Mothers of the Misbegotten


The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.

~William Goldsmith Brown



Sunday, May 9, is the day devoted to mothers. Two of whom are being honored here.

Lest you think the above quote by William Goldsmith Brown (who is neither revered, esteemed nor graced with a Wikipedia mention) or the impressionist painting by Henri Le Sidaner (who is most famously remembered in Proust’s A La Recherche du temps perdus as “highly distinguished” but “not great”) as second-rate works that are cloyingly trite and dismally vapid, executed by two paragons of mediocrity throughout the anals of literature and art, consider that each had a mother, who, I am willing to venture a guess, viewed them as creating the finest and most enduring of the world’s greatest masterpieces.


Table in Sunlight in the Garden, Henri Le Sidaner




~ by eaesthete on 05/07/10.

11 Responses to “Mothers of the Misbegotten”

  1. Dearest EA,

    Thank you for this tribute to those of us who insist our kids are Van Gogh.

  2. And this is why I maintain beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thought the quote and painting lovely. What do historians know?

  3. A lovely sentiment to be sure.

  4. A lovely sentiment. How nice it must have been to have mothers who saw them like that. To know that you were always the best in their eyes.
    I never knew what that was like. I hate mother’s day.

  5. Chère Suzanne:

    What an enchanting garden. I can just picture my Mom and I having a cup of tea there, or maybe an apéritif. Perhaps Henri and his mother will stop by.


  6. I read the words and drink in the garden scene above and think they are not the lesser. Lesser is such a relative term over time. Today we have Hallmark cards to express these sentiments. I stand with the lessers of a more lovely time.

    • Home,

      I am always honored by your visits and enthralled by your thoughtful and exquisitely apt comments. Your sentiments reveal that you see this exactly as it was intended. My warmest thanks and best wishes to you this mother’s day.

  7. Yes, it is a ‘relative’ scale – But, we have hallmark cards and our resultant acceptance of them for our own expression exactly because along the line we accepted the lesser, no? Food for thought.

  8. Arts journalism and creativity of all types is sadly becoming a lost form of expression in terms of being ‘free’, and the on-line environment seems to be heading in the direction of the ‘pay for view’ format. Good or bad overall? My main question is at what long-term cost? A tangible piece of literature in one’s hand a memory? Self-publishing on line seems to be the on-going direction. Printed books could possibly go the way of the manual typewriter eventually. Sad, but true.

    In theory the web would become filled with bad writing as well as the good – like all else in the world. Education and exposure of course will become critical. Good marketing as well. The trick, obviously, is not to get left behind or get buried by the masses.

    Same thing applies to art – and to just about everything we enjoy in our lives. It is not just about how cheap or convenient something is – there is more, obviously. There is such a thing as grace in this world, and the concept of disposable is simply the most unattractive and ultimately soul-sucking

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