Saturday, January 12, 2019

17C Gentlewomen as the Goddess Minerva of War, the Arts, & Wisdom

1640 Margaret Yolande of Savoy, Duchess of Parma as Minerva

Early artists painted their contemporaries somewhat like allegories, & often painters would put the faces of their patrons or sponsors on the bodies of the saints. These came to be called donor portraits. Allegorical portraits remained popular; and as time passed, they expanded to show the sitter as a Greek goddess, or muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting. These allegories grew to include strong portraits of Minerva wearing idealized attire, nothing like the clothing worn by real women of the period. Dressing scantily or provocatively would have been frowned upon if a proper lady was sitting for a portrait in contemporary clothing, but if she were posing as an ancient goddess or muse, a little skin was perfectly acceptable.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom & sponsor of arts, trade, & war. She was born of Jupiter with weapons. She was fierce, and she was brilliant. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, & magic.

Today Minerva is displayed on the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government.

Friday, January 11, 2019

17C Gentlewomen as the Goddess Minerva of War, the Arts, & Wisdom

1640 Charles Dauphin (French artist, c 1620-1677) Marie Christine de France as Minerva

Early artists painted their contemporaries somewhat like allegories, & often painters would put the faces of their patrons or sponsors on the bodies of the saints.  These came to be called donor portraits.  Allegorical portraits remained popular; and as time passed, they expanded to show the sitter as a Greek goddess, or muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting.  These allegories grew to include strong portraits of Minerva wearing idealized attire, nothing like the clothing worn by real women of the period.  Dressing scantily or provocatively would have been frowned upon if a proper lady was sitting for a portrait in contemporary clothing, but if she were posing as an ancient goddess or muse, a little skin was perfectly acceptable.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom & sponsor of arts, trade, & war. She was born of Jupiter with weapons. She was fierce, and she was brilliant.  From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, & magic.

In the early 20C, Manuel José Estrada Cabrera, President of Guatemala, tried to promote a "Worship of Minerva" in his country; this left little legacy other than a few interesting Hellenic style "Temples" in parks around Guatemala.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

17C Gentlewomen as the Goddess Minerva of War, the Arts, & Wisdom

1620s Paulus Moreelse (Dutch artist, 1571-1638) Unidentified Lady as Minerva

Early artists painted their contemporaries somewhat like allegories, & often painters would put the faces of their patrons or sponsors on the bodies of the saints.  These came to be called donor portraits.  Allegorical portraits remained popular; and as time passed, they expanded to show the sitter as a Greek goddess, or muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting.  These allegories grew to include strong portraits of Minerva wearing idealized attire, nothing like the clothing worn by real women of the period.  Dressing scantily or provocatively would have been frowned upon if a proper lady was sitting for a portrait in contemporary clothing, but if she were posing as an ancient goddess or muse, a little skin was perfectly acceptable.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom & sponsor of arts, trade, & war. She was born of Jupiter with weapons. She was fierce, and she was brilliant.  From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, & magic.

Today the Great Seal of the State of California which was adopted at the California state Constitutional Convention of 1849, shows the Roman goddess Minerva (Athena in Greek mythology), the goddess of wisdom & war, because she was born an adult & California was never a territory.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

English artist Arthur Hughes 1832-1915 The Family Together

Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) Music Party 1864

It's funny that no matter how old I get, when I think of family parties, I remember the images of English artist Arthur Hughes, an illustrator for both adults & children. His children remind me of my grandchildren.
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) Mrs Leathart & her Children
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) Of Love and Beauty
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) In the King's Orchard
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) A Birthday Party
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) In the Grass.  
Arthur Hughes (English artist, 1832–1915) Faith

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018

SUMMER Spin -Time to Head Outdoors to Spin the Wool & to Fall in Love

Meeting of Saint Margaret and the Prefect Olibrius by Jean Fouquet. 1452 -60 for Étienne Chevalier.  A common image in medieval manuscripts is a woman spinning while standing, often the lady is depicted spinning wool amongst sheep.

A textile is a fibrous substance, such as wool, cotton, flax, or silk, that can be spun into yarn & woven or knitted into cloth.  Stone Age peoples wove nets, baskets, mats, & belts out of reeds, grasses, & strips of animal hides - and this eventually led to the creation of fabrics to substitute for the animal skins which often served as human clothing. Ancient textiles were made mostly of linen, cotton, wool, & silk. Spinning & weaving were mentioned in the Bible. 
From Exodus 35:25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands & brought ...... All the women who were skilled in sewing & spinning prepared blue, purple, & scarlet thread, & fine linen cloth... 
From Proverbs 31:19 In her hand she holds the distaff...Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. ... She extends her hands to the spinning staff, & her hands hold the spindle...

As civilizations developed, the people, the fibers, & the different methods tools invented for turning the fibers into cloth traveled to different parts of the world, & many ideas on making textiles were exchanged among various peoples. Spinning is the simple process of drawing out a twisting of a few fibers together into a continuous length, & winding them into a ball or onto a stick. There is archaeological evidence to suggest that spinning was practiced in Europe at least as early as 20,000 years ago. In the early days of spinning, the drawing out & twisting of the fibers was done by hand; later the winding stick itself was modified by the addition of a weight, or whorl, at its lower end (which gave increased momentum). Thus a modified winding stick became the spinning implement, or hand spindle.

SUMMER Spin -Time to Head Outdoors to Spin & Tend the Chickens!

Woman carrying a distaff under her arm while feeding chickens. Luttrell Psalter, British Library, London 1300s England


Eons ago just as today, a textile was a fibrous substance, such as wool, cotton, flax, or silk, that can be spun into yarn & woven or knitted into cloth.  Stone Age peoples wove nets, baskets, mats, & belts out of reeds, grasses, & strips of animal hides - and eventually led to the creation of fabrics to substitute for the animal skins which often served as human clothing. Ancient textiles were made mostly of linen, cotton, wool, & silk. Spinning & weaving were mentioned in the Bible. 



From Exodus 35:25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands & brought ...... All the women who were skilled in sewing & spinning prepared blue, purple, & scarlet thread, & fine linen cloth... 

From Proverbs 31:19 In her hand she holds the distaff...Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. ... She extends her hands to the spinning staff, & her hands hold the spindle...

As civilizations developed, the people, the fibers, & the different methods tools invented for turning the fibers into cloth traveled to different parts of the world, & many ideas on making textiles were exchanged among various peoples. Spinning is the simple process of drawing out a twisting of a few fibers together into a continuous length, & winding them into a ball or onto a stick. There is archaeological evidence to suggest that spinning was practiced in Europe at least as early as 20,000 years ago. In the early days of spinning, the drawing out & twisting of the fibers was done by hand; later the winding stick itself was modified by the addition of a weight, or whorl, at its lower end (which gave increased momentum). Thus a modified winding stick became the spinning implement, or hand spindle.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

10-Year-Old Nova Scotia Girl Learning about Proper Tea Ettiquite at Finishing School in Early America


Anna Green Winslow (1759-1779) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the daughter of Joshua Winslow & his wife Anna Green. In 1770, at the age of 10, she was sent south to a finishing school in Boston, where she lived with her aunt & uncle, Sarah & John Deming. During her separation from her family, she kept a diary sporadically from November 1771 to May 1773. Her aunt encouraged the diary as a penmanship exercise & as a running letter to her parents. Most entries detail her daily routine. She writes of sermons; weather; entertainments; current fashions; & family matters. And this 10-year-old girl writes of taking tea with friends & family of all ages. Winslow was reunited with her parents in 1773, when Joshua Winslow moved them to Marshfield, Massachusetts. In 1775, he was exiled as a Tory; but his family remained behind. Before the end of the Revolution, Anna Green Winslow died of tuberculosis in Hingham, Massachusetts. Anna was 20, when she died.

Some excerpts from Anna's diary:

Nov'r 18, 1771 ...Mr. Beacon ask'd a question. What is beauty--or, wherein does true beauty consist? He answer'd, in holiness--and said a great deal about it that I can't remember, & as aunt says she hasnt leisure now to help me any further--so I may just tell you a little that I remember without her assistance, and that I repeated to her yesterday at tea



Jan'y 31, 1772 ... I was at Aunt Sukey's with Mrs Barrett dress'd in a white brocade, & cousin Betsey dress'd in a red lutestring, both adorn'd with past, perlsmarquesett &c. They were after tea escorted by Mr. Newton & Mr Barrett to ye assembly at Concert Hall...



Feb. 18, 1772 ...Saterday I din'd at Unkle Storer's, drank tea at Cousin Barrel's, was entertain'd in the afternoon with scating...



March 9, 1772 ...It's now tea time--as soon as that is over, I shall spend the rest of the evening in reading to my aunt. It is near candle lighting...



April 14, 1772 ...I went a visiting yesterday to Col. Gridley's with my aunt. After tea Miss Becky Gridley sung a minuet. Miss Polly Deming & I danced to her musick...



April 16, 1772 ...I dined with Aunt Storer yesterday & spent the afternoon very agreeably at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer is not very well, but she drank tea with us...



April 24, 1772 ...I drank tea at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer was there, she seemed to be in charming good health & spirits...



May 11, 1772 ...I had the pleasure of drinking tea with aunt Thomas the same day, the family all well, but Mr G who seems to be near the end of the journey of life...



May 16, 1772 ...Thursday I danc'd a minuet & country dances at school, after which I drank tea with aunt Storer...



May 31, 1772 ...I spent the afternoon at unkle Joshua's. yesterday, after tea, I went to see how aunt Storer did...



Source: Diary of Anna Green Winslow, A Boston School Girl of 1771 (edited by A. M. Earle 1894).


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Gone Fishing - in 1600s England



Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Angling



Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) River Fishing



Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Salmon Fishing


Friday, December 23, 2016

Waterside with Canadian Paul Peel 1860-1892



Paul Peel (Canadian-born artist, 1860-1892) The Young Botanist 1888-90

Paul Peel was a Canadian academic painter. Having won a medal at the 1890 Paris Salon, he became one of the first Canadian artists to receive international recognition in his lifetime.

Paul Peel (Canadian-born artist, 1860-1892) The Beach at Normandy c.1887



Paul Peel (Canadian-born artist, 1860-1892) The Young Gleaner 1888


Monday, December 19, 2016

Waterside with Frenchman Édouard Manet 1832-1883



Édouard Manet (French artist, 1832-1883) The Beach at Boulogne in 1868



Édouard Manet (French artist, 1832-1883) On The Beach 1873


Édouard Manet (French artist, 1832-1883) Boating 1874



Édouard Manet (French artist, 1832-1883) Seascape at Arcachon 1871


Saturday, December 17, 2016

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


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Waterside with Frenchman Pierre Auguste Renoir 1841-1919


Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Children on the Seashore Guernsey 1883



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) On the Beach, Figures under a Parasol 1898



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) By the Seashore 1883



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Children on the Seashore Guernsey 1883



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Figures on the Beach 1890s


Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Two Little Girls at the Beach



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) The Beach at Purnic



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Young Girls on the Beach 1898



Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) By the Water


Sunday, December 11, 2016

1749 September


1749 September - John June (Print made by) D Voisin (Published by) London

Most iconography of months evolved from Medieval & early Renaissance art depicting in 12 scenes the rural activities that commonly took place in the months of the year. These early illustrations are important to the development of landscape painting. And I like them, because they illustrate much about early gardening and foodways.  This particular image, however, is more about fashion than food.

A typical simple scheme might include:
January - Feasting
February - Sitting by a fire
March - Pruning trees, or digging
April - Planting, enjoying the country or picking flowers
May - Hawking, courtly love
June - Hay harvest
July - Wheat harvest
August - Wheat threshing
September - Grape harvest
October - Ploughing or sowing
November - Gathering acorns for pigs
December - Killing pigs, baking

But there were many variations, especially in major wine-growing areas, where more wine related scenes were included. Illustrations from further south, such as Italian cycles, often advance the agricultural scenes a month earlier than ones from the more northern Low countries or England.