Today Inge Rider, Dianne Richter, Vera Eckard and I attended the last Bach cantata of the academic season at the Blanton Museum of Art. Today's cantata was "Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, BWV 66" (Rejoice, You Hearts) c. 1735. It is a sacred parody of the Cöthen congratulatory cantata, BWV 66a of 1718. The substance of the work is jubilation and gratitude over the resurrection of Christ, based on Luke 24:22.
The conductor, Joseph Bolin, is completing his master's degree next month and then will begin his doctoral program next year. He is the music director at Bannockburn Baptist Church. I saw him last December when I attended their Christmas program with Val White.
The featured art today was a large altar piece, "The Three Maries at the Tomb" by Jacopo da Empoli, 1570s. The docent today is not an artist but she could have fooled us; she is very knowledgeable. Before discussing the painting, she showed us a stunning black-and-white photograph of it. This is one of only a few complete altar pieces. Most of them have been cut up and the parts scattered around the world in museums and private collections.
Some other interesting works of art which the docent discussed were:
(1) 'The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine' by Mattia Preti, c. 1658, oil on canvas. This is a sketch for one of ten canvases created for the gilt ceiling of the church of San Pietro a Maiella in Naples.
(2) 'The Angelic Consolation of Saint Francis' by Valerio Castello, c. 1648, oil on canvas. An angel playing the violin brings Saint Francis to a state of physical ecstasy in which he was believed to have mystically received Christ's wounds.
(3) 'Head of a Young Man' by Peter Paul Rubens, 1601, oil on paper, mounted on panel. Rubens drew this figure as a study for a page in the 'Mocking of Christ' in Rome. This head reappears in at least four of his subsequent works.
We had lunch at the Blanton Café. Inge treated us to a strawberry cheesecake and she gave me a pretty magnetic bookmark and a little bouquet of flowers for my birthday. She is such a sweetie!