Bard and artisan, Mistress Dervila ni Leanon, OL, demonstrates the art of Coptic bookbinding in a blog page, illustrated with many photos, that chronicles the process.
Most people spend Pennsic fighting, going to classes, dancing, or just hanging out around the campfire. Not the case for Ercc Glaison, who chose to spend his War in the persona of a wandering friar. (photos)
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum has authenticated a new painting by Vincent van Gogh, the first full-sized canvas by the master to be found since 1928. It’s called Sunset at Montmajour, is 93.3 x 73.3 centimeters (36.73 x 28.86 inches) and was painted in the Arles area by van Gogh during the summer of 1888. Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Rüger explains the significance of the piece:
“A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum. It is already a rarity that a new painting can be added to Van Gogh’s oeuvre. But what makes this even more exceptional is that this is a transition work in his oeuvre, and moreover, a large painting from a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement, his period in Arles in the south of France. During this time he also painted world-famous works, such as Sunflowers, The yellow house and The bedroom. The attribution to Van Gogh is based on extensive research into style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh’s letters and the provenance.”
This isn’t the first time the Van Gogh Museum has examined this painting. The owner asked the museum to determine its authenticity in 1991, but experts concluded at that time that it was not an original work of Van Gogh. In 2011, the owner (the museum isn’t providing information about this person or whether it’s the same owner who submitted the work in 1991) brought the painting back to the museum for authentication. This time around things went very differently. Researchers had access to new information and new technology.
X-rays of the canvas revealed that it was the same type used by Vincent in another Arles painting, The Rocks, which is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Chemical analysis of the pigments found their colors and makeup correspond exactly to the palette van Gogh used in Arles, and even share their characteristic discolorations.
Experts were able to trace the ownership all the way back to Vincent’s brother Theo who kept all of his brother’s paintings after his death in 1890. Sun Setting at Arles listed as number 180 in Theo’s inventory, and the number 180 is on the back of the newly authenticated canvas. Theo’s widow sold 180 to French collector and dealer Maurice Fabre in 1901. There’s no documentation of Fabre selling the piece. It just disappears from the historical record until 1970 when it cropped up in the estate of Norwegian industrialist Christian Nicolai Mustad. According to the Mustad family, Christian had bought the painting from Fabre in 1908 when he was a newbie art collector. Shortly thereafter the French ambassador to Sweden told him the painting was a fake and, embarrassed that he had been conned, Mustad hid the work in his attic for the next 60 years. When Christian’s estate was sold after his death, an art dealer determined the painting was either a deliberate fake or the work of a minor German painter. From then it’s been in anonymous private hands.
On top of all this, a newly published collection of all of Vincent’s letters pointed the Van Gogh Museum experts to the location depicted in the painting — the hill of Montmajour a few miles outside of Arles — which they were then able to verify in person, even finding an apposite cluster of old oaks.
In a letter to Theo written at Arles on July 5th, 1888, Vincent describes the subject of his painting:
Yesterday, at sunset, I was on a stony heath where very small, twisted oaks grow, in the background a ruin on the hill, and wheatfields in the valley. It was romantic, it couldn’t be more so, à la Monticelli, the sun was pouring its very yellow rays over the bushes and the ground, absolutely a shower of gold. And all the lines were beautiful, the whole scene had a charming nobility. You wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see knights and ladies suddenly appear, returning from hunting with hawks, or to hear the voice of an old Provençal troubadour. The fields seemed purple, the distances blue. And I brought back a study of it too, but it was well below what I’d wished to do.
A week later he refers again to his drawings of the Montmajour area, two of which he believes to be the best pen drawings he’s done. He tells Theo he wants at least 100 francs for them, and he’s willing to throw in the three other drawings for that price even though the work took a toll on him:
And not everyone would have the patience to let themselves be eaten up by the mosquitoes, and to struggle against this infuriating nuisance of the constant mistral, not to mention that I’ve spent whole days out of doors with a bit of bread and some milk, it being too far to be going back to town all the time.
He then goes on to say that the works has exhausted him and that he has started a painting of Montmajour but the damnable mistral wind — a cold, dry wind that blusters over southern France at speeds of up to 55 miles an hour — is making it impossible for him to work on it for the time being. Scholars have thought that reference was to The Rocks, but Vincent doesn’t give specifics in the letter, so perhaps it was Sunset at Montmajour after all. He uses the plural “oaks” in the first letter quoted above while there’s only one oak in The Rocks, and he mentions the ruins of Montmajour Abbey in the background. The ruins can be seen in the left background of Sunset at Montmajour; they don’t appear at all in The Rocks. The Rocks is also significantly smaller than Sunset at 21 5/8 x 25 7/8 inches.
So why have experts have so much difficulty in the past identifying the painting as the work of Vincent van Gogh? Senior researchers Louis van Tilborgh and Teio Meedendorp think it’s because it’s a transitional piece where the artist was still using more traditional strokes, building up to the thick impasto and layering of his later works. Also, there are elements of the painting — some parts of the foreground and right side — that are a little muddier than van Gogh’s usual. Perhaps that’s why he considered it “well below what [he]‘d wished to do.”
Sunset at Montmajour will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum, on loan from the private collection, for a year starting September 24th. It will be part of the exhibition Van Gogh at Work which focuses on the recent discoveries about the painter’s technique as it developed over the course of ten years.
Potholes may be a modern annoyance, but the recent discovery of a Roman horseshoe stuck in a rut shows that the problem is ages old. The 2000-year-old show was discovered recently under Liverpool Street in London. (photo)
A highlight of the year in Boston, Lincolnshire, England is the South Kyme Festival where medieval jousters compete and the proceeds go to charity. This year's festival featured two medieval re-enactment groups – The Woodvilles and The Knights of Skirbeck. (photo)
Artifacts of a Life, a new type of Arts & Sciences event that is jointly sponsored by The Barony Beyond the Mountain and the Barony of Carolingia, is coming on September 21!
The event centers around display of artifacts that could have been left behind by a plausible historic persona — it does not have to be your SCA persona. The goal is to be able to look at these as a whole for what they reveal about the material culture of that persona’s time, place, and social context.
Because this is a new way of looking at Arts & Sciences, there is an additional page of information to help both judges and entrants prepare, that can be found here: http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.com/p/prospective-judges-and-entrants.html
The staff of the event are still accepting volunteers for judging, previous experience is not necessarily required. The organizers are encouraging entrants and judges to be able to talk to each other face to face and hope the more judges that are available will allow a better quality of feedback for the entrants.
Please let event organizers know in advance if you plan to enter just so they can make sure to have the right space and layout available for you. It is not a requirement, but it is helpful to planning.
And of course, they can always use more volunteers, especially for gate and registration of entrants.
Those wishing to enter or volunteer can contact Baron Jehan at email@example.com.
Details are available at http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.ca/
Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events, Local Groups
Greetings Lords and Ladies,
There is a special project that needs your attention. New underwear,
If you could donate a new pack of underwear or socks or a box of
Filed under: Events, Local Groups, Tidings
Harvest Moon Shoot is coming right up. Saturday, Sept. 14 at Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds in South Hiram, Maine. There are some great things in store. https://www.facebook.com/events/1385201558359050/
The site is spacious and rain resistant, with covered areas for most or all of the activities.
Archery is the focus of the day, with a hunt theme. Alexandre and Adrienne and their crew will be marshaling the fields, with standard and friend & foe targets, and Iain will be running the Wood’s Walk, a roving range through a forest path with 3D targets.
Samuel Peter DeBump, more commonly known as Speedbump, will be offering a combat archery series, including classes in construction and technique, authorization attempts, and possibly some CA dueling. If you have an interest in CA but need some questions answered or help getting started, come take advantage of this rare opportunity.
There will be a Heavy List tourney. The local victor will win the title of Malagentian Heavy List Champion and bear an recently unearthed ancient Malagentian artifact as regalia for the year. The best fighting visitor will receive a set of drinking vessels, perhaps to be used at Tyger and Bucket Tavern later in the evening.
The Malagentian Thrown Weapons Champion will also be determined, and Boden has found an antique brass-headed axe as regalia for that honored thrower.
A lighthearted fencing tourney will be held. An embroidered favor, currently worn by Don Jordan Harvey, will be borne by the victor until next year.
Display your hunt-themed arts & sciences projects, finished or in progress. Elgiva Wilhelm will be coordinating.
Christiana Crane will be preparing a hearty day board. There is a menu at http://harvestmoonshoot.com/activities/food/
After the event, grab a bottle and visit the legendary Tyger & Bucket Tavern, a separate event conveniently located on the same site. Bawdy shenanigans and delectable victuals. Your Harvest Moon Shoot site token gives you free entry to the tavern. See https://www.facebook.com/events/555903351137080 for more.
All this PLUS lots more!
Google Map: http://bit.ly/hmslocation
Harvest Moon Shoot Facebook event page:
Harvest Moon Shoot website: http://harvestmoonshoot.com/
Filed under: Archery, Events, Fencing, Heavy List, Thrown Weapons
Sou-Grd-10th-art (4K) 8/29/13 "Southron Gaard's Glorious 10th" by mistress katherine kerr.
p-thts-animls-msg (18K) 9/ 8/13 Period thoughts on and behavior to animals.
per-lepers-msg (10K) 9/ 1/13 Stories of using leper personas.
p-prices-msg (84K) 9/ 8/13 Prices for medieval items.
Ball-Buttons-art (9K) 8/14/13 "Making Medieval Ball Buttons" by Mistress Dunstana Talana the Violet, OL.
Amateur archaeologists and speleologists from Roma Sotterranea, an organization dedicated to the exploration and documentation of Rome’s many subterranean layers, have discovered previously unknown tunnels underneath Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. Archaeologists have long known that there was an elaborate tunnel network under the palace complex, but the passageways which once bustled with the activities of slaves, merchants and ox carts had been filled with soil for years. This is the first time cavers were deployed in an attempt to explore these spaces.
The spelunking experts rappelled into the tunnels through light shafts. They had to clear bucket after bucket of dirt out of passageways, many of which were so narrow they barely had the space for a grown human to squeeze through. After clearing some of the access tunnels, the team found a new passageway leading from a remote area of the villa known as the Academy to a major underground tunnel 2.5 miles long called the Grande Trapezio. The newly discovered tunnel is seven feet wide and a half mile long. It runs north-east and then turns south, ending in a roundabout about 766 yards long which may have been used to turn around ox carts.
Another uncharted tunnel the cavers discovered is more than 16 feet wide, wide enough for two-way traffic without needing a roundabout. It is still filled with soil and debris almost to the ceiling. Team members have attempted to inch their way through the tunnel on their stomachs, but they haven’t been able to follow its length so we still don’t know where it leads or what buildings it serviced when it was active.
Neither of these tunnels were included in ancient plans of the villa. Historians still don’t know the full extent of this vast estate. The site today is around the 120 hectares (296 acres) in area, but archaeologists believe it may have been as large as 250 hectares when Hadrian had it built starting when he became emperor in 117 A.D. and continued through to his death in 138 A.D. The discovery of these tunnels in a relatively remote area of the complex provides important information about the extent of above-ground structures that have long since been destroyed by time, the elements, and the ever-present stone looters that dismantled so much of antiquity to make new buildings like the nearby Villa d’Este built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este in the 16th century.
“These tunnels lead us to understand that Hadrian’s Villa was organised less like a villa and more like a city,” said Benedetta Adembri, the director of the site, who is planning, in the autumn, to open stretches of the tunnels to the public for the first time.
Much of that city was underground, ensuring that the emperor could enjoy the illusion of complete privacy without having to see, hear or even notice the platoons of slaves and carters and beasts of burden that clogged the street-level arteries of actual cities. Now that so much of the above-ground complex has been lost, these tunnels, specifically created to keep all the bustle of daily operations out of view, are now archaeological superstars because they are still in excellent condition thanks to having been filled with debris and ignored for centuries.
The 2012 winter storm surge has been a boon for archaeologists working near Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands. The storms washed away part of the shore, revealing what may be part of the 13th century town.
"The Tournament of the Phoenix is not a renaissance festival, theatrical stunt show or a medieval theatre show but a real multi-day, multi-event sports contest - the original 'extreme' sport!" reads the advertising for the event, which will take place October 18-20 at the Poway (California) Rodeo Grounds.
Polls are sent to the members of the Orders so that they may provide input to the Crown on future members. Orders which conduct polls include the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Tygers Combattant, Sagittarius, Golden Rapier, Maunche and Silver Crescent.
Anyone can make an awards recommendation and does not need to be a member of an Order. Recommendations can be submitted via the Award Recommendations page at the East Kingdom Website.
Filed under: Uncategorized
University of Leicester researchers have recreated the original tombs of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, later versions of which are now in St. Michael’s Church, in Framlingham, Suffolk. Using drawings in 16th century manuscripts, 3D laser scanning and 3D modeling, the team have recreated monuments that haven’t been seen in their original form since the Reformation of Henry VIII resulted in the destruction of the tombs’ original home: Thetford Priory.
Henry Fitzroy, son of Henry VIII and his mistress Lady Elizabeth Blount, was married to the 3rd Duke of Norfolk’s daughter Mary when he died of consumption on July 23rd, 1536, at the age of 17. By his father’s command, he was discretely buried in a lead coffin in a secret ceremony at Thetford Priory. His father-in-law arranged for the construction of an elaborate monument to mark the burial and later commissioned the same for himself.
The two monuments were still being built in Thetford Priory, the Cluniac monastic house where several dukes of Norfolk and related people were buried, in 1540 when it was dissolved. One of the last monasteries to be hit by the Dissolution, after its demise Thetford Priory was given to Thomas Howard by King Henry. Howard planned to keep the building intact and use it as an extremely fancy family mausoleum.
His plans were thwarted by his arrest for treason on December 12th, 1546. Thomas Howard was sent to the Tower. He was saved from execution by Henry VIII’s very conveniently timed death, but remained imprisoned in the Tower throughout the entire short reign of King Edward VI until finally being released and having his title and lands returned by Queen Mary in 1553. By then, Thetford Priory, which along with his other properties had been confiscated during Howard’s long imprisonment, was dilapidated and the Howard and Fitzroy tombs had been moved to St. Michael’s in Framlingham.
Thomas Howard and Henry FitzRoy’s original monuments were never finished. Parts of the structures were moved to Framlingham and integrated into new tombs built with different materials in a new style. Some pieces were left behind at Thetford where they would be rediscovered in archaeological excavations in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr Phillip Lindley, of the University of Leicester’s Department of the History of Art and Film, said: “Our exhibition studies the catastrophic effects of the Dissolution of Thetford Priory and of Henry VIII’s attempted destruction of Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk, on the ducal tomb-monuments at Thetford. [...]
“With English Heritage’s help, we have managed to reunite the excavated pieces, which are scattered across various different museums and stores. It is wonderful that the British Museum have also loaned their two sculptures from the group.
“Using 3D laser scanning and 3D prints, we have — virtually — dismantled the monuments at Framlingham and recombined them with the parts left at Thetford in 1540, to try to reconstruct the monuments as they were first intended, in a mixture of the virtual and the real.”
Here’s the 3D rendering of Thomas Howard’s original tomb monument next to the final version now at Framlingham:
Both feature the twelve Apostles in shell niches along all four sides of the monument, a final flowering of Catholic motifs and aesthetics in an England that was saying goodbye to all that in a most wrenching, brutal manner. The saints are different, or at least in different places, but I don’t really see any other major changes.
Unfortunately there are no pictures available of the 3D rendering of FitzRoy’s original monument. The final version in St. Michael’s today is the polar opposite of Howard’s in terms of its devotional motifs. It’s very secular, festooned with family heraldry which was particularly important to Henry as an illegitimate son.
Now this from the InterTubes... Battle of the Nations fighters in full armor battle each other - in bumper cars. Let's face it, you wish it were you!
Kelly Magill, Communications and Content Deputy for the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism, reports that the SCA is seeking nominees for the BoD.