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.