Saturday, July 30, 2016

Women by Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) The Last Judgement Detail

There Was no match for Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden (1400-1464) When it cam to imagining & amp; painting the incredible passions During the early years of Christianity or the expressions of his contemporaries with all Their deep emotion & amp; Determined restraint. The portrayal of people's innermost feelings Was Van der Weyden's trademark.

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Mary Magdalene Detail from Braque Family Triptych c 1450

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Portrait of a Woman 1430

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Isabella of Portuagal 1445

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Portrait of a Woman c 1464

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Magdalen Reading (fragment of an altarpiece)

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Mater Dolorosa

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Donor's Wife Detail from the Triptych of the Crucifixion

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Detail The Descent from the Cross

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Descent from the Cross Detail

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Portrait of a Lady in 1464

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Detail from St. John Altarpiece

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Detail The Seven Sacraments c 1440

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Mary Magdalen from Detail from The Crucifixion

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Detail The Descent from the Cross

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Detail from The Descent from the Cross

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) At the Crucifixion

Thursday, July 28, 2016

1500s Music by Italian Andrea Solario active 1495-1524

Andrea Solario (Italian Renaissance painter, active 1495-1524) Woman Playing the Viola

Andrea Solario (Italian Renaissance painter, active 1495-1524) A Woman c 1510

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A few 1500s portraits of Women at National Trust Collections in Britain

Attributed to Robert Peake the Elder (c 1551-1619) Ann Vavasour (1560-1650) National Trust Collections Hatchlands Park, Surrey 1580-90

England, Wales, & amp; Northern Ireland, the National Trust, formed in 1895, protects historic houses, gardens, mills, coastlines, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmlands, moors, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages & even pubs.The Trust does not operate in Scotland, where there is an independent National Trust for Scotland.

British (Inglese) School Elizabeth of York wearing the White Rose of the York and the Red Rose of Lancaster National Collections Trust Lacock, Wiltshire in 1575

Attributed to Hieronymus Custodis (fl.1589 -1593) Anne Carew, Lady Throckmorton (1520-1587), aged 53 National Trust Collections Coughton Court, Warwickshire 1590

British (Inglese) School Lady Margaret Russell, Countess of Cumberland (1560-1616), at the age of 25 National Trust Collections Lacock, Wiltshire in 1585

British School Inglese An Unknown Lady Collections National Trust Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire 1570-99

British School Inglese An Unknown Lady ounces Vaux called Katherine, Lady Throckmorton National Trust Collections Coughton Court, Warwickshire 1576

British Inglese School Dorothy Petre, Lady Wadham (1534-1618) National Trust Collections Petworth, West Sussex in 1595

British Inglese School Judith Tracey, Mrs Francis Throckmorton National Trust Collections Coughton Court, Warwickshire 1550-99

British Inglese School Mrs. Elizabeth Parker aged 22 National Trust Collections Gunby Hall Estate, Lincolnshire 1593

Hans Eworth (Dutch artist, in 1578-c.1525) An Unknown Lady, called Anne Askew Ayscough ago, Mrs. Thomas Kyme (1521-1546) Collections National Trust Tatton Park, Cheshire 1560

Dutch School Catherine Fetherston (d.1622) National Trust Collections Uppark, West Sussex in 1600

Robert Peake the Elder (c.1551 - 1619) Lady Catherine Neville, Lady Constable, aged 60 National Trust Collections Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset 1590

Italian (Cremonese) School Unknown Lady Collections National Trust Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire c 1570-99

Unknown Artist An Unknown Woman National Trust Collections Snowshill Manor and Garden, Gloucestershire 1550-99

Unknown British artist, Margaret Wyndham (1500-1562), Dame Margaret Luttrell, Aged 62 National Trust Collections Dunster Castle, Somerset 1562

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Biography - Catherine de' Medici & one of her spies Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay c 1551–1617

Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay (c. 1551–1617) was a French noblewoman & a mistress of King Henry of Navarre, who became King Henry IV of France. She was a member of Queen Mother Catherine de' Medici's Flying Squadron (Escadron Volant), a group of female spies & informants recruited to seduce important men at Court to extract information for the Queen Mother, who was desperate to keep power in France.

Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay, (c 1551–1617)

Charlotte was the daughter & only child of Jacques de Beaune, Baron Semblançay, Viscount of Tours, & Gabrielle de Sade. Charlotte was sent to court, where she was educated in the household of Catherine de' Medici.  As a noblewoman, Charlotte would have specific legal & financial rights, & prerogatives, which Catherine de' Medici would use to her own advantage.

Described as having been "beautiful, intelligent, & immoral," Charlotte was married to Simon de Fizes, Baron de Sauve, secretary of state first to King Charles IX & King Henry III, in 1569, when she was 18 years old. At court, she garnered much attention, as she was being raised by Catherine de' Medici.  She was appointed maid-of-honor to Marguerite de Valois.  She is recorded as taking part in some of the pageants & ballets which Catherine de' Medici produced. She helped Catherine mount a lavish show depicting the Apotheosis of Woman in 1577, at the château of Chenonceau.

Henry III's Ball of 1580

Ten years after she married, in 1579, her husband died. Charlotte married secondly in 1584, Francois de La Tremoille, Marquis de Noirmoutier, by whom she had a son, Louis de La Tremoille, in 1586.

Catherine de' Medici in black cap and veil of widow, after 1559.

At court, she was constantly under the influence of Catherine de' Medici.  Shortly after Henry of Navarre's marriage to Catherine's daughter Marguerite de Valois, in 1572, Catherine recruited Charlotte to her side. Charlotte's task was to seduce Navarre, become his confidante & mistress, to extract information to pass on to Catherine.

French King Henry IV (1553–1610)

Charlotte quickly became Navarre's mistress & exerted a strong influence over him. His wife Marguerite recorded in her memoirs: "Mme de Sauve so completely ensnarled my husband, that we no longer slept together, not even conversed."

Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay, (c 1551–1617)

Charlotte de Sauve has been cited as a source of the information that led to the execution of Marguerite de Valois's lover Joseph Boniface de La Môle & Annibal de Coconnas for conspiracy in 1574. In 1575, Catherine de' Medici, abetted by her son Henry III, instructed Charlotte to seduce the king's brother, her youngest son, François, Duke of Alençon, with the aim of provoking hostility between the 2 young men, so that they would not conspire together in the future.

Nicolas Hilliard, Portrait of Francois de Valois, duc d'Alencon, duc d'Anjou (1576), duc de Brabant

Francois, Duke of Alencon (1554-1584), was the youngest of the 4 sons of King Henri II of France & Catherine de' Medici. In childhood, he contracted smallpox, which left him disfigured. The smallpox also left him weak & caused his growth to be stunted, exposing him to ridicule. He was under 5 feet tall. His lack of interest & proficiency in sports further opened him to derision. The Vicomte de Turenne, who was a childhood friend of Francois', would write in his memoirs, that Francois was disfigured by smallpox saying that his scars were so bad that it appeared that he had 2 noses. But he must have had some charms, as Elizabeth I of England reportedly adored him.

Charlotte subsequently became the duke's mistress, & Navarre & Alençon became rivals over Charlotte. According to Marguerite's memoirs: "Charlotte de Sauve treated both of them (Navarre & Alençon) in such a way that they became extremely jealous of each other, to such a point that they forgot their ambitions, their duties & their plans & thought of nothing but chasing after this woman."

Frans Pourbus (II) (1569–1622) Henry IV of France

Henry of Navarre wrote to a friend: "The court is the strangest I have ever known. We are nearly always ready to cut each other's throat...All the band you know wants my death on account of my love for Monsieur (Alençon) & they have forbidden for the 3rd time my mistress (Charlotte de Sauve) to speak to me. They have such a hold on her, that she does not dare look at me. I am waiting for a minor battle, for they say they will kill me, & I want to be one jump ahead of them." On one occasion, Henry III had Alençon's papers seized & searched for evidence of political plotting but turned up only a declaration of love from Madame de Sauve.

Henry I, Duke of Guise (1550–1588) Catherine de' Medici has struggled for power with the Guise family for years.

In a later intrigue, Charlotte de Sauve became the mistress of Henry I, Duke of Guise (1550–1588), with whom she spent the evening at Blois in December 1588, before his assassination by King Henry III of France the following morning.

Duc d'Épernon Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette granted by Henry III of France in 1581

She had other lovers, including the Jean-Louis de Nogaret de la Valette 1st duc d'Épernon (1554-1642), & the Seigneur d'Avrilly. Charlotte de Sauve died in 1617, at about 61 years of age.

Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay, (c 1551–1617)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Biography - Pregnant Elizabeth Vernon 1572-1655 (Shakespeare's lover?) marries Earl of Southampton (Shakespeare's lover or Elizabeth's son?)

Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton (1572-1655) attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636)

In 1999, a German professor of English, Hildegard Hammerschmidt - Hummel, proposed an intriguing, but highly tenuous, theory about Elizabeth Vernon (one of the Queen's chief ladies-in-waiting) mainly based on a sonnet whose authorship remains debated. She claims that the sonnet was written by William Shakespeare, & that additional evidence from portraits show that Elizabeth Vernon Wriothesley was Shakespeare's lover. Her eldest daughter Penelope was, according to this theory, a child of Shakespeare. If this were true, the late Lady Diana Spencer would be a descendant of William Shakespeare. (See: Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel: Das Geheimnis um Shakespeares 'Dark Lady'. Dokumentation einer Enthüllung Darmstadt: Primus-Verlag 1999)

1590 Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton (1572-1655)

And so the story goes -- Elizabeth Wriothesley (née Vernon), Countess of Southampton (1572–1655) was one of the ladies-in-waiting to Elizabeth I of England in the later years of her reign. She was born in Hodnet, Shropshire, England to Sir John Vernon of Hodnet & Elizabeth Devereux.

Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton (1572-1655), probably dressed for the coronation of James I of England in 1603 in white with her countess's coronet & mantle

In August of 1598, Elizabeth married Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, the patron of William Shakespeare. The hasty marriage occurred, after Elizabeth learned that her young lady-in-waiting was pregnant. Upon discovering this, the Queen had both Elizabeth & her new groom locked in Fleet Prison. After their release, they were never again to be allowed in the company of extremely displeased Queen Elizabeth.

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), Detail

Another favorite of Elizabeth I, Henry Wriothesley, (1573–1624), was the only known patron of Shakespeare, who dedicated Venus and Adonis to him (1593). Southampton's openly tempestuous relationship with the Queen culminated in his involvement in the Earl of Essex's rebellion in 1601. Condemned to death by Elizabeth when the rebellion failed, his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment; and he was released by the new King James I, after Elizabeth's death. Southampton was known at court for his flamboyant appearance, particularly his striking long auburn hair.

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), by Nicholas Hilliard

Here the tenuous theory of Elizabeth Vernon actually being Shakespeare's lover finds some competition. Some note that Shakespeare’s sonnets often seem to be directly addressed to the passionate Wriothesley, who was the patron not just of Shakespeare but also of a whole group of writers & scholar–poets, including Thomas Nashe, John Florio, & George Wither. He was a close friend of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. In an unusual coincidence, Elizabeth Vernon was Essex’s cousin.

The Tower Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), 1603 by John Decritz the Elder 

Shakespeare's first 17 sonnets are said by some Shakespeare scholars to refer to Southampton. There a youth of rank & wealth is admonished to marry & beget a son so that "his fair house" may not fall into decay. Southampton was then unmarried, had vast possessions, & was the sole male representative of his family, his father having died when he was only 8. In Sonnet 20, Shakespeare describes Southampton as the "master-mistress of passion" writing that Dame Nature originally intended Southampton to be a woman–but falling in love with her–turned her into a man instead. In Sonnet 53, Shakespeare wonders how beautiful Southampton would look dressed as Helen of Troy.

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624)

Documents seem to show that Elizabeth Vernon actually was emotionally involved with Wriothesley. Courtier Rowland Whyte wrote in 1595, "My Lord of Southampton do with too much familiarity court the fair Mistress Vernon." In 1598, Whyte commented, "I hear my Lord Southampton France and so onward in his travels; which course of his doth extremely grieve his mistress that passes her time in weeping and lamenting." And he reports again a few weeks later, "My Lord of Southampton is gone and left behind him a very desolate Gentlewoman that almost wept out her fairest eyes." Upon Southampton's return to England, he & Elizabeth Vernon were married. (See Letters and Memorials of State. Edited by Arthur Collins. 1746)

1618 Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton (1572-1655)

To complicate matters even further, some scholars believe the Prince Tudor theory that Southampton was the natural son of Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford & Queen Elizabeth. Besides the clues in Shakespeare's sonnets, they also note that in the 1603 portrait of Southampton in the Tower, the impresa in the upper right corner depicts a connection to royalty. It depicts a castle with swans swimming in the unusually "troubled waters" of the moat surrounding it. The swan is traditionally a royal symbol, & it is mute.

The young Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624)

When he finished his 4 years at St John's College, Cambridge in 1589 at age 16, he was presented formally to Queen Elizabeth at court. The queen had her then favorite, the Earl of Essex, take the young man under his wing. In 1592, Southampton was among the noblemen who accompanied Elizabeth to Oxford. A year later, Southampton was mentioned for nomination as a knight of the garter; at his age, an unprecedented compliment outside the circle of the sovereign's kinsmen. In 1595, he distinguished himself in the queen's presence in honor of the 37th anniversary of her reign. George Peel, in his account of the scene in his "Anglorum Feriæ," referred to him as the most chivalrous Bevis of Southampton.

1620 Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton (1572-1655) perhaps by Dutch artist Paul van Somer (c.1576–1621).

And so, Elizabeth Vernon did get pregnant. She did marry the Earl of Southampton. She did have a baby girl.  Some postulate that she may have been Shakespeare's secret love, & that her baby may have been Shakespeare's. Others speculate that Southampton may have been Shakespeare's love, & that Southampton may have been the secret son of Queen Elizabeth, the Prince Tudor. In this scenario, if the baby was Southampton's, it may have been the Queen's grandchild.

1622 Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636)