Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Listening to Summer

So soon?

Is it already time for languid afternoons, buzzing insects, sweet smells of warm vegetation, sudden rains, and nights noisy with crickets and bullfrogs?

Other seasons may hold more specific memories--Autumn school days, Christmases past, spring weddings--but summer revives our childhood sense of time: how it can be a snail when we are impatiently waiting, and a hummingbird when we are enraptured with play. And summer can make us wonder the way we used to when we were kids.

Listen to this painting by Pissarro and to its distant conversations and dragon flies skimming the grass. To the chatter of children and to barking dogs. To the flapping of sheets on the line and the chopping of wood that echoes across town. I'm projecting--most of these things aren't even on the canvas--but I can't look at a painting this evocative of summer without hearing its music.

Camille Pissarro: The Hermitage at Pontoise (Les CĂ´teaux de l'Hermitage), ca. 1867. Oil on canvas. Click on the picture for a closer look.


DUTA said...

What a superb painting! I've just arrived home from places very much like this one in the painting.

To me summer is never too soon. I love summer with its music ( singing of birds, murmur of water running in the small river), with its maddening smells of flowers and trees, its fresh air after a sudden rain.

Paula Slade said...

Your lovely post and that painting triggered a flood of my own childhood memories - long lazy days filled with white butterflies; laying in the grass and watching clouds; flowers in my mother's garden and endless twilight evenings. Time seemed to stand still.