Quote of the day: 12 May

J.M. + J. T.

“If anyone loves Me he will keep My word,
And My Father will love him an
We will come to him and make our home in him” (Jn. 14:23).

My darling little Mama,

I am beginning my letter with a declaration. Oh, you see, I loved you so much already, but since our last meeting, that has even doubled. It was so good to pour my soul into my mother’s and to feel them vibrate in unison; you see, it seems to me that my love for you is not only that of a child for the best of mothers, but also that of a mother for her child. I am the little mama of your soul; that’s all right, isn’t it?

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 273 to her mother (excerpt)
Around May 27, 1906

Mother and Child in a Boat
Edmund C. Tarbell (American, 1862–1938)
Oil on canvas, 1892
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gallery label: Although Edmund Charles Tarbell had been exposed to Impressionism during his student days in Paris from 1884 to 1886, it was not until 1890 that he started painting in this progressive style. His conversion was no doubt influenced by the exhibition in 1890 of Sargent’s A Morning Walk (private collection), the first of his Impressionist works to be shown in Boston. Tarbell painted Mother and Child in a Boat using his wife Emeline and daughter Josephine as models. He rendered the shimmer of light on the water and the dappled sunlight on the rowboat and costumes with strokes of pure color. Reluctant to relinquish his hard-earned drawing skills—his avowed purpose for studying in Paris—Tarbell carefully delineated his wife’s hands and features and deftly foreshortened his daughter’s left leg. The overhanging branches and high viewpoint, aspects borrowed from Japanese prints, provide an intimate view of these figures in a boat, a popular motif for both French and American Impressionists. Sargent had painted a strikingly similar composition, Two Women Asleep in a Punt under the Willows (1887, CalousteGulbenkian Museum, Lisbon), which Tarbell may have known through his friend Dennis Miller Bunker, who worked with Sargent in 1888 and who had exhibited his own Impressionist landscapes alongside Sargent’s.

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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