Word + Quiz: sanguinary

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Word + Quiz: sanguinary

1. accompanied by bloodshed

2. marked by eagerness to resort to violence and bloodshed

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The word sanguinary has appeared in four articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 6 in “Nicolas Moufarrege Was a Student of Art History. This Work Shows It” by Arthur Lubow:

He was a critic as well as an artist, well versed in art history, as demonstrated by one of the most mysteriously moving pieces in the show, “The Fifth Day” (1980). The title probably alludes, in the Book of Genesis, to the day on which God filled the sky with birds and the sea with fishes. A black bird is flying through a glimmering heaven that Moufarrege graced with effulgent clouds, using silk, cotton and wool threads to dazzling effect. The bird is perhaps a phoenix, the subject of an embroidery that he produced five years earlier.

… But the heroic nude in Moufarrege’s embroidery is not under attack. He is throwing his discus over what appears to be a river of blood, toward a green meadow and a blue sky. The sanguinary stream in the tapestry may refer to the strife that drove Moufarrege’s family from both Alexandria and Beirut, as the papyrus and the tile pattern would suggest. The phoenix could connote his rebirth. What he would not have known when he stitched this scene is that behind the vision of the promised land, further tragedy awaited.

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