Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Terracotta at the Frari

A chilly afternoon despite the sunshine in Venice. At the Frari there are so many shades of terracotta. Famously in theTitian over the altar (the largest altarpiece in Venice). Here in these tulips and freesias too. And, of course, it's the colour of the marble underfoot - and of  the beams that seem to hold the church together.
Remember hearing Fiona Shaw talking about tthe Titian this time last year, just before Easter - The Testament of Mary was about to start at the Barbican.
Curiously then, like this year, I'd just been reading Carole Stone. This year it's The Celibate Season - an epistolary novel she wrote with Blanche Howard.
Very interested to read an article suggesting the origin of  'a celibate season' came from St Paul in a letter to the Corinthians; celibacy offers the chance for reflection and prayer, he says.
The few celibate people that I've known have been very wise - as if being removed from the hurly burly of passion offers the chance for deep thought.
But St Paul does advise against abstaining for long - 'that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency'.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy