Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Privileged Un-Mother

Sometimes the blessings God gives me in this life make  me wonder whether or not I'll receive many rewards in heaven. As John and I made our way to catch a bus to Boston yesterday, I again thought of my exceptionally privileged life. We had declared the day Un-Mother's Day (since I have neither a mother nor children), and my wonderful husband decided to celebrate by taking me to the exhibit, Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty at the Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibit included sketches by Michelangelo, doubling my sense of awe. When I studied High Renaissance Italian Art as a college freshman, I never really thought I'd see works of Leonardo and Michelangelo in person. Yet yesterday I wheeled through the gallery, savoring the drawings and remembering that art history class.

As much as I'd love to show you all the photos John took of the exhibition, time constraints direct me to limit myself to sharing only a few of Leonardo's works. This Head of a Young Woman charmed me.
Her demure  innocence comes across in  her  diagonally downward gaze, accentuated by the soft motion of her curls. Motion fascinated Leonardo, who did many scientific studies in addition to his artistic works. Accordingly, the exhibit included large replicas of some of his studies (including his backward writing), taking me  back to an oral presentation my friend and I made in college.
Along with these replicas, the gallery also displayed the actual Codex on the Flight of Birds, and in the same case, two small self portraits.

Leonardo not only studied motion; he also found anatomy interesting. His study of Horses' Hindquarters reveals his delight in examining what muscles do in various positions.
I thought that study perfectly captured the majestic power of horses...something that always thrills me. But his Drapery on a Seated Figure excited me even more! Notice how Leonardo used light and shadows to model not only the fabric, but the human figure underneath the fabric.
 Absolutely splendid! But even more splendid was the sketch serving as the anchor piece of the exhibit. Leonardo drew A Young Woman as a preparation for an angel in his painting, The Virgin of the Rocks.
This sketch has been called the most beautiful drawing in the world, and has been compared to the Mona Lisa for her mysterious expression. I hated to leave it, and only did so because I knew other people would want to see it. Sigh -- sometimes it's hard to practice unselfishness!

The experience of seeing Leonardo's actual sketches indeed carried me to a feeling of the sublime. Again I wondered why the Lord allows me to have so many wonderful experiences. But as John and I talked about it, we realized that none of my privileged experiences, as fantastic and wonderful as they have been, can even begin to compare with the joy of spending eternity in heaven with the Lord. Whether I have rewards in heaven or not, I will spend eternity gazing at His marvelous face -- and that will be more than enough to reward me.

1 comment:

  1. Your thoughts remind me of the parable of the workmen who all got a penny (I think?) at the end of the day, all got the same pay no matter how much or how little they did...and the ones that worked the longest complained that they didn't get more than the others. I used to like listening to a radio talk show, the woman would say "doing good is it's own reward". We look for past on the back or other rewards that acknowledge our goodness, but as Jesus stated: none is good, only God, so if the Lord uses any of our works to bless others, it is He who gave the ability to begin with, and any good that we are able to share in and share with others is its own reward...a very valuable penny.


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