Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beauty & Mr Long Face

A quarterplate dag (daguerreotype) from around 1850. Notice the beautiful dress and gloves.

nice goatee

a red blush

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Plateau of Sevastopol

View of the plateau of Sevastopol (Crimea), with artillery waggons in the foreground, and tents on the plains in the background, during the siege of Sevastopol. Photo by Roger Fenton, 1855.

The central theme running through the Crimean War was the appalling siege of Sevastopol, a foretaste of the trench fighting of the American Civil War, ten years later, and finally the First World War. Soldiers manned the trenches night after night through two harsh winters, in the first with almost no winter equipment. Sorties led to hand to hand fighting along the entrenchments. The Russians developed the art of sniping from the “rifle pits” dug in no man’s land. The predominant experts were the engineers and the artillerymen; the flamboyant actions of the cavalry a world away.

the location of Sevastopol

Fenton disembarked in the port of Balaklava and reached Sevastopol in March 1855. Fenton left before the fall of Sevastopol, which transpired on 8 September 1855, when it fell into the hands of the French led by MacMahon.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Queen Anna Paulowna Day !

Anna Paulowna, painted by Nicaise de Keyser in 1849 (Hermitage St. Petersburg)

Queen Anna Paulowna, (St. Petersburg, 18 January 1795 – The Hague, 1 March 1865). Born a daughter of a Russian tsar, she married the future king William II and became queen of the Netherlands from 1840 untill his death in 1849.

more info

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cathleen Calhoun

Cathleen Calhoun (1920s actress)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paulus Bor - Cydippe with Acontius' Apple

Cydippe with Acontius' Apple by Paulus Bor, ca. 1640. Location: The Rijksmuseum,  Amsterdam.

Ovid wrote of the love of the prosperous but undistinguished Acontius for Cydippe, the daughter of a wealthy man. While Cydippe was offering a sacrifice in the temple, Acontius cast an apple at her feet, inscribed with the words: 'I vow at the shrine of Diana that I shall wed Acontius'. Cydippe read her suitor's message aloud and, having uttered the promise, was bound to become Acontius's wife.

Paulus Bor is the only painter known to have illustrated this tale. He must have been interested in classical literature and he is known to have had a preference for relatively obscure subjects.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Miss Maude Fealy

Maude Fealy was born Maude Hawke in Memphis, Tennessee on 3rd March, 1881. She was the daughter of actress Margaret Fealy. From an early age, Maude would occasionally appear with her mother on stage.

At the age of fourteen, she attracted the attention of an prominent theatre producer, who was so impressed at her portrayal of Juliet that he signed her to a five year contract. His unfortunate death soon after cancelled that contract however, whereupon she secured a role in a production of “Quo Vadis” at the New York. Her performance in that role attracted the attention of celebrated actor/playwight William Gillette who invited her, still only sixteen years of age, to become his leading lady.

Maude played a leading role in a production of “Sherlock Holmes”. After a short tour of the eastern USA the production arrived in London, where it opened in September 1901 and proved a considerable success with a run of over 200 performances. After two seasons with Gillette, Maude returned to the USA, where she would play in Denver and New York.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The town of Balaklava

The town of Balaklava, Crimea. Photo by Roger Fenton, 1855.

In the early months of the Crimean War Balaklava was in a dreadful state. ‘The Times’ reporter William Howard Russell described the insanitary conditions of Balaklava in lurid terms: "As to the Town itself, words could not describe its filth, its horrors, its hospitals, its burials, its dead and dying Turks, its crowded lanes, its noisome sheds, its beastly purlieus, or its decay. All the pictures ever drawn of plague and pestilence, from the work of the inspired writer who chronicled the woes of infidel Egypt, down to the narratives of Boccacio, Defoe, or Moltke, fall short of individual 'bits' of disease and death, which anyone might see in half-a-dozen places during half an hour’s walk in Balaklava".

location of Balaklava.

Balaklava became the site of some of the most famous actions of the Crimea. When the Russians assaulted the town on 25 October 1854 in the hope of severing the British from their only supply port, they were thrown back by the famous thin red line of the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot. The battle also saw the disastrous misunderstanding of orders that resulted in the tragic and futile heroics of the charge of the Light Brigade.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Robbert Robbertsz. Le Canu

Claes Jansz. Visscher: 'Een zevaartkundige les', 1608. Probably showing Robbert Robbertsz. and pupils.

Robbert Robbertsz. (or Robert Robertsz.) (Amersfoort, 1563 – Hoorn, ca. 1630) was a schoolmaster, poet and maritime expert. From 1597 on he called himself Le Canu. He learned the important Dutch seafarers to sail all around the world by teaching how to use other stars beside the North Star to navigate.

He grew up in Amersfoort where his father was a minister. Around 1586 he settled in Amsterdam being a schoolmaster. Because he had a special gift for mathematics and astronomy he attracted a special kind of trainees: seamen who wanted to know how to sail the world. This way he was vital in the education of some of the famous and important Dutch seafarers like Cornelis Houtman (who discovered a new sea route from Europe to Indonesia and managed to begin the Dutch spice trade) and Jacob van Heemskerck (who attempted to discover an Arctic passage from Europe to China. He also provided them with the necessary maps and instruments. He teached nautical techniques for 25 years in Amsterdam, and he created a song which could be used to determine the position of the ship based on the observed position of the stars.

Onder verbeteringe. Korte inleydinge der feesten Israels/twelck rechte Tijtkaarten zijn/waer in ghy sien meucht hoe veel groot Jaren die Wereld/ghestaan heeft/ Ende hoe veel groot Jaren datse nochstaan sal/ Ende in wat groot Jaar datse vergaan sal, 1593.

In 1593 he published a book containing a treatise on the Jewish calendar and chronology, combined with poems and a song-book (see the pictures below). He wrote many religious pamphlets, promoting religious tolerance and freedom of conscience. In the age of many religious conflicts he called himself a ‘Neutralist’, saying: "The church of Christ is a majestic cathedral with many doors, all leading to the center," with this metaphor expressing his idea that one church is as good as another. This attitude resulted in many enemies, and finally he had to leave Amsterdam in 1611. He moved to Hoorn and became a brandy salesman.


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