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, March 31, 2016

Raphael - La Donna Velata, Antonio Vivaldi - Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria, Rainer Maria Rilke - Eve, and Robert Louis Stevenson - Looking Glass River

Our Final week with the present artist, poets and composer has come. Actually I guess it will be April when most of you get and use this post, but it's still March when I'm posting it.  One last portrait by Raphael this week - A lovely lady - La Donna Velata.  If you've tried painting a portrait you can appreciate the textures, folds, highlights and shadows in this painting.  If you haven't tried painting, you can just enjoy the beauty of this peaceful, contemplative young woman.

La Donna Velata
Next week we will begin with our new artist, Fitz Henry Lane.  Here is a link to my  Picasa Web Album Fitz Henry Lane Paintings.
These are the paintings we will be studying next term. I've added one painting and deleted another this week (sorry to any of you who have already gone to the trouble of printing - I couldn't find a large copy of the painting I decided to delete.  Fitz Henry Lane has an obvious fascination with boats and the sea.  I love how light and water and reflections all work together and they are abundant in these paintings.  Some are storms some are calm sunsets or sunrises.  I'm looking forward to getting to know this artist's work.  You can print these ahead for educational use if you want to use hard copies for your study.

Our final piece of music by Antonio Vivaldi for this term is Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria.  I'd like to dedicate this week's music to my own beautiful Anna Marie.  

There are several play lists for Vivaldi on You-tube.  Here is one with 63 videos - Vivaldi Play list if you want to continue listening to his works even after we move on....  or for background music this week.  

Our final poem for Rainer Maria Rilke is "Eve"

Simply she stands at the cathedral’s
great ascent, close to the rose window,
with the apple in the apple-pose,
guiltless-guilty once and for all

of the growing she gave birth to
since form the circle of eternities
loving she went forth, to struggle through
her way throughout the earth like a young year.

Ah, gladly yet a little in that land
Would she have lingered, heeding the harmony
And understanding of the animals.

But since she found the man determined,
She went with him, aspiring after death,
And she had as yet hardly known God. 

And I hope you continue to read Robert Louis Stevenson's wonderful children's poetry aloud to your children - in fact I hope you own and use a copy of A Child's Garden of Verse our final poem for now is

 "Looking Glass River"

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
     Here a wimple, there a gleam--
          O the clean gravel!
          O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
     Pave pools as clear as air--
          How a child wishes
          To live down there!

We can see our colored faces
     Floating on the shaken pool
          Down in cool places,
          Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
     Dipping marten, plumping trout,
          Spreads in a twinkle
          And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
     All below grows black as night,
          Just as if mother
          Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute--
     See the spreading circles die;
          The stream and all in it
          Will clear by-and-by.

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!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raphael - Self-portrait, Vivaldi - Summer, Robert Louis Stevenson - Summer Sun, Rainer Maria Rilke - Song of the Sea

An inquiry from a reader finally prompted me to remove the Tumblr music player from the blog.  It had been keeping it from loading properly on some computers (including my home computer - though it worked on my Kindle) for some time now.  I'm sorry for not addressing this months ago when I first suspected that it was the music player....  Hope it makes the blog load freely for you now and I'm sorry to any of you that have been finding it difficult to view in your browsers....  Hopefully it's working well now.  Let me know if you have any difficulties.  

Our last two paintings by Raphael for this season are both portraits.  This one is presumed to be a painting of the artist himself.   

Presumed Painting of Raphael

This note came in today with a recommendation for a book:
Hello Patti!
I wanted to let you know there is a biography of the St George and the Dragon painting titled The Dragon's Trail by Joanna Pitman.
I found it through my library system while searching for a children's book about Raphael. ( I like Raphael by Venezia for the kids.). While the Trail book is not for children, it is interesting.  I have only read the first chapter so far, which details Raphael's life and times.  I believe the rest of the book will follow the trail of the painting through history.  
Have a great day!

Next week being our last week with this artist, I've prepared a picture album with our new artist in case you want to print the paintings ahead of time - Picasa Web Album of Fitz Henry Lane Paintings.  Thanks to A Few of My Favorite Things - Hearth Ridge Reflections (Feb 17) where she posted a picture by Fitz Henry Lane they are studying and I knew he would be a good artist for this next season. 

Having listened to Vivaldi's Spring last week, we'll listen to Summer this week and Autumn next week.
Summer by Vivaldi I've come to love this piece of music.  I hope you enjoy it, too....  

Continuing with our summer theme, even though it is only beginning Spring where I live, our Robert Louis Stevenson poem this week is 

           Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.
And this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke 
       Song of the Sea
 Timeless sea breezes,
sea-wind of the night:
you come for no one;
if someone should wake,
he must be prepared
how to survive you.

Timeless sea breezes,
that for aeons have
blown ancient rocks,
you are purest space
coming from afar...

Oh, how a fruit-bearing
fig tree feels your coming
high up in the moonlight.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Raphael - St. George and the Dragon, Vivaldi - Spring, Robert Louis Stevenson - Rain, Rainer maria Rilke - Song of the Orphan

Our Second painting by Raphael depicting St. George and the Dragon.  What are the similarities?  Differences?  If you haven't found a story of St. George and the Dragon yet, here's an audio chapter from the Faerie Queen see chapter 2, Librivox - St. George and the Dragon.

We've had beautiful weather here in the Midwest and daylight saving time begins this weekend so it seems appropriate to listen to Vivaldi's Spring.  

Rain by Robert Louis Stevenson

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea. 

I have been studying Ephesians 1 this week using the free download from Journal and Doodle Bible Studies and have been so moved by the fact that I am adopted, chosen by God! What a contrast to today's poem by Rainer Maria Rilke!

             Song of the Orphan

I am no one and never will be anyone,
for I am far too small to claim to be;
not even later.

Mothers and Fathers,
take pity on me.

I fear it will not pay to raise me:
I shall fall victim to the mower's scythe.
No one can find me useful now: I am too young,
and tomorrow will be too late.

I only have one dress,
worn thin and faded,
but it will last an eternity
even before God, perhaps.

I only have this whispy hair
(that always remained the same)
yet once was someone's dearest love.

Now he has nothing that he loves.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Raphael - St. George Fighting the Dragon, Vivaldi - Gloria, Rainer Maria Rilke - For Hans Carossa, Robert Louis Stevenson - Escape at Bedtime

We're already on the third month of this quarter, so when April begins we'll be starting with a fresh artist, musician and poet.  This week and next we're looking at two paintings by Raphael  depicting the story of St. George and the Dragon (this link also has various paintings of this story by more artists). This story is new to me, but I noticed that a book of fairy tales my daughter picked up at the library yesterday included a story of St. George and the Dragon so I think we'll read it aloud. Here is a link to the Listings at DealOz for St. George and the Dragon stories. I haven't read any of them so I don't know if they are good or not. You  might also check your local library.

St. George Fighting the Dragon

A beautiful piece of choir music today by Vivaldi - Gloria

Rainer Maria Rilke can take just a few descriptive words and lead us to think deeply. 

                 For Hans Carossa

Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something's let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center
of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous

Robert Louis Stevenson had such a wonderful grasp of childhood. 

                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.