Arrows – Love And Punishment in Vintage Snapshots

Arrows in snapshots from the collection of Robert E. Jackson

The latest submission for collector supreme Robert E. Jackson focuses on arrows in snapshots. Some have been drawn on the printed photo with pen, others form part of the image itself.


arrow snapshots


The use of bows and arrows by humans predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.

When the arrow first became a way to identify, indicate direction and point we don’t know for certain. Arrows stand in for a variety of semantics, such as directions, movements, changes, temporal orders, interactions and binary relations. Alone they mean little but in context the arrow symbol refers to other surrounding elements.

The arrow is one of the most basic graphics and often used in art to signify both love and punishment. In art, Cupid’s arrow can piece the heart. Arrows can puncture the flesh, like with Saint Sebastian, who was tried to a tree and shot at. And they tell a story, as with the tale of Penelope with the Suitors by Pintoricchio.


arrow snapshots

arrow snapshots arrow snapshots


Who broke my heart, you did, you did
Bow to the target, blame Cupid, Cupid
You think you’re smart, stupid, stupid

Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow
Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow

– ABC, Poison Arrow


arrow snapshots


To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub…

Hamlet, Act III, Scene I by William Shakespeare



“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.”

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, In the Harbor



Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green & pleasant Land.”

— William Blake, Jerusalem



“You got rid of them. Yes, that’s just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether ‘tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them… But you don’t do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It’s too easy.”

— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World



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