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Waiting out Isabel

Ando Hiroshige, Sudden Shower at Ohashi Bridge at Atake, 1857, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of ManchesterTyler Green at Modern Art Notes must be prescient because he managed to be away from Washington this week. As you probably know, I am writing from the midst of Hurricane Isabel today (check out the awesome satellite photograph in this BBC article, Hurricane Isabel: Your Experiences). It swept in around noon and is supposed to do its worst this evening. So I've been looking out at the wind lashing the trees with sheets of rain and thinking about the theme of violent nature in art. If you want to see an interesting selection of paintings on this theme, take a look at the online exhibit Painting the Weather, featuring 100 paintings from 50 museums around Great Britain, put together by the National Gallery, London, and kept online by the BBC. Ando Hiroshige's depiction of rain pelting people crossing a bridge (image at right) shows that nasty weather can indeed be beautiful.

One of the nice things about being a teacher is getting to stay home when the students do, for snow days and, much less frequently, hurricane days. We had no school today and it seems highly unlikely we will have school again tomorrow. So far, the District of Columbia has not floated away and, if I survive to post tomorrow, then you will know that things turned out all right. Since I am able to post this, you can tell that we have not yet lost power, although that may change. Even if it does, we have a piano, a flute, copious amounts of sheet music, and candlelight. That's right, none of the elements of a classic Schubertiade-like Musikabend require electricity. I think the first piece should be Chopin's Raindrop Prelude.

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