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Post-Impressionist Paintings of Olga Boznańska 1

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 04:30 AM PDT

Which post-Impressionist painted in Paris from 1898, exhibited to acclaim across Europe from 1892, and in America from 1901, was made a member of the Legion of Honour in 1912, and won the Grand Prix at the Exposition in Paris in 1939? You may be surprised to know that the answer is the Polish woman artist Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), who was defining post-Impressionist art as early as the late 1880s.

And I too had never heard of her, let alone seen any of her work, until I started researching this article and the next, in which I will tell her story and show some of her paintings.

Boznańska was born in the Polish city of Kraków, at a time when the country was partitioned between the Austrian, Prussian, and Russian empires. Her mother was French, and started teaching her to draw. Recognising her promise, from 1883 she was taught by local artists, then attended the Adrian Baraniecki Higher Courses for Women until 1886.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), City Buildings I (1885), oil on canvas, dimensions not known, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Her two paintings of City Buildings from 1885 (above and below) appear to have been painted as quick Impressions, probably in front of the motifs in the city of Kraków.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), City Buildings II (1885), oil on canvas, dimensions not known, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

In 1886, Boznańska moved to Munich, Germany, where she studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts until 1889. She spent a lot of time copying Old Masters at the Pinakothek, and works of Velàsquez in Vienna. However, her main artistic influences were Whistler, Édouard Manet, and Wilhelm Leibl.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Portrait of a Woman (Gypsy Woman) (1888), oil on canvas, 65 × 53 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Boznańska quickly specialised in portraiture, with paintings such as her innovative Portrait of a Woman (Gypsy Woman) from 1888.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Portrait of a Young Woman with a Red Umbrella (Portrait of the Artist’s Sister with a Red Umbrella) (1888), oil on canvas, 88 × 60 cm, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Portrait of a Young Woman with a Red Umbrella (1888) shows the artist’s sister, and marks the start of a brief period of Japonism(e) in Boznańska’s portraits.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Japanese (1889), oil on board, 37 × 21 cm, Private collection, on loan to Muzeum Narodowym w Warszawie, Warsaw, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Japanese (1889) is another portrait heavily influenced by the popular Japonism(e) of the time.

When she had completed her training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, she remained in the city and opened her own studio there.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Landscape with a Viaduct (Landscape with Tracks) (1890), oil on plywood, dimensions not known, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Not known as a landscape painter, Boznańska’s occasional landscapes, such as her Landscape with a Viaduct (Landscape with Tracks) from 1890, appear to have been sketched en plein air. They make interesting comparison with the contemporary work of Paul Cézanne, for example.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Breton (1890), oil on cardboard, 53 × 42 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

I don’t know if Boznańska visited any of the artists’ colonies in Brittany, but Breton (1890), her portrait of a young Breton woman, coincides with the peak popularity of the colony at Pont-Aven.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Portrait of Woman in White (Zofia Federowiczowa) (1890), oil on canvas, 150 × 100 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Portrait of Woman in White (Zofia Federowiczowa) (1890).

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Girl with a Basket of Vegetables in a Garden (1891), oil on cardboard, 125 × 85 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Warsaw, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Girl with a Basket of Vegetables in a Garden (1891).

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Self-portrait (1892), oil on cardboard, 65 × 52 cm, Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu, Wrocław, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Boznańska painted self-portraits throughout her long career. This Self-portrait of her with a Japanese umbrella from 1892 is particularly striking, and must have been difficult to realise.

In 1892, a large part of the Munich Artists’ Association broke away to form the Munich Secession. Boznańska joined the Secession, and exhibited with it from 1893 onwards. In 1892, her work was exhibited for the first time in Berlin.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Self-portrait (1893), oil on canvas, 70 × 57 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Warsaw, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

This is her best-known Self-portrait, from 1893, when she appears calm and self-confident.

Olga Boznańska (1865–1940), Girl with Chrysanthemums (1894), oil on cardboard, 88.5 × 69 cm, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, Poland. Wikimedia Commons.

Girl with Chrysanthemums (1894) received acclaim for its expressive modernism, and for its exploration of emotion and mood in the context of character traits. It follows from the intimate portraits painted by Whistler.

In 1895, Boznańska took over the running of Teodor Hummel’s painting school in Munich, then in 1898 moved to Paris.

What to do when iCloud Drive is slow to update

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 01:00 AM PDT

One of the common problems with iCloud Drive is delay in updating. You’ve just waited for ages for files to be uploaded to it, but once they’re there, you can’t see those additions from your other Macs or iOS devices.

There is a clue suggested by Apple, one of the very few non-generic fixes available for such problems: “create a new document and save it [to iCloud] to see if it uploads to iCloud. If it does, see if other documents start uploading”.

Yesterday, in the midst of multiple updates and downloads, I tried uploading a 5 MB file from one Mac running 10.13.4 to my iCloud Drive. It took an inordinate length of time, as if it was swimming against the tide of incoming updates. After about fifteen minutes, it was finally complete, and shown as being in a folder on iCloud Drive on that Mac.

I looked for it with another Mac (on the same local network), but there was no sign. An hour later, that Mac still didn’t show it in its view of iCloud Drive.

I then tried running the small test included in Cirrus (free from Downloads above), to see what was happening in that Mac’s log. No sooner had that test completed than the contents of my iCloud Drive were fully updated, and showed the file which had been uploaded from the other Mac.

My suggestion therefore, when you are waiting for updates to be shown in your iCloud Drive, is to upload a small file (say 1 MB) from that same Mac to iCloud Drive. That is likely to trigger the update to the contents, and the missing items will appear very shortly. One simple way of doing this is in Cirrus, although there’s no reason that a file copy (Option-drag) in the Finder shouldn’t work just as well.

Encryption passphrases are still left in logs: how Apple abuses its unified log

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 12:04 AM PDT

I wrote yesterday that macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 finally fixes the leakage of APFS encryption passphrases into the unified log, and it does. But the ever-vigilant Sarah Edwards has discovered an even more extraordinary bug in High Sierra which has left many encryption passphrases in plain text on many Macs which have used APFS encryption: passphrases didn’t just leak into the unified log, but they were written to /var/log/install.log too.

Sarah Edwards’ article is here, and is essential reading for anyone who has used APFS encryption.

install.log is one of the very few remaining traditional logs maintained since macOS Sierra introduced the new unified log. As its name suggests, it is supposed to contain messages about installations. Writing to it is now significantly more complex than writing to the unified log – as it is no longer supported by any of the regular calls to write to logs. Those are all now diverted to make entries in the unified log.

Unlike the unified log, install.log gets rolled very infrequently. Sarah states that it gets replaced when performing a macOS major version upgrade, e.g. from Sierra to High Sierra, but that is not necessarily so: it can persist across such upgrades. In any case, this release of encryption passphrases was one of the ‘new features’ in High Sierra, so entries from Sierra’s days are of no relevance.

However, unless your Mac has undergone a full wipe and install since installing High Sierra, it is very likely to have an install.log in plain text which retains all entries since it was first upgraded to High Sierra.

Sure enough, in among those entries you will find plenty from services such as storagekitd and diskmanagementd, which have nothing to do with software installation, but everything to do with sensitive tasks such as encrypting APFS volumes.

Until your Mac installed 10.13.2, each time that Disk Utility or diskmanagementd encrypted an APFS volume, there will be an entry in your install.log which contains the passphrase used. Until your Mac installed 10.13.4, there will be an entry containing your passphrase for APFS volumes which were converted from unencrypted to encrypted format.

Although 10.13.4 fixes this leak, it still only does part of the job. It doesn’t roll the install.log to remove all those old plaintext passphrases, which remain in the log for all to see. What is worse, to my mind, is that it doesn’t stop diskmanagementd and associated processes from writing to install.log.

Even after updating to 10.13.4, these are typical entries in my install.log:
2018-03-30 14:55:09+01 Howards-MacBook-Air storagekitd[1179]: Recache Complete, Mount Point: /Volumes/Transit
2018-03-30 14:56:37+01 Howards-MacBook-Air diskmanagementd[1224]: diskmanagement: rawLaunch: execve(2) pid=1224 /System/Library/Filesystems/hfs.fs/Contents/Resources/newfs_hfs -J -v Transit /dev/rdisk3s2 .
2018-03-30 14:56:50+01 Howards-MacBook-Air diskmanagementd[261]: diskmanagement: rawLaunch_block_invoke: waitpid(2) pid=1224 ret/errno=1224/0 status=0x00000000 exit=0
2018-03-30 14:56:51+01 Howards-MacBook-Air deleted[399]: diskmanagement: [DMManager(PrivateMethods) clientConforms:error:]: currentThread=80415=0x13a1f expectedThread=21259=0x530b
2018-03-30 14:56:51+01 Howards-MacBook-Air storagekitd[1179]: Erase Complete, Mount Point: (null)
2018-03-30 14:56:51+01 Howards-MacBook-Air storagekitd[1179]: Recache Complete, Mount Point: (null)
2018-03-30 14:56:57+01 Howards-MacBook-Air storagekitd[1179]: Removing client connection <SKDaemonConnection: 0x7f9426501b60>
2018-03-30 14:56:57+01 Howards-MacBook-Air storagekitd[1179]: No more connections, storagekitd will exit...

So, what should be done?

If you have applied APFS encryption to any volume since first installing any version of High Sierra, remove install.log immediately. If you want to keep it for future reference, ensure that it is encrypted and kept somewhere where prying eyes can’t reach. macOS should generate you a fresh install.log, which will then be safe from such vulnerabilities. You should also remove or encrypt all backup and other copies of install.log.

Apple needs to:

  1. Alert all High Sierra users to this very serious vulnerability as a matter of urgency.
  2. Push an urgent update which wipes out all entries in install.log prior to updating to 10.13.4. That will not, of course, remove copies on Time Machine and other backups, which must be addressed in Apple’s alert.
  3. Instruct all its engineers about log discipline, to ensure that log entries properly destined to the unified log are not written out to other logs such as install.log. There is absolutely no excuse for continuing to write these messages from diskmanagementd and other services to install.log in 10.13.4.
  4. Thoroughly investigate security failures, rather than continuing to apply quick partial fixes, and communicate openly with users.

Did you cancel a software update by mistake?

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 12:00 AM PDT

Yesterday, when wrestling with High Sierra and Xcode updates, I decided that I didn’t want to download the iTunes update which was also being offered. Once it had started downloading, I clicked on the Cancel button in the App Store Updates window.

The snag is that when you do that, the App Store takes offence and won’t offer you that update again. Ever again. There seems no simple way to uncancel such an action in the App Store, leaving me with an old version of iTunes.

Although I’m sure that there are other ways to sweet-talk the App Store into offering me that update again, there’s an even simpler way in LockRattler (free from Downloads above). When I clicked on its List all pending updates button, I was delighted to see that softwareupdate wasn’t in a sulk, and still had the iTunes update waiting for me.


So all I did was click on the Install all pending updates button, and I was back on track with the current version of iTunes.

You can do the same in Terminal, using the
softwareupdate -ia --include-config-data
command, which shouldn’t normally need to be run with sudo, or, in El Capitan,
sudo softwareupdate -ia
or no doubt by fiddling with the settings in the App Store pane.