Saturday, June 23, 2018

Art as Personal Branding in 18C England - Garden Conversation Pieces by William Hogarth (1697–1764)

William Hogarth (1697-1764) Woodes Rogers (c.1679–1732) and his Family.  Conducting family business in the garden.

Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697–1764) & Philip Mercier (1689-1760) in the early 18C, & continued by Arthur Devis (1712-1787), George Stubbs (1724-1806), Johan Zoffany (1733–1810) & others, the Conversation Piece was a new form of portraiture, depicting groups of traditional & aspiring gentry (2-3 or more in this series) in country house garden landscape settings. A large newly affluent middle class emerged as Britain’s colonial empire prospered in the 18C, & its Industrial Revolution began. Often socially spurned by the established aristocracy, these newly wealthy merchants, industrialists, & colonial landowners developed more natural & casual manners enlivening both novels & group portraits. These new Conversation Pieces & novels, like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, attempted to portray a more relaxed, more humorous "real life" of the newly wealthy middle class rather than the stiff allegories & heroic epic poems preferred by earlier aristocrats. Painters were commissioned to hold a mirror to this emerging English society & its still sought-after environment of the proper activities expected of the "natural leaders" at their "country houses" & elegantly planned landscape gardens. No longer were families simply rather stiffly painted in gardens & personal landscapes, as they were in the 17C, when budding science was promoting man as the "interpreter of Nature." Now the newly-privileged yearned to appear in complex multi-figured compositions & intricate narratives, filling their paintings with more humorous & relaxed representations of socially precise proper customs. Paintings were commissioned by families or friends to portray them sharing common activities such as hunts, meals, or musical parties.The vibrant (& at times wholly fabricated) settings in these works reflect the aspirations of the emerging material culture of Georgian Britain. Artists painting Conversation Pieces portrayed a group, often in their country house garden landscape, apparently engaged in some informal genteel conversation or some acceptable elite activity. Typically those depicted were members of a family, but friends & important colleagues could be included; & sometimes, important deceased relatives also appeared. Many groups in Conversation Pieces are united by connections spurred the marriage of members of 2 families. Occasionally, artists depicted organized groups of elite gentlemen discussing new science or scholarship. The settings of Conversation Pieces reflected the image the client wanted to portray, including the ideal landscape or garden, which he wanted to reflect as the upper-class setting for his everyday activities. And so, these Conversation Pieces are a great way to see what those in the early 18C aspired to have in their planned, personal landscapes. The subjects of Conversation Pieces were depicted in a variety of genteel pastimes, whether or not they really could do the activities, they were portrayed enjoying. Elites, aspiring or long-established, were painted sharing common activities such as hunting, fishing, or outdoor meals & musical parties. Dogs & horses were also frequently included as proper gentry accessories.

Madonnas attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521)

Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and perhaps Cecilia with Two Angels, c. 1505 -1510


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Adoration of the Child, c. 1490-1500


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter and John the Evangelist with Angels, completed by 1493


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints Dominic, Nicholas of Bari, Peter and John the Baptist (Pala del Pugliese), c. 1481-1485


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Margaret, Martin, and Angels, c. 1515 -1518


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints Lazarus and Sebastian, c. 1480-1485


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints Mary Magdalen and John the Baptist, c. 1495


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Saints Onophrius and Augustine, c. 1480


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, c. 1490-1500


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) Madonna and Child with Two Musician Angels, c. 1504-1507


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) The Adoration of the Child, c. 1505


Attributed to Piero di Cosimo (Italian artist, 1462-1521) The Nativity with the Infant Saint John, c. 1495-1500

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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Art as Personal Branding in 18C England - Garden Conversation Pieces by William Hogarth (1697–1764)

1738 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764) The Hervey Conversation Piece The Holland House Group  Intellectual meeting in a garden with fine furniture & garden roller.

Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697–1764) & Philip Mercier (1689-1760) in the early 18C, & continued by Arthur Devis (1712-1787), George Stubbs (1724-1806), Johan Zoffany (1733–1810) & others, the Conversation Piece was a new form of portraiture, depicting groups of traditional & aspiring gentry (2-3 or more in this series) in country house garden landscape settings. A large newly affluent middle class emerged as Britain’s colonial empire prospered in the 18C, & its Industrial Revolution began. Often socially spurned by the established aristocracy, these newly wealthy merchants, industrialists, & colonial landowners developed more natural & casual manners enlivening both novels & group portraits. These new Conversation Pieces & novels, like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, attempted to portray a more relaxed, more humorous "real life" of the newly wealthy middle class rather than the stiff allegories & heroic epic poems preferred by earlier aristocrats. Painters were commissioned to hold a mirror to this emerging English society & its still sought-after environment of the proper activities expected of the "natural leaders" at their "country houses" & elegantly planned landscape gardens. No longer were families simply rather stiffly painted in gardens & personal landscapes, as they were in the 17C, when budding science was promoting man as the "interpreter of Nature." Now the newly-privileged yearned to appear in complex multi-figured compositions & intricate narratives, filling their paintings with more humorous & relaxed representations of socially precise proper customs. Paintings were commissioned by families or friends to portray them sharing common aristocratic activities. The vibrant (& at times wholly fabricated) settings in these works reflect the aspirations of the emerging material culture of Georgian Britain. Artists painting Conversation Pieces portrayed a group, often in their country house garden landscape, apparently engaged in some informal genteel conversation or some acceptable elite activity. Typically those depicted were members of a family, but friends & important colleagues could be included; & sometimes, important deceased relatives also appeared. Many groups in Conversation Pieces are united by connections spurred the marriage of members of 2 families. Occasionally, artists depicted organized groups of elite gentlemen discussing new science or scholarship. The settings of Conversation Pieces reflected the image the client wanted to portray, including the ideal landscape or garden, which he wanted to demonstrate as the upper-class setting of his everyday activities. And so, these Conversation Pieces are a great way to see what those in the early 18C aspired to have in their planned, personal landscapes. The subjects of Conversation Pieces were depicted in a variety of genteel pastimes, whether or not they really could do the activities, they were portrayed enjoying. Elites, aspiring or long-established, were painted sharing common activities such as hunting, fishing, or outdoor meals & musical parties. Dogs & horses were also frequently included as proper gentry accessories.

Madonnas attributed to the Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden

Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden, Diptych Madonna with St. Cathrine. Madonna and Child



Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden Madonna Enthroned

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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

20C SPRING Celebration in Central Park by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

1901-03 Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) May Day in Central Park. Girls dance around colorful ribbon Maypole.  The artist sometimes includes babies in carriages in his Springtime images.

Madonnas attributed to Stefan Lochner 1400-1451

Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Adoration of the Christ child by the Virgin Mary


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Madonna of the Rose Bush, ca 1440, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Adoration of the Magi 1440s


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Madonna and Child in Garden


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Presentation of Christ Child at the Temple 1447


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Presentation at the Temple


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Adoration of the Christ Child


Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Madonna mit dem Veilchen 1450

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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

20C SPRING MAYPOLES on Magazine Covers





Madonnas attributed to Italian artist Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) 1267-1337

Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-337) Adoration of the Magi Arena Chapel


Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) ((Italian artist, 1267-1337) Madonna and Child


Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-1337) Nativity


Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-1337) Nativity


Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-1337) Madonna and Child



Attributed to Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-1337) The Flight into Eypgt, a fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel Chapel in Padua, Italy, painted c. 1304-06

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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

20C SPRING Central Park by Maurice Prendergast 9858-1924)

1901-03 Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) May Day in Central Park. The artist sometimes includes babies in carriages in his Springtime images.

Madonna attr to Italian artist Simone Martini (c 1280-85-1344)

Attributed to Simone Martini (Italian artist, 1280-85-1344)  Maestà


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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Monday, June 18, 2018

1905 SPRING in Central Park William Glackens (American, 1870-1938)

1905 William Glackens (American, 1870-1938) Spring in Central Park

Morning Madonna

Andrea del Verrocchio (Italian Early Renaissance artist, c 1435-1488) Madonna and Child 1470

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 a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

20C SPRING in Central Park by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

1901 Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) May Day in Central Park with Blue & White Ribbon Maypole

Morning Maonna - The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple from Illuminated Manuscripts

 15C Presentation of Jesus at the temple

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple or Candlemas is described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22–40). According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days  after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15, etc.). Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor people (those who could not afford a lamb) (Leviticus 12:8), sacrificing "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." (Leviticus 12:1-4 indicates that this event should take place forty days after birth for a male child, hence the Presentation is celebrated 40 days after Christmas.)

 After an icon by Theophanes the Cretan, 1535, Great Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos

Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon. The Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that "he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). Simeon prayed the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32).

 Book of Hours. Netherlands c1460 The Presentation at the Temple

Simeon then prophesied to Mary: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35). The elderly prophetess Anna was also in the Temple, and offered prayers and praise to God for Jesus, and spoke to everyone there about Jesus and his role in the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:36-38).

Folio 24 verso from Walther, Ingo F. and Norbert Wolf. Codices Illustres Cologne, TASCHEN, 2005, p. 127.


 The Presentation at the Temple, Greek, c 1800


 Ingeborg Psalter c. 1195 Manuscript (Ms. 9) Musée Condé, Chantilly


 LTPSC Book of Hours.. Presentation of Jesus at the Temple


Presentation of Christ in the Temple, ms of Carmelite Friars in London c 1375


Menologion of Basil II, 11C illuminated manuscript.


Presentation in the Temple from a Book of Hours in Latin. Central or Northern France, probably Bourges, early, 16th century).


 Presentation in the Temple in a benedictional, Ottonian, about 1030–40


 Presentation of Jesus at the Temple 1270s.


The Sforza Book of Hours Presentation in the Temple, from the prayers at None, British Library Add MS 34294, f. 104v


The St Albans Psalter, owned by St Godehard's Church, Hildesheim now at University of Aberdeen, Scotland Presentation in the Temple.