There is a gold light in certain old paintings …

 The featured image is Knot Nothing; Frank Bramblett, 1999, Philadelphia, United States. He died in the autumn  of 2015.

Not only was his legacy not nothing but it was large and diffuse like the sunlight.  He was a man who helped us see the vast varied world as it is.

He did this by using vast varied materials and by the care he took of his students in 40 years of teaching.


 Donald Justice, 1925-2004, American

There is a gold light in certain old paintings
That represents a diffusion of sunlight.
It is like happiness, when we are happy.
It comes from everywhere and from nowhere at once, this light,
              And the poor soldiers sprawled at the foot of the cross
              Share in its charity equally with the cross.
The Virgin  Teaching the Christ Child to Read; Pinturrichio; 1454-1513; Italian.  Oil and gold on panel. Philadelphia Musuem of Art.
Madonna of the Goldfinch; 1696-1770; Tiepolo; Venetian; oil on canvas.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter; 1663; oil on canvas; Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675. Loaned to the Rijks-museum, Amsterdam by the city of Amsterdam. On further loan in 2015 to the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Virgin Adoring the Host, 1852, oil on canvas; Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1780-1862, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
 The Annunciation and detail, mixed media on paper, 1995; Deborah Bell, born 1957, South Africa.  Museum of African Art of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Silk, 1600s, made from the muga silk worm which spins a shiny, golden thread. Native to north-east India. Collection of Winterthur, Delaware  


Annunciation, c. 1453, tempera and tooled gold on panel; and detail;  Zanobi Strozzi, 1412-1468, Italian.  Philadelphia Museum of Art


Head of Krishna made in preparation for a mural, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 1800
The head of Lord Krishna made in preparation for a mural, Jaipur, India; 1800s.  Islamic Galleries, Metropolitan Museum, New York.  The iconography is from the Islamic tradition.

Virgin and Child Before the Rose Hedge, 1455-’57; tempera and tooled gold on panel.  Philadelphia Art Musuem. Not known who painted this.  Known that it was painted in Florence, Italy



Orpheus hesitated beside the black river.
With so much to look forward to he looked back. 
We think he sang then but the song is lost. 
At least he had seen once more the beloved
               I say the song went this way: O prolong
               Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong.


Brian, the Boy with 4 Small Dogs, 1982, colored lithograph; Margo Humphrey, born 1941, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art




Wall painting at 3rd and South, Philadelphia.  Unknown painter and date. Overpainted  early in 2016.



Staircase group (Portrait of Raphaelle Peale and Titian Ramsay Peale), 1795, oil on canvas;  and detail.   Charles Wilson Peale, 1741-1827, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art


DSC00009Portrait of Clino,  1963, painted tissue paper on stainless steel; Michelangelo Pistoletto, born 1933, Italy. Private Collection



Man in a Landscape; 1986; cyanotype and gum bichromate print; Sarah Van Keuren, 1943, American.  Philadelphia Musuem of Art

The author of the blog behind the image trying to persuade the image not to look back.  The walls of the Musuem  behind the author.


Cosimo 1 de Medici as Orpheus-1

Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence as Orpheus painted in oil on panel by Angelo Bronzini,  1503-1572.  Philadelphia Museum of Art



The  print-maker and artist, Dox Thrash, 1893-1965, portrayed by the artists of the Philadelphia Mural Program on a wall at 17th and Girard, Philadelphia, 2015


3.  WORK
The world is very dusty, uncle.  Let us work.
One day the sickness shall pass from the earth for good.
The orchard will bloom; someone will play the guitar. 
Our work will be seen  as strong and clean and good.
           And all that we suffered through having existed
           Shall be forgotten as though it had never existed.
The meadow garden, Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware, weeded by hand by 3 gardeners. Spring, 2015 
Floor Planers,1876, oil on canvas; and detail; Gustave Caillebotte, 1848-1894, French
Carl Weissinger making a 19th century catboat. Below Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, American:  Sailing the Catboat, 1873; private collection exhibited in 2015 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 A seller of fruit which she and her extended family also undoubtedly grew. Old City, Ahmedabad, Gujerat, India, 2008
Girl Sweeping, 1912, oil on canvas.  William McGregor Paxton, 1896-1941.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 2016
Noam Chomsky, 87 this year and still working. Born, 1928, American.  Linguist, analytic philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician.  Political activist. 
Philadelphia Mural Program:  a mural which disappeared behind new building after 2011
Crab fishermen putting away their gear and tackle in the early afternoon of a summer day, 2015,  Leipsic River, Delaware
Un dessin de Sine pour ses anciens collegues de Charlie Hebdo, Janvier 2015, morts pour la parole libre; assassines par des terorristes, les perdus de la Republique Francaise
Carding, spinning, weaving cotton, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2014
Peeling Onions, 1852, oil on canvas; Lily Martin Spencer, 1822-1902, American. Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester exhibited in 2015 at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Apartment Houses, 1923, oil on canvas.  Edward Hopper, 1882-1967.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
 Highland Ethiopians pounding seed which, for all the modern equipment, they sometimes prefer to do. Addis Ababa, 2014
A Woman Ironing, 1873; Edgar Degas, 1834-1917; oil on canvas.  Philadelphia Museum of Art
A master embroiderer at a tambour of whitework in his studio, Ahmedabad, India, 2010.
Philadelphia Mural Program; painted in 2006 by Michael Webb as a tribute to trades and labor.  Spring Garden Street near 12th Street, Philadelphia. 2015

2 thoughts on “There is a gold light in certain old paintings …

    1. I added Winslow Homer’s ‘Sailing The Catboat’ just now because it is a wonderful painting. I don’t usually add what I have not seen myself and photographed. But why not one of your American catboat forbears too!

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