Thursday, December 29, 2016

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) Angel from the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark  January 29, 2011. "Without Melozzo, the work of Raphael and Michelangelo would have never existed.” This statement by Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, sums up the impact this renaissance painter had on some of the greatest Italian painters.

Proper Celebrating...nothing that leads to fornication

1736 A Ball by Johann Franz H√∂rmannsperger (Austrian, 1710-) The musician’s hats are levitating!

Dancing, wrote Philip Stubbs or Stubbes (c 1555 – 1610) in 1583, is altogether a “horrible vice.” In his work The Anatomie of Abuses, Stubbes decryed, “what clipping, what culling, what kissing and bussing, what smouching and slabbering of one another: what filthy groping and unclean handling is not practised everywhere in these dancings.” For dancing “provoketh lust, and the fires of lust, [which] once conceived...burst forth into the open action of whoredom and fornication.” 

In The Anatomie of Abuses, Philip Stubbs – a pamphleteer – rails against aspects of popular culture that he believes are immoral and in need of immediate reform if his fellow countrymen and women are to escape punishment from God. The subjects that come under his criticism include some expected transgressions – visiting prostitutes, lending money at interest, drinking and gluttony – plus others which are surprising – the wearing of fancy clothing, showy hats, the theater, sports, and dancing! His work summarizes "Notable Vices and Imperfections, as now raigne in many Countreyes of the World: but (especiallye) in a famous ILANDE called AILGNA," (Ailgna is another name for England.) Stubbes has been described as a Puritan (or at least exceedingly puritanical); but records indicate, that he supported the established Church. 


Restrained Couples dancing with propriety in the Dance House of Augsburg, 1500

See The British Library

Morning Madonna

Unknown Master, German (active in 1420s in the Lower Rhineland). The Holy Family with Angels

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.