Bellini: Maria e Gesu

     The UD Summer Rome program went to the Galleria Borghese, a private collection-turned museum in Rome.  It is an old villa packed with priceless works of art, including Bernini statues like the David and Appolo and Daphne, as well as world class paintings, including a whole room filled with Carravaggios.    
      We had the best tour guide in Rome, Liz Lev, walking us through and commenting on the art.  Oh, how I would have loved to hang on her every word!
      But instead, motherhood beckoned.  I had 10-month old Sebastian in a front carrier, and five-year old Annie’s hand in mine.  Ron kept taking one or the other of them, only for them to scream and cry, and so I got them back.
      Annie could not follow Liz’s presentation.  So I said to Annie, “I’ll give you a Mento if you can search the museum and find your very favorite work of art.”
    So we walked room to room, in search for the most special one.
    She landed on one of my favorites, Bellini’s Madonna and Child.  Its bright blue background is so stunning, juxtaposed with a pale green drapery, and the Madonna looks so fresh and youthful.  It is a breath of fresh air to behold this oil painting.
     So I said, “To get your Mento, you have to remember the name of the painting.”  So we repeated “Bellini” over and over for a minute or two.  Then she asked how to say “Jesus” in Italian.  She already had “Maria” down pat.  So assuming the painting was called “Mary and Jesus,” but wanting to say it in Italian to get it even more correct, she pranced around the Galleria Borghese for the rest of our two hours, chanting, “Bellini, Maria e Gesu; Bellini, Maria e Gesu.”
     She is still saying it!  What an amazing experience, for a five year old, to get such an image and such a name ingrained in her little memory like that.  We are so blessed.