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The Nightingale’s Lesson

Philipp Otto Runge

The Nightingale’s Lesson

Philipp Otto Runge
  • Date: 1804
  • Style: Romanticism
  • Genre: literary painting
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This is one of the first major works by Runge which he painted to express his love for his new wife Pauline, the daughter of a Dresden shoemaker. He made two versions, the first in 1802-03 and the second, more elaborate one, in 1805; only the later work survives. Like Friedrich's Tetschen 'altarpiece', it had an elaborate frame - in this case a painted frame-within-a-frame that was to be read as part of the work. Its various motifs - twining plants, oak leaves and small children - function as hieroglyphs, supporting the allegory. Though it was certainly not what would normally be understood as a landscape, it was based on an aspect of the natural world - one heard, not seen. One will look in vain for a nightingale in it, and it is immediately clear that this is a metaphorical equation of the idea of the young songbird with the human child.

Runge took his subject from an ode by the poet Friedrich Klopstock, in which Psyche - the female personification of the soul, shown as is usual with butterfly wings - instructs Cupid (Love) in song in an oakwood at evening, as the nightingales begin to sing; thus the theme is interwoven with the sound of birdsong.

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  • Directed by: Ziya Demirel
  • Written by: Ziya Demirel, Buket Coskuner
  • Produced by: Ziya Demirel, Anna Maria Aslanoglu
  • An ordinary school day for a teenage girl in Istanbul and her encounters with three different men as she goes to school, plays basketball and takes a bus on the way home.

    Cannes Official Selection 2015
    TIFF Official Seelection 2015
    Sundance Official Selection 2015

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    Writers - Buket Coskuner | Ziya Demirel
    Producers - Anna Maria Aslanoglu | Ziya Demirel
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    Editor - Henrique Cartaxo

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