Sunday, June 17, 2018

20C SPRING in Central Park by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

1901 Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) May Day in Central Park with Blue & White Ribbon Maypole

Morning Maonna - The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple from Illuminated Manuscripts

 15C Presentation of Jesus at the temple

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple or Candlemas is described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22–40). According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days  after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15, etc.). Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor people (those who could not afford a lamb) (Leviticus 12:8), sacrificing "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." (Leviticus 12:1-4 indicates that this event should take place forty days after birth for a male child, hence the Presentation is celebrated 40 days after Christmas.)

 After an icon by Theophanes the Cretan, 1535, Great Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos

Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon. The Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that "he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). Simeon prayed the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32).

 Book of Hours. Netherlands c1460 The Presentation at the Temple

Simeon then prophesied to Mary: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35). The elderly prophetess Anna was also in the Temple, and offered prayers and praise to God for Jesus, and spoke to everyone there about Jesus and his role in the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:36-38).

Folio 24 verso from Walther, Ingo F. and Norbert Wolf. Codices Illustres Cologne, TASCHEN, 2005, p. 127.


 The Presentation at the Temple, Greek, c 1800


 Ingeborg Psalter c. 1195 Manuscript (Ms. 9) Musée Condé, Chantilly


 LTPSC Book of Hours.. Presentation of Jesus at the Temple


Presentation of Christ in the Temple, ms of Carmelite Friars in London c 1375


Menologion of Basil II, 11C illuminated manuscript.


Presentation in the Temple from a Book of Hours in Latin. Central or Northern France, probably Bourges, early, 16th century).


 Presentation in the Temple in a benedictional, Ottonian, about 1030–40


 Presentation of Jesus at the Temple 1270s.


The Sforza Book of Hours Presentation in the Temple, from the prayers at None, British Library Add MS 34294, f. 104v


The St Albans Psalter, owned by St Godehard's Church, Hildesheim now at University of Aberdeen, Scotland Presentation in the Temple.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

20C - Still Dancing around the MAYPOLE


The best known Maypole dance is called The Flower

The dance takes place in two opposing directions , the women rotate counter-clockwise, while men in the clockwise direction. Each time a man and a woman meet by dancing, exchange roles; the woman goes outside and inside the man and so on. In this way, we simulate the courtship ritual among the dancers. It's important to maintain a steady pace so that the distance between the dancers remains uniform.

An elementary Maypole dance is called Simple Figure
Another Maypole dance one exists in a more simple in which the group of women form a smaller circle, in the vicinity of the pole, while the group of men form an outer circle (the distance between the two groups is about 3 steps). As the diagram men turn clockwise and women perform a tighter turning counter-clockwise so that their tapes are wrapped first in a spiral, above which is going to tighten the spiral of men.

A more complicated dance is called The Spider

ONE WAY - The two groups of dancers remain at a certain distance (about two steps) with the innermost circle of women, while dancing They stay with their backs to the pole and taking the tape taut with both hands folded in chest, but men are the ones that perform the dance starting vaulted frontal with respect to the pole and coupled with his lady. The man takes a first rotary motion, turning away from his left side around the woman, and then continuing clockwise to the next woman to perform the same movement.

TWO-WAY Men and women alternate in the rotational movement of the FIRST WAY: When men (and women who remain stationary) and once women (with men who are at a standstill). The arrangement of the pairs to see all the dancers start with the right side facing towards the pole in order to make a clockwise rotation and arranged for couples with women slightly away a little 'more in and ahead of the companion.

There are many variations of these Maypole dances depending on the location in which these dances are practiced. The number of participants varies depending on the size which should not fall below 8 ribbons or tapes.

Morning Madonna - The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in early paintings

Andrea Mantegna (Italian painter, c 1431–1506) Presentation at the Temple

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple or Candlemas is described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22–40). According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days  after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15, etc.). Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor people (those who could not afford a lamb) (Leviticus 12:8), sacrificing "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." (Leviticus 12:1-4 indicates that this event should take place forty days after birth for a male child, hence the Presentation is celebrated 40 days after Christmas.)

 Andrea Mantegna (Italian painter, c 1431–1506) Presentation of Christ in the temple 1465-66

Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon. The Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that "he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). Simeon prayed the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32).

 Andrei Rublev, (Russian artist, c.1360 - c 1430) 1408 Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

Simeon then prophesied to Mary: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35). The elderly prophetess Anna was also in the Temple, and offered prayers and praise to God for Jesus, and spoke to everyone there about Jesus and his role in the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:36-38).

 Fra Angelico (Italian artist, 1387-1455)  The Presentation in the Temple, from the predella of the Annunciation Altarpiece


 Fra Angelico (Italian artist, 1387-1455) Presentation at the Temple 1433-34


 Fra Angelico (Italian artist, 1387-1455) Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. 1440


Fra Bartolommeo (Italian High Renaissance painter, 1472-1517) Presentation of Christ in the Temple


Giotto di Bondone (Florentine painter, c 1267-1337).  Presentation of Christ in the Temple


Giotto di Bondone (Florentine painter, c 1267-1337).  The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. 1304-1306


Giotto di Bondone (Florentine painter, c 1267-1337). The Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple c 1320


1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Presentation at the Temple 


Giovanni Bellini, (Venice painter, c 1430-1516),  Presentation of Jesus in the Temple From the circle of Giovanni Bellini 1493.


Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian artist, 1398–1482). The Presentation of Christ in Temple


Hans Holbein the Elder (German painter, c 1465-1524)  1500–01 Presentation of Christ at the Temple


Jan van Scorel (Dutch painter, 1495–1552)  Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


Francesco Bassano the Younger (1563-1570) The Presentation of Christ at the Temple


 Lodovico Carracci, (Italian painter 1555-1619), Presentation in the Temple 1605


 Lorenzo Lotto (Italian artist, c.1480-1556) The Presentation of Christ in the Temple 1556


Melchior Broederlam (Belgian artist, c 1350-c 1409) 1399 The Presentation of Christ (from Altar of Philip the Bold)


Romanino Girolamo (Italian artist, c 1484-ca 1559). Presentation of Jesus in the Temple - 1529.


 Stefan Lochner (1400-1451) Presentation of Christ Child at the Temple 1447


 Stefan Lochner (German artist, 1400-1451) Presentation of Christ Child at the Temple 1447.


Vittore Carpaccio (Venetian artist, c.1460–15256), Presentation of Jesus in the Temple 1510

Friday, June 15, 2018

SPRING Procession in Central Park 1905 by William Glackens (1870-1938)

1905 William Glackens (American, 1870-1938) Spring May Day Procession in New York City

Centuries of Celebrating Spring

May Day, usually the 1st of May, celebrates the onset of summer, the height of Spring, & the flowering of life. The ancient European festival of spring, Beltane, features a goddess which manifests as the May Queen & Flora. A god also emerges as the May King & Jack in the Green. In ancient European festivals of spring, Beltane, the dance around the Maypole represents their unity with the pole itself being the God & the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Mayday is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, & delight.

Some festival celebrants believed that on May Eve, you could bless your garden in by making love there with your partner. Union with the land was a May 1 focus, often with actual mating outside on other lands to bless fields, herds, home. Revellers welcomed May at dawn with singing & dancing. Later communities celebtated with Morris Dancers & more formal pageants featuring Jack-in-Green& a May Queen to awaken the fertility in the Land.

In ancient springtimes, gathering & exchanging of Flowers & Greens was common on May Eve. Merrymakers decorated homes, barns, & other buildings with green budding branches. Men & women made garlands & wreaths of Flowers & Greens. Early communities prepared a May basket by filling it with flowers & goodwill & then giving it to someone in need of healing & caring. Women in early cultures formed wreaths of freshly picked flowers to wear in the hair to radiate joy & beauty. Early groups often danced the Maypole to feel the balancing of the Divine Female & Male within.

In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime. Roman Catholic traditions of adoring statues of Mary with garlands of flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), & Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. On May 1, early cultures followed a pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. In early Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter & Summer were enacted at this time. Maypoles in Spain sometimes were topped with a male effigy which was later burned. In Germany, Fir trees were cut on May Eve by young unmarried men, branches removed, decorated, put up in village square, & guarded all night until dance occurred on May Day. In England , permanent Maypoles sometimes were erected on village greens. In some villages, there also were smaller Maypoles in the yards of households.

Fire was a common accompaniment to many May celebrations. Celebrants marked the holiday by lighting fires, dancing, feasting & often performing fertility rites. Many built a bonfire & then moved through it or danced clockwise around it. Livestock was driven around a Beltane fire or between 2 fires for purification & fertility blessings. In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places. In later times, Christian priests kindled their spring fires in fields near the church after performing a Christian church service. Branches & twigs often were carried around these fire 3 times, then hung over hearths to bless homes.  Risk-takers made a wish for good luck before jumping a bonfire or the flame of a candle. Some believed during May the veil between the human & supernatural worlds is at its thinnest, making them potent days for magic. Beltane may refer to the “fires of Bel,” in honor of the Celtic sun god, Belenus. Some pagans believed fire has the power to cleanse, purify & increase fertility.

Morning Madonna

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, known as Lo Scheggia, or "the Splinter" (Italian painter, 1406-1486) Madonna and Child Enthroned

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.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

20C SPRING Promenade by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

1907 Maurice Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) Spring Promenade

Morning Madonna

Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (Italian, 1483-1561) Virgin 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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

20C SPRING in New York City's Central Park by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

1901-03 Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) May Day in Central Park

Centuries of Celebrating Spring

May Day, usually the 1st of May, celebrates the onset of summer, the height of Spring, & the flowering of life. The ancient European festival of spring, Beltane, features a goddess which manifests as the May Queen & Flora. A god also emerges as the May King & Jack in the Green. In ancient European festivals of spring, Beltane, the dance around the Maypole represents their unity with the pole itself being the God & the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Mayday is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, & delight.

Some festival celebrants believed that on May Eve, you could bless your garden in by making love there with your partner. Union with the land was a May 1 focus, often with actual mating outside on other lands to bless fields, herds, home. Revellers welcomed May at dawn with singing & dancing. Later communities celebtated with Morris Dancers & more formal pageants featuring Jack-in-Green& a May Queen to awaken the fertility in the Land.

In ancient springtimes, gathering & exchanging of Flowers & Greens was common on May Eve. Merrymakers decorated homes, barns, & other buildings with green budding branches. Men & women made garlands & wreaths of Flowers & Greens. Early communities prepared a May basket by filling it with flowers & goodwill & then giving it to someone in need of healing & caring. Women in early cultures formed wreaths of freshly picked flowers to wear in the hair to radiate joy & beauty. Early groups often danced the Maypole to feel the balancing of the Divine Female & Male within.

In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime. Roman Catholic traditions of adoring statues of Mary with garlands of flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), & Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. On May 1, early cultures followed a pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. In early Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter & Summer were enacted at this time. Maypoles in Spain sometimes were topped with a male effigy which was later burned. In Germany, Fir trees were cut on May Eve by young unmarried men, branches removed, decorated, put up in village square, & guarded all night until dance occurred on May Day. In England , permanent Maypoles sometimes were erected on village greens. In some villages, there also were smaller Maypoles in the yards of households.

Fire was a common accompaniment to many May celebrations. Celebrants marked the holiday by lighting fires, dancing, feasting & often performing fertility rites. Many built a bonfire & then moved through it or danced clockwise around it. Livestock was driven around a Beltane fire or between 2 fires for purification & fertility blessings. In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places. In later times, Christian priests kindled their spring fires in fields near the church after performing a Christian church service. Branches & twigs often were carried around these fire 3 times, then hung over hearths to bless homes.  Risk-takers made a wish for good luck before jumping a bonfire or the flame of a candle. Some believed during May the veil between the human & supernatural worlds is at its thinnest, making them potent days for magic. Beltane may refer to the “fires of Bel,” in honor of the Celtic sun god, Belenus. Some pagans believed fire has the power to cleanse, purify & increase fertility.

Morning Madonna


Virgin and Child 1490s

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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

20C SPRING with Young Girls in White Dresses by Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)

Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American artist, 1858-1924) 1900-03 May Day, Central Park, New York City. The artist sometimes includes babies in carriages in his Springtime images.

Centuries of Celebrating Spring

May Day, usually the 1st of May, celebrates the onset of summer, the height of Spring, & the flowering of life. The ancient European festival of spring, Beltane, features a goddess which manifests as the May Queen & Flora. A god also emerges as the May King & Jack in the Green. In ancient European festivals of spring, Beltane, the dance around the Maypole represents their unity with the pole itself being the God & the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Mayday is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, & delight.

Some festival celebrants believed that on May Eve, you could bless your garden in by making love there with your partner. Union with the land was a May 1 focus, often with actual mating outside on other lands to bless fields, herds, home. Revellers welcomed May at dawn with singing & dancing. Later communities celebtated with Morris Dancers & more formal pageants featuring Jack-in-Green& a May Queen to awaken the fertility in the Land.

In ancient springtimes, gathering & exchanging of Flowers & Greens was common on May Eve. Merrymakers decorated homes, barns, & other buildings with green budding branches. Men & women made garlands & wreaths of Flowers & Greens. Early communities prepared a May basket by filling it with flowers & goodwill & then giving it to someone in need of healing & caring. Women in early cultures formed wreaths of freshly picked flowers to wear in the hair to radiate joy & beauty. Early groups often danced the Maypole to feel the balancing of the Divine Female & Male within.

In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime. Roman Catholic traditions of adoring statues of Mary with garlands of flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), & Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. On May 1, early cultures followed a pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. In early Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter & Summer were enacted at this time. Maypoles in Spain sometimes were topped with a male effigy which was later burned. In Germany, Fir trees were cut on May Eve by young unmarried men, branches removed, decorated, put up in village square, & guarded all night until dance occurred on May Day. In England , permanent Maypoles sometimes were erected on village greens. In some villages, there also were smaller Maypoles in the yards of households.

Fire was a common accompaniment to many May celebrations. Celebrants marked the holiday by lighting fires, dancing, feasting & often performing fertility rites. Many built a bonfire & then moved through it or danced clockwise around it. Livestock was driven around a Beltane fire or between 2 fires for purification & fertility blessings. In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places. In later times, Christian priests kindled their spring fires in fields near the church after performing a Christian church service. Branches & twigs often were carried around these fire 3 times, then hung over hearths to bless homes.  Risk-takers made a wish for good luck before jumping a bonfire or the flame of a candle. Some believe during May the veil between the human & supernatural worlds is at its thinnest, making them potent days for magic. Beltane may refer to the “fires of Bel,” in honor of the Celtic sun god, Belenus. Some pagans believe fire has the power to cleanse, purify & increase fertility.

Morning Madonna

Bernhard Strigel (German artist, 1460-1528)  The Holy Family

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.