Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - Berthe Morisot 1841-1895


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Girl with a Dog, 1887


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Charley and Jeannie Thomas children of the artist's cousin Gabriel Thomas 1894


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Detail In a Park 1874


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Detail Bois de Boulogne 1893


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Girl with Dog


Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Julie Manet and her Greyhound Laertes 1893


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 Fans - James Jacques Joseph Tissot 1836–1902


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) Young Woman in a Boat Detail


1845 Silk and vory fan painted with roses Museum of the City of New York


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) The Ball


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) The HMS Calcutta at Portsmouth 1876


1855-68 Black Silk fan with satin leaves, gold pallettes, and gilt stocks Museum of the City of New York


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) Young Woman with Fan


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) Too Early Detail 1873


1892 Pheasant feather brise fan Museum of the City of New York


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) Fan


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) The Political Lady


1900 Feather brise fan of grey blue goura Museum of the City of New York


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) The Confidant Detail


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) The Fan 1875


James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836–1902) July Detail


Morning Madonna

William Dyce (Scottish painter, 1806-1864) 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.