Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beware! Do not kiss an unwilling maid under the mistletoe

Christmas gambols, or a kiss under the mistletoe depicts servants in an English kitchen. A groom wearing spurred top-boots holds the cook round the waist under a bunch of mistletoe. She (smiling) nourishes a ladle and holds his pigtail queue. Two men-servants seated on a settle (left), one with a frothing tankard, watch with amusement, as does a fourth man standing on the right. Behind is a large open fire with a cauldron hanging from a chain. Cooking-utensils, a lantern, &c, are ranged on the chimney-piece. Above the settle is a sporting picture.  Below the image, a poem is included.

'Christmas gambols, or a kiss under the mistletoe' (etching published by Laurie & Whittle, 1794)

Beneath the title:
'Bridget the Cook on Christmas day,
When all was Mirth & Jollity,
Was rudely kissed, by Saucy Joe;
And that beneath the Mistletoe,
But she returned it with the Ladle,
And laid about, when he was Addle,
For Maids are not to be thus taken
And all their Virgin Honor shaken.'

Published 22d. Octr. 1794 by LAURIE & WHITTLE, N°.53, Fleet Street, London.

Morning Madonna

Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio (1571-1610) Madonna Palafrenieri 1606

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.