I haven’t been totally depressed by all the rain falling in these parts over the last couple of months, well, I’m not happy about it but it has made me look for some of the good things about rain. I’ve been humming Singin’ In the Rain and done a bit of puddle splashin’ but I’ve also been reminded of some other rainy images. There are at least some great pieces of art associated with these damp gloomy days. Here are some of them plus a moody poem Brumes et pluies (Mist and Rain) by the great Charles Baudelaire in a translation by Roy Campbell and finally, Claude Debussy’s evocative 1903 piano piece Jardins sous la pluis (Gardens in the rain) that inspired me to find the other works of art displayed here. It is played by the impressive young Italian pianist Giuliano Poles who puts some welcome muscle as well as poise into Debussy’s toughly moody music – I suggest you listen to it whilst walking round this mini Impressionist exhibition about rain. Maybe if I keep going on about the rain, it too might get bored and go away for a bit. Hope so.
Paris Street, Rainy Day (1877) by Gustave Caillebotte
The Umbrellas (1881-86) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Morning on The Seine In The Rain (1897-98) by Claude Monet
Rainy Day Fifth Avenue (1916) by Childe Hassam
After The Rain (c.1913) by Rae Sloan Bredin
Mist and Rain (Brumes et pluies)
O Autumns, Winters, Springs! Seasons of mire!
Soul-drowsing times! I love you. Take my praise
For shrouding thus my heart and brain entire
In a vague tomb and winding-sheet of haze.
Through the long nights when the south-wester swings
The rusty vanes that shriek upon the towers,
My soul can fully stretch its raven wings
More easily than in the warmer hours.
Nothing is sweeter to funereal hearts
On whom the frost of ages has been laid —
Wan seasons, when you queen it round these parts, —
Than the eternal sight of your pale shade:
Unless on moonless midnights, pair by pair,
To lull, upon chance beds, our hearts’ despair.
Charles Baudelaire (1857) — translation Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952
Finally, here is Giuliano Poles playing Jardin sous la pluie (1903) by Claude Debussy: