Saturday, June 4, 2016

Looking, Learning, Living --- Day 5/106

Walk: No, Home Reading
Distance: Home Yoga


Jules-Adolphe Breton, The Song of the Lark, 1884, o/c

So 'art expert' Ciwt finally is getting around to finishing a book by Willa Cather.  It has been sitting near her bed for months with a touching scene of a lone peasant girl on the cover.  Ciwt has looked at that girl so many times assuming it was an artistic representation of the heroine of the novel.  But since that heroine goes from Chicago to New York to Europe as she rises to fame with her singing, Ciwt got confused enough about the cover image that she finally researched it.

Well...The Cather book is titled The Song of the Lark, and so is the painting on the cover.  Ciwt should say the famous painting on the cover done by a famous French Romantic-Realist painter Ciwt had never heard of, Jules Breton.  It hangs at the Chicago Art Institute, and, if you go to You Tube, you can find a video in which Bill Murray credits this very painting for saving his life.

A young-in-his-career and discouraged Murray was literally on his way to Lake Michigan to take his life when he somehow decided to go into the Art Institute and visit one of his favorite paintings.  He looked at the peasant girl clearly living a hardscrabble life but taking hope and heart from the beautiful call of a morning lark as a new day dawns behind her.  Standing there he was moved by the simple beauty that makes all lives worth living - including his own.

 "...the lark at break of day arising/From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate.." 
                                                         Shakespeare, Sonnet 29 (v. 11-12)

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