Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

The Newborn by Georges de Latour

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Paintings and Quilts 2 -- "A Few of My Favorite Things"

Looked high and low for more quilts in paintings and did find some, particularly among Norman Rockwell's paintings, pointing to the quilt's place in Americana.

Porch by Andrew Wyeth, with the quilt behind the dog

Colonial Quilts by Childe Hassam

and by Norman Rockwell--

A  Scout Is Helpful

Reading in Bed

Tucking into Bed

Christmas Eve

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fine Arts Friday: The Numbering at Bethlehem

Numbering at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1525-1569

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."
      Gospel of Luke, 2:1-5

This is one of my favorite Christmas paintings, and whenever I had a house or apartment without a window over the kitchen sink, I would hang this painting there, so I could look at it every day as I cooked and washed up. 

Click on the painting to make it larger to find Mary and Joseph. They are in the lower half of the painting, slightly right of center. Mary, "great with child," sits on a donkey that is led by Joseph. They are heading toward the building at the left, where they will pay their tax and be numbered, among the many who will do the same. 

On the building hangs a wreath, as it is the Christmas season in Flanders, which Bruegel depicts here on a typical late December day with the townspeople in "Bethlehem" going about their business and children playing. It is cold outside. The townspeople's houses range from flimsy to substantial, depending upon their lot, and some may not be so warm. 

Everyone is busy. It is a scene like any other Christmas, and there are Mary and Joseph, in their complete humility. No one notices them, but they are here among us, Bruegel says. Watch for them, in the streets and among the crowd, and also in your heart. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Advent: Preparing

This week I must surely get the house spic and span and in order as part of Advent preparations and in keeping with the beautiful French carol, People Look East.

People, look east, the time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able, 
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People look east and sing today
Love, the guest, is on the way.