Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - Hunting Dogs from Illuminated Manuscripts

Hunting Dogs from Illuminated Manuscripts

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Book of the Hunt was written by Gaston Pheobus, the Count of Foix & Viscount of Bearn. He was born in 1331, wrote this book sometime between May 1387, & his death in 1391. The dogs illustrated in this manuscript were trained as warriors for blood lust. The book addresses different types of game; the care & training of hounds; methods of hunting wild animals; & traps & snares.

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

The hunt in early literature is not merely a game for the merry idle or a search for food. The chase is a quest for love, honor, identity, & even death. The huntsman has been portrayed as a master of wisdom & art & assurance. The hunt itself precipitates adventure, heralds troubles & passions, & an ultimate conquest at the end.

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

Gaston Phoebus (French, 1331-1391) Le Livre de la Chasse c 1387

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.

Summer Women in Hammocks...

Anders Leonhard Zorn (Swedish artist, 1860-1920) In the Hammock 1882

Edward Killingworth Johnson (British artist, 1825-1896) The Hammock

Giovanni Boldini (Italian Academic painter, 1842-1931) )The Hammock

Giuseppe de Nittis (Italian artist, 1846-1884) In the Hammock 1884

Gustave Courbet (French painter, 1819-1877) The Hammock

Henri Gaston Darien (French artist, 1864 – 1926) A Lazy Afternoon

Henri Gaston Darien (French artist, 1864–1926) The Hammock

Irving Ramsay Wiles (American artist, 1861–1948) Afternoon Tea on the Terrace detail

Jan van Beers (Belgian artist, 1852-1927) The Hammock

John Lavery (Irish painter, 1856-1941) Red Hammock

Johan Krouthén (Swedish artist, 1858-1032) Wife Hulda in Hammock 1885

John Lavery (Irish painter, 1856-1941) Hammock

Robert Thegerstrom (Swedish artist, 1857-1919) Laziness

John Lavery (1856-1941) Summer The Green Hammock

Valentine Cameron Prinsep (Indian-born British artist 1838-1904) Sweet Repose

William Chadwick (American Impressionist Painter, 1879-1962) The Hammock

Winslow Homer (American painter, 1836-1910) Girl in a Hammock, 1873

Emanuel Phillips Fox (1865-1915) Love Story

Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) The Hammock 1915

Jacques-Joseph Tissot (1836-1902) The Hammock

Joseph De Camp (1858-1923) The Hammock, c 1895

Emily Mary Osborn (English painter, 1834-1893) Lady in Hammock

William Merritt Chase (1849 - 1916) The Open Air Breakfast (also known as The Backyard, Breakfast Out of Doors) 1888

James Carroll Beckwith (American artist, 1852 - 1917) Lady on Hammock

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Sunlight and Shadow 1884

Morning Madonna

Bono da Ferrara or Bono Ferrarese (fl 1450-1452) Madonna and Child

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.