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July 15th 1606

Birth of Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in 1606 in The Dutch Golden Age (1585-1702) where the Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe. It led the way in trade, science and the arts. Rembrandt was this periods most dominant figure.

Early on, Rembrandt decided that academic life wasn’t for him and he left university to become a painter’s apprentice. This was only a stepping stone for him as he had greater ambitions of becoming an artist himself. In 1631, he moved to Amsterdam where his career took off. Interestingly, his paintings would offer art lovers today an insight into the Amsterdam of his day. He painted portraits for wealthy families and organisations, as well as scenes from history, mythology and the bible. Many of these paintings or portraits were known as ‘impasto’, owing to the fact that they were created on thick, lumpy paint. His technique also made dramatic use of light and shade.

The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, better known as ‘The Night Watch’ was one of his finest examples of effective use of light and shade. It is also famous for rather than showing the soldiers in a formal pose, Rembrandt painted them as though they were about to march into action.

While his career flourished, his private life was clouded by tragedy. He would lose his wife, his son and later in life his lover. Bankruptcy would almost also cripple him, but despite his troubles his later years would be a prolific period artistically. His life work included hundreds of paintings and prints, and interestingly some 90 self portraits, leaving us a record of how he looked throughout his illustrious life, until his death in 1669.

Source: What happened this month in history? – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History


Jacob-Abraham-Camille Pissarro was born on July 10, 1830, on St. Thomas, in the Danish West Indies. His father was a French citizen of Portuguese Jewish descent, and his mother, who had previously been married to her new husband’s uncle, was Creole. The marriage was controversial, probably due to racial factors, and as a consequence the Pissarro children were compelled…

Source: Happy 186th Birthday Camille Pissarro | Waldina


I know, I know — the last thing you want to think about is Christmas, especially when we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to come but what’s a girl to do when she hasn’t planned any other posts and she’s just sold a couple of these greeting cards? Don’t answer that!

Angel Love is a reworking of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Song of the Angels and has proved surprisingly popular over the years (surprising to me, anyway). The background texture is from a scanned wrapping paper bought at the turn of the century. The gold-stamped Christmas greeting is exactly that — hand-stamped from a time when my fingers allowed me to do hand-made cards, and scanned for the purposes of digital art.

Available at the following galleries:
Greeting Card Universe
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”
― John WyndhamThe Day of the Triffids


If my father had appeared in the film version of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1963), I could probably recount some interesting story about filming that has never before been published. But he didn’t. He did, however, have a part in the adaptation of Village of the Damned (1960). But I know nothing of his experience in that film!

Birth of a Triffid is my idea of how these monsters start life and bears no resemblance to any triffid living or dead. Just so’s you know.

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art tba

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929)

485px-Sergei_Diaghilev_01

[Wikimedia]

Sergei Diaghilev was born on this day in 1872. The iconic Russian ballet impresario, dancer, choreographer, songwriter and critic, founded the incomparable Ballets Russes company. He was responsible for the ballet premieres of Stravinsky’s  The FirebirdPetrouchka and Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), not to mention Rimsky-Korsakov’s Schéhérazade, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) and Prokoviev’s Chout.

[Diaghilev is] ‘a giant, undoubtedly the only one whose dimensions increase the more he recedes into the distance’. Sergei Prokoviev

Russia-2000-stamp-Sergei_Diaghilev

[Wikimedia]

‘Of all the wonders that the world had to offer, only art promised immortality.’

Programme of Ballets Russes - 1913 ShŽhŽrazade - Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina

Programme of Ballets Russes – 1913 Shéhérazade – Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina [Wikimedia]

‘I could make a choreographer out of this inkwell if I wanted to.’

Related sites

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


René Descartes 1596—1650

Portrait of René Descartes by Frans Hals

Portrait of René Descartes by Frans Hals [Wikimedia]

The French philosopher René Descartes was born on this day in 1596 at La Haye en Touraine. The first quote below is, of course, the one that everyone knows in its truncated form, even if they have no idea who said it or what it means.

‘Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum.’
‘I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.’

‘If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.’

‘The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.’

‘Conquer yourself rather than the world.’

‘Let whoever can do so deceive me, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I continue to think I am something.’

Dispute of Queen Cristina Vasa and René Descartes (detail of Nils Forsberg's (1842-1934) copy of Pierre Louis Dumesnil's (1698-1781) original.

Dispute of Queen Cristina Vasa and René Descartes (detail of Nils Forsberg’s (1842-1934) copy of Pierre Louis Dumesnil’s (1698-1781) original. [Wikimedia]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Some delicate stationery for your delectation! One of my recent designs, it was inspired by John Wyndam’s book, The Day of the Triffids. Mine look nothing like the triffids in the film adaptation nor in any accompanying illustrations but this is my idea of the frightening creatures!

Birth of a Triffid

Take care and keep laughing.
Sarah

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