26 September 2011
Porcelains and Peacocks is blessed to have two very special Libra friends whose birthdays are this week: Heidi Gerpheide of California Homes Magazine and Kelly Hartgraves of Epoca San Francisco. Each of them lives their life in truth and balance much like the figure of Libra holding the celestial pair of scales.
Imagery for Libra is associated with the personification of Justice dating back to antiquity. The Roman Goddess Justitia, was shown wearing the blindfold of objectivity holding the scales of truth and fairness in one hand and the sword of reason in the other. In ancient Egypt she was known as Ma'at and would assist Osiris in the judgement of the dead by weighting their hearts
Dutch painter and draftsman Maarten van Heemskerck (1498-1574) was greatly influenced by Italianate style as seen in his illustration Justitia, His fellow countryman Johan Vermeer (1632-1675) painted an interior scene of a housewife holding an empty balance with a painting of The Last Judgement behind her. The Litany of Loreta Embroideries are a mysterious set of panels that incorporate Pre-Raphaelite style with exquisite needlework. From it the Mirror of Justice depicts the Virgin Mary holding a pair of balanced scales.(Image courtesy of Stitch Magazine)
Happy Birthday to our Just Friends.
22 September 2011
10 September 2011
Courage easily finds its own eloquence. Plautus
As we reflect on the tenth anniversary of September 11, we remember the courage of the heroes and heroines of this tragic event. Courage or Fortitude is one of the four cardinal virtues in Christian tradition. Adopted from Classical Greek philosophy, courage is defined as an ability to confront fear, uncertainty, or intimidation. Symbolically Fortitude is represented by a calm woman subduing a ferocious lion in the Tarot deck. The fiftieth century Visconti-Sforza tarot deck was hand painted using precious materials. The Milanese model shown on the Fortitude card may have been a member of either the Sforza or Viscounti families. Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) also depicted courage as a woman in his Allegory of Fortitude using tempera on a wood panel. But our heroes are often viewed as masculine as in the subjects of Greek mythology. The hero Perseus decapitated the underworld monster Medusa resulting in the birth of the winged stallion Pegasus. Sired by the god Poseidon, the white horse is shown with Perseus as they ride across the heavens to rescue Andromeda in the painting by English artist Sir Frederick Leighton (1830-1896).