Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - 19C & early 20C

Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862–1938) On Bos'n's Hill 1901

Jean Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) A-Street

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) Portrait of Pauline Astor

 Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862 – 1938) Girl with Dog

Jacques-Emile Blanche (French Painter, 1861-1942) Duchesse de Clermont Tonnerre Avec Son Chien

Theodore Robinson (1852-1896) Girl with Puppies, 1881

Jacques-Emile Blanche (French Painter, 1861-1942)  Madeline Daughter of General Chardonne

William Kay Blacklock (British artist, 1872-1924) Sunlight and Shadow

Frederick Walker (English artist, 1840-1875) Rochester and Jane Eyre

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (French painter, 1848-1903) Conversation

Frederick Walker (English artist, 1840-1875) At the Fishmonger's Shop c 1872

Edmond Louis Dupain (French artist, 1847-1933) Lady Walking Her Greyhounds on the Beach

Alexander M. Rossi (British artist, 1840-1916 ) A Girl and her Dog by the Riverside

Alfred Émile Stevens (Belgian painter, 1823-1906)

Heywood Hardy (British painter, 1843-1933)

Downing Delapoer (British Painter, 1886-1902) Secret Garden of Dreams Detail

Henry John Yeend King (British artist, 1855-1924)

Ford Madox Brown (English painter, 1821–1893) Byron's Dream

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.