Giotto di Bondone, Legend of St. Francis: 15. Sermon to the Birds. 1297-99. Fresco, 270 x 200 cm. Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi.
Saint Francis: A song of praise! An exclamation mark! An island like an exclamation mark! […] An island in the seas, beyond the seas. Where the leaves are red, the pigeons green, the trees white, the sea changes from green to blue and from violet to green like the reflections of an opal. For we must have the birds of the islands as well, in order to answer the vows of the Psalm: Let the islands applaud! Brother Masseo: How do you know all this? Saint Francis: I have seen it in a dream…
Messiaen, Olivier, 1983. Saint François de’Assise,Act II.6: La Prêche aux oiseaux (The Sermon to the Birds). Libretto by O. Messiaen, trans. in P. Hill and N. Simeone, Messiaen (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 315.
Maxim Vengerov plays J.S. Bach’s Ciaccona (Chaconne) as he walks the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Mvt. 5 from the Partita in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004, c. 1717-1723. From Holocaust: A Music Memorial Film.
“Out of a single theme Bach conjures up a whole world. We seem to hear sorrow contending with pain, till at last they blend in a mood of profound resignation.”
“The Mystical Bond Between J. S. Bach and Ancient China: A Genealogy of Philosophy”. Table excerpted from J. Feliks, The Tao of Bach: J. S. Bach, mysticism, and ancient Chinese philosophy. Final computer rendition by S. Errington. (Unpublished paper written for a music history course, 1992).
Zoomable, complete table available by clicking this image.
John Singer Sargent, El Jaleo, 1882. Oil on canvas, 237 x 352 cm.
Images like El Jaleo lean toward the daring, risky, unconventional, dramatic, erotically off-center and odd…During his travels in Spain in 1879, Sargent was mulling over a major work of art in which he could express his love of Gypsy music, dance, and picturesque costumes. On his return to Paris he set to work on a wide horizontal picture whose proportions simulated the shallow stage space of popular musical establishments. He named the painting El Jaleo to suggest the name of a dance, the jaleo de jerez, while counting on the broader meaning jaleo, which means ruckus or hubbub.
—Trevor Fairbrother, “El Jaleo”, in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Beacon Press, 2003): 159.
Mikalojus Ciurlionis, Pasaulio sutverimas XI (Creation of the World XI). 1906. Tempera on paper, 36.7 x 30.1 cm.
. . The last cycle (Let It Be or the Creation of the World) is unfinished; I think I will paint it all my life, depending, of course, on how many new ideas I get. It is the creation of the world, not our world, as in the Bible, but the creation of another, fantastic world. I would like to do a hundred paintings, but I don’t know if I will be able to.
— Letter to his brother, Povilas, 1905.
From M. K. Ciurlionis, Apie muzika ir daile (On Music and Art), Vilnius, 1960, p. 178. Translated by Stasys Gostautas.