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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Picasa Web Album of Albert Anker Paintings

My friend, Delight, was given a small card-sized copy of this painting and when I saw it I knew immediately that Albert Anker would be our next artist!  I think the difficulty is going to be choosing which of his wonderful works to study!

Here is a link to my Picasa Web Album of Albert Anker Paintings in case you want to get a head start.  These are the paintings I hope to feature this term.  You should be able to download them for printing. The above painting will be this weeks featured weekly painting but I wanted to send out a post ahead of time with the link to the paintings.  Blessings on your week.  Patti

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

John Constable - Girl with the Doves, Felix Mendelssohn -

Our final painting by John Constable this week is "Girl With the Doves".  It's quite different than his landscapes but a fun and memorable painting just the same.

We watched Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream this past week as we've been studying this play this semester.  The music was by Felix Mendelssohn.  I have come to really enjoy Felix Mendelssohn's music.  Today's piece is Symphony No. 4 in A "Italian" 1st Movement. 

This is the last of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry that we will feature now - we're moving on to her husband Robert Browning for next season. 

          ONLY A CURL

FRIENDS of faces unknown and a land
Unvisited over the sea,
Who tell me how lonely you stand
With a single gold curl in the hand
Held up to be looked at by me, --

While you ask me to ponder and say
What a father and mother can do,
With the bright fellow-locks put away
Out of reach, beyond kiss, in the clay
Where the violets press nearer than you.

Shall I speak like a poet, or run
Into weak woman's tears for relief ?
Oh, children ! -- I never lost one, --
Yet my arm 's round my own little son,
And Love knows the secret of Grief.

And I feel what it must be and is,
When God draws a new angel so
Through the house of a man up to His,
With a murmur of music, you miss,
And a rapture of light, you forgo.

How you think, staring on at the door,
Where the face of your angel flashed in,
That its brightness, familiar before,
Burns off from you ever the more
For the dark of your sorrow and sin.

`God lent him and takes him,' you sigh ;
-- Nay, there let me break with your pain :
God 's generous in giving, say I, --
And the thing which He gives, I deny
That He ever can take back again.

He gives what He gives. I appeal
To all who bear babes -- in the hour
When the veil of the body we feel
Rent round us, -- while torments reveal
The motherhood's advent in power,

And the babe cries ! -- has each of us known
By apocalypse (God being there
Full in nature) the child is our own,
Life of life, love of love, moan of moan,
Through all changes, all times, everywhere.

He 's ours and for ever. Believe,
O father ! -- O mother, look back
To the first love's assurance. To give
Means with God not to tempt or deceive
With a cup thrust in Benjamin's sack.

He gives what He gives. Be content !
He resumes nothing given, -- be sure !
God lend ? Where the usurers lent
In His temple, indignant He went
And scourged away all those impure.

He lends not ; but gives to the end,
As He loves to the end. If it seem
That He draws back a gift, comprehend
'Tis to add to it rather, -- amend,
And finish it up to your dream, --

Or keep, -- as a mother will toys
Too costly, though given by herself,
Till the room shall be stiller from noise,
And the children more fit for such joys,
Kept over their heads on the shelf.

So look up, friends ! you, who indeed
Have possessed in your house a sweet piece
Of the Heaven which men strive for, must need
Be more earnest than others are,--speed
Where they loiter, persist where they cease.

You know how one angel smiles there.
Then weep not. 'Tis easy for you
To be drawn by a single gold hair
Of that curl, from earth's storm and despair,
To the safe place above us. Adieu.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

John Constable - Landscape with Boys Fishing, Felix Mendelssohn - Wedding March, Elizabeth Barrett Browning - I

The trees in this painting are so typical of John Constable.  I like how the sun is shining on the part of the path where the boys are but it is shadowed in the foreground so our eye is drawn to the boys.  The clouds are full of light and the gate holding back the water is interesting as is the bridge in the background down the path.  Lots to enjoy in this painting! 

Landscape with Boys Fishing - John Constable
A well-known piece of music today by Felix Mendelssohn - Wedding March

And this thoughtful poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Titled simply, "I"

 I thought once how Theocritus* had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair:
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,--
'Guess now who holds thee ? '--' Death,' I said. But, there,
The silver answer rang,--' Not Death, but Love.' 

*Theocritus Biography

Thursday, March 12, 2015

John Constable - Chain Pier, Felix Mendelssohn - Choral Works - Magnificat & Gloria, Felix Mendelssohn - Choral Works - Magnificat & Gloria, Elizabeth Barrett Browning - A Seaside Walk

Today's painting by John Constable, Chain Pier, has lots of details to enjoy.  This painting is full of motion and action - the sky and water are both agitated as if a storm were brewing. 

If you right-click and open the link in a new tab you should be able to view this painting full-screen to enjoy the details. 

Felix Mendelssohn - Choral Works - Magnificat & Gloria

A Seaside Walk by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We walked beside the sea,
After a day which perished silently
Of its own glory---like the Princess weird
Who, combating the Genius, scorched and seared,
Uttered with burning breath, 'Ho! victory!'
And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale;
So runs the Arab tale.

The sky above us showed
An universal and unmoving cloud,
On which, the cliffs permitted us to see
Only the outline of their majesty,
As master-minds, when gazed at by the crowd!
And, shining with a gloom, the water grey
Swang in its moon-taught way.

Nor moon nor stars were out.
They did not dare to tread so soon about,
Though trembling, in the footsteps of the sun.
The light was neither night's nor day's, but one
Which, life-like, had a beauty in its doubt;
And Silence's impassioned breathings round
Seemed wandering into sound.

O solemn-beating heart
Of nature! I have knowledge that thou art
Bound unto man's by cords he cannot sever---
And, what time they are slackened by him ever,
So to attest his own supernal part,
Still runneth thy vibration fast and strong,
The slackened cord along.

For though we never spoke
Of the grey water anal the shaded rock,---
Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused
Into the plaintive speaking that we used,
Of absent friends and memories unforsook;
And, had we seen each other's face, we had
Seen haply, each was sad. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

John Constable - The Young Waltonians, Felix Mendelssohn - Spring Song, Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnet 14

John Constable manages to get a lot of action into his paintings - everything from the sky to the many varied characters he places in them, as well as the cluttered foregrounds so typical of his paintings. This looks like a fun bit of river to kayak or canoe on or maybe just fish or wade. 

The Young Waltonians
I think the title the Young Waltonians refers to English writer, Izaak Walton's book, The Compleat Angler which is "a celebration of the art and spirit of fishing in prose and verse".

Here is a link where this painting can be enlarged and studied in detail.

This week we'll listen to Felix Mendelssohn's Spring Song.  Here in Northern Minnesota we have a while to wait yet, but I'm ready for a little Spring, how about you? 

Elizabeth Barrett wrote love poems for Robert Browning and after they married he convinced her to publish them. She published them under the name of Sonnets from the Portuguese as if she had translated them, but they were really her own.  Here is sonnet 14 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

If thou must love me, let it be for nought   
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,   
"I love her for her smile—her look—her way   
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought   
That falls in well with mine, and Certes brought 
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"—   
For these things in themselves, Belov├Ęd, may   
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,   
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for   
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry: 
A creature might forget to weep, who bore   
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!   
But love me for love's sake, that evermore   
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.