Friday, August 22, 2014

At the Farmers' Market - Historic American Seeds and Plant Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries

The breathtaking Great Egret

The Great Egret is the tallest of the all-white North American Egrets.  The great egret, a spectacular large, white bird stalks the quiet waters of large rivers, such as the Mississippi, & lakes looking for food, including fish, frogs, snakes, & crayfish.

These elegant birds have long legs for wading & a sharp bill designed for grasping or spearing slippery water delicacies. The great egret’s neck, like all herons, contains a modified vertebrae that gives the bird’s neck its characteristic “S” shape providing the bird with a swift stabbing motion.

Both sexes share in the incubation of their the eggs. Nest exchanges, in which the male & female exchange the incubation responsibilities, contain elaborate greeting ceremonies.

This breathtaking bird was once hunted for the American millinery (hat) trade nearly to the point of extinction by early 1900s. Their spectacular breeding feathers, long flowing plumes originating head, neck and shoulders, literally were worth their weight in gold. Since protection from market hunting in the early 1900s and the ban on DDT in the 1970s, which also affected their populations, this species has recovered.

Love in the 1500s + Cupid's Instructions for lovers in 1600s

1520s Paris Bordone (Italian High Renaissance Painter, 1500-1571) Detail of Venetian Lovers

"Instructions for Lovers: teaching them, how to demean themselves towards their Sweet-hearts. You must not accost them with a shrug, as if you were lowsie: With, 'your Ladie', 'best Ladie', or 'most super-excellent Ladie': neither must you let your words come rumbling forth, ushered in with a good full mouth'd, Oath, as 'I love you'... But you must in fine gentle words, deliver your true affection: Praise your Mistress Eies, her Lip, her Chin, her Nose, her Neck, her Face, her Hand, her Feet, her Leg, her Waste, her every thing." 

Cupids Master-piece, or, The Free-school of Witty and Delightful Compliments (1656)

1523  Lorenzo Lotto (Northern Italian painter, c 1480–1556) ) Mr Marsilio & Wife

Amorous compliments endorsed by John Gough, The Academy of Complements (1663):

"Her Dove-like eyes."
"Liquorous rolling eyes."
"Her cheeks shine like sparkling stones."
"Her Cheeks are like Punick Apples."
"Her Cheeks are spread with Spices and Flowers."
"Her breasts are the soft Pillows of love."
"Her breasts are soft and tender as the Pelican's."
"Her Thighes are fit subjects for the pleasant Songs of youthfull Poets to acquaint the world with."
"Her legs as stately and firm as marble pillars."

1515 Giovanni Cariani (1485-1547) The Seduction

Bernardino Licinio (1489-1565) A Woman and her Love

Bernardino Licinio (1489-1565) Allegory of Love

c 1510 Attr to Titian Tiziano Vercelli (Italian painter, c 1488-1576) Lovers

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626) on Garden Fountains 1625 + a few spectacular portraits of women & fountains

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, & author, wrote of gardens in his 1625 Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall in the appropriately titled essay Of Gardens. Bacon had inherited his father's estate at Gorhambury in Hertfordshire in 1602. He gardened there & his notes outlining a scheme to make a four-acre water garden still exist in the British Museum. His essay on gardens coincided with the new North American settlements along the Atlantic coast.  While we have no paintings of 17C gardens in the British American colonies, we do have portraits of garden fountains from the period.

Frans Pourbus the younger (1569–1622) Portrait of Francis Bacon 1617

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626):
God Almighty first planted a Garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handy-works: and a man shall ever see, that, when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection.

1534 Lucas The Elder Cranach (1472-1553)  The Nymph of the Fountain

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626) on Fountains
For Fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but Pools mar all, and make the Garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures; the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water: the other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, but without fish, or slime, or mud.

1634 Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish artist, 1577-1640) Bathsheba at the Fountain

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626) on Fountains
For the first, the ornaments of images, gilt or of marble, which are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern: that the water be never by rest discoloured, green, or red, or the like, or gather any mossiness or putrefaction; besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand: also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it doth well.

1650-70 John Michael Wright (British artist, 1617-1694) Miss Butterworth of Belfield Hall

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626) on Fountains
As for the other kind of Fountain, which we may call a bathing-pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty, wherewith we will not trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with coloured glass, and such things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low statues: but the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of Fountain; which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away underground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little; and for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking-glasses, canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.

1650 Attr David Des Granges (British artist, 1611-c.1671) Portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon (1633-1678)

In the above painting, the Countess is depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain.
Elizabeth places her hand in the water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke and Lely and it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife and mother, recalling Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of thy youth."  The paintings immediately following also use this device.

 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait Of Diana, Countess Of Ailesbury

 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait of a Lady

  c 1693–1697 Adriaen van der Werff (Dutch artist, 1659-1722) Lady by a Fountain

  Style of Caspar Netscher (Dutch artist, 1639-1684) Portrait of a Lady

 1661 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) A Mother and her two Children by a Fountain

 1664 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain

Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain (For those who did not like a blond, serious sitter, Maes apparently painted this more cheerful brunette.)

 1671-80 Style of Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) The Duchess of Lauderdale

 Barend van Kalraet (Dutch artist, 1649-1737) Lady by a Fountain with a Parott

 Barent Graat (Dutch artist, 1628-1709) Portrait of a Girl Cleaning Cherries in a Fountain

 Brabant school, the end of the 17C. Three year old girl at a fountain.

 Caspar Netscher (Dutch artist, 1639-1684) Portrait of a Lady with a Fountain in a Garden Beyond

 Style of Jacob Toorenvliet, (Dutch artist 1635-41-1719) A Woman Selling Herring to a Lady A Fountain Beyond

 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693)  A Maid Washing Carrots at a Fountain with Two Gardeners at Work

 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Catherine Peels

 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Girl at Fountain

 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain

 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) A Lady by a Fountain with a Dog and a Child

 1661 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, 1637 - 1671. First wife of James VII and II.

 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Egerton (1653-1709)

 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Unknown Lady at Fountain

1671 Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Unidentified Lady with Fountains in Garden Beyond

Style of Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Portrait of Anna Catharina van Heemskerck (1676-1723) when young, seated by a fountain on a draped terrace

1676 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Family Portrait in front of a Fountain

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 the core of early Western art.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Flowers for you...

Martin Johnson Heade (American artist, 1819-1904) Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds

At the Farmers' Market - Historic American Seeds and Plant Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries

16C Etiquette for Gentlemen at Dancing & Wedding Celebrations

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) Rustic Wedding

Fabritio Caroso, Il Ballarino (1581)
"Furthermore never fart when you are dancing; grit your teeth and compel your arse to hold back the fart... Do not have a dripping nose and do not dribble at the mouth. No woman desires a man with rabies. And refrain from spitting before the maidens, because that makes one sick and even revolts the stomach.  If you spit or blow your nose or sneeze, remember to turn your head away after the spasm; and remember not to wipe your nose with your fingers; do it properly with a white handkerchief. Do not eat either leeks or onions because they leave an unpleasant odour in the mouth."  Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) The Peasant Dance 1568

"You must always be garbed to perfection and your codpiece must be well tied. We sometimes see codpieces slip to the ground during the basse dance so you must tie them well." 
Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) The Wedding Feast, the Netherlands 1568

"Never doze during the ball, please, my good companion: sleeping during the dance is like denying God."
Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Pieter Bruegel the Younger (1564 - 1638) Celebration

Pieter Bruegel the Younger (1564 - 1638) Open Air Wedding 1610

Pieter Bruegel the Younger (Belgian painter, 1564 - 1638) Open Air Wedding 1610

Great thanks to Ask the Past blog.

Illuminated Manuscripts - Communal Bathing + How to wash a woman's hair

Antithesis Christi et Antichristi (Jenský kodexJena Codex), Bohemia ca. 1490-1510 (Praha, Knihovna Národního muzea, IV.B.24, fol. 78v)

About hair washing for women:
"After leaving the bath, let her adorn her hair, and first of all let her wash it with a cleanser such as this. Take ashes of burnt vine, the chaff of barley nodes, and licorice wood (so that it may the more brightly shine), and sowbread... with this cleanser let the woman wash her head. After the washing, let her leave it to dry by itself, and her hair will be golden and shimmering...  If the woman wishes to have long and black hair, take a green lizard and, having removed its head and tail, cook it in common oil. Anoint the head with this oil. It makes the hair long and black." 
The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine. Ed. and trans. Monica H. Green (Philadelphia, 2001). 

Jakob von Warte in his bath, an illumination from the Menasse Codex, c. 1300-1330

 Badehaus. Konrad Kyeser, Bellifortis, Clm 30150, Tafel 08, Blatt 35v (Ausschnitt).

 Balneum Contorellus - 15C manuscript of De Balneis Puteolanis, University of València.

 Balneum Tripergulae - detail from miniature of the Code Angelico's De Balneis Puteolanis of Pietro da Eboli.


 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 8161, f. 8r. Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis puteolanis. Naples, mid-14C

 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 8161, f. 19r. Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis puteolanis. Naples, mid-14C

Christine de Pisan Epitre d'Othea Période Vers 1460 Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 49

 Codex Schürstab. Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Ms. C 54 (Nürnberg c 1472)

"If, however, the woman is fat and seemingly dropsical, let us mix cow dung with very good wine and with such a mixture we afterward anoint her. Then let her enter a steambath up to the neck, which steambath should be very hot from a fire made of elder [wood], and in it, while she is covered, let her emit a lot of sweat... We also treat fat men in another way. We make for them a grave next to the shore of the sea in the sand, and in the described manner you will anoint them, and when the heat is very great we place them halfway into the grave, halfway covered with hot sand poured over. And there we make them sweat very much. And afterward we wash them very well with the water of the previous bath." 
The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine. Ed. and trans. Monica H. Green (Philadelphia, 2001). 

 De baneis omnia quae extant apud Graecos, latinos, et arabas, tam medicos quam quoscunque ceteram artium probatos scriptores, 1553

 Horae ad usum Parisiensem. 1401-1500 Encadrements ou bordures

 Illuminated Manuscripts - Bath House

 La Vie seigneuriale  Le Bain Pays-Bas du Sud, premier quart du XVIe siècle Laine, soie H. 2, 85 m; l. 2, 85 m Acq. , 1852 Cl. 2180

 Latona turns four bathers into frogs for muddying the water she wishes to drink mss kb nl

 Lujuria Valerius Maximus, translated by Simon de Hesdin and Nicholas de Gonesse, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia. France, N. (Amiens or Hesdin), or Netherlands, S. 3rd quarter of the 15C

 Memmo of Filippuccio, the mayor and his wife to the bathroom - fresco from the Palazzo Comunale di San Gimignano (Siena), 14C

 Miniature by the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book in Valerius Maximus, Facta et dicta memorabilia , commissioned by Jean Gros, c 1480.

 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France Français 606 L´Epistre d’Othea by Christine de Pisan

 Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis Puteolanis Période XIVe s. (vers 1350-1370) Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 135 [Petrus de Ebulo], De balneis Puteolanis v

 Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis Puteolanis Période XIVe s. (vers 1350-1370) Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 135 [Petrus de Ebulo], De balneis Puteolanis

 Pilgrims bathing in the Jordan. Guillaume de Boldensele, Liber de quibusdam ultramarinis partibus (trans. of Jean le Long). Paris, c.1410-1412.

 Recueil des oeuvres de  Christine de Pisan (1363-1431) 1401-1500

 The Hague, KB, 76 G 8 fol. 93r, David sees Bathsheba bathing

 Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 291, detail of fol. 043v. Konrad von Eichstätt. Regel der Gesundheit. Bavaria, after 1477.

Venus Bathing. Martin le Franc, Le Champion des Dames (1440) Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Français 12476, detail of f. 10r

 Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, 3525, f.84v. Watriquet de Couvin, Dits. 14th century.

Pietro da Eboli (XIII secolo) De Balneis Puteolanis. Miniatura del Codice Angelico Ms. 1474 (Biblioteca Angelica di Roma)

 Codices vindobonenses 2759-2764 in the Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, in Vienna, Austria.

 Codices vindobonenses 2759-2764 in the Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, in Vienna, Austria.

 Couldrette, Roman de Mélusine, Flanders 15th century (Paris,  Bibliothèque nationale de FranceFrançais 24383, fol. 19r)

The Hague, KB, 76 F 21 fol. 15r Mary in bath Fol. 15r: miniature

 Illuminated Manuscripts - Bathing

Biblioteca Nacional de España, Cod. Vitr. 24-3, detail of f. 10v. Libro de horas de Carlos V. Paris (workshop of Jean Poyer?), late 15th/early 16th century.

 Illuminated Manuscripts - Bathing

 Illuminated Manuscripts - Bathing

 Illuminated Manuscripts - Bathing

 London, British Library, Add. 17987, folio 111v. Man and woman in tub

Codices vindobonenses 2759-2764  in the Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, in Vienna, Austria.

"You shall finde it wonderfull expedient, if you bath your head foure times in the yeare, and that with hot lee made of ashes. After which, you must cause one presently to poure two or three gallons of cold fountain water upon your head. Then let your head be dryed with cold towels. Which sodaine pouring downe of cold water, although it doth mightily terrifie you, yet nevertheles, it is very good, for therby the naturall heate is stirred within the body, baldnesse is kept backe, and the memory is quickened. In like manner, washing of hands often, doth much availe the eyesight." William Vaughan, Approved Directions for Health (1612)

Kamal ad-din Behzad, (Iranian painter, 1450-1535) Gentlemen Bathing

Kamal ad-din Behzad, (Iranian painter, 1450-1535) Women Bathing

Bany màgic de Medea, 1338-1344  "every one full of flowers and sweet green herbs...Have a basin full of hot fresh herbs and wash (her) body with a soft sponge, rinse (her) with fair warm rose-water, and throw it over (her).  

For aches & pains, "it is good to boil various herbs like camomile, breweswort, mallow and brown fennel and add them to the bath."    John Russell’s Book of Nurture 1400s


Did people in the Middle Ages take baths? April 13, 2013

Archibald, Elizabeth, “Did Knights Have Baths? The Absence of Bathing in Middle English Romance,” Cultural Encounters In The Romance Of Medieval England, edited by Corinne Saunders (Boydell, 2005)

Caskey, Jill, “Steam and “Sanitas” in the Domestic Realm: Baths and Bathing in Southern Italy in the Middle Ages,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 58, No. 2 (1999)

Harvey, Barbara, Living and Dying in England, 1100-1540: The Monastic Experience (Clarendon Press, 1993)

Holmes, Urban Tigner, Daily Life in the Twelfth-Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 1952)

Lucas, A.T., “Washing and Bathing in Ancient Ireland,” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 95, No. 1/2 (1965)

Newman, Paul B., Daily Life in the Middle Ages (McFarland and Co., 2001)

Smith, Virginia, Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity (Oxford University Press, 2007)

van Dam, Fabiola I., “Permeable Boundaries: Bodies, Bathing and FLuxes, 1135-1333,” Medicine and Space: Body, Surroundings and Borders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. Patricia Baker (Brill, 2012)

van Winter, Johanna Maria, “Medieval Opinions about Food and Drinking in Connection with Bathing,” Spices and Comfits: Collected Papers on Medieval Food (Prospect Books, 2007)