Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Garden at Gethsemane is on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across from Jerusalem



The Agony in the Garden with the Donor Louis d’Orléans, Artist Colart de Laon?, a 15C French painting depicting Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane while Peter, John, and James slumber. Prado

This painting is a small piece, probably intended for a use in a private chapel rather than a large church. Louis I, Duke of Orléans, became regent of France, when his older brother Charles VI went insane, and then Duke of Orleans was assassinated by his cousin & co-regent John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. His murderer John’s courage against Ottoman forces in the Battle of Nicopolis (1396) earned him his nickname, and his bullheaded vanity helped ensure his side was utterly routed. You can read all about it in Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.

The garden at Gethsemane, a place whose name literally means oil press, is located on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. A garden of ancient olive trees stands there to this day. Jesus frequently went to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray (John 18:2).


Just a few more 15C roses to enjoy.


1490 Illuminated Manuscripts [folio 020v] MS. Douce 195 (Le roman de la rose) Robinet Testard.  Here the roses are in a walled garden, where a courting couple rest.


A couple & their dog enjoy Spring in a 16C garden


 Crispin de Passe (1565-1637), The Four Seasons - Spring

This couple is celebrating Spring just outside the fenced garden, but they are surely surrounded by a landscape of earthly delights.  A goat, sheep, dog accompany them, and birds, caged & wild, fill the air with bird songs.


Early America - 1610 The Church of England at Jamestown, Virginia


William Strachey was born in 1572, in Saffron Walden, a small market town in Essex, England, to William Strachey (d. 1598) and Mary Cooke (d. 1587).  At the age of 16, he entered Emmanuel College at Cambridge University in 1588. In 1595, William married Frances Forster living near her home in Crowhurst in Surrey. Initially, Strachey supported his family from his inheritance from his father.  In order to meet growing family expenses, Strachey purchased 2 shares in the Virginia Company & sailed to Virginia on the Sea Venture in the summer of 1609.  This is his description of the church at Jamestown.

See CWF here The eastern corner of the 1608 church excavation sits behind a statue of John Smith

The Church at Jamestown

This description of the church constructed within the palisade at Jamestown, along with the account of the Sunday procession of the governor and his company, was written in 1610. It was included in Strachey’s letter to an unknown noble lady in England in 1609.

To every side, a proportioned distance from the palisade, is a settled street of houses that runs along, so as each line of the angle hath his street. In the midst is a market place, a store-house, and a corps de garde, as likewise a pretty chapel, though (at this time when we came in) as ruined and unfrequented. But the lord governor and captain general hath given order for the repairing of it, and at this instant many hands are about it. It is in length three-score foot, in breadth twenty-four, and shall have a chancel in it of cedar and a communion table of the black walnut, and all the pews of cedar, with fair broad windows to shut and open, as the weather shall occasion, of the same wood, a pulpit of the same, with a front hewn hollow, like a canoe, with two bells at the west end. It is so cast as it be very light within, and the lord governor and captain general doth cause it to be kept passing sweet and trimmed up with divers flowers, with a sexton belonging to it. And in it every Sunday we have sermons twice a day, and every Thursday a sermon, having true preachers, which take their weekly turns; and every morning, at the ringing of a bell about ten of the clock, each man addresseth himself to prayers, and so at four of the clock before supper.

Every Sunday, when the lord governor and captain general goeth to church, he is accompanied with all the councilors, captains, other officers, and all the gentlemen, and with a guard of halberdiers in His Lordship’s livery, fair red cloaks, to the number of fifty, both on each side and behind him; and, being in the church, His Lordship hath his seat in the choir, in a green velvet chair, with a cloth, with a velvet cushion spread on a table before him on which he kneeleth; and on each side sit the council, captains, and officers, each in their place; and when he returneth home again he is waited on to his house in the same manner.


1490 Stop to Smell the Roses


Illuminated Manuscript [folio 020v] MS. Douce 195 (Le roman de la rose) Robinet Testard 1490

The walled garden here did not provide the privacy as was intended, as the gardener peeks over the wall.

  

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)


Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  'Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The severall 'Habits of Englishwomen, from the Nobilitie to the 'Country Woman, as they are in these times. 1640.'  An English lady with short wavy hair standing whole length in profile to left; wearing a dark broad-rimmed hat, shoulder wrap with two rows of scalloped lace edge, apron and ornate underskirt, her gown partly raised and tucked under her folded hands.

We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. 

The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.


Morning Madonna


Giampietrino, possibly Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active 1495–1549), Madonna and Child 1520s

I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were the core of early Western art.


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Garden at Gethsemane is on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across from Jerusalem


Prayer Book, including Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Walters Manuscript W.164, fol. 15v

The garden at Gethsemane, a place whose name literally means oil press, is located on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. A garden of ancient olive trees stands there to this day. Jesus frequently went to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray (John 18:2).


Couple befriend each other in a 16C garden + the birds & creatures that surround them.


  Crispin de Passe (1565-1637), The Four Elements - Air

Gentleman & his Lady befriend each other in a 16C garden + the birds & creatures that surround them.  Because the gentleman is a hunter, some of his birds are lifeless.


Couple, with dog drinking fountain water, in a busy, fenced 1540 March Garden



March, from the Golf Book (Book of Hours, Use of Rome), workshop of Simon Bening, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1540, Additional MS 24098, f. 20v British Library. This is reportedly a courting scene in a garden, but it seems way too busy for any serious courting.


1629 Fat Partridges & other "strange fowls" in New England


A Short and True Description of New England
by the Rev. Francis Higginson, 1629
Printed for Michael Sparke, London, 1630.

Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in Colonial New England, and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.

Fowls of the air are plentiful here, and of all sorts as we have in England as far as I can learn, and a great many of strange fowls which we know not.


Eagle woodcut from 1577

Whilst I was writing these things, one of our men brought home an eagle which he had killed in the wood. They say they are good meat. Also here are many kinds of excellent hawks, both sea hawks and land hawks.

And myself walking in the woods with another in company, sprung a partridge so big that through the heaviness of his body could fly but a little way. They that have killed them say they are as big as our hens.


Woodcut of partridge

Here are likewise abundance of turkeys often killed in the woods, far greater than our English turkeys, and exceeding fat, sweet and fleshy, for here they have abundance of feeding all the year long, such as strawberries: in summer all places are full of them, and all manner of berries and fruits.


Engraving of turkey

In the winter time I have seen flocks of pigeons, and have eaten of them. They do fly from tree to tree as other birds do, which our pigeons will not do in England. They are of all colors as ours are, but their wings and tails are far longer, and therefore it is likely they fly swifter to escape the terrible hawks in this country.


Woodcut of ducks

In winter time this country doth abound with wild geese, wild ducks, and other sea fowl, that a great part of winter the planters have eaten nothing but roastmeat of divers fowls which they have killed.


Repairing the picket fences in a 1500s Garden


March. Illuminated by Simon Bening. Bruges, probably late 1540s or early 1550s.  British Library


Couple sit at a table in a 16C pleasure garden making music & eating.


 Crispin de Passe (1565-1637), The Four Elements - Earth

Lady and gentleman sit at a table in a 16C pleasure garden making music and eating.

Amazing depiction of a 15C Castle adorned with Roses


IL CASTELLO DELLA GELOSIA - Folia. Miniatura tratta dal ‘Roman de la Rose’ (1490-1500), British Library


1629 A few problems in early New England - mosquito bites, snow, snakes & serpents


A Short and True Description of New England

by the Rev. Francis Higginson, written in 1629 
Printed for Michael Sparke, London, 1630.

Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in Colonial New England, and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.

Thus of New England’s commodities, now I will tell you of some discommodities that are here to be found.

First: in the summer season for these three months June, July and August, we are troubled with little flies called mosquitos, being the same they are troubled with in Lincolnshire and the fens, and they are nothing but gnats, which except they be smoked out of their houses are troublesome in the night season.



Secondly: in the winter season for two months space the earth is commonly covered with snow, which is accompanied with sharp biting frosts, something more sharp than is in old England, and therefore we are forced to make great fires.

Thirdly: this country being very full of woods and wildernesses, doth also much abound with snakes and serpents of strange colors and huge greatness. Yea, there are some serpents called rattlesnakes, that have rattles in their tails that will not fly from a man as others will, but will fly upon him and sting him so mortally, that he will die within a quarter of an hour after, except the party stung have about him some of the root of an herb called snake weed to bite on, and then he shall receive no harm. But yet seldom falls it out that any hurt is done by these. About three years since an Indian was stung to death by one of them, but we heard of none since that time.



1603 German ed of Badli Angeli Abbatii's De Admirabili Viperae natura.  First published in 1589.  Dresden's Sächsische Landesbibliothek

Fourthly and lastly: here wants as yet the good company of honest Christians to bring with them horses, kine and sheep to make use of the fruitful land. Great pity it is to see so much good ground for corn and for grass as any is under the heavens, to lie altogether unoccupied, when so many honest men and their families in old England through the populousness thereof, do make very hard shift to live one by the other. Thus you know now what New England is, as also the commodities and discommodities thereof.


14C Gardeners working on geometric beds in walled Italian Garden


14C Italian manuscript Treatise on Rural Economy by Pietro de Crezcenzi.


17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)


Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  'Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The severall 'Habits of Englishwomen, from the Nobilitie to the 'Country Woman, as they are in these times. 1640.'  An English lady standing whole length to left, with head in profile and hand folded; wearing a cap, shoulder wrap trimmed with lace, gloves, and scissors suspended from a cord from around her waist at left.

We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. 

The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in 1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.


Morning Madonna


Unknown Master German, The Virgin in a Paradise Garden 1415-30

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were the core of early Western art.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Illuminated Manuscripts - Jesus Entering Jerusalem - Palm Sunday & the Ukraine !!


The Entry Into Jerusalem, Halychyna, early 17C, The National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve

This version of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem follows the Byzantine tradition of portraying Jesus seated sideways on a donkey with his Apostles behind him and the Jerusalemites awaiting his arrival. The bowed head of the donkey is also typically Byzantine. The clothing of the Jerusalemites mirrors that of 17C Ukrainian burghers & the tiered gables of Jerusalem are rendered in the style of Western Ukraine.


Entering Jerusalem - Palm Sunday


1308 Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian artist, 1255-1319) Entry into Jerusalem