bellasemplicita

Regaining a lost love for beauty and simplicity.

Italy

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I have always, quite possibly from the moment I gained consciousness, desired to travel the world but especially Italy.  The many things that I have heard second-hand about Italy deeply resonate with my ideas off family and culture and life.  I love the geography, the cities, the art, the history, the food, and what I think the culture and the people are like.  And I am finally heading of to Italy!  Finally!  My Mom and I have two weeks to hit all of the main spots – Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice, Ravenna, Assisi, etc.  I don’t know how we will be able to see all I could wish!  Of course if you have any ideas and travel tips please feel free to pass them along.

And now enough of me – here is a quote from Alberti’s Prologue to On Painting.  He is speaking about the accomplishments that some at the beginning of the Renaissance had achieved and later more specifically Brunelleschi and ‘his dome’.

“Therefore, I believe the power of acquiring wide fame in any art or science lies in our industry and diligence more than in the times or in the gifts of nature.  It must be admitted that it was less difficult for the Ancients – because they had models to imitate and from which they could learn – to come to a knowledge of those supreme arts and sciences without teachers or without any model whatsoever.”

He Is Risen

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‘For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.’

Romans 5:6 – 11

1.  The White Crucifixion – Marc Chagall

2.  The Entombment of Christ – Michelangelo Caravaggio

3.  From the Isenheim Altarpiece – Matthias Grunewald

Mah Nishtanah

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Ma nishtana ha lyla ha zeh mikkol hallaylot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Painting by Marc Chagall: ‘The Israelites are eating the Passover Lamb’ 1931

Classicism

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“One of the great Victorians has said that if classicism is the love of the usual beauty, romanticism is the love of the strange in beauty, and the statement gives to admiration the essence of the difference between the two.  The very words romance, romantic call up a vision, vague yet bright, that banishes the drabness and monotony of every day life with a sense of possible excitements and adventures.  Of course, if every day life did not look drab and monotonous there would be no reason to turn to romance.  That is primarily why the Greeks were not romantic.  Facts were full of interest to them.  They found enough beauty and delight in them to have no desire to go beyond.

But to Romans facts were not beautiful nor, in themselves, interesting.  The eagerness for inquiry into everything in the universe which had stamped Greece never reached Rome.”

- Edith Hamilton from ‘The Roman Way’ Chapter 10 – The Roman Way

Green

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I love snow.  But about mid-January, the monotone colors always get me.  I am always catching myself drooling over pictures of green – green paradises.  I thought  I might share some with you in case you are also catching spring-fever or rather green-fever a little early!

A Man Is Rich . . .

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“for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things

which he can afford to let alone” - Henry Thoreau, Walden

In Praise

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‘You, O Lord my God, gave me life and my body when I was born.  You gave my body its five senses; you furnished it with limbs and gave it is proper proportions; and you implanted in it all the instincts necessary for the welfare and safety of a living creature.  For these gifts you command me to acknowledge you and praise you and sing in honor of your name, because you are Almighty God, because you are good, and because I owe you praise for these things, even if you had done nothing else.  No one but you can do these things, because you are the one and only mould in which all things are cast and the perfect form which shapes all things, and everything takes its place according to your law.’

-  Saint Augustine; The Confessions – Book 1, chpt. 7

 

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