Introduction and Welcome

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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!

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