Sunday, April 26, 2015
Jean Leblond 1605-1666 Leonide Bergere; print; Jeremias Falck (Print made by); Paris three-quarter length female shepherdess, stepping to right; a quiver slung across her back, holding a bow in her right hand. This woman has spectacular pearls in her hair, at her neck & wrist. (ed. - This shepherdess looks like a depiction of Diana.)
William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) The Foure Complexions 1662 - Phlegmatic
Sir Thomas Elyot's (c 1490-1546) Castel of Helthe, 1541, "Complexion is a combynation of two dyvers qualities of the foure elements in one bodye, as hotte and drye of the Fyre: hotte and inoyste of the Ayre."
William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) The Foure Complexions 1636 - Melancholy
Bartholomeus Anglicus (Bartholomew of England) (c 1203–1272), Batman vppon Bartholome, "Mans bodie is made of foure Elements, that is to wit, of Earth, Water, Fire and Aire: euery seuerall hath his proper qualities. Foure be called the first and principall qualityes, that is heate, cold, drie, and moist: they be called the first qualities, because they slide first from the Elements into the things that be made of Elements."
William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) The Foure Complexions 1636 - Sanguine
Sir John Harington's (1561-1612) Englishmans Doctor, or the Schoole of Salerne, 1608, "The watry flegmatique are fayre and white; The sanguin, roses joynd to lillies bright; The collericke, more red; the melancholy, Alluding to their name, are swart and colly."
William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) The Foure Complexions - Chollerick
From William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) Love's Labour's Lost Act 1, Scene 2
Boy, A Woman, Master.
Brag. Of what complexion?
Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one of the foure.
Brag. Tell me precifely of what complexion?
Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
Brag. Is that one of the foure complexions?
Boy. As I haue read sir, and the beft of them too.
Brag. Greene indeed is the colour of Lovers: but to haue a Love of that colour, methinkes Sampfon had small reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.
1747 Ben Franklin - Why should unmarried pregnant women be fined & whipped, while their impregnators go free?
"The Speech of Polly Baker" was 1st published in the April 1747 issue of The Gentleman's Magazine.
Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Wilson, 1759
The speech of Polly Baker, before a Court of Judicature, at Connecticut & Boston in New England; where she was prosecuted the Fifth Time, for having a Bastard Child: Which influenced the Court to dispense with her Punishment, and induced one of her Judges to marry her the next day.
May it please the Honourable Bench to indulge me a few Words: I am a poor unhappy Woman; who have no Money to Fee Lawyers to plead for me, being hard put to it to get a tolerable Living. I shall not trouble your Honours with long Speeches; for I have not the presumption to expect, that you may, by any Means, be prevailed on to deviate in your Sentence from the Law, in my Favour. All I humbly hope is, that your Honours would charitably move the Governor’s Goodness on my Behalf, that my Fine may be remitted.
This is the Fifth Time, Gentlemen, that I have been dragg’d before your Courts on the same Account; twice I have paid heavy Fines, and twice have been brought to public Punishment, for want of Money to pay those Fines. This may have been agreeable to the Laws; I do not dispute it: But since Laws are sometimes unreasonable in themselves, and therefore repealed; and others bear too hard on the Subject in particular Circumstances; and therefore there is left a Power somewhere to dispense with the Execution of them; I take the Liberty to say, that I think this Law, by which I am punished, is both unreasonable in itself, and particularly severe with regard to me, who have always lived an inoffensive Life in the Neighbourhood where I was born, and defy my Enemies (if I have any) to say I ever wrong’d Man, Woman, or Child.
Abstracted from the Law, I cannot conceive (may it please your Honours) what the Nature of my Offence is. I have brought Five fine Children into the World, at the Risque of my Life: I have maintained them well by my own Industry, without burthening the Township, and could have done it better, if it had not been for the heavy Charges and Fines I have paid.
Can it be a Crime (in the Nature of Things I mean) to add to the Number of the King’s Subjects, in a new Country that really wants People? I own I should think it rather a Praise worthy, than a Punishable Action. I have debauch’d no other Woman’s Husband, nor inticed any innocent Youth: These Things I never was charged with; nor has any one the least cause of Complaint against me, unless, perhaps the Minister, or the Justice, because I have had Children without being Married, by which they have miss’d a Wedding Fee.
But, can even this be a Fault of mine? I appeal to your Honours. You are pleased to allow I don’t want Sense; but I must be stupid to the last Degree, not to prefer the honourable State of Wedlock, to the Condition I have lived in. I always was, and still am, willing to enter into it; I doubt not my Behaving well in it, having all the Industry, Frugality, Fertility, and Skill in Oeconomy, appertaining to a good Wife’s Character. I defy any Person to say I ever Refused an Offer of that Sort: On the contrary, I readily Consented to the only Proposal of Marriage that ever was made me, which was when I was a Virgin; but too easily confiding in the Person’s Sincerity that made it, I unhappily lost my own Honour, by trusting to his; for he got me with Child, and then forsook me: That very Person you all know; he is now become a Magistrate of this County; and I had hopes he would have appeared this Day on the Bench, and have endeavoured to moderate the Court in my Favour; then I should have scorn’d to have mention’d it; but I must Complain of it as unjust and unequal, that my Betrayer and Undoer, the first Cause of all my Faults and Miscarriages (if they must be deemed such) should be advanced to Honour and Power, in the same Government that punishes my Misfortunes with Stripes and Infamy.
I shall be told, ’tis like, that were there no Act of Assembly in the Case, the Precepts of Religion are violated by my Transgressions. If mine, then, is a religious Offence, leave it, Gentlemen, to religious Punishments. You have already excluded me from all the Comforts of your Church Communion: Is not that sufficient? You believe I have offended Heaven, and must suffer eternal Fire: Will not that be sufficient? What need is there, then, of your additional Fines and Whippings? I own, I do not think as you do; for, if I thought, what you call a Sin, was really such, I would not presumptuously commit it.
But how can it be believed, that Heaven is angry at my having Children, when, to the little done by me towards it, God has been pleased to add his divine Skill and admirable Workmanship in the Formation of their Bodies, and crown’d it by furnishing them with rational and immortal Souls?
Forgive me Gentlemen, if I talk a little extravagantly on these Matters; I am no Divine: But if you, great Men, must be making Laws, do not turn natural and useful Actions into Crimes, by your Prohibitions. Reflect a little on the horrid Consequences of this Law in particular: What Numbers of procur’d Abortions! and how many distress’d Mothers have been driven, by the Terror of Punishment and public Shame, to imbrue, contrary to Nature, their own trembling Hands in the Blood of their helpless Offspring! Nature would have induc’d them to nurse it up with a Parent’s Fondness.
’Tis the Law therefore, ’tis the Law itself that is guilty of all these Barbarities and Murders. Repeal it then, Gentlemen; let it be expung’d for ever from your Books: And on the other hand, take into your wise Consideration, the great and growing Number of Batchelors in the Country, many of whom, from the mean Fear of the Expence of a Family, have never sincerely and honourably Courted a Woman in their Lives; and by their Manner of Living, leave unproduced (which I think is little better than Murder) Hundreds of their Posterity to the Thousandth Generation.
Is not theirs a greater Offence against the Public Good, than mine? Compel them then, by a Law, either to Marry, or pay double the Fine of Fornication every Year. What must poor young Women do, whom Custom has forbid to sollicit the Men, and who cannot force themselves upon Husbands, when the Laws take no Care to provide them any, and yet severely punish if they do their Duty without them?
Yes, Gentlemen, I venture to call it a Duty; ’tis the Duty of the first and great Command of Nature, and of Nature’s God, Increase and multiply: A Duty, from the steady Performance of which nothing has ever been able to deter me; but for it’s Sake, I have hazarded the Loss of the public Esteem, and frequently incurr’d public Disgrace and Punishment; and therefore ought, in my humble Opinion, instead of a Whipping, to have a Statue erected to my Memory.
On the surface, "The Speech of Polly Baker" appears to be a light-hearted & "amusing story." However, Franklin presents a protest against legislation that punished women for out-of-wedlock sexual relations by imposing fines & whippings, while the father of the child went without punishment. Through the use of rhetorical questions to the magistrates, Franklin shows the inequity of the prevailing justice system. It is generally accepted, that Max Hall, author of Benjamin Franklin and Polly Baker: The History of a Literary Deception (1960) proved that Franklin wrote the piece.
Jean Leblond 1605-1666 Jeremias Falck (Print made by) A shepherdess; three-quarter length female figure in three-quarter profile to right; wearing the costume of a shepherdess and holding a wreath of flowers and a staff. (This image looks like a depiction of Flora.)
The Four Complexions After Georg Pencz 1530-62 Choleric
The Four Houmors or Complexions evolved from a theory that the human body was filled with 4 basic substances, called 4 humors; which are in balance, when a person is healthy. The “humours” gave off vapors which ascended to the brain; an individual’s personal characteristics (physical, mental, moral) were explained by his or her “temperament,” or the state of theat person’s “humours.” The perfect temperament resulted when no one of these humours dominated. All diseases & disabilities resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these 4 humors. These deficits could be caused by vapors which were breathed in or absorbed by the body. The 4 humors were identified as black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, & blood. Greeks & Romans, & the later Muslim & Western European medical establishments that adopted & adapted classical medical philosophy, believed that each of these humors would wax & wane in the body, depending on diet & activity. When a patient was suffering from a surplus or imbalance of one fluid, then his or her personality & physical health would be affected. This theory was closely related to the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, water & air; earth predominantly present in the black bile, fire in the yellow bile, water in the phlegm, & all four elements present in the blood.
The Four Complexions After Georg Pencz 1530-62 Flegmatic
Greek philosopher & pupil of Aristotle, Theophrastus, (c 372 bc-c 287) & others developed a set of characters based on the humors. Those with too much blood were sanguine. Those with too much phlegm were phlegmatic. Those with too much yellow bile were choleric, & those with too much black bile were melancholic. The idea of human personality based on humors contributed to the character eventually became part of the literature of the day. By 1600, it was common to use “humour” as a means of classifying characters; knowledge of the humours is not only important to understanding later medieval work, but essential to interpreting some Elizabethan drama.
The Four Complexions After Georg Pencz 1530-62 Melancholy
Through the neo-classical revival in Europe, the humor theory dominated medical practice, & the theory of humoral types made periodic appearances in drama. Complexions engaged the attention of philosophers & musical theorists from ancient times right through to the Renaissance & beyond, in relation to the most favourable balancing of the 'qualities' or elements in order to heal and invigorate the soul: from Pythagoras and the musical theorist Aristoxenus, through Plato's dialogue Phaedo, Aristotle, Saint Augustine in his thesis on music, & Aquinas; & into the Florentine Renaissance, Marsilio Ficino in his work on the immortality of the soul, the Theologia Platonica.
The Four Complexions After Georg Pencz 1530-62 Sanguine
Many references to complexions filter through into Shakespeare's plays and sonnets derived from this body of thought; particularly in the description of important characters, and to the power of music above all to 'charm the savage breast', adjust the elements, and restore the equilibrium and balance, the 'harmony' of the soul: his characters call for music and are spellbound or restored by it, and in elevated mood, may hear it in the air, or sense its immortal harmonies everywhere.
Unknown Master, Flemish (late 15C in Brussels) Virgin and Child crowned by 2 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 the core of early Western art.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Esther Inglis Kello (Embroiderer, calligrapher, & miniaturist, 1571-1624) 1595, Scottish National Portrait Gallery. In this portrait, painted at about the time of her marriage, Esther holds one of her books. She wears a necklace composed of several strands of tiny beads & on her left hand she has 3 rings. One has an amber-colored stone in a conventional quatrefoil bezel. On her little finger is a plain double hoop & her thumb has another double hoop. This might have been her wedding ring, which some ladies of the period wore on the thumb.
Esther Inglis Kello (1571-1624) became an embroiderer, calligrapher & miniaturist. She made exquisite illuminated manuscripts of religious verses for numerous aristocrats & monarchs.
She was born in France, probably at Dieppe. Her father, Nicholas Langlois, & her mother, Marie Prisott decided to leave France for England about the time of the St. Bartholomew massacre in 1572. Her parents with their infant children, fled from France to England & then to Scotland a few years later. They were probably related to the protestant pastor, Jean Langlois, who was martyred at Lyons in 1572.
Her father Nicholas settled at Edinburgh, where he became master of the French school. On 16 December 1581, Nicholas was granted a pension by James VI for his teaching in Edinburgh. The royal letter mentioned his work forming his pupil's "hands to a perfect shape of letter." Esther was instructed in the art of calligraphy by her mother, & is said by Thomas Hearne to have become nurse to the young Prince Henry. Her patrons included Queen Elizabeth & her ministers, as well as the royal family of Scotland & David Murray.
When she was in her twenties, Esther married a minister, Bartholomew Kello, who also performed some administrative services for Queen Elizabeth. She married about 1596, Bartholomew Kello of Leith, a minister. John Kello, her father-in-law, & her mother-in-law Margaret were long dead by she the time she was born. He had been hanged. She had been murdered. The minister of Spott, Haddingtonshire, in 1567 was hanged for the murder of his wife, Margaret Thomson, on 4 October 1570. His confession was published by Robert Lekprevik at Edinburgh. Esther moved from Scotland to England, as the minister's son Bartholomew was at the rectory of Willingale Spain, Essex, by December 1607.
Esther often did not assume her husband's last name for the purposes of retaining her artistic identity. Upon moving to Scotland & becoming an artist, she anglicized her father's French name to Inglis. Though Esther & her husband were constantly plagued by poverty, their marriage seems to have been a productive one. They had 6 children, 4 of whom survived to adulthood.
On the inscription of the self-portrait, she wrote, “De dieu le bien/ de moy le rien” ("From the Lord goodness, from myself nothing"), a belief that Inglis would repeat in her manuscripts.
Inglis's talents as both a calligrapher & a miniaturist are evident in over 50 extant manuscripts that she presented to various wealthy patrons, including Queen Elizabeth, King James, Prince Henry, Prince Charles, the earl of Essex, & the Sidney & Herbert families.
Most of the manuscripts are religious verses or translations; the great achievement of the works is their artistic presentation. The books are miniature in size, often only a few inches wide, with intricate borders of foliage & animals, & they are bound in leather, silk, or velvet. The calligraphy is exquisite, extremely detailed, & often microscopic. Inglis was capable of producing over 40 styles of the various scripts described in 16C handwriting treatises.
All but 3 of her books were signed with her maiden name (meaning 'English') in either its French (Langlois) or Scottish (Inglis) form, although in modern libraries her work is usually cataloged under the name Kello. She was an expert calligrapher, writing a variety of hands with equal skill in miniature form. Sometimes the letters were scarcely a millimetre high. She also decorated her books with paintings & drawings, & she often included self-portraits in them (based on the above portrait. Inglis dedicated her books & manuscripts to European royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I, as well as to other aristocrats. She would send her work to whomever it was dedicated to, and the recipients would send her a gift of money in return.
In many of the dedications of her manuscripts, Inglis apologizes for her temerity in presenting her work since she is only a woman, yet she also takes evident pride in her labors, finishing off several manuscripts with the motto "Vive la plume." She also includes self-portraits in several of her manuscripts, a sign of ownership of the very works she would then present to potential patrons. In spite of the patronage she received, Esther Inglis was in serious debt, when she died in 1624, at the age of 53.
Esther Kello died on 30 August 1624; her husband survived her, dying on 15 March 1638. She left 2 daughters, Elizabeth & Mary. Samuel Kello (died 1680), her only son, was educated at Edinburgh (M.A. 1618). Afterwards he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford, & became rector of Spexall, Suffolk.
Images of manuscripts from The Folger Library.
David Laing, ‘Notes relating to Mrs Esther (Langlois or) Inglis, the Celebrated Calligraphist, with an Enumeration of Manuscript Volumes Written by her between the years 1586 & 1624’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 6 (1868), 284-309
A.H. Scott-Elliot & Elspeth Yeo, ‘Calligraphic Manuscripts of Esther Inglis (1571-1624): A Catalogue’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 84 (March 1990), 11-86
Frye, Susan. Pens and Needles: Women’s Textualities in Early Modern England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
Tjan-Bakker, Anneke. “Dame Flora’s Blossoms: Esther Inglis’s flower-illustrated manuscripts.” English Manuscript Studies 1500-1700. Vol. 9 (London: British Library, 2000), 49-72.
Ziegler, Georgianna. “’More than feminine boldness’: the gift books of Esther Inglis.” Women Writing and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart England. Ed. Mary E. Burke, et al. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000: 19-37.
George Glover-1625-1635 Arithmetic
George Glover-1625-1635 Astronomy
George Glover-1625-1635 Geometry
George Glover-1625-1635 Grammar
George Glover-1625-1635 Music
George Glover-1625-1635 Rhetoric
George Glover-1625-1635 Dialects
Francis Cleyn 1645 Arithmetic
Francis Cleyn 1645 Astronomy
Francis Cleyn 1645 Dialects
Francis Cleyn 1645 Geometry
Francis Cleyn 1645 Grammar
Francis Cleyn 1645 Music
Francis Cleyn 1645 Rhetoric
1500s The Seven Liberal Arts by Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570]
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Arthmetic
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Astronomie
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Dialects
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Geometry
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Grammar
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Music
Francesco Primaticcio [Italian French Mannerist Painter and Sculptor, ca.1504-1570] Rhetoric
1570-90 (Six of) The Seven Liberal Arts by Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600]
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Arithmetic
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Astromomy
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Dialects
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Geometry
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Music
Jan Sadeler I [Flemish Northern Renaissance Engraver, 1550-1600] Rhetoric
Cornelis Cort 1565 Arthmetic
Cornelis Cort 1565 Astrologie
Cornelis Cort 1565 Dialectica
Cornelis Cort 1565 Geometry
Cornelis Cort 1565 Grammar
Cornelis Cort 1565 Music
Cornelis Cort 1565 Rhetoric