Saturday, September 3, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - A corresponding dog


Horatio Henry Couldery (English artist, 1832–1893) Newfoundland


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.



Waterside with Frenchman Claude Monet 1840-1926


Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) Camille Monet on the Beach at Trouville 1870



Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) River Scene at Bennecourt 1868



Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) On the Beach at Trouville



Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) Garden at Sainte-Adresse



Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) The Beach at Trouville 1870



Claude Monet (French artist, 1840-1926) The Regatta At Sainte-Adresse 1867


Madonnas attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio 1449-1494


Ghirlandaio, Domenico (Italian Renaissance artist, 1449-1494) La Vierge et l'Enfant avec le Jeune Saint Jean-Baptiste et Trois Anges 1490


Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) The Adoration of the Magi



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) The Nativity



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints


Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna and Child



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints c 1486



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) The Nativity



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Adoration of the Shepherds



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Adoration of the Child


Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna and Child



Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Madonna in Glory with Saints


Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) The Adoration of the Magi



Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494) The Virgin and Child, ca.1475-1477

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.