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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot Paintings, John Philip Sousa - Prince Charming, Prince Charming, Robert Louis Stevenson - Evensong, John Milton - On His Deceased Wife

Two final paintings by Jean-Baptiste- Camille Corot.  Both have a red cap to make a child stand out in the landscape, the impressionistic trees, and the dots of white in the foreground indicating wildflowers.  Neither sky is as dramatic or beautiful as many of his we have looked at but both seem somehow similar to me in their chalky lines - almost like pastels. 

Souvenir of the Bresle at Incheville - Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot -

Souvenir of Italy - Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot -

Our final march by John Philip Sousa is Prince Charming, Prince Charming

This lovely poem by Robert Louis Stevenson is new to me.


From Songs of Travel
The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes: the bed
In the darkling house is spread:
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great woods are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord, by Thy will:
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered still.

The breeze from the enbalmed land
Blows sudden toward the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal, Lord - I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes.  I will eat and sleep and will not question more.

A sad but moving poem by John Milton today -

On His Deceased Wife

METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused Saint
   Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
   Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave,
   Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint,
   Purification in the old Law did save,
   And such, as yet once more I trust to have
   Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
   Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,
   Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
   But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
   I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Philip Sousa - el Capitan,

Just want to remind you that these posts are not time sensitive so if you don't like a given artist, musician or poet you can go back in the archives and find one you prefer.  If you are new to this blog, some of my favorites have already been covered and it would be a shame to miss out on some of them, so feel free to browse back through the old posts.  When I first started, I staggered the introduction of a new artist, musician and poet to make it easier to take time for biographical introductions, but more recently I have been switching quarterly - three months on one artist, musician and poet.  This is our last week with the current ones so next week they will all be new for the winter quarter.  Here is a link to the Picasa Web album with all of our upcoming paintings for this quarter in case you want to print them ahead.

Even in this plain blue sky, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot manages to have an active, realistic sky, adding pink, blue and purple to his otherwise green and tan landscape.  Notice all the diagonal lines in this painting.  Diagonal lines give a painting motion and action.  Again, I like his use of light and shadow to sharply define things.  I'd love to scramble up the stairs and see the view from the top of the hill.... 

Rien Poortvliet was a dutch artist (1932-1995) whose paintings our family has enjoyed very much and I'd like to recommend several of his books. Noah's Ark is full of wonderful animal paintings.  Rien has a wonderful sense of humor and we have enjoyed this book very much.  It is quite expensive, even used, but I have ordered it in through our local library.  

 He was One of Us is a powerful portrayal of the life of Christ - I highly recommend this book!!  The expressions on the faces of his people are amazing.

The Living Forest is full of wonderful animal paintings and Dutch Treat has interesting details about the Dutch country and history all illustrated with Rien's wonderful paintings.  He is best known for his Gnome books.  His paintings are too new to be in the public domain so I won't be featuring him on my blog but I thought you might enjoy his work through his books.

Today's piece by John Philip Sousa is El Capitan.  You can listen to it here.

"El Capitan is an operetta in three acts by John Philip Sousa and has a libretto by Charles Klein (with lyrics by Charles Klein and Tom Frost).  The piece was Sousa's first successful operetta and his most successful stage work."  Here is the link to the rest of this Wikipedia article.

I don't feel ready for winter, but in our part of the world it's here anyway, maybe this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson will help....


From Child's Garden of Verses
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

John Milton wrote several sonnets.  Here is Sonnet VI and its translation.

Sonnet VI.

Giovane piano, e semplicetto amante
Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono
Faro divoto; io certo a prove tante
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,
De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,
S 'arma di se, e d' intero diamante,
Tanto del forse, e d' invidia sicuro,
Di timori, e speranze al popol use       
Quanto d'ingegno, e d' alto valor vago,
E di cetra sonora, e delle muse:
Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove amor mise l 'insanabil ago.

(As translated in The Poems of John Milton by James Holly Hanford
Enamoured, artless, young, on foreign ground,
  Uncertain whither from myself to fly,
  To thee, dear Lady, with an humble sigh
  Let me devote my heart, which I have found
By certain proofs, not few, intrepid, sound,
Good, and addicted to conceptions high:
  When tepests shake the world, and fire the sky,
  It rests in adamant self-wrapt around,
As safe from envy, and from outrage rude,
  From hopes and fears that vulgar minds abuse,
  As fond of genius and fixed fortitude,
Of the resounding lyre, and every muse.
  Weak you will find it in one only part,
Now pierced by Love's immedicable dart.

Here is another translation I found online (quite different from the first)
 Of lovers I, a simpleton content
To flee himself (great little understood)
Do bid you take, my Lady, if you would,
My humble heart, with proof in such extent:

It was intrepid and of faith unbent,
With graceful thoughts, most courteous and good;
When exploits roaring rent the starry hood
It armed its might in native adament;

Shunning resentment and from chance secure,
Its bulk inured from hope and fear's abuses,
Kept kin to genius, proffers brave of heart,

As lyric strains amongst its arduous muses,
And only, you will find, can less endure
In that one spot where Love has put his dart.

~John Milton, sonnet 6 (from the Italian)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Mary Jane Q Cross, John Philip Sousa - Hands Across the Sea, Robert Louis Stevenson - The Moon, John Milton - Song on May Morning

I'd like to try something new - I've made a Picasa Web Album of paintings I plan to feature with our new artist coming up so if you want to copy them ahead you can.  We'll be starting with Rosa Bonheur in two weeks. My Picasa Web Album of Rosa Bonheur paintings is here. Let me know if you use this and find it helpful.  

I love the fall colors and light and shadows in this autumn scene.  Of course it has reflective water and a boat too and another of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's wonderful skies.  Hope you enjoy this painting, too.

Autumn Landscape 1867 - Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot -

I'd like to feature another contempory artist today.  I admire this artist greatly and I enjoy her paintings.  Mary Jane Q Cross paints with her fingertips.
Here is a documentary about her life and her work.
Return to product informationHere is a link to her website and finally, the title of a book of her poetry and paintings, Poems of a Painter, Paintings of a Prayer.  Mary Jane's poetry is beautiful, deep and moving as are her paintings.  

Hands Across the Sea by John Philip Sousa

                  The Moon

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

Song On May Morning

by John Milton

Now the bright morning Star, Dayes harbinger,
  Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
  The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
  Hail bounteous May that dost inspire 
  Mirth and youth, and warm desire,
  Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing,
  Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Howard Sivertson, John Philip Sousa - New Mexico march, Robert Louis Stevenson - Escape at Bedtime, John Milton - On Time

I don't usually feature current artists because their work doesn't become copyright free until they are 100 years old, when they are free to copy.  But there are some wonderful artists who are alive yet today and you may want to study some of them.  Two ways to do this easily would be buying a calendar of their work or sometimes their work is in book form.  Here is a link to the website of Howard Sivertson, an artist from my home state.  I have looked at several of his books and hope to purchase one sometime soon.  You could also check your library for works by Howard Sievertson.  Here are a couple of his books.  They have fun stories of life on Lake Superior.    
Tales of the Old North ShoreSchooners, Skiffs, and SteamshipsOnce Upon An Isle

I've featured mostly landscapes by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot partly because even though his portraits are skillfully painted most of his people are women who look unhappy.  Just personal tastes I guess, but this picture of a monk appealed to me because of the sharp lines and contrasts between light and dark.  Also, loving the Bible myself,  I liked his intent expression as he reads it.  The colors, contrasts and shapes remind me a bit of last week's landscape.

Monk in White, Seated, Reading - Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot -

Our march this week by John Philip Sousa is New Mexico March

  Robert Louis Stevenson

                  Escape at Bedtime

The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
      Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
      There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
      Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
      And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
      And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shown in the sky, and the pail by the wall
      Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
      And they soon had me packed into bed;

But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
      And the stars going round in my head.

A beautiful poem today by John Milton on Time

                     On Time

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,   
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,   
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;   
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,   
Which is no more then what is false and vain,  
And meerly mortal dross;   
So little is our loss,   
So little is thy gain.   
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,   
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss   
With an individual kiss;   
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,   
When every thing that is sincerely good   
And perfectly divine,  
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine   
About the supreme Throne   
Of him, t'whose happy-making sight alone,   
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,   
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,  
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,   
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.