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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Monday, 6 September: Blue Monday

After sky and sea, the colour blue spontaneously conjures up the robes of a Madonna in my mind's eye. Here are the exquisite blues of the Conestabile Madonna which is housed in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg/Leningrad. May the sight of mother and Holy Child bless your Blue Monday!

This (and Book Club to be held tomorrow evening at Thatchwick) reminds me of the poignant novel: 'The Madonnas of Leningrad' by Debra Dean, which I read earlier this year. The story deals with an elderly Russian woman's memories of the siege of Leningrad during which time she was a guide in the Hermitage Museum. Amidst those days of inhuman carnage and suffering (the starving museum staff ate the glue used to frame the paintings to keep hunger at bay), the young guide would wander the great halls of the gallery, stopping at each empty space on the wall (the artworks had been removed to safety) and describe to herself from memory the great paintings of Madonna and child which had hung there.

And now - emails, articles to be rounded off and mailed to publishers, assignments to mark, calls to be made....before Tuesday.

23 comments:

Coloradolady said...

Blessings to you as well on the Blue Monday. Great Post to start the week out with.

Greyscale Territory said...

What a serene, beautiful, sacred gift for Blue Monday!

Elizabeth said...

I associate blue w/ the Madonna & Child, also!
Don't forget to stop by my blog and enter the drawings this week!

Smilingsal said...

Ah, marking assignments--how well I remember, and that is the BIG reason I smile with retirement! Thank you for the beautiful blue contribution and the book review. Nice. Happy Blue Monday.

Neabear said...

That is a beautiful post. Wonderful picture!

Mojo said...

"Serene" was the word that came to my mind too.

ellen b said...

Beautiful blues in this painting. What an interesting book you shared part of the story from...
have a wonderful week. I love your header. What a great thatched cottage!!

Sweetie said...

The Madonna & Child are beautiful. When I saw the picture, I thought of how much my mother would have loved it.
Sweetie

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Beautiful, Eleanor! I also loved your skywatch photos this weekend. Yours is a nice place to revisit spring now that we are into fall!

cc said...

Such a lovely way to start the week..Have a wonderful Blue Monday..come visit.

Grandma Faith said...

The beautiful artwork and inspiring story lifted my spirits.

Carrie said...

Beautifl painting and fine post!

Shabby Kim said...

What a lovely post for Blue Monday. Have a great week!!

kbbryant said...

You are so right. The blues in the painting are exquesite. Thank you for sharing it.

Kathy b

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hi Eleanor, a beautiful painting. Beautiful blues.
Have a blessed day !

KarenHarveyCox said...

All those things to do, and your beautiful season to enjoy. Such a lovely blue post. Enjoy book club. Karen

Nola @ Alamo North said...

Beautiful Madonna and Holy Child. I hope to make it to the Hermitage, once before I die! What a lovely Blue Monday, thank you Eleanor.

willow said...

I collect Madonna and Child paintings and icons. This one is especially lovely. I must see if my library has 'The Madonnas of Leningrad'. I'm currently in a Russian mode and I think this book just might fit the bill. :^)

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

Lovely painting. That sounds like a wonderful book too!

Kady

Poetikat said...

Eleanor, have you seen the film "Russian Ark"? It is spectacular!

Lovely painting of the Blessed Virgin. She always inspires calm in me.

Kat

Lavinia said...

That sounds like an absolutely riveting, fascinating book. I must make a dash to a bookstore and check it out....

Thanks for posting this celestially lovely image...

Barbara Martin said...

Interesting bit of history revealed about the Heritage Museum. Great post.

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