Friday, July 13, 2012

The Burial Vault

Last Sunday, while my wife sang sacred harp music with Bard College students in the meeting hall, I sat outside nearby painting the burial vault. 

As the shadows flickered across the stones, I could hear the music and words of a song called "Greenwich" drifting out from the chapel.
Lord, what a thoughtless wretch was I,
To mourn, and murmur, and repine,
To see the wicked placed on high,
In pride and robes of honor shine! 
But O their end, their dreadful end.
Thy sanctuary taught me so;
On slipp'ry rocks I see them stand,
And fiery billows roll below.

—Words by Isaac Watts, 1719

Bard's sacred harp (Shapenote singing) club is led by Benjamin Bath and is open to all.
Bartlett Burial Vault.
Sacred Harp music on Wikipedia
See and hear a group singing Greenwich 183 on YouTube


John Kelley said...

That was a grave post.

Larry Kitchen said...

Art Students are dying to get in there.

Matthew Gauvin said...

magnificent texture James and I love that warm shadow on the uper left under the overhang!

H4lfM4d said...

This thread is your punishment.

Rich said...

Reminds me somewhat of Monet's cathedral series. If you'd go on;-)

There's the feeling of a warm summer day - you really caught the moment.

Always liked the complementary contrast between violet and yellow. Subdued here to all the ochres and violet-greys.

And yes, those ashlars are wonderfully textured.

elgin said...

Within 20 miles of where I sit the shape note singers in the movie sound track for Cold Mountain congregate. It and the religious music featured in O Brother Where Art Thou were the sum total of music for me in my youth, and art was unknown. Nice to see a convergence

Kelly Toon said...

It's so cool that your wife is into Sacred Harp. I am too and it's one of the best things in my life.

Steve said...

Isaac Watts must have been in a brighter mood when he wrote the words for "Joy to the World."

I love the shadow and light in this painting.