Friday, March 31, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Royal 1 D X fol-7 Holy Women at the Empty Tomb


Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1580 Female Personification of Spring - Flora, Goddess of Flowers

1580 Dutch Personification of Flora - Spring

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino Madonna and Child 1460-80 Uffizi

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, March 30, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Lansdowne 462 fol-50v Detail The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.


17C Female Personification of Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Duchess of Lennox as Spring

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Bono da Ferrara or Bono Ferrarese (fl 1450-1452) Madonna 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, March 29, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Lansdowne 383 fol-13 Holy Women at the Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.


1482 Female Personification of Spring

1482 Sandro Botticelli (Italian artist, 1445-1510) Primavera, or Allegory of Spring Detail

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Virgin and Child 1475-1500, a painting by Flemish Unknown Masters.

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, March 28, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Holkham Bible fol-34v & 35r Peter Owen 1b The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1799 Female Personification of Spring - Flora the Goddess of Flowers

Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun-French, 1755 - 1842 - Portrait of Countess Kagenek as A Spring Flora

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

1799 Post French Revolution Spring Flora

Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun-French, 1755 - 1842 - Princess Galitzine as Eudocia Ivanovna Flora 1799 Painted with Post-Revolution Flowers & a Basket on her head rather than a royal crown.

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Madonna and Child Nursing. Early Flemish School 16th century

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.

Monday, March 27, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 4328 fol-410 The Empty Tomb Resurrection


Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

19C Female Personification of Spring

Sebastiano Mazzolino. An Allegory of Spring, 1800s

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


José de Paez. (Mexican artist, 1720-1795) Nuestra Señora de Refugio 1780

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.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 3999 fol-15v Re The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1799 Female Personification of Spring - Flora the Goddess of Flowers

Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun-French, 1755 - 1842 - Julie Lebrun as a Spring Flora - 1799. Painted with Post-Revolution Flowers & a Basket on her head rather than a royal crown.

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Antoniazzo Romano (c 1452-c 1512) Virgin and Child with Donor Detail

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.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 3000 fol-138v Instruments of the Passion The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1620 Personification of Spring

1620 Follower of Abraham Janssens, also called Abraham Janssens Van Nuyssen Flemish artist, 1573-1632) Portrait of a Lady as Spring

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Fanny Geefs (Belgian artist, 1807–1883) Maria with 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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 2966 fol-84v Christ The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1697 Female Personification of Spring - Flora, Goddess of Flowers

Luca Giordano & Andrea Belvedere, Flora, Goddess of Flowers, Ca. 1697

"In ancient mythology, there was a god & goddess for everything; anything from the generic deity above all others to love to home life...One mythology painting is from the collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Spain. The Goddess Flora (La Diosa Flora), Luca Giordano & Andrea Belvedere, c. 1697... 

"Luca Giordano was considered a very popular Spanish painter within the Spanish court under Charles II. While, Andrea Belvedere, who lived in Spain from c. 1694 to c. 1700 was believed to be called from his home in Naples, Italy, by Giordano himself, to paint for the Spanish court. The work is supposedly one of several collaborations between Giordano (who painted the goddess Flora & the seated women) & Belvedere (who executed all the intricate flowers)... 


"The Goddess Flora...depicts the goddess sitting on a raised throne surrounded by 4 women, with whom she shares various, colorful flowers. These are taken from a massive, overflowing cornucopia in her left arm...


"All 5 women are dressed mostly in “classical”clothing, but have touches of contemporary pieces...The maiden to Flora’s right wears a simple string of pearls around her neck; & another maiden has a pair of pearl, teardrop-shaped earrings on. Compared to the muted tones of the clothing of the 5 women, the flowers are vibrantly painted & dominate the color scheme of the whole piece...The flowers easily show us the contrasts in the styles of Giordano & Belvedere.


"The 4 women, whose dresses are of completely different colors, together as a group may, in theory, represent the “Four Seasons”. The woman on the right of Flora wears a garland of flowers in her hair & another woman, to Flora’s left, gathers a rather large bundle of flowers. They easily could represent Spring & Summer. Yet another woman is in a rust-colored dress...would be Autumn. Finally, the last woman with no flowers could be Winter.


"Paintings like this were a favorite subject of art commissioned for royalty all over the world, as a passion for the story; as much as, the use of that myth to elevate themselves as divinely-appointed rulers..." 


Posted 13th February 2013 by Christopher M. Hammel
The "Unofficial" Blog of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Cimabue, Santa Trinita Madonna (Madonna and Child Enthroned), 1280-90

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, March 23, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 2887 fol-59 The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection The Risen Christ

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

18C Female Personification of Spring

1711 Four Seasons Le Printems by Nicolas Chateau Published by Nicolas Chateau After Robert Tournières  Paris

Here Spring is depicted as a draped female figure, Her left breast is unveiled & exposed, and she is picking a flower from a curved garden arch above her. This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Benedetto Bonfigli (c. 1420–1496) Madonna and Child 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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 2889 fol-41 Holy Women at the Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1620 Female Personification of Spring

Springe; print by Martin Droeshout 1620-30

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Jaume Serra (Catalonean artist, d c 1405) Virgen de Tobed 1359

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, March 21, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 2838 fol-30v Miniatures The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

5C-6C Female Personification of Spring

Bust of Spring ca. 5C– 6C CE Tapestry weave of dyed wools. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This small tapestry panel comes from Egypt. That area had a major weaving (especially linen) industry throughout the ancient and medieval period, which brought the country a great deal of its trade and wealth. Unlike the textiles of other cultures, many of these pieces have been preserved by Egypt's hot, dry climate, which prevents rotting. Personifications of the seasons were thought to represent prosperity. 

Historically in many cultures, a female personification or a Spring goddess celebrated the hope of new growth as the decay of winter gave way to Nature's renewal and rebirth.  Spring begins with the first green shoots and explodes into a multitude of beautiful blossoms and promise of good harvest. In ancient times, communities often held festivals to celebrate Spring goddesses who were associated with flowering, growth and fertility of the land. 

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna


Jacob van Oost the Elder (Belgian artist, 1601–1671) 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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 2449 fol-167v Holy women at The Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1670s Female Personification of Spring

Female personification of spring, seated, garlands of flowers on head and body, holding bunch of flowers, one hand on infant similarly draped in flowers; large vase with flowers on wall to right; a garden fountain. Unknown artist.  Sold by P Van Somer, 1674-1694 London. 

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Icon of Madonna and Child at Saint Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church, West Paterson, New Jersey

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.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Harley 928 fol-9 The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1690 Female Personification of Spring

1690 Pierre Gobert (French artist, 1662-1744) Daughters of Henri Jules de Bourbon as The Four Seasons Spring holding flowers

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French Academic painter, 1825-1905) The Virgin of the Lilies 

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.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Egerton 2781 fol-170 The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection


Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1783 Female Personification of Spring

1783 Spring with a bouquet & a fountain from The Four Seasons  by Joseph Staton London

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), The Manchester Madonna and Child with St John and Angels c 1497

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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Egerton 2653 fol-75 The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. He continues, "For some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast." He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

1799 Female Personification of Spring - Flora the Goddess of Flowers

Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun-French, 1755 - 1842 - Princess Galitzine as Eudocia Ivanovna Flora 1799 Painted with Post-Revolution Flowers & a Basket on her head rather than a royal crown.

This year Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th. Spring & "springtime" refer to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Morning Madonna

Andrea del Verrocchio (Italian Early Renaissance artist, c 1435-1488) Madonna and Child 1470

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, March 16, 2017

LENT: Preparing for the Shock of the Empty Tomb - Illuminated Manuscripts

British Library - Arundel 108 fol-10v Detail The Empty Tomb - The Resurrection

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were afraid.  And he saith unto them, Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  Mark Chapter 16

The Teutonic word Lent, used to denote the 40 days preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. During the first 3 centuries after the Resurrection of Christ, there was considerable diversity of practice regarding a fast before Easter and also a gradual process of development in the matter of its duration. An early reference is quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with Easter. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. "For", he continues, "some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast". He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date, which implies that there was no Apostolic tradition on the subject.

Economics in the Garden - 17C Dutch Children with those pricey tulips + other flowers, toys, fruits, & pets

1568 Unknown artist Portrait of a Girl holding a Rose & a Basket of Cherries.  Portraits at this period were loaded with levels of symbolism, and so, the rose and the cherries could just be symbols, which the contemporary viewer would have understood. And on another level, they could suggest some tasks the child might be involved in, such as picking cherries.

In the Middle Ages, children usually were portrayed in art as miniature adults with no childish characteristics. In the 16C, images of children began to acquire a distinct childish appearance. From the 17C onwards, children were shown with tulips, toys & pets. 


 1590s Adriaen van der Linde (Dutch artist, 1560-1609) Portrait of a Young Girl, Adriaen van der Linde wearing coral necklaces & holding a rattle & basket

Before the 18C, children in portraits were usually dressed in the highest adult fashion appearing stiff & uncomfortable.


;1603 Attributed to Adriaen van der Linde (Dutch artist, 1560-1609) Three-Year-Old Boy with Colf Stick

Many of these children seem to be posed on a flat dark stage made up of a patterned black & white floor, typical of domestic interiors in the Netherlands in this period.  During the 1600s, a shift in philosophical & social attitudes toward children & the notion of 'childhood' began in Europe.  Adults increasingly saw children as separate beings, innocent & in need of protection & training by the adults around them. Many of these portraits show the child in an interior, totally protected from the wild nature outside.


 1605 Artist van Zelven (Probably a German artist) Portrait of a Child with a Dog is the only recorded work by an artist who is identified on the floor tiles.

As the 17C progressed, artists increasingly portrayed children near windows showing nature and gardens beyond.  Some actually began to paint children in natural settings or surrounded by natural objects.  The children themselves draw the viewers' attention to nature, some point to a natural object, some carry baskets of fruit or flowers, others play with birds or pets.


 1609 Circle of Jan Claesz (Enkhuizen painter, b 1570- a 1618) An eight-year-old boy, possibly of the Blauhulck family, with his horse. 


 1611 Paulus van Somer (Flemish artist, c. 1577 -1621) Child with a Rattle, Fruit, & a Dog 


1609 Circle of Jan Claesz (Enkhuizen painte, b 1570- a 1618) An eight-year-old boy, possibly of the Blauhulck family, with his horse & dog


1620s Unknown artist Portrait of a Young Boy holding a Garland of flowers 


1625 Unknown Artist of the Dutch school, Girl with cherries & doll.  


 1627 Attributed to Robert Peake the Elder (active 1576–1626) A young Boy aged Four of the Howard Family in an interior. 


 1629 Attr to Dirck Dircksz van Santvoort (Dutch artist, 1610-1680) Portrait of a Child in an interior  aged Two Holding a tame Parrot


 1629 Unknown artist of the Dutch School Two Little Dutch Children in an interior with a view of Nature, Aprons, Holding Apples, Cherries, & a Straw Bag.  


 1630s Jan Cornelisz van Loenen (Dutch artist, 1590-1630) Portrait of a Little Girl


 1631 Unknown artist Sarra de Peyster in an interior. Inscription [at upper left] Sarra Depeyster AEtatis  30 Maenden 23 Mey 1631   The child here is holding a precious tulip. 

 1631 Wybrand de Geest (Dutch artist, 1592-1661-65) Portrait of a Boy with a 'Colf' Stick 


 1632 Artist said to be a David Finnon, Small Girl with Remembrance Coin & cherries. 


 1632 Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (Dutch painter, 1572-1657) Portrait of Joannes de Ruyter, 1632 - Princess Salimah Aga Khan. 


 1634 Harmen Willems Wieringa (Dutch painter, c 1597-1645) Portrait of Ida Catharina van Paffenrode with a Dog and a Basket of fruit.  


 1635 Unknown artist of the Dutch (Friesland) School Portrait of a Girl, Aged One, with a Rattle and a Coral Necklace in an interior


 1636 Unknown artist Child in an interior with a coral necklace & rattle holding a pricey white tulip during a period where tulipmania was still strong & the tulip was precious.


 1644 Unknown artist of the Dutch School Portrait of a Boy, Aged Three, with a Large Hat & a Parrot


 1646 Portrait of a Child with a Toy Goat by an unknown Dutch artist


1650 Unknown artist of the Dutch School Young Boy with Flowers 


 1657 Jan Jansz. de Stomme (Dutch painter, 1615-c 1657)  Portrait of Evert en Reint Lewe with hats & coral necklaces.


 1664 Cesar Pietersz, or Cesar Boetius van Everdingen (1616-17-1678) Two-year-old Boy with an Apple and a Bird.

1680 Arent de Gelder (Dutch artist, 1645-1727) Portrait of a child, presumed Mattys Decker (b.1679)

If you are interested in the role of children in 17C Europe & its evolution, you might wish to read one of these books.

Ariès, Philippe. 1962. Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life. Trans. Robert Baldick. New York: Knopf.

Badinter, Elisabeth. 1981. The Myth of Motherhood: An Historical View of the Maternal Instinct. London: Souvenir.

Boswell, John. 1988. The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance. New York: Pantheon.

Cunningham, Hugh. 1995. Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500. London: Longman.

Dekker, Jeroen, Leendert Groenendijk, and Johan Verberckmoes. 2000. "Proudly Raising Vulnerable Youngsters: The Scope for Education in the Netherlands." in Pride and Joy: Children's Portraits in the Netherlands 1500−1700, ed. Jan Baptist Bedaux and Rudi Ekkart. Ghent, Belgium: Ludion.

Griffiths, Paul. 1996. Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560−1640. Oxford, UK: Clarendon.

Haas, Louis. 1998. The Renaissance Man and His Children: Childbirth and Early Childhood in Florence, 1300−1600. New York: St. Martin's.

Heywood, Colin. 2001. A History of Childhood: Children and Childhood in the West from Medieval to Modern Times. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Krausman Ben-Amos, Ilana. 1994. Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Macfarlane, Alan. 1986. Marriage and Love in England. Modes of Reproduction 1300−1840. London: B. Blackwell.

Mause, Lloyd de. 1974. The History of Childhood. New York: Psycho-history Press.

Pollock, Linda. 1983. Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Pollock, Linda. 1987. A Lasting Relationship: Parents and their Children over Three Centuries. London: Fourth Estate.
> Roberts, Benjamin B. 1996. "Fatherhood in Eighteenth-Century Holland: The Van der Muelen Brothers." in Journal of Family History 21: 218–228.

Roberts, Benjamin B. 1998. Through the Keyhole. Dutch Child-rearing Practices in the 17th and 18th Century: Three Urban Elite Families. Hilversum, Netherlands: Verloren.

Schama, Simon. 1987. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Knopf.

Shahar, Shulamith. 1990. Childhood in the Middle Ages. Trans. Chaya Galai. London: Routledge.

Shorter, Edward. 1975. The Making of the Modern Family. New York: Basic Books.

Stone, Lawrence. 1977. The Family, Sex, and Marriage in England 1500−1800. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.ed. Jan Baptist Bedaux and Rudi Ekkart. Ghent, Belgium: Ludion.