A single painting for this week’s Art Sunday, Pieter Brueghel’s “Hunters in the Snow” of 1565. Oil on canvas, 46 inches x 63.75 inches. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
And here is a poem inspired by the painting:
Hunters in the Snow: Brueghel By Joseph Langland
Quail and rabbit hunters with tawny hounds, Shadowless, out of late afternoon Trudge toward the neutral evening of indeterminate form Done with their blood-annunciated day Public dogs and all the passionless mongrels Through deep snow Trail their deliberate masters Descending from the upper village home in lovering light. Sooty lamps Glow in the stone-carved kitchens.
This is the fabulous hour of shape and form When Flemish children are gray-black-olive And green-dark-brown Scattered and skating informal figures On the mill ice pond. Moving in stillness A hunched dame struggles with her bundled sticks, Letting her evening's comfort cudgel her While she, like jug or wheel, like a wagon cart Walked by lazy oxen along the old snowlanes, Creeps and crunches down the dusky street. High in the fire-red dooryard Half unhitched the sign of the Inn Hangs in wind Tipped to the pitch of the roof. Near it anonymous parents and peasant girl, Living like proverbs carved in the alehouse walls, Gather the country evening into their arms And lean to the glowing flames. Now in the dimming distance fades The other village; across the valley Imperturbable Flemish cliffs and crags Vaguely advance, close in, loom Lost in nearness. Now The night-black raven perched in branching boughs Opens its early wing and slipping out Above the gray-green valley Weaves a net of slumber over the snow-capped homes.
And now the church, and then the walls and roofs Of all the little houses are become Close kin to shadow with small lantern eyes. And now the bird of evening With shadows streaming down from its gliding wings Circles the neighboring hills Of Hertogenbosch, Brabant. Darkness stalks the hunters, Slowly sliding down, Falling in beating rings and soft diagonals. Lodged in the vague vast valley the village sleeps.
And here is Kyung-Wha Chung who plays and conducts Vivaldi's “Winter” from the Four Seasons, with a group of young musicians she herself got together and trained. Filmed in 1997.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.