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"Time and Distance" by Adelaide B. Shaw

Adelaide has sent us this wonderful collection of ekphrases on paintings in the
J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. She writes,

When I decided to accept this ekphrastic challenge I didn't want to write about paintings that are so well known that they have become almost a cliché with the numerous reproductions in prints, posters, note cards, calendars, etc.

The Getty Museum has an Open Content policy for a large selection of its collections. This makes it easy to copy a painting. After browsing through one of the on-line collections, I kept returning to these four paintings.

Memorial Day had just passed. In the parades around the country, there were many veterans, those old soldiers. Three and a half centuries ago, in a painting, there was another one.

Writing about the Naples painting was a natural. My father left Naples when he was 18 years old. This painting pulled me back into my father's memories.

The old woman was also a natural. She is my mother; she is myself.

The sailboat painting is idyllic. It is a fantasy of the mind and the spirit.

These paintings, done in the past and in lands far away, influenced me in the present. The words came as if whispered by the artists into my ears. I thank the artists for their inspiring work; I thank the Getty Museum for displaying them; and I thank Linda for challenging my creativity.

Rembrandt, An Old Man in a Military Costume Lusieri, A View of the Bay of Naples
Liebermann, Old Woman with Cat
Rembrandt, A Sailing Boat a Wide Expanse of Water