Thursday, May 12, 2022

14C A Man (& his Bird!) as the Mythical Month of May

 

Month of May (detail) Pee. Brugge (Belgium), 14C. Illuminated latin manuscript on parchment. Origin: Benedictine Abbey of Notre Dame of Montebourg. now at Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

European manuscript Illuminations began at end of the 4C, as Christianity was spreading.  The need to illustrate books usually developed with a style specific to the region & civilization. In Western Europe, from the 6C until the 12C, the illustrated manuscript was mainly religious, created by Christain monks copyists (usually the scholars of their area) in abbeys. Towards the 13C with the development & growth of European universities & administrations, the demand for books was increasing & lay workshops were created.  During the 10 centuries of illuminations in Europe, several styles emerged : Island style (British Isles) & Merovingian (before the 9C), Carolingian style (9-10C), Romanesque style (10-12C), Transitional period (13C), Gothic style (14-16C). At the end of the 15C the invention of printing greatly reduced the production of  books painted by the human hand.

17C Mythical Goddess Flora - Spring by Jean Leblond 1605-1666

Flora holding a wreath of spring flowers by Jean Leblond 1605-1666 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, the last 3 days of April  & the first 3 days of May. The festival consisted of games  & theatrical performances. Chariot races  & circus games took place  & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The Romans held bouquets of flowers & often wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair.

See:
 Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
 Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
 H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
 William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

“Nature is the art of God.” Dante (1265-1321) - Creatures are filling the Spring Earth

Holding on to the Sweet Divine - “The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it.”  Genesis 2:15.   Opossums need Love, too... 

Earth's Creatures Stop to Smell the Flowers


Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate the rebirth of Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...Genesis 2:15.

The expression came into popular modern use in the 1960s & is a rephrasing of a sentiment found in a 1957 autobiography written by the golfer Walter Hagen (1892 - 1969): “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

Spring 2022 at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania


By the mid-1930s, Longwood had grown from the original 202 acres to 926 due to Pierre’s purchase of 25 contiguous properties over the years. In addition to horticulture, agriculture had always been important at Longwood, which started out, after all, as a farm.

Longwood’s agricultural & horticultural operations slowed considerably during World War II. Many employees served in the Armed Forces, & a 72-bed emergency hospital was set up in rooms above the Ballroom just in case the community needed it. Pierre du Pont was a “gentlemen farmer” who sought to create a self-sustaining model farm that used the latest techniques & methods. In reality, the farm was more an expansive, expensive hobby than a business, but it did produce food for the du Ponts & their employees.

As early as 1914 with the formation of Longwood, Inc., Pierre was thinking about the eventual fate of the property after his death. In 1944, Mrs. du Pont died, & Pierre initially retreated to his apartment in Wilmington during weekdays, visiting Longwood only on weekends. But he was more concerned than ever about Longwood's future, particularly since he had no children but considered the Gardens part of the du Pont family legacy.  

In 1913, the US government enacted personal income tax. In response, Pierre incorporated Longwood in 1914. He always tried to stay one step ahead of the IRS to keep his farm & gardens in the best possible tax situation, & in 1937 the Longwood Foundation was created to handle his charitable giving. Finally, in 1946, the government gave approval for the Foundation to operate Longwood Gardens as a public garden with tax-exempt status “for the sole use of the public for purposes of exhibition, instruction, education & enjoyment.”   See: Longwood Gardens History for more. 

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.” - Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

17C Mythical Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring

Pierre Gobert (1662-1744)  - Retrato de Noiva as The Goddess Flora

Flora in Roman mythology, was goddess of spring-time & flowers, later identified with the Greek Chloris. Her festival at Rome, the Floralia, instituted 238 B.C. by order of the Sibylline books & at first held irregularly, became annual after 173. It lasted 6 days (April 28-May 3), the 1st day being the anniversary of the foundation of her temple. 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, & consisted of games & theatrical performances. Chariot races & circus games took place & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The celebrating Romans held bouquets of flowers & wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair. In art Flora was represented as a beautiful maiden, bedecked with flowers. The term “flora” became used in botany collectively for the plant-growth of an area.

See Primary Sources:
Ovid, Fasti V. 193-212
Macrobius, Saturnalia I.10.11-14
Lactantius, Divinae institutions I.20.6-10
Tacitus, Annals, ii. 49
and
Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)

“Nature is the art of God.” Dante (1265-1321) - Creatures are filling the Spring Earth

Holding on to the Sweet Divine - “The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it.”  Genesis 2:15. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

17C Mythical Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring

18C Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) The Goddess Flora

Flora in Roman mythology, was goddess of spring-time & flowers, later identified with the Greek Chloris. Her festival at Rome, the Floralia, instituted 238 B.C. by order of the Sibylline books & at first held irregularly, became annual after 173. It lasted 6 days (April 28-May 3), the 1st day being the anniversary of the foundation of her temple. 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, & consisted of games & theatrical performances. Chariot races & circus games took place & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The celebrating Romans held bouquets of flowers & wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair. In art Flora was represented as a beautiful maiden, bedecked with flowers. The term “flora” became used in botany collectively for the plant-growth of an area.

See Primary Sources:
Ovid, Fasti V. 193-212
Macrobius, Saturnalia I.10.11-14
Lactantius, Divinae institutions I.20.6-10
Tacitus, Annals, ii. 49
and
Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)

Mythical Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring

 

Juan van der Hamen y (Gómez de) León (1596-1631) - Offering for Flora, 1627

Flora in Roman mythology, was goddess of spring-time & flowers, later identified with the Greek Chloris. Her festival at Rome, the Floralia, instituted 238 B.C. by order of the Sibylline books & at first held irregularly, became annual after 173. It lasted 6 days (April 28-May 3), the 1st day being the anniversary of the foundation of her temple. 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, & consisted of games & theatrical performances. Chariot races & circus games took place & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The celebrating Romans held bouquets of flowers & wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair. In art Flora was represented as a beautiful maiden, bedecked with flowers. The term “flora” became used in botany collectively for the plant-growth of an area.

See Primary Sources:
Ovid, Fasti V. 193-212
Macrobius, Saturnalia I.10.11-14
Lactantius, Divinae institutions I.20.6-10
Tacitus, Annals, ii. 49
and
Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)

Earth's Creatures Stop to Smell the Flowers

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate the rebirth of Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...Genesis 2:15.

The expression came into popular modern use in the 1960s & is a rephrasing of a sentiment found in an autobiography written by the golfer Walter Hagen: “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

Spring 2022 at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania


Pierre du Pont’s love for fountains stretched back to when he was mesmerized at the age of six by the huge display of water pumps at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With his indoor Conservatory now a reality, Pierre turned his full attention outdoors, where Longwood’s hydraulic splendors were already underway. Never mind that the property didn't have an abundant water supply; with electricity, anything was possible.

From 1925 to 1927, Pierre constructed  a Water Garden in a low-lying, marshy site northeast of Longwood’s Large Lake. The inspiration was the Villa Gamberaia, near Florence, Italy. The original did not have many fountains, but Longwood’s version had 600 jets in nine separate displays that shot from six blue-tiled pools & 12 pedestal basins.

At the same time, Pierre installed a 40-foot tall jet fountain at the end of the central allée in Peirce’s Park. It is said that Mrs. du Pont could turn the fountain on for her house guests with a switch. Pierre next decided to enlarge the Open Air Theatre & replace the old waterworks with 750 illuminated jets that continue to elicit thrills today.

Pierre’s hydraulic masterpiece was the Main Fountain Garden in front of the Conservatory: 10,000 gallons a minute shot as high as 130 feet & illuminated in every imaginable color. Its complex engineering didn't faze him. "The fountains themselves are of simple design...," he noted. "It is the landscape effect that adds to the total bill."

The completion of the fountains in the mid-1930s marked an end to major construction during Pierre’s lifetime, although he did build a 30-by-36-foot oval analemmatic sundial in what is now the Topiary Garden in the late 1930s.

In 1929-30, Pierre  constructed Longwood’s 61-foot-tall stone Chimes Tower based on a similar structure he had seen in France. In 1956, the original chimes were replaced with a 32-note electronic carillon. In 2000, a new 62-bell carillon was crafted in The Netherlands.

The Longwood Steinway Grand Piano was purchased by Pierre du Pont from Steinway & Sons in 1923. Du Pont was an amateur pianist & had a great love of music & all the performing arts. He wanted the world‘s most finely crafted instrument that he, his family, friends, & visiting artists could use to play music of the highest quality sound.

Located in the Ballroom, Pierre S. du Pont constructed the largest residence organ in the world—Longwood's 10,010 pipe Aeolian organ, in 1930. These resident instruments remain cornerstones of Longwood's performing arts programming, which presents world-class artists in unparalleled settings.

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.” - Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Scarlet Tanager in White Hall, Maryland on May 7, 2022

 


Holding on to the Sweet Divine - “The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it.”  Genesis 2:15. 

Mother's Day!

Thank you for loving me & for always being there! Miss you daily...

The Dear Surprise Personification in the Spring Garden!

1645 Joachim von Sandrart (After) Joachim von Sandrart (Published by) Jonas Suyderhoef Dutch - April

Saturday, May 7, 2022

17C Mythical Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring

Justus Sustermans (Flemish painter, 1597-1681) Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany as the Goddess Flora

Flora in Roman mythology, was goddess of spring-time & flowers, later identified with the Greek Chloris. Her festival at Rome, the Floralia, instituted 238 B.C. by order of the Sibylline books & at first held irregularly, became annual after 173. It lasted 6 days (April 28-May 3), the 1st day being the anniversary of the foundation of her temple. 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, & consisted of games & theatrical performances. Chariot races & circus games took place & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The celebrating Romans held bouquets of flowers & wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair. In art Flora was represented as a beautiful maiden, bedecked with flowers. The term “flora” became used in botany collectively for the plant-growth of an area.

See Primary Sources:
Ovid, Fasti V. 193-212
Macrobius, Saturnalia I.10.11-14
Lactantius, Divinae institutions I.20.6-10
Tacitus, Annals, ii. 49
and
Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)