Monday, September 12, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - 18C Boys with Hunting Dogs

1748-50 William Dering (American Colonial Era artist, fl 1735-1751) Portrait of young George Booth in Virginia

At the beginning of the 18C, on both sides of the Atlantic, portraits of boys began to depict them in miniature versions of gentlemens' hunting coats, sometimes carrying a bow or spear, often not. Faithful dogs stand by their young masters in many of these paintings.

1701 Samuel Theodor Gericke (1665-1729) Crown Prince Frederick William I

1710 Pierre Gobert (1662–1744) Portrait of Léopold Clément de Lorraine, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine (1707-1723)

1717 Johan Verelst (1648-1734) Portrait of a Boy

1700 Circle of Mary Beale, William Mackenzie (d 1740), 5th Earl of Seaforth, when a Boy

1700 Unknown artist of the copy of Godfrey Kneller. Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork; Lady Jane Boyle

 1705 Unknown artist. John Jones (1699–1738), as a Boy

1718 Attr to Charles Jervas.  Sharington Davenport (1708–1774), as a Boy

1720s Unknown artist of the British (English) School. Portrait of an Unknown Boy

 1728 John Theodore Heins Senior. John Ives as a Boy 1718-1793

1700s Philippe Mercier (Philip Mercier) (French artist, 1689-1760).  John Brewster Darby

 1729 Unknown American artist, Abraham DePeyster (1722-1734)

1700s Joseph Highmore (British artist, 1692-1780) Portrait of a boy

1730s Unknown artist of the British School. Sir Lister Holte (1720–1770) and Sir Charles Holte (1721–1782), as Boys

1731 Gerardus Duyckinck (American artist, 1695-1746). Pierre Van Cortlandt

 1740s Bartholomew Dandridge (Englsih artist, 1691-c.1754). A Young Boy and his Dog

1750 Unknown artist of the British (English) School. Wilbraham Tollemache (1739–1821), 6th Earl of Dysart, as a Boy with Battledore & Shuttlecock & Dog

1765 George Stubbs (1724-1806)  Sir John Nelthorpe, 6th Baronet as a Boy

Dog Days of Summer is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was determined to extend from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) & the sun.  The Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BCE) & Aratus (ca. 310–240 BCE) refer, in their writings, to "the heat of late summer that the Greeks believed was actually brought on by the appearance of Sirius," a star in the constellation, that the later Romans, & we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the "greater dog" constellation. Homer, in the Iliad, references the association of "Orion's dog" (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers, & evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The term "dog days" was used by the Greeks in Aristotle's Physics.  Astronomer Geminus, around 70 B.C., wrote: "It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the 'dog days,' but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun"s heat is the greatest." The lectionary of 1559 edition of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin" with the readings for July 7 & end August 18. But the readings for September 5 indicate: "Naonae. Dog days end."  This corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible which indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 & ending on September 5.

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