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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rembrandt Van Rijn -portraits, Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt "Morning"

Rembrandt Van Rijn painted many portraits.  When I first saw how many self-portraits he painted when he wasn't even attractive it made me wonder why, but I have been reading Rembrandt Life and Work by Jakob Rosenberg and have a whole new perspective.  Rembrandt was not seeking to portray outer beauty, but the inner contemplative emotion and spirituality of his subjects.  He practiced much on himself and on his family members.  His painting through the years reflects his own spiritual pilgrimage.  During his early adult years he married Saskia who was wealthy and loved pomp and show.  This influence is shown in his portraits of that time period.  After she died and he developed a relationship with his housemaid, Hendrickje Stoffels who was more nurturing and quiet.  As he aged Rembrandt's work took on an even more contemplative and expressive nature.  I usually only show one picture, but I want to show a few this time so you can study his style and capabilities in the area of portraiture.  Many artists of his time were skilled at portraying people realistically, but Rembrandt excelled them in that he portrayed the inner thoughts and character of the people painted.  Look at each painting and try to feel the emotion of it and discern the character of the person portrayed.  Ponder what they might be thinking - they are often contemplative.  We will start with a well know self-portrait.

This is a painting of Rembrandt's wife Saskia.  She loved pomp and show.

File:Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 103.jpg
A picture of Rembrandt's son Titus portrayed here as a monk.

This man looks confident but approachable.

Even when Rembrandt used fancy clothing and Jewels, the emphasis is on the countenance of the person.  Rembrandt was not trying to impress us with people's outward attractiveness but with portraying the inner spirit of the person.  

I'm reluctant to leave Haydn but it seems time to move on to a new composer.  I first remember hearing this piece of music by Edvard Grieg in grade school where my teacher had us listen to this piece of music and then try drawing what we heard.  It is called Morning and is from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg.  You can almost hear the sun rising.  For information about our new composer check this link:  Edvard Grieg - Wikipedia.  You can listen to this piece  of music on Youtube with the following link:  Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt - "Morning"

Final poem by William Blake today.  This poem was written about the Kingdom of God coming to England, but we can each apply it to our own small part of the world.

JERUSALEM (from 'Milton')
by: William Blake (1757-1827)
    ND did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England's mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England's pleasant pastures seen?
    And did the Countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark Satanic Mills?
    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 and pleasant land.

1 comment:

  1. So interesting! Thank you! I really enjoy that poem as well. :)