Sunday, February 17, 2019

1590 Allegory of Diana Goddess of the Hunt with faithful Dogs

1590 Ambroise Dubois (Flemish-born French artist, 1542-43–1614-15) Gabrielle d'Estrees as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has dogs, deer, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.

Early European portrait artists sometimes painted their contemporaries as allegories. Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or nymph or muse in in a rustic setting. Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, & nature, associated with wild animals & woodland. Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth & women. Diana was originally considered to be a goddess of the wilderness & of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman & Greek culture. Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her primarily as a patron of hunters. Diana was often considered to be a goddess associated with fertility & childbirth, & the protection of women during labor. Her care of infants also extended to the training of both young people & dogs, especially for hunting. Unlike the Greek gods, Roman gods were originally considered to be divine powers of presence that did not necessarily have physical form. The idea of gods having anthropomorphic qualities & human-like personalities & actions developed later, under the influence of Greek & Etruscan religion. Diana was not only regarded as a goddess of the wilderness & the hunt, but was often worshiped as a patroness of families.

"... people regard Diana & the moon as one & the same. ...her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight. She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions ..." -- Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero & translated by P.G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Book II, Part ii, Section c.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

1550 Allegory of Diana Goddess of the Hunt with faithful Dogs

1550 Meister der Schule von Fontainebleau Diana the Huntress. This early Diana carries a bow & quiver & travels with her dog. But, as for clothing, a few yards of cloth seems enough.

Early European portrait artists sometimes painted their contemporaries as allegories. Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or nymph or muse in in a rustic setting. Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, & nature, associated with wild animals & woodland. Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth & women. Diana was originally considered to be a goddess of the wilderness & of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman & Greek culture. Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her primarily as a patron of hunters. Diana was often considered to be a goddess associated with fertility & childbirth, & the protection of women during labor. Her care of infants also extended to the training of both young people & dogs, especially for hunting. Unlike the Greek gods, Roman gods were originally considered to be divine powers of presence that did not necessarily have physical form. The idea of gods having anthropomorphic qualities & human-like personalities & actions developed later, under the influence of Greek & Etruscan religion. Diana was not only regarded as a goddess of the wilderness & the hunt, but was often worshiped as a patroness of families.

"... people regard Diana & the moon as one & the same. ...her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight. She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions ..." -- Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero & translated by P.G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Book II, Part ii, Section c.

Friday, February 15, 2019

17C Allegory of Diana Goddess of the Hunt with faithful Dogs

Jan Mytens (Dutch artist, 1614-1670) Lady as Diana

Early European portrait artists sometimes painted their contemporaries as allegories.  Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or nymph or muse in in a rustic setting.  Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, & nature, associated with wild animals & woodland.  Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth & women. Diana was originally considered to be a goddess of the wilderness & of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman & Greek culture. Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her primarily as a patron of hunters. Diana was often considered to be a goddess associated with fertility & childbirth, & the protection of women during labor.  Her care of infants also extended to the training of both young people & dogs, especially for hunting. Unlike the Greek gods, Roman gods were originally considered to be divine powers of presence that did not necessarily have physical form. The idea of gods having anthropomorphic qualities & human-like personalities & actions developed later, under the influence of Greek & Etruscan religion.  Diana was not only regarded as a goddess of the wilderness & the hunt, but was often worshiped as a patroness of families.

"... people regard Diana & the moon as one & the same. ...her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight. She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions ..." -- Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero & translated by P.G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Book II, Part ii, Section c.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day - 16C Couples together for Love, Lust, Profit, & Power

1469 Fernando II, King of Aragon, 1452-1516 & Isabella, Queen of Castile, 1451-1504

1498 Wedding portrait of Jakob Fugger (1459-1525) and his wife Sibylla Artzt by Thomas (Thoman) Burgkmair

c 1500 Portrait of a married couple by Wolfgang Beurer

1505 Coloman Helmschmid and Agnes Breu by Jorg Breu the Elder

1505-07 Hans Burgkmair the Elder (German painter, 1473-1531) Barbara and Hans Schellenberger

1512 Portrait of a Man and His Wife by Ulrich Apt the Elder

1514 Quentin Massys (Belgian painter, 1466-1530) The Money-lender and his Wife

1514 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portraits of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony and his wife Katharina von Mecklenburg

1516 Hans Brosamer Portrait of a Couple

1520 Quentin Massys (Belgian painter, 1466-1530) Ill-Matched Lovers

1523 Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556) Husband & Wife

1529 Lukas Furtenagel (German painter, 1505-1546) Der Maler Hans Burgkmair und seine Frau Anna

1529 attr Giovanni Cariani, Poet with Young Woman

1529 Quentin Massys (Belgian painter, 1466-1530) The Jewelry & Money Pouch

1538 Hans Schopfer (1509 - 1566) Portrait of a Couple

1530s Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480-1538) Lovers

1530s Hans Schopfer (1505 - 1566) Portrait of a Couple

1536 Justinian von Holzhausen and Anna von Holzhausen

1536-38 Titian Tiziano Vercelli (Italian painter, 1488-1576) Portrait of Francesco Maria della Rovere & Eleonora Gonzaga

1539 Marinus van Reymerswaele (Flemish painter, 1490- c1567)The Banker & His Wife

Joachim Beukelaer (Flemish painter c 1534-c 1574) Woman Selling Vegetables

1540s A Man and his Wife by Unknown Italian? artist

1558 Hans Eworth (c 1520-1574). Portrait of King Felipe II of Spain & his 2nd spouse Queen Maria I of England

c 1558 Francois + Mary Stuart Queen of Scots
1550 Unknown Artist Double Portrait of a Patrician Couple

1570s Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, 1528-1588) Portrait of a Gentlewoman and Gentleman

Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk Is he wearing a ruff?

Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, James Darnley

1564 Tobias Stimmer (1539-1584) Zürcher Pannerherren Jacob Schwytzer und seiner Ehefrau Elsbeth Lochmann

Dirck Jacobsz (Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1497-1567) Couple with Books and Pictures

1570 Marten de Vos (1532-1603) Gillis Hooftman (1521-81), Shipowner, and his wife Margaretha van Nispen

c 1572Henry of Navarre and Margaret of Valois?

Hieronimo Custodis (also spelled Hieronymus, Heironimos) (Flemish-born painter active in Elizabethan England died c. 1593)Sir John Harington and his wfie, Mary Rogers, Lady Harrington

Joachim Beukelaer (Flemish painter c 1534-c 1574) Market Scene

Bernardino Licinio (1489-1565) Woman with Husband's Portrait

Jeremias Van Winghe (Flemish artist, 1578-1645) Kitchen Scene

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Portrait of a Woman with Her Husband

1596 Fortune teller by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian painter, 1573-1610).

1596 Hans von Aachen (or Ach) (German Mannerist painter, 1552-1615) Joking Couple

1596 Fortune teller by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian painter, 1573-1610).

Who was Saint Valentine?

Pair of Lovers, c 1480 Attributed to the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet or theMaster of the Housebook (German artist, fl c 1470-1500)

It is said that on February 14, somewhere around the year 270 A.D., Valentine, a priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Well, Chaucer said it was February 14th, and that's good enough for me.

Rome's emperor was called Claudius the Cruel for good reason. During his reign, he involved his empire in many unpopular & bloody campaigns. Claudius needed to maintain a strong, loyal army, but he was having a difficult time enticing soldiers to join his traveling troops. Claudius believed that strong, young Roman men were unwilling to join the army, because they wanted to stay close to their loves.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages & engagements in Rome. If he could have banned sex between lovers, I suppose he would have. Priest Valentine, incensed by his emperor's cold decree, defied Claudius continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When the disobedient priest's actions were discovered, Valentine was arrested & dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs, so that he might suffer a little for his disloyalty to his supreme emperor, & then to have his head cut off. The sentence was said to be carried out on February 14.

Legend has it that, while in jail Valentine became enamoured with his jailer’s daughter, who was blind. The jailer asked Valentine if his God could restore daughter’s sight. They prayed together & the young woman regained full sight. Reportedly, Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter signing it "From Your Valentine." No, I do not know the extent of the priest's relationship with the jailer's daughter, & I do not wish to know.

For his great service to loyalty & truth & love, the church named Valentine a saint after his death.

Well, now, there is some debate about how the date February 14th came about; and there also seems to be some question about the exact identity of St. Valentine. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February." One was a priest in Rome, the 2nd was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy), & the 3rd St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

Perhaps it is just coincidence, but probably not,that the date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. During these popular celebrations, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to all the silliness of the Feast of Lupercalia, & he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine's Day. And to this day, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems, & beautiful gifts such as flowers.