Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Garden Celebrations - Attributred to Louis de Caullery (1555-1622)

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) A Celebration of Love in the Garden of the Villa Medici

These are depictions of garden celebrations for the gentry.  The gardens are large and formal.  Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Banquet in the Open Air

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) A Formal Garden with Couples Dancing

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Allegory of Spring

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) An Ornamental Garden

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Feast in a Castle Park

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Allegory of the Month of April

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Dining in a Garden

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) In the Garden Park of a Classic Palace

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Walking in a Garden

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Making Music in a Woodland Garden

 Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) (or his circle) - Garden with Human Figures

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Fête dans un palais à Venise

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) The Escorial, near Madrid, Spain

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Promenading in a Parkland Setting

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Banquet in Garden

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Making Music in the Garden

Love in the Garden - 1400s Hortus Conclusus Garden or Garden of Love

 c 1487-95 Artist Unknown British Library, London, Harley 4425   f. 12v   Garden of Earthly Pleasures

This is a manor house garden of the medieval period.  The non religios secluded garden, or  "Hortus Conclusus," represented a garden of earthly delights. Hortus conclusus is a Latin term, meaning literally "enclosed garden." This particular garden is walled with stone & wooden fencing, & is filled with scented flowers & herbs. Reason & the Lover discuss his passion privately near a flowering trellis arbor which were built to ensure privacy & provide shade, while the sound of fountains & bird song filled the air.  The dancing illustration shows the grass treated as a flowery mead planted with low growing wild flowers.  The personification of Nature sits on a turf seat built against a wall with flowers planted in the grass. Flowers are espaliered on wooded supports along the stone wall. Orchard trees produce handy fruit for visitors.  Here the walled garden is used for music, recreation, romance, relaxation, & sport

 c 1487-95 Artist Unknown British Library, London, Harley 4425   f. 14v   Dancing in the Garden

 c 1487-95 Artist Unknown British Library, London, Harley 4425   f. 43v   Reason and the Lover talking in the Garden

c 1487-95 Artist Unknown British Library, London, Harley 4425   f. 161v   Nature in a Garden

Morning Madonna

Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino Madonna col Bambino e angeli, Uffizi, Deposito, 1459

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, May 23, 2016

Love in the Garden - Who was the young queen in this 1400s Garden of Love?

Queen Catharina of Batavie presents her son at the court of love. c.1480 Poems of Charles d'Orleans and other works, c.1480 -1500 British Library, Royal ms 16 F 2, f.1r, detail.

Catharina of Batavie ("Catharina the Radiant") (1358-1400) was the 2nd wife of King Edvard II of Arendaal & thus the Queen Consort of Arendaal & Queen Consort of Suionia between 1378 & 1388. She married the Aren King a year after the death of his 1st wife, Louise of Montelimar. Though profoundly affected by Queen Louise's death, King Edvard II was pressured by his counselors to remarry. He did so in 1378, choosing the much younger Batavian Princess, Catharina, in order to reinforce the nation's alliance with Batavië.

Catharina was the daughter of the King of Batavië. Her father's interest in securing an alliance with the Aren Kingdom was the reason that Catharina was put forward as a prospective bride for the Aren King, in spite of the sizable age difference between them. Aren courtiers had been exceptionally fond of Catharina's predecessor, Louise of Montelimar, & did not warm up to the young, new queen easily. However, Catharina did become popular with her husband's subjects.

She delighted the Aren court by naming her 1st daughter by Edvard Princess Lovisa (an Aren form of the French name Louise) in honour of Edvard's wife Queen Louise. Although Catharina was decades younger than her husband, the mismatched couple reportedly had a happy marriage. Catharina became close to Edvard's children by Louise, who were more or less her age, & to her husband's grandchildren. Edvard II's eldest son by his 1st wife, Crown Prince Lief, predeceased him; & so the King was succeeded by his granddaughter Blanche I in 1388.

Morning Madonna

Frank Duveneck (American artist, 1848-1919) Madonna and Child 1867

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, May 22, 2016

Garden of Love - Monogrammist WH 1475

Monogrammist WH (printmaker; German) Garden of Love; couples within an enclosed garden,  outside are people swimming in a river and further back into the landscape are soldiers on horseback. c. 1475-80

1500s - Love this Persian Garden Tree House!

Anvarī, great 12C Persian poet, in a treetop garden pavilion (Mughal ms. 16C) Anvari Entertains in a Summer House (painting, verso; text, recto), folio 109 from a manuscript of the Divan of Anvari. Harvard University

John Harrower chronicles coming from Scotland to America 1774-1776

See History Matters Created by the American Social History Project / Center for Media & Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) & the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media (George Mason University).

“Many Hundreds are Starving for Want of Employment”: John Harrower Leaves London for Virginia, 1774

Migration across the Atlantic often involved a series of stages, drawing people to London before they embarked on their journey. John Harrower, a 40-year-old shopkeeper & tradesman, lived in the far north of the British Isles. Like many of the 40,000 residents of the Scottish Highlands who left after 1760, he faced poverty & little opportunity. Harrower initially planned to travel to the Netherlands but ended up in London. The great metropolis, the largest in the western world, swelled as thousands looked unsuccessfully for employment. After several weeks, Harrower signed an indenture to travel to Virginia as a schoolmaster. He sailed with 71 other male indentees, some from London, but many others from across England & Ireland. With his relatively privileged training, Harrower was fortunate & found a new life on a tidewater plantation. These excerpts from his journal tell of his time in London, journey across the Atlantic, & arrival in Virginia.

From John Harrower:

Munday 18th [January 1774] This day I got to London & was like a blind man without a guide, not knowing where to go being freindless & having no more money but fifteen shillings & eight pence farthing a small sum to enter London with; But I trust in the mercys of God who is a rich provider & am hopefull before it is done some way will cast up for me. I took up my lodging at the old Ship Tavern in Little Hermitage Street, Mr. George Newton being the landlord, but in Prison for debt at present.

Wednesday 19 Jay. 1774 This day I shifted my cloaths & put on a clean Ruffled Shirt, clean Britches & waistcoat & my Brown Coat. I not having any other cloaths on ever since I left Lerwick but my blew Jacket & Bigg Coat above it & a plain shirt. At 11 am I called to see Capt. Peery, but was told he would not be at home untill 5 pm. Having eat nothing for 24 houres, I dinned in my Lodging this day which cost me l/2 Str. After dinner I took a walk with the mate of a ship a Scotsman who carried me through Virginia Street, London Street, part of White Chappel Street, down to London Hospitall, through Ragg fair, the Minnories Round Tour hill, & the Tour, through Saint Catharins, & Bur street & so home.
At 5 pm called again at Capt. Perrys & the first face I saw was Willie Holcraw of Coningsburgh who I found staid here as a servant, & while I was speacking to him, Capt. Perry came home & he immediately knew me, & desired me to walk in which I did, & after sitting some time & drinking some tea, I called Capt. Perry aside & made my Intentions known to him, at same time begged his advice & assistance; He told me he hardly thought there would be any Business got for me in London. But told me to call on him at the Jamacia Coffee House to morrow at Change time. I then went home, & soon went to Bedd.

Thursday 20th Jay. 1774 This morning breackfast at home & paid 6d. for it. At noon called at the Jamacia Coffee House & soon after seed Capt. Perry & waited here & [at the?] Change untill 3 pm. but no appearance of any Business for me. The time I was in the Coffee house I drank 3ds. worth of punch, & I was obliged to make it serve me for Dinner. At night I hade l/2d. worth of bread & 1d. of Cheese & a poynt of Porter for supper it being all I cou’d afford.

Freiday 21st This morning I seed an advertisement for Bookeepers & Clerks to go to a Gentleman [at?] Philadelphia. I went as it directed to No. 1 in Catharine Court Princes street, but when I came there I was told they were served. I then waited again on Capt. Perry untill after 3 pm, But to no purpose. I this day offered to go steward of a ship bound to Maryland but could not get the birth. This day I was 3 or 4 miles through London & seed St. Pauls Church, the Bank of England where I seed the Gold lying in heaps, I also seed Summerst house, Gild hall, Drury Lane, Covingarden, Adelphus Buildings & severall other pleaces. I then returnd & near my Lodgings I dinned at an eating house & hade 4d. worth of roast Beiff 1d. worth of bread & a poynt of small beer, in all 5 1/2 d.

Saturday 22d. Jay. 1774 This morning I seed an advertiesment in the Publick Ledger for a Messenger to a publick Lodge, Sallery 15/Str. per week & another advertisement for an under Clerk to a Mercht. to both which I wrote answers & went to the places apointed, & found at each place more than a dozen of Letters before me, so that I hade litle expectation that way they being all weel acquanted & I a stranger. I then went to Change to see if any thing would cas[t] up but to no purpose, so I returned hom at 4 pm & spent the evening in a verry sollitary manner supping on bread & Cheese as usuall.

Sunday 23d. This morning I drank some purle for breackfast & then I took a walk in the forenoon through severall streets, & at 1 pm I returned to the eating house I hade formerly been at & dinned which cost me 6 1/2 today having hade 1d. worth of pudding more than I formerly hade. In the afternoon I went to a Methodists Meeting, the Text was in the V Chap: Mathew & the 20th Verse. After sermon I came home & being solitarry in my room I made the following Verses which I insert on the other side of this leaf.
Now at London in a garret room I am,
here frendless & forsaken;
But from the Lord my help will come,
Who trusts in him are not mistaken.
When freinds on earth do faint & faile,
And upon you their backs do turn;
O Truely seek the Lord, & he will
Them comfort that do murn.
I’ll unto God my prayer make,
to him my case make known;
And hopes he will for Jesus sake,
Provide for me & soon.

Munday 24th. This morning I wrote six tickets to give to shipmasters at Change seeking a stewards birth on board some ship, but could not get a birth. I also wrote a petition in generall to any Mercht. or Tradesman setting forth my present situation, & the way in which I hade been brought up & where I hade served & in what station, at same time offering to serve any for the bare suport of life fore some time. But all to no effect, for all pleaces here at present are intierly carried by freinds & Intrest, & many Hundreds are sterving for want of employment, & many good people are begging….

Wednesday 26th. This day I being reduced to the last shilling I hade was oblidged to engage to go to Virginia for four years as a schoolmaster for Bedd, Board, washing & five pound during the whole time. I have also wrote my wife this day a particular Accot. of every thing that has happned to me since I left her untill this date; At 3 pm this day I went on board the Snow Planter Capt. Bowers Comr. for Virginia now lying at Ratliff Cross, & imediatly as I came on board I reed, my Hammock & Bedding. At 4 pm came Alexr. Steuart on board the same Ship. He was Simbisters Servt. & hade only left Zetland about three weeks before me. We were a good deall surprised to meet with on[e] another in this place.

Thursday 27th Jay. 1774 This day ranie weather. The ships crew imployed in rigging the ship under the Direction of the mate & I was imployed in getting my Hammock slung. At 2 pm came on board Alexr. Burnet nephew to Mr. Frances Farquharson writter in Edinburgh & one Samuel Mitchell a Cooper from Yorkshire & both entred into the birth & Mace with Stewart & me.

Freiday 28th. This day the ships crew imployed as Yesterday.

Saturday 29th. This day came on board Alexr. Kennedy a young man from Edinburgh who hade been a Master Cooper there & a Glasgow Man by trade a Barber both which we took into our Mace, which compleated it being five Scotsmen & one Yorkshire man, & was always called the Scots Mace, & the Capt. told me he was from the Toun of Aberbothick in Scotland, but that he [had] note been there since he was fifteen years of age but hade been always in the Virginia trade which I was verry glade to hear. . .

Sunday 6th. At 7 am got under way with a fair wind & clear wr. [weather] & at 11 am came to an anchor off Gravesend & immediatly the Mercht. came on board & a Doctor & clerk with him & while the Clerk was fulling up the Indentures the doctor search’d every servt. to see that they were sound when two was turned ashore haveing the clap, & Seventy five were Intend to Capt. Bowres for four Years.

Munday 7th. Feby. 1774 This forenoon imployed in getting in provisions & water; at 4 pm put a servant ashore extreamly bade in a fiver, & then got under saile for Virginia with seventy Servants on board all indented to serve four years there at their differint Occoupations myself being one of the Number & Indented for a Clerk & Bookeeper, But when I aravied there I cou’d get no such birth as will appear in its place. At pm we came to an anchor at the Nore it blowing & snowing verry hard.

Tuesday 8th. At 5 am made saile from the Nore with the wind at W.N.W. Clear weather & blowing hard. At 2 pm got off a Pillot from Deall to take our River Pillot ashore for which Boat Capt. Bowers paid one & a half Guineas, & after buying some Gin here we stood streight to sea Under Close R. T. sails & our fore saile, a verry high sea running all this day.

Wednesday 9th. Wind at V.N.V. Steering V.B.S. in Company with the Price Freggate of Eighteen Guns bound to Jamacia. At noon caste out the Rd [reefs?] out of the Topsailes. . . .

Tuesday [May] 10th. [after the ship has arrived in Virginia] At 2 am wegh’d & stood up with the tide, came to an Anchor at 6 am & lay untill Do. 8 when we weigh’d with a fair wind & got to our Moorings at 6 pm at the Toun of Fredericksburgh.

Wednesday 11th. At 10 am Both Coopers & the Barber from our Mace went ashore upon tryall. At night one Daniel Turner a servt. returned on board from Liberty so drunk that he abused the Capt. Cheif Mate & Boatswan to a verry high degree, which made to be horse whipt. put in Irons & thumb screwed. An houre after he was unthumbscrewed, taken out of the Irons, but then he was hand cuffed, & gagged all night.

Thursday 12th May 1774, All hands quite on board this day. Turner ungagged But continoued in handcuffs.

Freiday 13th. This forenoon put ashore here what bale goods we hade remaining on board. In the afternoon Mr. Burnet, Stewart & myself went ashore on liberty to take a walk & see the Toun, who’s principall street is about half an English Mile long, the houses generally at a little distance one from another, some of them being built of wood & some of them of brick, & all covered with wood made in the form of slates about four Inches broad, which when painted blew you wou’d not know it from a house sclated with Isedell sclate. In this Toun the Church, the Counsell house, the Tolbooth the Gallows & the Pillary are all within 130 yds. of each other. The Market house is a large brick building a litle way from the Church. Here we drank some Bottles of beer of their own brewing & some bottles of Cyder for which we paid 3 1/2 per bottle of each. Returned on board in the evening. Turner still in handcuffs.

Saturday 14th. Nothing remarcable. Turner still in handcuffs.

Sunday 15th. All last night a great deall of thunder & Lightning. This day Mr. Anderson came to toun & came on bord, & spacke to severall of the servts. Turner still handcuff’d.

Munday 16th May 1774 This day severalls came on board to purchase servts. Indentures & among them there was two Soul drivers. They are men who make it their bussines to go on board all ships who have in either Servants or Convicts & buy sometimes the whole & sometimes a parcell of them as they can agree, & then they drive them through the Country like a parcell of Sheep untill they can sell them to advantage, but all went away without buying any.

Tuesday 17th. This day Mr. Anderson the Mercht. sent for me into the [cabin? ] & verry genteely told me that on my recomendations he would do his outmost to get me settled as a Clerk or bookeeper if not as a schoolmaster which last he told me he thought wou’d turn out more to my advantage upon being settled in a good famely.
The ships crew & servants imployed in getting ashore all the cask out of the hould, no sales this day.

Wednesday 18th. This day the ships crew & servants imployed in getting out the ballast & unrigging the ship. One Cooper, one Blacksmith & one Shoemaker were settled with Masters this day.

Thursday 19th. One Farmer’s time sold & one Cabinet Maker on tryall.

Freiday 20th. This day we got the first four Hhds. of Tobacco on board; Turner still continous handcuffed.

Saturday 21st May 1774 This day one Mr. Cowly a Man twixt fifty & sixty years of age, a servt., also three sons of his their ages from Eight to fourteen were all settled with one McDonald a Scotsman.

Sunday 22d. All hands quiet on board.

Munday 23d. This morning a great number of Gentlemen & Ladies driving into Town it being an anuall Fair day & tomorrow the day of the Horse races. At 11 am Mr. Anderson begged [me] to settle as a schoolmaster with a freind of his one Colonel Daingerfield & told me he was to be in Town tomorrow, or perhaps to night, & how soon he came he shou’d aquant me. At same time all the rest of the servants were ordred ashore to a tent at Fredericksbg. & severall of their Indentures were then sold. About 4 pm I was brought to Colonel Daingerfield, when we imediatly agreed & my Indenture for four years was then delivered him & he was to send for me the next day. At same time ordred to get all my dirty Cloaths of every kind, washed at his expence in Toun; at night he sent me five shillings on board by Capt. Bowers to keep my pocket.

Tuesday 24th. May 1774 This morning I left the Ship at 6 am having been sixteen weeks & six days on board her. I hade for Breackfast after I came ashore one Chappin sweet milk for which I paid 3 1/2 Cury. At 11 am went to see a horse race about a mille from Toun, where there was a number of Genteel Company as well as others. Here I met with the Colonel again & after some talk with him he gave me cash to pay for washing all my Cloaths & Something over. The reace was gain’d by a Bay Mare, a white boy ridder. There was a gray Mare started with the Bay a black boy ridder but was far distant the last heat.

Wednesday 25th. I Lodged in a Tavern last night & paid 7 1/2 for my Bedd & 7 1/2 for my breackfast. This morning a verry heavy rain untill 11 am. Then I recd. my Linens &ca. all clean washed & packing every thing up I went on board the ship & Bought this Book for which I paid 18d. Str. I also bought a small Divinity book called the Christian Monitor & a spelling book, both at 7 1/2 & an Arithmetick at 1/6d. all for my own Accot.

Thursday 26th. This day at noon the Colonel sent a Black with a cuple of Horses for me & soon after I set out on Horseback & aravied at his seat of Belvidera about 3 pm & after I hade dined the Colonel took me to a neat little house at the upper end of an Avenue of planting at 500 yds. from the Main house, where I was to keep the school, & Lodge myself in it.
This pleace is verry pleasantly situated on the Banks of the River Rappahannock about seven Miles below the Toun of Fredericksburgh, & the school’s right above the Warff so that I can stand in the door & pitch a stone on board of any ship or Boat going up or coming doun the river.

Freiday 27th. This morning about 8 am the Colonel delivered his three sons to my Charge to teach them to read write & figure. His oldest son Edwin 10 years of age, intred into two syllables in the spelling book, Bathourest his second son 6 years of age in the Alphabete & William his third son 4 years of age does not know the letters. He has likeways a Daughter whose name is Hanna Basset __ Years of age. Soon after we were all sent for to breackfast to which we hade tea Bread, Butter & cold meat & there was at table the Colonel, his Lady, his Childreen, the housekeeper & myself. At 11 am the Colonel & his Lady went some where to pay a visite, he upon horseback & she in her Charriot. At 2 pm I dined with the Housekeeper the Childreen & a Stranger Lady. At 6 pm I left school, & then I eat plenty of fine straw berries, but they neither drink Tea in the afternoon nor eat any supper here for the most part. My school Houres is from 6 to 8 in the Morning, in the forenoon from 9 to 12 & from 3 to 6 in the afternoon.

Source: John Harrower, The Journal of John Harrower, An Indentured Servant in the Colony of Virginia, 1773–1776 (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1963), 14–19, 38–42.

See History Matters Created by the American Social History Project / Center for Media & Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) & the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media (George Mason University).

George Washington & his fellow countrymen's obsession - Horse Racing in Early America

Horse racing in the British American colonies dates back to the establishment of the Newmarket course on the Salisbury Plains in Hempstead Plains of Long Island in 1665. Only 1 year after the English captured New Amsterdam from the Dutch, the first English governor of New York Richard Nicolls laid out the formal race course. The course was constructed 2 miles long on Salisbury Plain on Long Island. In contrast to the dense virgin forest which covered most of the eastern Atlantic seaboard, Salisbury Plain offered a tract of grass 4 miles wide & 16 miles long.

18C Woodcut

New York's new Governor Nicolls explained that the purpose of the race course was “not so much for the divertissement of youth as for encouraging the bettering of the breed of horses which through great neglect has been impaired.” To induce competition in the importing & careful breeding of horses, Nicolls offered trophies at the spring & fall meetings.  To foster quality in American horses, as early as 1668, the court of Massachusetts decreed that only horses “of comely proportions and 14 hands in stature” could graze on town commons. A law was enacted by William Penn in Pennsylvania in 1687, which set a minimum height of 13 hands for free ranging horses. Any horse more than 18 months old & less than 13 hands had to be gelded. In 1715, Maryland enacted a law, that any old stray horses could be shot on sight.

Many towns in early America had streets called “Race Street." Such streets gained their names from the habit of running horse races on them. In 1674, the citizens of Plymouth, Massachusetts evidently grew tired of the races in their village & created an ordinance forbidding racing. About a century later, Connecticut enacted a law which demanded the forfeit of a man’s horse, in addition to a fine of 40 shillings, if he was caught racing in the streets.

In Virginia, races were often held at courthouses, fairs, churches, or taverns attracting large gatherings of people of all sorts. But only gentlemen could enter horses in races. In York County in 1674, a tailor wagered 2,000 pounds of tobacco, that his mare could beat his neighbor’s horse. The county court fined him 100 pounds of tobacco, declaring that “it being contrary to Law for a Labourer to make a race being a Sport only for Gentlemen.” 

William Penn (1644-1718) reportedly raced his horses in Philadelphia, down what would fittingly later be named Race Street. From 1682 to 1684, Penn, a Quaker, was in the Province of Pennsylvania, & he returned once more in 1699.  Penn declared that, "Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it."  Sports & athletic contests had long been associated with gambling, drinking, & other earthly sins. Horse racing was one sport that the conservative early legislature did not specifically ban. 

Horse racing remained popular in Philadelphia for many years, and by 1760 races around the Center Square (Penn Square) had become a fixture with an admission fee of 7s. 6d. to a convenient spectators’ gallery. Four times around the square (estimated at 2 miles, though actually somewhat less) became the standard distance for the races. (J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia (Phila., 1884), iii, 1842–3.)

George Washington attended local races staged by the Philadelphia Jockey Club. In Philadelphia, Hunting Park opened as a race track in 1808, & doubled as a public pleasure garden. But in 1820, the Pennsylvania legislature banned horse racing throughout the state.

The June 1704, Maryland court records give an account of a suit by Joseph Addison against Capt. Edward Hunt. Addison charged that Hunt at Lyons Creek in Anne Arundel County "…stood justly indebted" for an itemized list of expenses that included "money lent you at the race" in the amount of 18 shillings. Obviously, there were horse races being held at Lyons Creek (near Herring Bay) as early as 1702.

The English Tradition - Watching racehorses at exercise at Newmarket by John Wotton (1682-1764) c 1753 Yale

While horse racing generally followed English rules in the northern Britis American colonies, another form of racing began to flourish in the southern regions.  The racetracks in these wooded regions were sometimes little more than 2 parallel race paths, 1/4 mile in length, cut through the forest. There was little space at either the beginning or the end of the track. The races were run on a straight course marked at the end by upright stakes, where the judges stood. Short sprints-about a quarter of a mile-were the most common distances for races in the 17C, & this continued in the backcountry in the next century. The quarter-mile track, therefore, gave both the race & the smaller horses their names.  It was not unusual for the competitors & spectators to travel far to these early quarter-race tracks in the woods & to place considerable wagers on their town’s horse. Typical side wagers included money, tobacco, slaves, & property.

 In 1724, Hugh Jones observed that Virginians “are such lovers of Riding, that almost every ordinary Person keeps a horse; and I have known some spend the Morning ranging several Miles in the Woods to find and catch their Horses only to ride two or three Miles to Church, to the Court-House, or to a Horse-Race.”  In December 1729, William Woodford wrote that when he took his young nephew to Williamsburg for the King’s Birthday celebration, the boy declined to go to the governor’s house or to the balls. Instead he “mist no Opportunity of seeing the Races which he took most delight in.”

The British American colonial's love affair with horses did not escape the capitalistic minds of commercial garden proprietors.  To increase traffic at his public pleasure garden, New Yorker Francis Child held a horse race there in 1736. Child operated Catiemuts Garden which was the favorite outdoor tavern of the city's sporting set. The prize, a silver plate valued at twenty pounds, could be won by any "Horse, Mare, or Gelding carrying Ten Stone, Saddle and Bridle included, winning the best of three Heats, Two Miles each Heat."

By 1735, horse races were occuring regularly at the Bowling Green House in South Carolina where The S C Gazette advertised a variety of prizes for the winners of these races from saddles & bridles to horses to silver swords to cash. For one 1735 race, a requirement to enter was "for white Men to ride." 

Many of the jockeys in colonial America in the South were slaves, who were referred to only by a first name. Virginia's George Mason (1725-1792) had a slave named Nace who was an expert horseman. He was paid by a neighbor of Mason’s to break a horse to ride. John Harrower mentions several slave jockeys at the horse races.  

By 1737, The Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg reported that, "there is to be Horse Racing every Saturday till October, at the Race Ground near this City."  The Virginia Gazette on December 9, 1737, reported that, "On St. Andrew's Day...a great Number of Gentlemen, ladies, and others; Booths were set up, and an extraordinary good Dinner provided for them, with Variety and Plenty of Liquors. The Horse and Foot Races whereon; and all or most of the Prizes contemned for, and won. The fine Saddle and Housing were won by a Bay Horse belonging to one Tynes, of Carolina County...Flag was display'd, Drums were beating, Trumpets founding, and other Musick playing, for the Entertainment of the Company, and the whole was manag'd with... good Order."

Continuing the tradition, but cleverly charging both entrants & spectators for the privilege, New Yorker Adam Vandenberg leased land of the Church Farm in 1742, next to his property, laying out a race course & advertising the familiar "run for a Piece of Plate by any Horse, Mare, or Gelding carrying Ten Stone, Saddle and Bridle included, of three Heats, Two Miles each." Vandenberg charged each race entrant half a Pistole. Observers on horseback or in chaises could expect to pay six pence apiece to watch the events. Vandenberg hoped that those at the track would wander over to his Mead House and Garden (or Drover's Tavern) after the race.  Vandenberg's garden & tavern was near the site of the later Astor House.

In wealthy Annapolis, Maryland, the highlight of the social season was a week of parties & plays organized around a racing meeting. In 1743, a silversmith was commissioned to make a trophy for the Annapolis Subscription Plate, a premier event of the city’s September races. 

Plan of Town of Newbern, North Carolina, 1769, by Claude Joseph Sauthier (1736-1802) shows the race course just outside the town.

In North Carolina, Halifax, Warren & neighboring counties in east Carolina were the horse raising sections of the state. There were racetracks at Halifax, Scotland Neck, Tarboro, by 1768 at Hillsbough, & earlier, in the late 1700’s, at Tuckers Paths.

18C Woodcut

Horseracing was exceedingly popular by the mid-18th century. On Friday, June 1, 1750, a New York newspaper reported a great race at Hempstead Plains, for a considerable wager, which attracted such attention that on Thursday, the day before the race, upward of 70 chairs & chaises were carried over the Long Island Ferry, plus a far greater number of horses.  The number of horses on the plains at the race was said to far exceed a thousand.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, & James Monroe were fans of racing. 

George Washington attended the Maryland Jockey Club race meeting frequently in 1762 going to the track for almost every carded event. He also attended race meetings in 1766, 1767, 1771, 1772, and 1773 in Annapolis, Maryland, & kept a written record of his gambling wins & losses. 

George Washington often wrote of wagering on horse races in his journals.  He also made notes of attending races in his diary. Washington wrote in his diary on 5 August 1768, "Went by Muddy hole—the Mill—& Doeg Run Plantations to a Race at Cameron.  Returnd in the Evening." Cameron was the name of the neighborhood which began at the junction of several major roads leading into Alexandria, between 1 & 2 miles west of town, extending several miles west along Cameron Run, the stream which fed into Hunting Creek. In Washington’s lifetime Cameron lent its name to a proposed town, several family homes, a mill, & an ordinary. Cameron was probably the junction point itself, a convenient location for horse-racing fans who lived in Alexandria or in the surrounding countryside. On September 29, 1768, Washington recorded, "Went to a Purse Race at Accatinck & returnd with Messrs. Robt. and George Alexander." Washington spent 12s. 6d. at the race & also paid Robert Sanford 12s. “for Pacing my Horse” (Ledger A, 277).

Washington also frequented George Weedon's (c.1734–1793) “large and commodious” tavern on the main street of Fredericksburg (now Caroline Street) “nearly opposite” the town hall & public market. Frequented “by the first gentlemen” of Virginia & “neighboring colonies,” it contained “a well accustomed billiard room” & was the place where local horse races were arranged (VA Gazette, 12 Sept. 1766 & 15 Sept. 1775; Fredericksburg VA Herald, 23 Oct. 1788). 

In the late 1760s, horse racing was still active in Williamsburg, where George Washington found himself. On May 3, 1769, while Washington was at the Raleigh Tavern there, he bought subscriptions to 3 Williamsburg purse races (Ledger A, 290). “There are races at Williamsburgh twice a year,” a visitor to the town about this time observed, “that is, every spring and fall, or autumn. Adjoining to the town is a very excellent course, for either 2, 3, or 4 mile heats. Their purses are generally raised by subscription, & are gained by the horse that wins 2 4-mile heats out of 3; they amount to 100 pounds each for the 1st day’s running, and 50 each day after; the races commonly continuing for a week.”

In the fall of the same year, the horse races in Philadelphia, scheduled by its famous Jockey Club for 25 & 26 September, had been postponed until Thursday & Friday, the 28th & 29th, in order to avoid conflict with the annual meeting of the Society of Friends (The Pennsylvania Journal; and the Weekly Advertiser, 31 August–5 October 1769).

On September 21, 1771, Washington wrote, "Set out with Mr. Wormeley for the Annapolis Races. Dind at Mr. Willm. Digges’s & lodgd at Mr. Ignatis Digges’s." The fall racing at Annapolis was an annual highlight of both the sporting & social seasons for the Chesapeake gentry, being an occasion not only for indulging in “the pleasures of the turf” but for going to dinners, balls, & plays in the city (Eddis, xxv—xxvi, 54–55). Sponsored by the prestigious Annapolis Jockey Club, the races attracted the finest thoroughbreds in the region to run for purses of up to 100 guineas. This year the jockey club had announced four days of racing to begin at 11:00 A.M. each day from 24 to 27 Sept. & 3 balls to be held on the nights of 24, 25, and 27 Sept. (Maryland Gazette, 12 Sept. 1771).

Washington noted in his diary on September 22. "Dind at Mr. Sam Gallaway’s & lodged with Mr. Boucher in Annapolis." Galloway belonged to the Annapolis Jockey Club, & on 24 Sept. he would race his horse Selim, for which he had paid £1,000 as a yearling in 1760 (Maryland Gazette, 26 Sept. 1771). Jonathan Boucher & Jacky Custis were living in the St. Anne’s Parish parsonage on Hanover Street. Jacky had written to Washington on 18 August, extending an invitation on behalf of Boucher to stay at his house, as it would be “almost impossible to get a Room at any of the ordinaries, the Rooms being preengaged to their [regular] customers.” On September 24th, Washington wrote, "Dined with the Govr. & went to the Play & Ball afterwards." He probably attended the races before dinner on this & the following 3 days. The track adjoined the town on the west, & because of the beautiful autumn weather “there was a prodigious concourse of spectators and considerable sums were depending on the contest of each day” (Eddis, 54). 

Washington noted on October 1, 1771, "Dined at Upper Marlborough & reachd home in the Afternoon. Mr. Wormley—Mr. Fitzhugh, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Burwell, & Jack Custis came with me. Found Mr. Pendleton here." Atty. Gen. John Randolph of Williamsburg & Edmund Pendleton (1721–1803) of Caroline County were retained by Washington about this time. John Randolph also had attended the races in Annapolis with his daughters, traveling there on board the armed schooner Magdalen (Virginia Gazette. 17 Sept. 1771).

Washington noted on October 4. 1772, that he was returning to Annapolis for the races. "Set of for the Annapolis Races. Dined and lodged at Mr. Boucher’s." Jacky Custis accompanied GW on this trip to the races (Ledger B, 60). On the 5th, he "Reachd Annapolis. Dined at the Coffee House with the Jocky Club & lodgd at the Govrs. after going to the Play." On October 6, he wrtoe, "Dined at Majr. Jenifers—went to the Ball and Suppd at the Govrs." The 4 days of racing began this morning at 11:00. The Maryland Gazette expected “good Sport, as a great Number of Horses are already come from the Northward and Southward, to start for the different Purses.” 

Detail 1772 George Washington (1732-1791) by Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827)

On September 26, 1773, Washington wrote, "I set of for Annapolis Races. Dined at Rollins’s & got into Annapolis between five & Six Oclock. Spent the Evening & lodged at the Governors." Most of the Rollins (Rawlins, Rawlings) families of Maryland lived in the South River & West River neighborhoods of Anne Arundel County, Md. One old Rawlings house, which served as a tavern for much of the colonial period, was owned by Ann Gassaway Rawlings & inherited by her son Gassaway Rawlings, who owned it until 1810. The next day Washington noted, "Dined at the Govrs. and went to the Play in the Evening." Five days of racing began this day with a 3-horse sweepstakes. As usual, all races began at 11:00 A.M. On the 28th, Wasington wrote, "Again Dined at the Govrs. and went to the Play & Ball in the Evening." Tuesday’s race was for the Jockey Club purse of 100 guineas, limited to horses of club members. This day's race was run in 3 heats of 3 miles each, for a purse of £50. 

John Harrower was a Scottish immigrant who arrived in America in 1774 in service to Colonel William Daingerfield tutoring his children at Belvidera, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Harrower kept a journal in which he recorded both details of everyday life just before the American Revolution. Harrower describes a day at the local horse races, where he was joined by “a number of genteel company.”  

But on October 20, 1774, as anger with Great Britain grew, the Continental Congress declared, "That we will, in our several Stations, encourage Frugality Economy, and Industry; and promote Agriculture, Arts, and the Manufactures of this Country, especially that of Wool; and will discountenance and discourage every Species of Extravagance and Dissipation, especially all Horse-racing, and all Kinds of Gaming, Cock-fighting, Exhibitions of Shows, Plays, and other expensive Diversions and Entertainments..."  A great deal of parliamentary maneuvering apparently was involved in Congress’s approval of this resolution & a companion one recommending to the states, that they adopt effectual measures for encouraging “true religion & good morals” & for suppressing “theatrical entertainments, horse racing, gaming, & such other diversions as are productive of idleness, dissipation, & a general depravity of principles & manners.” 

Apparently, racing continued in Virginia. a letter To George Washington from Alexander Spotswood, 8 March 1779, read, "I have purchased you 2 Exceeding fine horses—and shall Attend the Petersburg Races which happens on the 1st day of April next, where I shall get two more, & will bring them out with me in April."  Three race-courses existed in & around Petersburg, Va., during the Revolutionary War. Pride’s race ground in the Battersea neighborhood on the Appomattox River was the most popular of the 3, & presumably the site of the “Petersburg races” (see Edward A. Wyatt IV, “Newmarket of the Virginia Turf,” WMQ, 2d ser., 17 [1937]: 481–95).

George Washington's fellow Virginian George Mason (1725-1792) kept at least one racehorse of which he was extremely proud, named Vulcan.  Vulcan was pastured in the field on the land side of Gunston Hall.  From that pasture he could be admired by guests as they arrived at the house.

The war ended. By June of 1785, James Madison was writing, "Nonetheless, disestablishment (of religion) was an accomplished fact, a social symptom of declining interest in organized Christianity. Church-going in Virginia had long been on the decline as communicants found more reasons for attending Sunday horse races or cock fights than for being in pews." In 1784, a foreign traveler in Richmond noted that the village had only “one small church, but [it was] spacious enough for all the pious souls of the place and the region." 

In most of colonial British America horses were not delineated by breed, the large plantation owners did have some particular breeds which they used for both racing & fox hunting.  The known breeds among the plantation owners at the time include Naragansett, Andaulsian, Thoroughbred & Arabian.  George Washington’s famous racehorse, Magnolia, was a pedigreed Arabian.

Rhode Island, Maryland, & Virginia were centers of colonial horse breeding, along with South Carolina & New York. During the American Revolution, importations of race horses from England practically stopped but resumed after the signing of a peace treaty.  

Jockey Clubs

Horse racing expanded after the American Revolution, as jockey clubs were established in nearly every region, annual races became major social events, & horse breeding became big business. It became necessary to standardize racing weights, distances, & other variables.

Before the days of baseball, football, & basketball, horse racing was the sport of its day.  Jockey clubs were organized to set rules & regulations.  Maryland maintained some 20 racing centers before the Revolution.  In 1765, a British officer noted that “there are established races annually at almost every town and considerable place in Virginia." To supply the horses demanded for quality racing, a breeding industry steadily grew in Virginia. By the time of the Revolution, there were 27 important breeding farms in the vicinity of the James, York, Rappahanock, & Potomac rivers.  

America’s 1st jockey club, composed of wealthy horse owners & breeders, was organized in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1734. There were tracks in Charleston, Strawberry Ferry & Pineville plus on James & Johns islands. The 1st account of a horse race appeared Feb. 1, 1734, in the South Carolina Gazette. The prize was a saddle & bridle valued at 20 pounds. The race was run "on the green on Charleston Neck, opposite a public house known as the Bowling Green House" & consisted of mile heats with 4 entries each. A year later, owners were invited through newspapers to enter a race at the York Course for a purse of 100 pounds. Subsequent races offered a gold watch valued at 140 pounds and "a finely embroidered jacket valued at 90 pounds." The most famous South Carolina venue was the Washington Race Course, established in 1792 & known as Hampton Park today. The S.C. Jockey Club book notes that the inner ditch was 1,760 yards, or one mile or 8 furlongs. The track remained active from 1792 until 1900. The big event was Race Week, held in February.

The Maryland Jockey Club is a sporting organization dedicated to horse racing, founded in Annapolis in 1743. Two popular racecourses existed in Baltimore after the founding of the Maryland Jockey Club in 1745. The 1st was at Whetstone Point, now Locust Point, along the Patapsco River in southern Baltimore; the 2nd, officially sanctioned by the city commissioners for purses ranging from £5 to £1,500, was located on property owned by John Eager Howard at what is now Pine Street & Lexington Market.

The Philadelphia Jockey Club was founded in 1766, "to encourage the breeding of good horses and to promote the pleasures of the turf." Many prominent men in Philadelphia were members, including Governor Penn, president of the club, and John Cadwalader, vice-president. On 18, 19, & 20 in May 1773, an important series of races was run in Philadelphia. The races were run under the auspices of the Jockey Club & were among the most important social events of the year in Philadelphia. Governor Eden had entered his bay horse, Why-Not, in the Jockey Club Purse, the first & richest of the races, but the race was won by Israel Waters’s horse, King Herod (Pennsylvania Chronicle, 24 May 1773)

The Wilmington, North Carolina Jockey Club was established in 1774. As early as the 1730s, writer John Brickell noted North Carolina's fondness for horse racing. Early racing became more refined in the last 2 decades before the Revolution, when planters imported expensive English breeding stock to Virginia & North Carolina. Gradually plantation owners with the financial resources to purchase, breed, train, & race horses dominated the sport, a way for North Carolina's financial elite to display their wealth. Gambling on horse races was widespread among all classes. The famous race horse Janus was kept in North Carolina during the 1770s, establishing an enviable breed of thoroughbreds.

As English thoroughbreds were imported into the South, Virginia race horses were no longer sprinters but distance runners. The circular mile-long track, where horses competed for a subscription purse, grew in popularity. On November 25, 1773, New England school teacher Philip Vickers Fithian attended a race between 2 horses at Richmond Court House. He wrote: “One of the Horses belonged to Colonel John Taylor [Tayloe], and is called Yorick—The other to Dr. [Nicholas] Flood, and is called Gift—The Assembly was remarkably numerous, beyond any expectation and exceeding polite in general...The Horses started precisely at 5 minutes after 3; the Course was 1 Mile in Circumference, they performed the first Round in 2 minutes, third in 2 minutes & a-half...when the Riders dismounted very lame; they run five Miles, and Carried 180 lb.”

From John Lawrence, The History and Delineation of the Horse (London, 1809)

In the Chesapeake in the new nation, where races were regularly scheduled during court days, public gardens organized events around the horse races. In 1801, the Hay-Market Gardens in Richmond, Virginia announced their special arrangements for race days. The owner, Mr. J. Pryor, had ordered and installed a new organ for his music gallery that would play for the first time during the races. He had built an "extensive building surrounding the gallery" in preparation for theatrical performances planned for the third day of the races. There will be a BALL on the first night of the races--a Grand Concert accompanied with the organ and voices on the second night." He was also looking for "two good Bar Keepers and a few waiters" to meet the increased demand he expected during the races. By the mid-19C, horse racing in America attracted large crowds.

A Race Meeting at Jacksonville, Alabama by W.S Hedges Birmingham Museum of Art

Love in the Garden - A Garden of Love 1400s

The Garden of Love, (c. 1465-1470) Antonio Vivarini (studio of)

Morning Madonna

Giotto (Ambrogio Bondone) (Italian artist, 1267-1337) Nativity

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, May 21, 2016

Love in the Garden - Jean Leblond 1605-1666

 Jean Leblond 1605-1666 The Four Seasons - Autumn

 Jean Leblond 1605-1666 The Four Seasons - Spring

 Jean Leblond 1605-1666 The Four Seasons - Summer

Jean Leblond 1605-1666 The Four Seasons - Winter

Morning Madonna

Unknown Master, Italian (active around 1360 in Venice). The Virgin of Humility with Angels and Donor

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, May 20, 2016

Love in the Garden + a few random Lovers - Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500)

Master of the Housebook. 1465-1500 The Lovers; seated on a bench underneath an arch of foliage. A pot of blooming flowers shares the bench. 

The Master of the Housebook  is also known as:  Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet, Master of Hausbuch, Meister des Hausbuches. He was an engraver & painter whose work is found in the last quarter of the 15C, working in Southern Germany.  The Master if the Housebook is most renowned for his work as an engraver & is believed to be the 1st artist to use the drypoint, a printmaking technique.

 Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) Lover's Garden 1475-1485. Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur.  In the 15C, The Garden of Love is usually portrayed as an idyllic realm of courtly love - music, feasting, & games where women inspired dedicated service from their admirers. 

The Master of the Housebook's  91 prints are extremely rare, with sixty surviving in one impression (copy) only, & none in more than 5 - there are a total of 124 impressions, 80 in Amsterdam. It is thought that because his prints were made using only the shallow, scratched line of drypoint, probably on tin or a pewter-type alloy, only 10 to 20 impressions of each could be taken before the plate wore out. Many engravings by other artists are believed to be copies of missing works by this master. In particular, Israhel van Meckenem seems to have copied more than 30.

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500). Card Players in Garden.  Card & game playing were common pastimes in 15C gardens.

The Master of the Housebook work is very well drawn & lively, with the interest in detail typical of Early Netherlandish painting.  British art historian Arthur Mayger Hind (1880-1957) noted of his style that "he is an artist with a freedom of draughtsmanship quite remarkable at this epoch. If his manner of engraving has something of the irregularity of an amateur, his power of expression is vigorous & masterly."

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) The lovers; the couple sits on a bank under an arch of winding foliage; the lady to the left holds a little dog. A pot with flowers sits to the left.

A high proportion depicts secular subjects, more than is typical with artists of the period. Along with his contemporary Martin Schongauer, the Housebook Master was the leading artist making old master prints in Germany in his period. Both Schongauer & the Housebook Master had a considerable influence on the prints of Albrecht Dürer. The Master suggests Netherlandish influence in the modelling of light & shade & in some of his figural types.

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) 1480 Master of the Housebook Aristotle and Phyllis in a walled garden.

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) Delilah cutting Sampson's Hair in Garden 1471

A few random lovers from The Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500)

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) Gotha Lovers. c. 1484.  Schlossmuseum. Freidenstein, Germany. A small number of paintings are also thought to be his work, notably the Pair of Lovers in Gotha.

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) Standing Lovers from Behind1485 (LLcat122) Are they standing at the edge of a cliff?

Master of the Housebook (active c1470-1500) A Peasant Carrying His Wife in a Wheelbarrow.  Frankfurt c 1470-90.  Not in a garden, but a fine depiction of a 15C wheelbarrow.