Monday, April 28, 2014

Artz of Port Goulphar

Belle Isle is the largest French Island off the coast of Brittany, a region in the North of France. The island is a combination of dramatic cliffs, craggy rock formations and peaceful beaches.

The island has been a favorite of artists for many years. Octave Penguilly L'Haridon painted there in 1859. French writer Maxime Du Camp adored it and French poet Maxime Du Camp was inspired.

Les Petites mouettes, rivage de Belle-Isle en mer Octave Penguilly L'Haridon
John Peter Russell the Austrailian Impressionist established an artist colony on the island and was visited by Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Vincent Vasn Gogh.

                                                            Matisse, “Belle Ile”
In 1886 Claude Monet painted 36 seascapes during his residency on the island. Many of those inspired by the rocks at Port Goulphar. He described the landscape of this area as terrifying and very beautiful.

During the 1890s Maxime Maufra moved to Brittany spending time on Belle Isle and painting Port Goulphar.

Gustave Loiseau seeking a place to concentrate on his love of landscapes ended up in Brittany and spent time on Isle Belle painting the rock formations at Port Goulphar. While at the artist colony he met Paul Gauguin and Henry Moret.

This week we present the Artz of Port Goulphar.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Artz in the Carpet Market


Persian Rugs are an essential part of Persian art and culture. There are three groups of carpet. Qali or Farsh, which means "to spread" and is any carpet over 6x4, Qalicheh, meaning "small rug", is anything under 6x4 and Gelim, "rough carpet" which are also called Nomadic rugs.

The art of carpet weaving has existed in Persia for centuries. One of the oldest known rugs dates back to 500 B.C. Ancient Chinese texts from the Sassanid period speak of the carpets from Persia.

Cotton, wool and silk were used to weave the rugs. The finer the wool, the more expensive the carpet and so sheep were specially bred for the texture and strength of their wool. Because these carpets were made from natural fibers they could not withstand the onslaught of time and have disintegrated. Fortunately painters in the 14 century included Persian carpets in their paintings and from them we have an excellent description of what the carpets actually looked like.
                                       Triptych of the Enthroned Madonna Hans Memling
                  Carpet in the Azerbaijan Museum. This carpet is dated late 14th century.

                                     Notice the similar pattern in the Hans Memling painting

There is a famous Persian rug in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London called the Ardabil Rug. It is one of two rugs. The carpet was woven during the 16th century and placed in a Mosque in Ardabil. The foundation of the carpet is silk with the pile made of wool and consisting of 300 - 350 knots per inch. The carpet measures 341/2 x 171/2 feet; which means there are about 26 million knots making up the rug, all by hand. In 1890 it was purchased by British carpet broker who repaired it and then sold it the museum. The other Ardabil Rug ended up in the hands of J. Paul Getty who donated it to Exposition Park in Los Angeles. These rugs have been copied many times and have ended up on the floors of places like 10 Downing Street, and the office of Hitler in Berlin.

The weaver, like any artist, signed his art and both of the Ardabil Rugs bear this inscription.
I have no refuge in the world other than thy threshold.
There is no protection for my head other than this door.

The work of the slave of the threshold Maqsud of Kashan in the year 946.

This week we present the Artz in the Carpet Market.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Charon Artz

I was doing some research on death and burial rituals invloving coins for my Breakfast Letters when of course, Charon and the river Styx popped up. He winked at me and the chase was on. I had to know more.

Charon, is the ferryman from Hades who takes the shades or souls of the newly deceased across the river Styx from the world of the living to the world of the dead.

He is the son of Nyx, goddess of the night. She was at the creation, powerful and beautiful. She is glimpsed in shadow, from the corner of your eye. She lives in Tartarus, the deep dark abyss that is deeper than Hades, where the Titans were imprisoned.

His father is Erebus the brother of Nyx. He is the anciet diety Darkness. He is one of the first beings in existence and fathered by Chaos as is Nyx.

A coin is placed in the mouth of the deceased as a payment to Charon for passage across the Styx. His name, Charon translates to mean fiery or fierce gaze, associated with a grey or light blue in color. He was most often depicted on funery vases with a boat, or ushering the deceased. Sometimes he was depicted as gentle and kind and others created him to be rough and angry. Dante depicted him as an old man with a gruff countenance and as a winged demon. Today he is created as a cloaked skeleton similar to the Grim Reaper.

Charon, from La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, illustrated by Gustave Doré.
This week we present Charon Artz.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Artz of The Order of St. Lazarus

Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

I became curious after I discovered that Adam fitzPeter de Birken, the son of Emma de Lascelles, my 25th Great Grand Aunt, gave the Order of St. Lazarus 4 acres of land in Fairburn, Yorkshire, England.

One of the few military Orders to survive the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the loss of the Holy Land it remained true to the chivalry that founded it. The members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals;  aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and the defense of the Christian faith.

The Knights Templar had a policy stipulating that any of the knights contracting leprosey while in Jerusalem could join the Order of St. Lazarus.

The Templars would pay a pension for each knight admitted to the Order.

After 1291 the Order no longer held a military role and by the middle of the 16th century leprosy was virtually wiped out though out Europe. The Pope felt there was no longer a need for them and the Order fell silent until it came under thte protection of the Royal House of France.

During the 17th century, with a fleet of 10 frigates they patrolled for Pirates that plagued the Meditteranian.

The symbol of the order is an 8 pointed green maltese cross. The mission is To uphold and defend the Christian faith, to assist and help the sick and vulnerable, to promote and uphold the Christian principles of chivalry and to work for Christian unity. The moto is Atavis et armis (With ancestors and arms).

This week the Artz of The Order of St. Lazarus