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, February 4, 2016

Raphael - The School of Athens, Vivaldi - Bassoon Concertos, Rainer Maria Rilke - A Walk, Robert Louis Stevenson - The Sun's Travels

I'd like to feature a mural this week.  Raphael painted several frescoes in the palace in the Vatican in Rome.  This first picture shows the room, the second is the mural itself.

The School of Athens - Raphael
 If you compare the figures in the painting with the door beneath them in the picture of the room, it looks like the figures are full sized - as if they were real people.  It would be wonderful to stand in this room and study this painting up close.  This painting includes many of the great philosphers - the central figures are Plato and Aristotle.  " Commentators have suggested that nearly every great ancient Greek philosopher can be found in the painting, but determining which are depicted is difficult, since Raphael made no designations outside possible likenesses, and no contemporary documents explain the painting."  " What is evident is Raphael’s artistry in orchestrating a beautiful space, continuous with that of viewers in the Stanza, in which a great variety of human figures, each one expressing "mental states by physical actions," interact, in a "polyphony" unlike anything in earlier art, in the ongoing dialogue of Philosophy." From the Wikipedia Article  

You may be interested in Wikipedia's entry on this Frescoe.  It includes possibilities of who the philosophers might be and close-ups of some of them.  - The School of Athens - Wikipedia. 

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Our music this week by Antonio Vivaldi is Bassoon Concertos beginning with Concerto A Minor.
Playing a Bassoon

Vivaldi's music is so light and happy....

If you haven't read it yet, I recommend the children's picture book, I Vivaldi.  It gives a short, but sweet introduction to his life.  

What do you think of Rainer Maria Rilke's poems so far?  They are definitely different, but interesting.  Today's poem is short but thought provoking and even through the translation by Robert Bly you sense a beauty in the words.

           A Walk

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

 And our poem by Robert Louis Stevenson this week is
    The Sun's Travels

The sun is not a-bed, when I
At night upon my pillow lie;
Still round the earth his way he takes,
And morning after morning makes.

While here at home, in shining day,
We round the sunny garden play,
Each little Indian sleepy-head
Is being kissed and put to bed.

And when at eve I rise form tea,
Day dawns beyond the Atlantic Sea;
And all the children in the west
Are getting up and being dressed.

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