Welcome to my A-Z Blogging Experience.
This year I decided to share my love of art, specifically painting, for my A-Z theme. Throughout the month I’ll be highlighting artists or artwork that I especially like or that have meaning for me and for art. Disclaimer: I am not an artist, art historian or scholar, or any kind of professional in art. I just have a passion for it. I have spent many wonderful, fleeting hours in art museums. I’ve read quite a bit in art history and biographies of artists. I am no expert by any means, so take this as a personal, idiosyncratic look at some of the most beautiful and lasting creations made by the human heart and soul.
A is for:
The Annunciation was one of the most popular and beautiful subjects for painters in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Each artist used his own interpretation of the subject, and there’s a tremendous variety among them. Some show Mary in a garden, others in a bedroom or other room. Often she will be shown reading. Sometimes the angel Gabriel will be offering her a flower.
By Rogier van der Weyden
By Leonardo da Vinci
Which do you like best?
They understood piety, the painters,
(and reverence and love)
but the heart of a young woman—
a human heart, though blessed by God—
what could they have known?
They understood “Hail full of grace,”
but her face—did she gaze with awe and wonder
at the beautiful being,
or turn away in humility or fear?
(Fear would be natural, in one so young,
even one blessed by God.)
When the air before her shimmered and split
and released him, a man but not a man,
no suitor though he brings her flowers
(a single lily?), calls her grace.
Behind him the splendid air shines,
expands, fills with white, feathery, like a crane or a dove.
The day, begun so ordinarily, turned miraculous—
and all she needs to do is listen, accept, a mustard seed of faith
to grow into man’s fate.
Oh Lord, thy will is my will,
Let it be done.