Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter in Art: Easter Monday

In Paris there are several museums which most tourists ignore. Right by the Champs Elysées, in a 19th century mansion, you can in perfectly peace and quiet admire some wonderful, hidden gems.
For instance this painting by Rembrandt. It was painted in 1628 and is called "The Supper at Emmaus". Two disciples were walking, when they started talking to a nice guy and ended up inviting him home for supper. When he broke the bread, they recognized him...
The painting stands out, in the way Christ is placed with his back towards us, in the shadows

Påsken i kunsten: 2. Påskedag og Rembrandt.
I Paris finnes det museer som er ukjente for de aller fleste tilreisende. Bare et steinkast fra Champs Elysées, i en herskapsbolig fra 1800tallet, kan man i fred og ro nyte synet av flere skjulte perler.
Blant annet dette maleriet av Rembrandt. Det er malt i 1628, og det heter "Emmausvandrerne". To disipler var ute og gikk, da de kom i prat med en hyggelig mann og inviterte ham med hjem på kveldsmat. Da han brøt brødet, kjente de ham igjen...
Bildet skiller seg ut, i måten det har plassert Kristus med ryggen til oss, i skyggen, mens lyset faller på det forskrekkete ansiktet på ham som nettopp har forstått.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter in Art: Easter Day

With this painting from the very first Easter Morning, we're back in the San Marco Convent in Florence. If you climb the stairs, you reach the hallways leading to the monks' cells. In each of the tiny, whitewashed rooms, there is a small wall painting, painted by Fra Angelico around 1440, and in one of the cells you can se this image: "Noli me tangere" ("Don't touch me.") It shows Christ who appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden. She weeps because she found the tomb empty, and first she thinks he is the gardener. When she understands who he really is, she wants to embrace him, but he moves away, tells her not to touch him, but go and tell the others what she has seen.
 The little painting shines with early morning, and the garden is rich in natural details. New life. New hope. New joy.
Happy Easter, everybody!

Påsken i kunsten: Påskedag
Med dette bildet fra den aller første påskemorgen, er vi tilbake i San Marco-klosteret i Firenze. Går vi opp trappen der, kommer vi til korridorene med munkenes celler. I alle de bittesmå, hvitkalkede rommene, er små veggmaleri, malt av Fra Angelico rundt 1440, og i en av cellene kan du se dette bildet: "Noli me tangere" ("Ikke rør meg"). Det forestiller Kristus som viser seg for Maria Magdalena i hagen, tidlig på morgenen. Hun gråter, og hun tror først at han er gartneren. Når hun forstår hvem han er, vil hun omfavne ham, men han trekker seg unna, sier at hun ikke må røre ham, men gå og fortelle de andre hva hun har sett.
Det lille maleriet lyser av tidlig morgen, og hagen er skildret med imponerende detaljrikdom. Nytt liv. Nytt håp. Ny glede.
God Påske, alle sammen!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter in Art: Good Friday

I've chosen these two Renaissance paintings to illustrate this sorrowful, but essential day in Holy Week.

The first one is Sandro Botticelli's painting: "Agony in the Garden", 1500, depicting Christ, who terrified struggled through the night, while his friends fell asleep. 
The painting is very small and easily ignored, hanging in a corner of the royal tomb chapel in Granada, Spain.

 The second painting is by Raphael: "The Deposition", painted in 1507. It's like a study in composition and balance, and it also shows strong feelings, especially in Mary Magdalene, who grief stricken stretches her arms towards her dead friend, and in his mother, who has fainted on the right hand side of the picture. This painting is in the Borghese gallery in Rome.

Påsken i kunsten: Langfredag.
Jeg har valgt disse to renessansebildene som illustrasjon for denne triste, men essensielle dagen i påsken.
Det første er Sandro Botticellis bilde: "Lidelse i hagen", malt i 1500. Det forestiller Kristus som vettskremt kjemper seg igjennom natten, mens vennene bare sovner. 
Bildet er bittelite, og det er lett å overse, der det henger i et hjørne av det kongelige gravkapellet i Granada, Spania.
Det andre er malt av Rafael i 1507: "Nedtakelsen fra korset". Bildet er som en studie i komposisjon og balanse, og samtidig viser det sterke følelser, særlig hos Maria Magdalena, som helt knust av sorg strekker armene mot den døde Kristus, og hos hans mor, som har besvimt til høyre på bildet.
Bildet henger i Borghese-galleriet i Roma.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter in Art: Maundy Thursday

The San Marco convent is a place I always return to when I'm in Florence. It is a beautiful and quiet oasis, only steps away from the bustling crowds. There is strangely enough no waiting in line to get in, and you can, at your own pace, experience some of the world's greatest works of art. Or you can choose to sit in the cloistered garden, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, let the impressions sink in.
In the small refectory you can see Ghirlandaio's mural "The Last Supper". The painting, who covers a whole wall, is one of my favorite images depicting the Last Supper, and Domenico Ghirlandaio, who was Michelangelo's teacher, was one of Florence's great Renaissance masters. He made this painting in 1486, about ten years before Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous version.

Påsken i kunsten: Skjærtorsdag
San Marco-klosteret er et sted jeg gjerne besøker når jeg er i Firenze. Det er en oase av skjønnhet og stillhet, bare to skritt unna støyen og folkemassene. Her er det merkelig nok aldri kø for å komme inn, og man kan i eget tempo oppleve noen av verdens aller største kunstverk. Eller velge å sitte i klosterhagen, nyte freden og roen, la inntrykkene synke inn.
I klosterets lille spisesal er Ghirlandaios veggmaleri "Det siste måltid". Maleriet, som dekker en hel vegg, er et av de fineste skjærtorsdagsbildene jeg har sett, og Domenico Ghirlandaio, som var Michelangelos lærer, var en av Firenzes store renessansemestre. Han malte dette bildet i 1486, ti år før Leonardo Da Vincis berømte versjon.

Easter in Art: Palm Sunday

Saint Germain-des-prés is the oldest church in Paris, founded already in the 6th century. There is a special, good atmosphere here. Usually very silent, hardly any people here when there is not Mass, only a few, scattered candles flickering in the dimness, and if you venture in those old doors, you can discover treasures only very few get to see.
Like this fresco painting by the French 19th century artist Hippolyte Flandrin. I disovered the artwork a couple of years ago, and despite the really bad lighting, and the sort of hopeless placement behind a pillar, I stood there for the longest time taking in the painting.
It is Palm Sunday. Christ riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, and people waving palm branches, cheering and lifting small children up for him to see. It is the beginning of Holy Week, and the prelude to the big drama of Easter...

Påsken i kunsten: Palmesøndag
Saint Germain-des-prés er den eldste kirken i Paris, grunnlagt allerede på 500tallet. Det er en egen, god stemning her inne. Som regel helt stille, knapt et menneske å se utenom messene, bare spredte stearinlys som brenner i halvmørket, og tar du turen innom, kan du oppdage skatter de færreste noensinne får se.
Som dette veggmaleriet av den franske 1800-tallskunstneren Hippolyte Flandrin. Jeg oppdaget kunstverket for noen år siden, og til tross for den håpløst dårlige belysningen og den litt klønete plasseringen bak en søyle, ble jeg stående lenge og betrakte bildet.
Det er Palmesøndag. Kristus som rir inn i Jerusalem på et esel, og mennesker som vifter med palmegrener, jubler og løfter småbarn opp mot ham. Det er begynnelsen av den stille uke, og opptakten til påskens store drama...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

City Forest

Magical, beautiful forest.
Wilderness in the middle of the city.
Evergreens, reds and browns.
Filtered light and soothing silence.
I love this place, and I walk here almost every day.
The picture was taken with my mobile phone on one of my walks this winter,
in Ravenna Park, Seattle.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Good Night, Seattle!

Picture taken from the car window, on Interstate 5, just south of downtown Seattle, January 15th. We arrived only a few days earlier, embarking on a 7-month adventure in the Emerald City.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

More Movies

I haven't been seeing that many movies in theaters these last years (Blame Netflix...) but recently I've been back there again, several times actually, and I realized I'd almost forgotten the thrill of the real cinema experience. The darkness. The big screen. The smell of popcorn. And, yes, even the commercials and movie previews. Since I moved back to Seattle in mid-January, I've been back in a movie theater all of four times.

First, there was "Manchester by the Sea", with my husband. Sundance Cinema in the University District, one of the theaters we can walk to, something I truly appreciate.

What can I say? A movie I will not easily forget. Terrible and terrific. Love the tuned-down action. The pictures. Even the hurt.

Then, I went to see La La Land. This time with my friend, her daughter, my son and daughter. And, this was downtown Seattle, at AMC Pacific Place.

Now of course you all know about this movie, from all the awards and nominations, etc.
I didn't know that much before I saw it, but what delightful two hours. The acting, the colors, the music. The words. Beautiful, dreamy.

The next movie was Lego Batman Movie. At Regal Meridian 16, Downtown Seattle.

I'll admit, this one wouldn't exactly be my first pick, but it made for a nice winter break Friday afternoon, with my husband and two youngest kids. And, yes, I did have a good time. And popcorn too. 

Last week I went back to (walked back to) Sundance, to see Moonlight with my husband.

To me, being a European in America, this was to me a very non-American movie.
In many ways I felt like we were peeking through a window and getting a glimpse of a young man's life. 
Not a strong storyline. Not lots of suspense. Just life. And that's anything but nothing. 
I will not forget Moonlight either, even though I didn't catch all the words in all the conversations.