Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to All Things Bright and Beautiful. If you are new to this site, I would recommend that you read my very first entry - which is an introduction and welcome to this blog. You can view it here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Boston Harbor Boston, Henry Purcell- Dido's Lament, Rose Fyleman - Fairies, John Keats - Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt Left Prison

Our picture this week by Fitz Henry Lane is a lovely golden sunset.  There are lots of different kinds of boats in this painting.  The mood is very different from last week's stormy sea.

Boston Harbor by Fitz Henry Lane

Here's a link to Museum of Fine Art's copy of this painting if you want a larger clearer copy of this painting.  The color seems a little duskier there, too.

 Henry Purcell - When I am Laid in Earth This hauntingly sad song sometimes called Dido's Lament, from the opera Dido and Aeneas.  The melody is beautiful - I'm not especially fond of the words, I wonder how hard it would be to adjust one of the lament Psalms to fit it - if any of you or your children try it, please share your work in the comments.... Thanks.

Lyrics:  When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.

Another fairy poem by Rose Fyleman this week - titled simply, "Fairies"

    THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    It's not so very, very far away;
    You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead --
    I do so hope they've really come to stay.
    There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
    And a little stream that quietly runs through;
    You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there--
          Well, they do.
    There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    They often have a dance on summer nights;
    The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
    And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
    Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
    And pick a little star to make a fan,
    And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
          Well, they can.
    There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    You cannot think how beautiful they are;
    They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King
    Come gently floating down upon their car.
    The King is very proud and very handsome;
    The Queen--now you can guess who that could be
    (She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
          Well -- it's Me!

And I found a poem by John Keats that touched me this week in the copy of Keats poetry that I found at a used book store.  We're reading Bold as a Lamb, the story of Samuel Lamb, a Chinese pastor who spent years in prison as a Christian, and three of our daughters recently volunteered at camp Moria on the island of Lesbos in Greece, so prison walls resonated with me.  I do think that an education in all things beautiful would give one, things to think on, remember and meditate on if we found ourselves imprisoned for our faith.  Spenser and Milton are both mentioned in this poem. If you're interested in more about who Leigh Hunt was see the paragraph following this poem.


What though, for showing turth to flatter'd state,
  Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,
  In his immortal spirit, been as free
As the sky-searching lark, and as elate.
Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait?
   Think you he nought but prison walls did see,
  Till, so unwilling, thou unturn'dst the key?
Ah, no! far happier, nobler was his fate!
In Spenser's halls he stayed, and bowers fair,
  Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew
With daring Milton through the firelds of air:
  To regions of his own his genius true
Took happy flights.  Who shall his fame impair
  When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?

Leigh Hunt, in 1808 became editor of the Examiner, a newspaper founded by his brother, John.  The journal soon acquired a reputation for unusual political independence; it would attack any worthy target.  An attack on the Prince Regent, based on substantial truth, resulted in prosecution and a sentence of two years' imprisonment for each of the brothers --Leigh Hunt served his term at the Surrey County Gaol.  

The above information came from This Wikipedia article on Leigh Hunt.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Henry Fitz Lane - Three-Master in Rough Seas, Henry Purcell - Rondo from Abdelazer, Rose Fyleman - The Best Game the Fairies Play, John Keats - Ode to a Nightingale

This painting by Fitz Henry Lane is full of energy with it's diagonal masts and the huge waves.  The clouds and waves would be fun to try to copy.  Use whatever medium you have on hand, even pencil with good shading would work.  It might not look exactly like this painting, but it would be fun to see what you can do...

 Three-Master in Rough Seas
Henry Purcell - Rondo from Abdelazer Voices of Music performed on original instruments. This is a very short piece of music, but it has a catchy tune I hope you enjoy it.

Another Rose Fyleman poem about fairies this week....

The Best Game the Fairies Play 

The best game the fairies play,
The best game of all,
Is sliding down steeples—
(You know they're very tall).
You fly to the weathercock,
And when you hear it crow,
You fold your wings and clutch your things
And then let go!
They have a million other games—
Cloud-catching's one,
And mud-mixing after rain
Is heaps and heaps of fun;
But when you go and stay with them
Never mind the rest,
Take my advice—they're very nice,
But steeple-sliding's best! 

Our John Keats poem this week is melancholy.  He wishes he could be like the nightingale who is so free of pain and care and doesn't have to face death.  He says, "Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!"  (a few words I didn't know are defined at the bottom - watch for the *)  

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,---
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal* song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene*,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new love pine at them beyond tomorrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus* and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets covered up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain---
To thy high requiem become a sod

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:---do I wake or sleep?

 *Pro·ven·çal ˌprävänˈsäl,ˌprōˌvänˈsäl/ adjective  - of, relating to or denoting Provence or its people or language.  Provence is a geographical and historical province in southeastern France

 * Hippocrene -  In Greek mythology this was the name of a spring on Mount Helicon.  It was sacred to the Muses and was formed by the hooves of Pegasus.  The name literally translates as "Horse's Fountain" and the water was supposed to bring forth poetic inspiration when imbibed.

* Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture and wine.  His plants were vines and twirling ivy. He was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor, Henry Purcell - Sonatas, Rose Fyleman - If You Meet a Fairy, John Keats - When I Have Fears

Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor

Close-up view of the above painting

I love the soft pastel colors in our painting today by Fitz Henry Lane titled "Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor".  The second picture here is a close-up for detail or you can click here and click the enlarge to the bottom left of the picture to look closely at details.  If you want to use prepared lesson plans for this painting check out Pictures Worth Talking About for elementary lesson plans. Actually this site has four different lessons, for this blog I'm only using #4 but you can use any of them that you like.  I found quite a bit of interesting information on this site, about the painting as well as about the area and the artist.  This site compares two paintings with the same name,  painted of the same rocks but with different boats and at different times of day.  If you click on the interactive feature here (right under the picture) you can find detailed information about the boats and the land features - just click on the numbers you are interested in.  

Today we will listen to Henry Purcell  Sonatas.

I also found a documentary about Henry Purcell and his music that you might find interesting.

 I found Rose Fyleman's poem "If You Meet a Fairy" read on Youtube - here.  Or you can read it yourself....

If You Meet A Fairy

IF you meet a fairy
Don't run away ;
She won't want to hurt you,
She'll only want to play.

Show her round the garden,
Round the house too,
She'll want to see the kitchen
(I know they always do).

Find a tiny present
To give her when she goes,
They love silver paper
And little ribbon bows.

I knew a little girl once
Who saw twenty-three
Playing in the orchard
As jolly as could be.

They asked her to dance with them
To make a twenty-four ;
She ran to the nursery
And hid behind the door.

Hid behind the nursery door
(What a thing to do !)
She grew up very solemn
And rather ugly too.

If you meet a fairy
Remember what I say,
Talk to her nicely
And don't run away.
Keep in mind while you read our poem this week by John Keats that he only lived to be 25 and probably wrote this with a knowledge of his impending death due to Tuberculosis. 

               When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fitz Henry lane - Fishing party, Henry Purcell - John Keats - A Thing of Beauty, and Rose Fyleman - Mice

Our new artist is Fitz Henry Lane.  His paintings are filled with boats and the sea.  This first painting is a lovely moonlit scene.

Two introductory articles follow -  Wikipedia entry for Fitz Henry Lane and Fitz Henry Lane Online

And here is my Picasa Web Album of Fitz Henry Lane paintings with the paintings we will be covering this term.  One of them is a closeup of a larger painting.  You can print them yourself, or copy them to a flash drive or disk to get printed in town or of course enjoy them on your computer screen.

Our first painting is Fishing party.  Night scenes are very hard to paint but Fitz Henry Lane has done a beautiful job here!  You can feel the peace and beauty in the scene. If you want a close-up for details check here. There are various groups of people out enjoying the full moon.
Fishing Party

Next week we will be looking at the two paintings used in Fitz Henry Lane Online Educational Resources a website with lesson plans for studying  a couple of Fitz Henry Lane's paintings.  You can look ahead and prepare if you like.  You can use the online resources in whatever way they would best work for you and your family. I only plan to use Lesson #4.   Or if you don't care to use this resource you can just use the two paintings in the usual format we study them - observing and narrating.

If you want to study this artist but prefer choosing your own paintings, I recommend Fitz Hugh lane - The Complete Works.

Our new composer is Henry Purcell.  He's new to me so we'll be learning about him and his music together. Following are several options with short biographies: 
Wikipedia - Henry Purcell
A Concise Biography
Naxos Classical Music - Entry for Henry Purcell
Classic FM - Henry Purcell

A beautiful Psalm today, by Henry Purcell - Hear My Prayer, O Lord.  You can follow the written music for eight parts - simple words, beautiful harmonies!  Lovely! 

I think I will continue again with two poets - one whimsical and one more advanced.  I've chosen Rose Fyleman who writes about mice and fairies for our easy poet.  Links to brief biographies here:  Wikipedia - Rose Fyleman or Poem Hunter - Rose Fyleman. You can find a copy of today's poem in a children's book here- Mice by Rose Fyleman or try your local library. Rose Fyleman has other books containing her poetry. And I chose John Keats for contemplation. Short biographical sketches here: Poem Hunter - John Keats or Wikipedia - John Keats. And a Dealoz listing of books containing his poetry
First a John Keats' poem with a familiar first line - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." We've started memorizing this poem.

A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 

And a favorite poem of mine by Rose Fyleman - Mice.  Though I don't like mice, I like this poem and my youngest daughter adores mice, so for you, Ruthie - 


I think mice 
Are rather nice
Their tails are long
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all
Their ears are pink
Their teeth are white,
They run about 
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems 
To like them much
But I think mice
Are nice.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Raphael - La Donna Velata, Antonio Vivaldi - Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria, Rainer Maria Rilke - Eve, and Robert Louis Stevenson - Looking Glass River

Our Final week with the present artist, poets and composer has come. Actually I guess it will be April when most of you get and use this post, but it's still March when I'm posting it.  One last portrait by Raphael this week - A lovely lady - La Donna Velata.  If you've tried painting a portrait you can appreciate the textures, folds, highlights and shadows in this painting.  If you haven't tried painting, you can just enjoy the beauty of this peaceful, contemplative young woman.

La Donna Velata
Next week we will begin with our new artist, Fitz Henry Lane.  Here is a link to my  Picasa Web Album Fitz Henry Lane Paintings.
These are the paintings we will be studying next term. I've added one painting and deleted another this week (sorry to any of you who have already gone to the trouble of printing - I couldn't find a large copy of the painting I decided to delete.  Fitz Henry Lane has an obvious fascination with boats and the sea.  I love how light and water and reflections all work together and they are abundant in these paintings.  Some are storms some are calm sunsets or sunrises.  I'm looking forward to getting to know this artist's work.  You can print these ahead for educational use if you want to use hard copies for your study.

Our final piece of music by Antonio Vivaldi for this term is Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria.  I'd like to dedicate this week's music to my own beautiful Anna Marie.  

There are several play lists for Vivaldi on You-tube.  Here is one with 63 videos - Vivaldi Play list if you want to continue listening to his works even after we move on....  or for background music this week.  

Our final poem for Rainer Maria Rilke is "Eve"

Simply she stands at the cathedral’s
great ascent, close to the rose window,
with the apple in the apple-pose,
guiltless-guilty once and for all

of the growing she gave birth to
since form the circle of eternities
loving she went forth, to struggle through
her way throughout the earth like a young year.

Ah, gladly yet a little in that land
Would she have lingered, heeding the harmony
And understanding of the animals.

But since she found the man determined,
She went with him, aspiring after death,
And she had as yet hardly known God. 

And I hope you continue to read Robert Louis Stevenson's wonderful children's poetry aloud to your children - in fact I hope you own and use a copy of A Child's Garden of Verse our final poem for now is

 "Looking Glass River"

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
     Here a wimple, there a gleam--
          O the clean gravel!
          O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
     Pave pools as clear as air--
          How a child wishes
          To live down there!

We can see our colored faces
     Floating on the shaken pool
          Down in cool places,
          Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
     Dipping marten, plumping trout,
          Spreads in a twinkle
          And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
     All below grows black as night,
          Just as if mother
          Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute--
     See the spreading circles die;
          The stream and all in it
          Will clear by-and-by.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Raphael - Portrait, Antonio Vivaldi - Filiae Maestae Jerusalem, Rainer Maria Rilke - To Music, Robert Louis Stevenson - The Swing

Our last two paintings by Raphael this week and next are both portraits of women. This one is more contemplative.  Perhaps his style is starting to be familiar to you.  There's an interesting article about this painting here: 'Fake' Raphael turns out to be worth £25m.
Interesting to see how they decide if a painting is by a given artist.
There are only tints of color and a dark background in this painting and yet it is lovely.  What are the feelings evoked for you by this painting.

I chose today's music by Antonio Vivaldi for Good Friday -  Filiae Maestae Jerusalem
The following is from this Wikipedia articleFiliae Maestae Jerusalem is the first of two introduzioni written to come before a setting of the Miserere). The Miserere itself is presumed lost. This text concerns sad daughters of the Jerusalem after the death of Jesus Christ and the mourning of nature itself.

Our poem this week by Rainer Maria Rilke is 

              To Music 

Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps:
silence of paintings. You language where all language
ends. You time
standing vertically on the motion of mortal hearts.

Feelings for whom? O you the transformation
of feelings into what?--: into audible landscape.
You stranger: music. You heart-space
grown out of us. The deepest space in us,
which, rising above us, forces its way out,--
holy departure:
when the innermost point in us stands
outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other
side of the air:
no longer habitable.

I loved quoting this Robert Louis Stevenson poem to my children while I pushed them on a swing and now to my grandchildren....

            The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
  Up in the air and down!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raphael - Self-portrait, Vivaldi - Summer, Robert Louis Stevenson - Summer Sun, Rainer Maria Rilke - Song of the Sea

An inquiry from a reader finally prompted me to remove the Tumblr music player from the blog.  It had been keeping it from loading properly on some computers (including my home computer - though it worked on my Kindle) for some time now.  I'm sorry for not addressing this months ago when I first suspected that it was the music player....  Hope it makes the blog load freely for you now and I'm sorry to any of you that have been finding it difficult to view in your browsers....  Hopefully it's working well now.  Let me know if you have any difficulties.  

Our last two paintings by Raphael for this season are both portraits.  This one is presumed to be a painting of the artist himself.   

Presumed Painting of Raphael

This note came in today with a recommendation for a book:
Hello Patti!
I wanted to let you know there is a biography of the St George and the Dragon painting titled The Dragon's Trail by Joanna Pitman.
I found it through my library system while searching for a children's book about Raphael. ( I like Raphael by Venezia for the kids.). While the Trail book is not for children, it is interesting.  I have only read the first chapter so far, which details Raphael's life and times.  I believe the rest of the book will follow the trail of the painting through history.  
Have a great day!

Next week being our last week with this artist, I've prepared a picture album with our new artist in case you want to print the paintings ahead of time - Picasa Web Album of Fitz Henry Lane Paintings.  Thanks to A Few of My Favorite Things - Hearth Ridge Reflections (Feb 17) where she posted a picture by Fitz Henry Lane they are studying and I knew he would be a good artist for this next season. 

Having listened to Vivaldi's Spring last week, we'll listen to Summer this week and Autumn next week.
Summer by Vivaldi I've come to love this piece of music.  I hope you enjoy it, too....  

Continuing with our summer theme, even though it is only beginning Spring where I live, our Robert Louis Stevenson poem this week is 

           Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.
And this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke 
       Song of the Sea
 Timeless sea breezes,
sea-wind of the night:
you come for no one;
if someone should wake,
he must be prepared
how to survive you.

Timeless sea breezes,
that for aeons have
blown ancient rocks,
you are purest space
coming from afar...

Oh, how a fruit-bearing
fig tree feels your coming
high up in the moonlight.