1. Happiness


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




 Soldiers beside a Fireplace, c. 1628-32, oil on panels (light interference)

  Attributed to Willem Conelisz Duyster, 1598/99-1635, Dutch.  Philadelphia Art Museum


               Share in its charity equally with the cross.



Interior with Young Couple, 1662-65, oil on canvas.  

Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684, Dutch.  Metropolitan Museum of Art




Leisure Time in an Elegant Setting, oil on canvas, 1663-65.  

Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684, Dutch.  Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art




The Visit, oil on wood, 1657. 

Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684, Dutch.  Metropolitan Museum of Art





A Musical Party, oil on canvas, 1659.  Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667, Dutch. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY from its website






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.



The Visitor, 1881, softground etching, aquatint, etching and drypoint.

  Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926, American. ?National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC






Virgin and Child Before the Rose Hedge, 1455-’57; tempera and tooled gold on panel. 

Philadelphia Art Musuem.   Artist unknown. Known that it was painted in Florence, Italy



Madonna and Child, c. 1448-1460, tempera and gold on wood. 

Workshop of Sano di Pietro di Mencio, 1405-1481, Italian (Siena).  Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




The Virgin  Teaching the Christ Child to Read, oil and gold on panel.

Pinturrichio; 1454-1513; Italian. Philadelphia Museum of Art.




Madonna of the Goldfinch; 1696-1770;

Tiepolo; Venetian; oil on canvas.  National Gallery of Art, 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.





The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996, acrylic, oil, polyester resin, paper collage, paper, glitter, map pins on canvas, sitting on two ‘stands’ made of elephant dung. 

Chris Ofili, British born, 1968. MOMA, NY

The little angels flying on the canvas are taken from pornographic magazines showing the buttocks of women.  MOMA, NY





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.

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.