Sunday, April 30, 2017

April to May


Morning Madonna

William Adolphe Bouguereau (French academic painter, 1825–1905) Holy Family with John the Baptist.  Mary works with yarn as the young boys play.

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, April 29, 2017

18C Allegories of Spring - Love & Bird Nests


1797 Spring Spring published by Haines & Son London

 This depiction of Spring shows three children bird-nesting. A boy on the left is climbing down a tree with a nest, while another on the right holds a nest in his hat. A girl holds a chick. 

Morning Madonna

William Dyce (Scottish painter, 1806-1864) 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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

18C Personifications of Spring - Fashion-Forward Maidens

1748 Spring Charles Corbutt After Robert Pyle Published by Robert Sayer London. Here Spring is depicted as a fashionably-dressed young woman standing on a garden terrace arranging a trailing plant around the plinth of an urn with a basket of flowers on the plinth. Here also is the bird visiting its nest in a tree behind to left. 

Morning Madonna

Giampietrino, possibly Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active 1495–1549), Madonna and Child 1520s

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, April 27, 2017

18C Personifications of Spring - Fashion-Forward Maidens


1752 Spring published by Elizabeth Bakewell After Philippe Mercier London

Here Spring is a well-dressed young woman with bows down her bodice and a tipped hat, sitting on a grass garden ledge. She is holding a fan in her right hand and a flower in her left.

Morning Madonna

Giampietrino, possibly Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active 1495–1549), Madonna and Child 1520s

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, April 26, 2017

18C Personifications of Spring - Fashion-Forward Maiden

1774 Spring print Anonymous artist painted in the style of Italian artist Rosalba Carriera 1675-1757 Published by Sayer & Bennett 1774-1784 in London

This young woman portraying Spring is shown wearing flowers in her hair, pearl earrings and bracelets. She is dressed in a loose gown which slips from her shoulder and a cloak, and she is holding up a bunch of flowers in her left hand.

Morning Madonna

Workshop of Gerard David (Netherlandish, ca. 1460–1523), Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1514.

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, April 25, 2017

16C Spring Allegories - Birding, Fishing, & Tending Sheep

Sebastian Vrancx (Flemish artist, 1573-1647) Allegory of the Seasons Spring

Morning Madonna


Unknown Master, French Virgin and Child with Angels 1395

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, April 24, 2017

17C Spring Flora - Jan Brueghel II, (1601-1678) & Abraham Govaerts (1581-1642)

Jan Brueghel II, (1601-1678) and Abraham Govaerts (1581-1642) Flora Seated in a Wooded Landscape Surrounded by Flowers

Here, Flora, the ancient Italian goddess of flowers, is draped in luxurious cream & scarlet robes & contrasting with the blue landscape behind her. Set in a secluded wooded clearing filled with an astonishing variety of wild flowers, the classical subject matter blends with Flemish realism in the 2 rustic huts depicted on the hill at the right.

Flora is framed by flowers. At her left side, rests a myriad of luscious pink roses, narcissi, buttercups, violas, primroses & poppies; while on her other side, tulips & bluebells mingle together. Nestled in the lush grass next to a wicker basket overflowing with blooms are 2 small rabbits. Throughout the ages the rabbit has been a symbol of fertility & lust. Perhaps these rabbits allude to the licentious nature of Flora’s ancient Roman festival, the Floralia which was held in April & included theatrical entertainment featuring naked women. 

Both Ovid & Lucretius describe the goddess Flora in their works. Lucretius, in his explanation of the origins of nature, De Rerum Natura, describes how Flora followed in the footsteps of Zephyr (the east wind) in the spring time, strewing his way with blossoms.1  Ovid, from whom Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) later drew inspiration for his Primavera (Uffizi Gallery, Florence), tells of Flora fleeing from Zephyr: "When he at length embraced her, flowers spilled from her lips; & she was transformed into Flora."

Abraham Govaerts’ paintings typically incorporate mythological or biblical subjects within a mannerist landscape. Figures, in this case flowers, were often added by other artists.  Brueghel II & Govaerts frequently collaborated on works, particularly those with mythological subject matter. Govaerts arranged the landscape, & Jan Brueghel II painted the flowers. The tradition of lush flower painting was established by Brueghel II’s father, Jan Brueghel I (1568-1625).

¹ Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.736-739.
² Ovid, Fasti V.193-214. 
See original article plus more information here. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1616 Spring, Summer, & Autumn - Locus amoenus, Allegories by Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632

Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632 Spring, 1616

As in these paintings, allegorical characters in stories & in art of this period were often located in garden settings. The locus amoenus was one of the traditional locations of epic & chivalric literature. As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose & verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of Medieval & Early Modern Europe.  Locus amoenus (Latin for "pleasant place") is a literary term which generally referring to an idealized place of safety or comfort, usually a beautiful, shady parkland or open woods, sometimes with connotations of Eden. A locus amoenus usually has 3 basic elements: trees, grass, & water. 


Often, the locus amoenus garden will be in a remote setting & with only components or suggestions of a more formal, geometric, walled garden, such as the flower pots seen above. The locus amoenus can also be used to highlight the differences between urban & rural life or be a place of refuge from the processes of time & mortality. In some works, such gardens also have overtones of the regenerative powers of human sexuality marked out by flowers, & goddesses of springtime, love, & fertility. Ernst Robert Curtius formulated the concept's definition in his European Literature & the Latin Middle Ages (1953). 


Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632 Summer, 1616


Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632 Autumn, 1616

Morning Madonna

Giampietrino, possibly Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active 1495–1549), Madonna and Child 1520s 

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, April 22, 2017

1536 Spring & The Elements Allegories by Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678 Frans Francken the Younger 1581-1642

1636 Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601-1678) Frans Francken the Younger (Flemish, 1581-1642) A remote Landscape Setting with Allegories of the Four Elements

Here 4 seated women representing water, air, earth, & fire are surrounded by a lush landscape. The fish flowing from the water jug & the cornucopia of abundance cradled in the arms of the figure on the right correspond to the tactile elements of water & earth. The birds in the sky & trees & the accoutrements of battle in the foreground correspond to the intangible elements of fire & air. The figures, the still life objects, & the landscape work together as a unified scene, yet two different artists worked to create this painting. Frequent collaborators, the skilled figure painter Frans Francken II painted the women & background figures, & Jan Brueghel the Younger described the landscape. 


Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601-1678) Frans Francken the Younger (Flemish, 1581-1642) A remote Landscape Setting with an Allegory of Water and Earth


Such collaboration between artists was common in Antwerp during the 1600s, as artists often specialized in either landscape or figure painting. Flemish artists of the time repeatedly painted representations of the 4 elements, suggesting that it was a popular subject with buyers. Brueghel the Younger depicted the senses, the elements, or the seasons as allegories many times throughout his career, either together or individually.  


1630s. A remote Landscape Setting with Ceres (Allegory of Earth). Landscape by Jan Brueghel the Younger figures after Hendrick van Balen. 

Here, earth is represented by the goddess Ceres, who is surrounded with a satyr, putti, & a figure holding a sheaf of wheat. Ceres, whose name means "creator," was the goddess of agriculture, worshiped over a large part of ancient Italy.

Those winged toddlers over Ceres' head in the painting clutching her crown, are they religious cherubs or secular putti?  A putto (pl. putti) is a figure of a human toddler, usually male, often naked with wings, depicted especially in Italian Renaissance & Baroque art. The Latin word "putus" means boy or child. During the early modern period, artist Donatello revived & popularized putti figures in Florence during the 1420s.

Neroccio De' Landi (1447-1500) Two Putti, 1490-1510

In the European culture of the 1400s & 1500s, Cherubs & Putti had distinctly different roles. Biblically, Cherubs & Seraphs (Cherubim & Seraphim) were sacred angels in heaven closest to God. Putti, arose from Greco-Roman classical myths, not the Christian tradition, and were associated with Eros or Cupid as well as with the Muse Erato of lyric & love poetry.

Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520), Sistine Cherubs

As in these paintings, allegorical characters in stories & in art of this period were often located in garden settings. The locus amoenus was one of the traditional locations of epic & chivalric literature. As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose & verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of Medieval & Early Modern Europe.  Locus amoenus (Latin for "pleasant place") is a literary term which generally referring to an idealized place of safety or comfort, usually a beautiful, shady parkland or open woods, sometimes with connotations of Eden. A locus amoenus usually has 3 basic elements: trees, grass, & water. 

Often, the locus amoenus garden will be in a remote setting & with only components or suggestions of a more formal, geometric, walled garden. These paintings employ this setting.  The locus amoenus can also be used to highlight the differences between urban & rural life or be a place of refuge from the processes of time & mortality. In some works, such gardens also have overtones of the regenerative powers of human sexuality marked out by flowers, & goddesses of springtime, love, & fertility. Ernst Robert Curtius formulated the concept's definition in his European Literature & the Latin Middle Ages (1953). 

About these confusing Breughels - 

Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) 1525-1569 was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter & printmaker known for his landscapes & peasant scenes (later called genre painting). From 1559, he dropped the 'h' from his name & signed his paintings as Bruegel.  

Pieter the Elder had 2 sons: Pieter Brueghel the Younger 1564 -1636 & Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 (both changed their name to Brueghel). Their grandmother, Mayken Verhulst, trained the sons because "the Elder" died when both were very small children. The older brother, Pieter Brueghel, copied his father's style but without the same great talent. Jan was more successful, as he turned to the Baroque style & collaborated with many fine artists.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger or Pieter Bruegel the Younger (before 1616 he signed his name as 'Brueghel' & after 1616 as 'Breughel') 1564 -1636 was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work as well as his original compositions. The large output of his studio, which produced for the local & export market, contributed to the international spread of his father's imagery.

Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 was a Flemish painter, son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder & father of Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678. Many of his paintings are collaborations in which figures by other painters were placed in landscapes painted by Jan Brueghel; in other works, Brueghel painted the figures into another artist's landscape or architectural interior. The most famous of his collaborators was Peter Paul Rubens who collaborated on about 25 paintings.


Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678 was a Flemish Baroque painter. Jan the Younger's best works are his extensive landscapes, either under his own name or made for other artists such as Hendrick van Balen as backgrounds.  He collaborated with a number of prominent artists including Rubens, Hendrick van Balen (1575–1632), Adriaen Stalbemt (1580–1682), Lucas Van Uden (1596–1672), David Teniers the Younger, and his father-in-law Abraham Janssens. His pupils were his older sons Abraham , 1631-1690, Philips, & Jan Peeter 1628-1664, his nephew Jan van Kessel, & his younger brother Ambrosius. 

Morning Madonna

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 – 1543, German) Darmstadt Madonna

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, April 20, 2017

Spring Allegory 1700s

Jan Josef Horemans the Elder (Dutch artist, 1682-1759),  Spring & Dancing Around The Maypole


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

18C Allegories of Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1800 Spring by P Stampa London

This couple is in a garden with flowers in bloom & a cold frame on the right side. The man is picking a rose to add to the bunch he holds, while looking back at the woman, who carries a parasol. A boy shows passes a birds' nest to a little girl who holds out her apron.  In the background are men in a hay-field.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Illuminated Manuscripts - Anointing The Body

The Marys buying ointment at the ointment shop.

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  Mark Chapter 16

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Holy Women at Jesus' Death by Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494)

Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) The Holy Women, right hand panel of the Granada Deposition Diptych

Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) The Mourning Virgin

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Madonna attr to Italian artist Simone Martini (c 1280-85-1344)

Attributed to Simone Martini (Italian artist, 1280-85-1344)  Maestà

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, April 7, 2017

Madonna attr to Italian artist Simone Martini (c 1280-85-1344)

Attributed to Simone Martini (Italian artist, 1280-85-1344) Madonna and Child (from Castiglione d'Orcia) 1320-25

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Personification of Spring - Rosalba Carriera 1675-1757

Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) Spring

Rosalba Carriera (Italian Rococo artist, 1675-1757) was born in Venice, to a lower-middle-class family. As a child, she began her artistic career by making lace-patterns for her mother. As snuff-taking became popular, the young Carriera began painting miniatures for the lids of snuff-boxes, & was one of the 1st painters to use ivory for this purpose. Gradually, this work evolved into full-scale portrait-painting, for which she used pastels. She pioneered a new genre of portraits done in pastel, a medium appealing to Rococo styles for its soft edges & flattering surfaces. But it was her portraits of noble or wealthy Europeans which made her famous all over the continent, not her depictions of Spring & Flora. She was elected to the Academie Royale in 1720.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

1785 April

1785 April Robert Dighton the elder (1747 - 1814)

1767 April

1767 April. Printed for Robert Sayer, London.

1749 April

1749 April Personification of Months in Gardens as Fashion Plates by John June (British printmaker, fl 1744-75) Published by D Voisin (British publisher fl 1747-49). 

1745 April

1745 April Thomas Burford (British artist, 1710-1770)

1700 April

APRIL Jacob van Huysum (1686-1740) Twelve Months of Flowers 

1678 April

APRIL Twelve Months print Henri II Bonnart (Published by) 1678-1700 Paris

1687 April

1687 April Minnend paar, Anonymous, Crispijn van de Passe (I), Maerten de Vos, 1574 - 1687

1614 April

APRIL The Months print Hendrik Hondius II (Print made by); Hendrik Hondius I (Published by) 1614

1609 April

1609 Jacques Callot (Print made by); Adriaen Collaert (After); Joos de Momper (After) Month of April

1580 April

APRIL 1580 Italian School The Labours of the Months 

1500s April

Francesco Bassano the Younger (1563-1570) April

1568 April

Anonymous woodcut of 1568 Étienne Delaune (French artist, 1518-1595) Labours of the Months - April

1300s -1400s April

Images of April from 14C-15C Manuscripts  The Hague, MMW, 10 F 33

1300s -1400s April.

Images of April from 14C-15C Manuscripts Gathering Branches  The Hague, KB, 76 F 2

Madonna attr to Italian artist Simone Martini (c 1280-85-1344)

Attributed to Simone Martini (Italian artist, 1280-85-1344)  Maestà (detail) 1315

1300s -1400s April.

Images of April from 14C-15C Manuscripts  The Hague, KB, 133 D 11