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, September 27, 2012

Frederic Remington - The Bronco Buster, Brahms - Requiem, John Greenleaf Whittier - All's Well

A look at the work of Frederic Remington wouldn't be complete without a look at a couple of his sculptures. The Bronco Buster which he sculpted in 1909 was his most popular work.  It measures 31 1/8" by 13" by 17 1/2".  Remington was a self-taught sculptor and this was his first work cast in bronze. 

The following is a link to a museum article about this bronze statue The Bronco Buster Article

A final work by Johannes Brahms this week, an excerpt from Requiem.  A Requiem is a mass for the souls of the dead.  Brahms Requiem How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

John Greenleaf Whittier had an amazing faith and it comes through with powerful spiritual insights like this one.

                  All's Well
The clouds, which rise with thunder, slake
Our thirsty souls with rain;
The blow most dreaded falls to break
From off our limbs a chain;
And wrongs of man to man but make
The love of God more plain.
As through the shadowy lens of even
The eye looks farthest into heaven
On gleams of star and depths of blue
The glaring sunshine never knew!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Frederic Remington - The Old Stage Coach of the Plains, Johannes Brahms - Walz,

Last week's painting by Frederic Remington was also a night scene.  This one is even darker and yet the artist successfully portrays his subject even in the limited light.  Notice that there is very little color and what is there is grayed at night so things have to be shown with dark and light. Your eye goes up, up to the stagecoach with your eye drawn to the lantern and window which are placed in an ideal position for the focus according to the rule of thirds. (see article here).  You feel the lonely ruggedness both by the atmosphere and by the attentiveness of men and animals.  I hope your computer screen shows this painting more clearly than mine especially as this was the largest I could make the image - if not consider finding a book of Remington's works.  A link follows to a short article about this painting here.

Johannes Brahms Waltz has a wonderful happy swing to it.  You can easily count the three beats per measure.  Johannes Brahms - Waltz  

I have enjoyed a few of John Greenleaf Whittier's poems before but when I started looking for poems to post I was amazed by the deep, rich lines of his poetry.  It's hard to choose which ones to share.  The following link will take you to Ambleside Online's listing of his poems Ambleside - John Greenleaf Whittier.  In this long poem celebrating his humble, love relationship with God Whittier rhymes the first and third lines and the second and fourth in each stanza.

The Eternal Goodness
O friends! with whom my feet have trod
The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God
And love of man I bear.

I trace your lines of argument;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent,
And fears a doubt as wrong.

But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds:
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads.

Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?
Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not
The poor device of man.

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
Ye tread with boldness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
The love and power of God.

Ye praise His justice; even such
His pitying love I deem:
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch
The robe that hath no seam.

Ye see the curse which overbroods
A world of pain and loss;
I hear our Lord's beatitudes
And prayer upon the cross.

More than your schoolmen teach, within
Myself, alas! I know:
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,
Too small the merit show.

I bow my forehead to the dust,
I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust,
A prayer without a claim.

I see the wrong that round me lies,
I feel the guilt within;
I hear, with groan and travail-cries,
The world confess its sin.

Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
I know that God is good!

Not mine to look where cherubim
And seraphs may not see,
But nothing can be good in Him
Which evil is in me.

The wrong that pains my soul below
I dare not throne above,
I know not of His hate, -- I know
His goodness and His love.

I dimly guess from blessings known
Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own
His judgments too are right.

I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on,
And He can do no wrong.

I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
His mercy underlies.

And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruisèd reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.

No offering of my own I have,
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
And plead His love for love.

And so beside the Silent Sea
I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.

O brothers! if my faith is vain,
If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain
The sure and safer way.

And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen
Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive me if too close I lean
My human heart on Thee!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Frederic Remington

Frederic Remington's painting The Scout: Friends or Enemies? gives a feeling of great expanse.  Notice how the snow in the foreground looks white but is really gray next to the white of the tracks and the snow in the distance is blue.  You can see a camp with lights in the far distance where the scout is gazing.  

A fun and energetic piece  by Johannes Brahms today, Hungarian Dance No. 5 .

A new poet today - John Greenleaf Whittier.  Here are a couple of links to short biographical sketches of his life. 

 John Greenleaf Whittier - Wikipedia
John Greenleaf Whittier - 
John Greenleaf Whittier - Encyclopedia Brittanica  
And a poem by him:  
      The Light That is Felt
A tender child of summers three,
Seeking her little bed at night,
Paused on the dark stair timidly.
"Oh, mother! Take my hand," said she,
"And then the dark will all be light."

We older children grope our way
From dark behind to dark before;
And only when our hands we lay,
Dear Lord, in Thine, the night is day,
And there is darkness nevermore.

Reach downward to the sunless days
Wherein our guides are blind as we,
And faith is small and hope delays;
Take Thou the hands of prayer we raise,
And let us feel the light of Thee!