing the Galleria Umberto I (the dome), and another might be showing an aspect of Castel Nuovo (the pillar). I’m honestly not sure. Below is the most recent pre-1980 postcard I could find in this style, and it’s from around 30 years earlier. And it’s of Venice.
Either way, it’s worth noting that Saint Lucy (for whom the area’s named) has the same feast day as Jack and Hallorann’s death day, December 13th, which happens to be the day in the mirrorform here (she was also the patron saint of authors and stained glass makers!). So that means we have a reference to the first day of the film (September 22nd) in the St. Maurice painting (whose feast day that is), which appears in the first shot of Jack entering the hotel, and we have a reference to the last day of Jack’s life mirroring over the moment that Jack leaves the hotel for the last time.
Danny’s bedroom is covered in Peanuts cartoon characters, the main two of which were Charlie and Lucy, she who famously tormented he; could this be a comment on St. Lucy’s failure to protect Jack and Dick from calamity? Are the “Lucys” of the world forever yanking away the footballs from the “Charleses”?
Also, the 9th deadliest flood ever was St. Lucia’s Flood. It was apparently so named for occurring on December 14th, the day after her feast day, in the year 1287 (Jack’s frozen corpse in the hedge maze is, presumably, being seen the day after his own death – the 14th). The song that starts the film, Dies Irae, was thought to have been originally composed in the 13th century, either by a man who died in 1265 or one who died in 1294 CE. If the latter, then it’s conceivable that St. Lucia’s Flood inspired or influenced the composition. More significantly, how similar is that to the fact that Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, killing all the people of Herculaneum, when Vesuvius was thought to itself be infused with the spirit of Hercules? That’s two major mythological characters connected to two major natural disasters. That said, if you look into the earliest 30-40 floods in recorded history, this tradition of naming them after saints was fairly commonplace from the 1200s to the 1600s.
This postcard shares the same space as the clew (the blue twine ball on the shelf to Wendy’s left, beside the Joy and Ivory bottles) that certainly refers to Theseus and the Minotaur, whose exploits took place in Knossos, on the island of Crete. Both Naples and Crete were part of the same Roman empire at the time of the myth’s popularity.
Next art reference: Old Ralph’s Cross Postcard
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