You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘18th century’ tag.


Reblogged to commemorate Grimaldi’s death on this day, 31st May, 1837. Click through to buy the greeting card or postcard and to get the joke!

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

A story is told that in 1806 a man goes to visit a doctor who is acclaimed for his ability to treat melancholia. “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” says the man. “I feel constantly miserable.  Please help me, doctor.”

“Laughter is the best medicine, my friend,” says the doctor. “Take yourself off to Covent Garden Theatre* where you will find The Great Grimaldi performing in Harlequin and Mother Goose; or the Golden Egg. It is exquisitely funny and will cure you of all your ills without…

via First Night Design | Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778–1837 | First Night Design

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A self-portrait In the Traditional Costume of the Bregenz Forest (1781)

Reblogged on WordPress.com

‘All I possess has been attained by my work and industry … ‘ (from Angelica Goddden’s Miss Angel, Kauffman)

Friends and readers,

I return to my series of blogs on women artists. Thus far in this second round, we’ve looked at Giovanna Garzoni (1600-70), Strange and magnificent still lifes; Sofonsiba and Lucia Anguissola (1535/6-1625; 1546/8-1565), Sober, contemplative and self-aware portraits; and Mary Beale(1633-99), An unknown famous Restoration painter. As in the first series I can’t ignore altogether those women artists whose work has been paid a great deal of attention to, at least at times, and if not uniformly respectfully. So we come to Angelica Kauffman, one of two women to help found…

Source: Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807): the artist as businesswoman | Romantic Illustration Network


Serendipity

The word serendipity is often cited as a favourite by English speakers. It was coined by Horace Walpole in a letter he wrote to Horace Mann in 1754. In it he explains how he formed the noun after the title of the fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of’. The word was rare in Walpole’s time but gained wide currency in the 20th century.

Explore the origin of serendipity in more detail.

Source: 15 words invented by authors | OxfordWords blog


I have sold two more cushions — very heaven!


‘Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven.’
William Wordsworth, The Prelude


Romantic Meeting Throw Pillows
Romantic Meeting Throw Pillows

Click here for the original Romantic Meeting post.

Romantic Meeting is available on other products at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

White Rabbit is available on other products at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood….

The expiration of the Licensing Act in 1695, which had required the pre-publication censorship of all printed matter, led to an explosion of published works during the 18th century; books, periodicals, and pamphlets poured forth from the press in great abundance. One of the most enduring genres which emerged during this period, however, was the novel.

The first English novel is generally assumed to be Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719). It had its roots in the romance genre which began on the continent with titles such as Don Quixote (1605, 1615), which usually took as their heroes members of the nobility acting within fantastical settings. Yet novels, in contrast, took for their subject real life, and usually purported to be the ‘life’ or ‘history’ of a real person, hence the full title of Defoe’s work, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719). Their purpose was to provide entertainment and moral instruction to aspirant members of polite society, as Henry Fielding wrote in the preface to his novel, Joseph Andrews (1742):

Delight is mixed with Instruction…the Reader is almost as much improved as entertained.

Additionally, the novel also had roots in late 17th- and 18th-century criminal biography. Criminal biographies such as Alexander Smith’s A History of the Most Noted Highwaymen (1719), Charles Johnson’s Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals (1735), and many other individual titles detailing the life of a condemned felon, sought to mix entertainment with moral instruction by presenting readers with…

via The Novel and 18th-Century Criminal Biography | Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood….


Originally posted on The Library Time Machine.

First, let’s sort out the local connection. Fanny, or more properly Frances, Burney the 18th century novelist lived in Chelsea twice. Once with some of her family in an apartment at Chelsea College when she finished working as Second Keeper of the Robes for Queen Charlotte, and later in her life at an address in Lower Sloane Street.

Which is good for me because although Frances Burney / Madame D’Arblay was a very remarkable woman and one of the first great English novelists, this week’s post is really about a particular edition of her first novel Evelina.

Now I’ve written nearly 200 of these posts you must have had all my basic thoughts and the variations on them. One thing I seem to say quite often is that things in the past resemble things in the present. People seem to do the same things in the past as they do now and the things they entertained themselves with are like the things we use now for the pursuit of happiness.

One day I went to the Reference store looking for a book illustrated by someone who is nothing to do with this post. In an odd corner of the Dewey Decimal Classification you can find novels, plays and poetry all together at one number, 741.64 classified by the artist who illustrated them. And there I found a 1903 one volume edition of…

via 18th Century escapades: Evelina and Fanny | The Library Time Machine.


The work of the Dutch-born artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema [1836-1912] is unmistakable. A dazzling Mediterranean sea? Exquisitely rendered marble? A delectable female or two draped in classical robes? The chances are you’re looking at a painting by Alma-Tadema. His detailed brush strokes and rich colours owe much to his Dutch forebears and while one might consider his paintings to be somewhat chocolate-box pretty, it’s difficult  not to be charmed by them. You may remember that the last time I mentioned Sir Lawrence was when I adapted another of his pieces, Ask Me No More, for The Proposal.

Lourens Alma Tadema

Lourens Alma Tadema [Wikipedia]

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra was commissioned by a Samuel Hawk of New York in 1883 and painted in 1885, its inspiration taken from Shakespeare’s play. Alma-Tadema trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp in Belgium but moved to England in 1870 and there he remained, though he was in Wiesbaden, Germany, when he died in 1912.

Lourens Alma Tadema's birth house and statue in Dronrijp, Netherlands

Lourens Alma Tadema’s birth house and statue in Dronrijp, Netherlands [Wikipedia]

Available at the following galleries:
First Night Vintage Zazzle US
First Night Vintage Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


double-cross

Originally posted on Albert Jack (except for the image!)

To Double Cross a person (or to be ‘double crossed’) is to cheat somebody, or to betray a confidence. Initially this phrase used to mean to indicate that both parties were involved in the deception, although it is now commonly understood as applying to only one party. There is a suggestion that this expression began life in the Middle Ages when Venetian merchants (Venice being the capital of the trading world at that time) would affect allegiance to fellow Westerners by making the sign of the cross in the way Westerners did, and then show the same loyalty to Easterners by crossing themselves in the way Easterners used to. It is said that this divided loyalty led to the introduction of the term ‘double crosser’. But there is stronger evidence suggesting the expression is far more recent, being in fact a horse-racing term from the early 19th century. Any jockey who had been paid to lose an event by race fixers, but who then found himself in the lead, would cross himself twice as he passed the winning post as a prayer to God for forgiveness for his double deception by accepting the bribe to lose and then winning the race. He might also have added a third cross to pray the race fixers weren’t waiting for him when he got home for his tea.

Another possible origin for the term, and one that I prefer, relates to the  doings of an 18th-century bounty hunter by the name of Jonathan Wilde. Legend has it that Wilde kept a book with the names listed of all the criminals and wanted men throughout England. He formed an underground information network and would pay or protect any criminal who provided him with information of the whereabouts of another. In this way, Wilde would apprehend and turn over wanted men to the authorities for a fee. Each of these informers had a cross placed next to their name in the book of thieves. Once a man was no longer useful to Wilde, or began to refuse to give information, the Thief Taker General would place a second cross against his name and then turn him in for the bounty money. However, Wilde also used to blackmail men to steal for him and even to murder rivals, so inevitably he was eventually double crossed himself, turned in and hanged for his crimes.

via To Double Cross (Origins of Phrases) | Albert Jack.


How uplifting to discover a female artist from history about whom I knew nothing. Thank you, Regency History.

Anne Seymour Damer after Angelica Kauffman (c1800)

Anne Seymour Damer
after Angelica Kauffman (c1800)

Profile

Anne Seymour Damer (1749-1828) was an English sculptor and author. She was a cousin of Horace Walpole and in his will, he left her a life interest in his Twickenham home, Strawberry Hill.

Family background

Anne Seymour Conway was born on 8 November 1749 in Sevenoaks, Kent. She was the only child of Henry Seymour Conway, a Field Marshal in the British army and Whig MP, and his wife Caroline, daughter of John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll, and widow of the 3rd Earl of Ailesbury.

Anne lived with her family at Park Place, Remenham, near Henley-on-Thames. Her father’s secretary, David Hume, encouraged her to develop her skills in sculpture.

An unhappy marriage

On 14 June 1767, Anne married the Honourable John Damer, but the marriage was not happy. They separated after seven years and on 15 August 1776, Anne’s husband committed suicide, leaving huge…

via Regency History.


Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the Thames, 1746

Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor’s Procession on the Thames, 1746

London: Westminster Abbey, with a Procession of Knights of the Bath, 1749

London: Westminster Abbey, with a Procession of Knights of the Bath, 1749

The Thames and the City, 1747

The Thames and the City, 1747

London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City

London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City

See more Canaletto via History And Other Thoughts: London Town, By Canaletto.


A story is told that in 1806 a man goes to visit a doctor who is acclaimed for his ability to treat melancholia. “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” says the man. “I feel constantly miserable.  Please help me, doctor.”

“Laughter is the best medicine, my friend,” says the doctor. “Take yourself off to Covent Garden Theatre* where you will find The Great Grimaldi performing in Harlequin and Mother Goose; or the Golden Egg. It is exquisitely funny and will cure you of all your ills without any pills or potions from my cabinet.”

The man looks at the doctor for a moment.  “Ah,” he says. “That won’t help.”

“Why not, sir?”

The man shrugs. “I am Grimaldi.”

Grimaldi in 1819 by J.E.T. Robinson

Grimaldi in 1819 by J.E.T. Robinson

Apocryphal or no, I have little doubt the story’s origins go much further back. It would not surprise me if it was first told in Ancient Greece about an actor performing in one of Aristophanes’ comedies. It is a tale that has been attached to several comedians since, not least Dan Leno, whose depression was also legendary.

Joseph Grimaldi came from a line of Italian dancers and performers but was born and brought up in London. It is he we have to thank for the prominence of clowns in entertainment and for British pantomime existing in the form it does. A master craftsman when it came to performing in Commedia dell’Arte, an Italian style that became popular in the 16th century, Grimaldi’s antics in 19th-century Harlequinades transformed the clowning to such an extent that the clown ended up replacing the character of Harlequin.

The It’s Behind You site says this about his performance in the doctor-recommended Harlequin and Mother Goose:

The lack of great theatrical scenes allowed Grimaldi to project himself to the fore ‘he shone with unimpeded brilliance’ once critic wrote. Another marvelled at his performance ‘whether he robbed a pieman, opened an oyster, rode a giant carthorse, imitated a sweep, grasped a red-hot poker……. in all this he was extravagantly natural!’

Next time you go to a Christmas pantomime and sing along, think back to The Great Grimaldi for it was he whose comic songs were so popular that they became a permanent fixture in pantomime.  And if you’ve ever wondered why clowns are so often called Joey, think again of Grimaldi.

Grimaldi by John Cawse

Grimaldi by John Cawse

Andrew McConnell Stott, who has recently written a biography of Grimaldi — The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi: Laughter, Madness and the Story of Britain’s Greatest Comedian — writes:

The audience was in hysterics. Grimaldi had been their idol since he first came to prominence in 1806, having been thrust into the highest sphere of celebrity with a virtuoso comic performance in the original production of Mother Goose, a show that took record profits and ran for longer than any other pantomime in history. Its success brought him national recognition, enormous fees, and a social circle that included Lord Byron, Sarah Siddons, Edmund Kean, Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis and the entire Kemble family. The critics Leigh Hunt and William Hazlitt sang his praises, the young Charles Dickens edited his Memoirs….”

Having retired in 1823 from ill-health and exhaustion — ‘I have overleaped myself’ — Grimaldi ran out of money in 1828, though he was then helped by a yearly pension of £100 from the Drury Lane Theatrical Fund, and various benefit performances were staged to help him.  He spent his remaining years in great pain from a body that he had pushed to the limit.

When he died in 1837, The London Illustrated News despaired that audiences would ever look upon his like again. It’s Behind You quotes from the periodical:

Grimaldi is dead and hath left no peer… We fear with him the spirit of pantomime has disappeared.

Joseph Grimaldi's grave

Joseph Grimaldi’s grave

Joseph Grimaldi is buried in the courtyard of St James’s Chapel in Pentonville and is commemorated every year on the first Sunday in February at the Holy Trinity Church in Dalston, The Clowns’ Church, with the Joseph Grimaldi Memorial Service. Since 1967, clowns have been able to attend the service wearing their costumes.

*Now The Royal Opera House

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related articles

Mademoiselle Couture has been one of the most enjoyable pieces I’ve created this year, partly because the broken hip and subsequent recovery rather stymied my ability to do anything even mildly artistic for the first four or five months of the year except catch up on admin.  (I’m still catching!)

Regular readers will be aware that I am a particular fan of the vintage ephemera that Karen Watson posts on her blog, The Graphics Fairy.  Recently, I found a couple of other sites that include some remarkable images that are free to use.

EKDuncan – My Fanciful Muse

Astrid’s Artistic Efforts

It has been some while since I posted about the way I create some of my designs so I’d like to show you the original images and say a little about the process.

My Fanciful Muse
The Graphics Fairy

On the face of it, it seems a straightforward collage and, compared to some I’ve made, it certainly was.  However, it still required a multitude of tweaks, and changes of colour and tone, in order for each image to melt into a whole.

Using Photoshop, I started with Astrid’s background image as one layer and then added the 18th century French fashion plate from EKDuncan.   I felt rather like Lewis Carroll as I experimented with the lady’s size.  It took some time before I discovered just the right proportions for the overall effect.  And she still needed colour adjustments to suit the background.  This was a little like cutting hair when it’s not your chosen profession–you cut off a little on one side, then the other, and then you find you have to cut more off the original side to match up and so on…!  I jumped constantly between the background and the lady to make the images indivisible from each other in terms of colour, light and shade.

Next, I removed the robin (at least, I think it’s a robin, judging by its red breast!) and placed the bird on a separate layer above the lady so that he was not obscured.  In fact, he looks as if he might be trying to look up her voluminous skirt! 

Lastly, I chose a flower from The Graphics Fairy.  I tried the flower in an ornate frame (also from The Graphics Fairy) but this was too much and I removed it straight away.

Both the robin and the flower needed tweaking and there was more to be done, but as I’ve said before, I must have some secrets!  Actually, this is more because I do so many things instinctively these days that I couldn’t even begin to delineate the process.

Linking to Brag Monday.

Take care and keep laughing.

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