To paraphrase what is possibly the most infamous opening sentence in a history of science book, there was no such thing as Renaissance science, and this is the is the start of a bog post series about it. Put another way there are all sorts of problems with the term or concept Renaissance Science, several […]Renaissance Science – I — The Renaissance Mathematicus
Image courtesy of Vancouver’s Winter Solstice Lantern Festival 2020 Marsilio Ficino wrote in a letter to Rinaldo Orsini: “… I recalled what the ancient sages say, not without very good reason, in their fables about Saturn and Jupiter, Mars and Venus; they say that Mars is bound by Venus, and Saturn by Jupiter. Thus simply […]Yuletide 2020 — The Classical Astrologer
Today’s musings on the history of science re-examine a topic that I have already dealt with several times in the past, that of presentist judgements on the heuristic used by a historical figure to find or reach their solution to a given scientific problem. In the world of scientific investigations, a heuristic is the scaffolding […]“A sea of wild, woolly thinking!” — The Renaissance Mathematicus
German painter, draftsman, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer was born, May 21, 1471, in the Franconian city of Nuremberg. ❦ Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his […]Albrecht Dürer — Marina Kanavaki
*This man was extraordinary: here‘s an interesting book.
Greek painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance El Greco [The Greek] Doménikos Theotokópoulos [Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος] was born, October 1st, 1541 in Candia, Crete*, Greece. ✻ part of the Republic of Venice and the center of Post-Byzantine art at the time ❦ El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, […]El Greco [Doménikos Theotokópoulos] [1541-1614] — Marina Kanavaki
Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio* was born, September 29, 1571 in Milan, Italy. ✻ Caravaggio is actually the name of his home town in Lombardy in northern Italy ❦ An artist who lived a short and tempestuous life matching the drama of his works. He is considered the first great representative of the Baroque […]Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio [1571-1610] — Marina Kanavaki
*Caravaggio was clearly a genius.
The only possible way to describe Caterina Sforza is by making use of the words agitator, rebel, fighter, renegade, and unyielding. She was a woman of substantial strength, intelligence, and tenaciousness. Caterina would take charge and show unbelievable character despite her hard as nails attitude.Medieval History ╽Caterina Sforza: One of History’s Fiercest Females – Countess Of Forli — THE CHRONICLES OF HISTORY
Who has the skill now?
Past mastery forgotten
A just renaissance
copyright Francis Barker 2020
Elena had taken herself off to the spare room, the very room where Michael had said she had sleep walked in to the previous night. One thirty and she still wasn’t asleep, she was simply too apprehensive, too much going on in her head. Once more she lay back and opened another book she’d borrowed from Mary. She came across a reference to the fact that most children were baptised within two or three days of birth, at least until more recent times. This was because of the much higher rates of child mortality. It made her think. With that thought in her mind, she lay the book down and closed her eyes.
The room was dark, quite small. Long curtains were closed, just a peep of light came through a gap. Outside there were distant voices, so she opened the curtain a touch to see. It was the canal or river she had seen before, though there was less activity this time, as if it might be evening. As she turned away, she noticed a mirror with an ornate frame on the right wall. Keeping the curtains open, she looked at it. Elena had the clearest blue eyes, a smooth, ivory complexion. She brought a hand to her face, touching the soft flesh.
“I am… quite beautiful,” she whispered.
She recognised the room, the bed in the corner where someone was lying. Walking up to the bed, she recognised him, though he made no move, as if he was asleep. She peered more closely; then he opened his eyes, slightly.
“Elena,” he croaked, weakly, “you have destroyed me.”
She stepped back as he reached out, trying to touch her. “What’s the matter with you? Is it something I’ve done?”
“Elena, you have destroyed me.”
She felt a sudden unease. “What have I done?”
He tried to smile, though it seemed to be difficult. There was pain written all over his face, emotional as well as physical discomfort.
“Just… tell me who you are.”
His hand fell limply by his side, a weak gaze remaining fixed on her where she stood.
Kneeling down she put a hand in front of his face. There was no breath. She checked the pulse on his wrist: nothing. His candle had burned out. Elena closed his eyes, reached forward and kissed his cheek. Then she sat on the chair next to the bed. Tears began to well up in her eyes, though she wasn’t sure why. Did she know this man? And if so, how?
“I want to come out of this dream now,” she said out loud, wiping her eyes. Yet she remained in the room, apparently present in some time which may have been four hundred years ago. She began to feel queasy, quite strange in fact. So she stood, but had to sit down again, feeling quite faint. She bent down on all fours and was sick into the empty chamber pot by the bed. There was no cloth or tissue to use, so she wiped her mouth on the bed sheet. Suddenly without the strength to get up, she lay on the floor, closing her eyes.
Elena felt the gentle stroking of her hair. Opening her eyes, Michael’s concerned face was examining her own.
“It was quite a shock to find you lying here.”
“Where am I?”
“The toilet, I see you’ve been sick. Something you ate last night, was it?”
“No,” she said, faintly, “I don’t think so. What time is it?”
“Six o’clock. Have you been like this before, recently?”
Elena thought for a few seconds. “A little yes. I thought it was the lack of sleep.”
Their eyes met, instinctively, though neither dare ask that most pertinent question. Michael helped her to her feet and led her back to bed.
“Get some sleep, I’ll take the day off, it won’t matter.”
“I’m not sure I want any sleep.”
“Hm, because of him? This strange kisser fellow?”
“Maybe,” she said, laying down her head, “though I get the feeling that I won’t be seeing much more of him in my dreams.”
“I like the sound of that. I’ll get you some water.”
copyright Milly Reynolds 2020
Albrecht Dürer is an astonishing, yet somewhat enigmatic artistic character from late 15th and early 16th century Renaissance Germany.
He was a prolific painter, engraver, designer, writer and theorist. He has had an enormous influence on other artists, not merely in his own time, but right up to the present day, through the sheer quality of his work and the magnetic power of his often haunting imagery.
Personal magnetism – Pluto in first house
Astrologically, he was born with Virgo rising, with Pluto just beyond his ascending degree in challenging aspect to his native Sun in Gemini in house 10.
Virgo rising denotes a versatile, analytical and critical outlook on life, very useful for an artisan where detail and patience are absolutely key. His ruler, Mercury, was found in earthy, artistic Taurus in house 9, underlining his practicality and enduring qualities in producing vast amounts of woodcuts and engravings that have stood the test of time.
Pluto in house 1 would intensify his painstaking attitude, almost bordering on obsession at times, it would seem, especially so as Pluto is challenging his Sun in Gemini in house 10; he would likely drive himself hard so as to potentially endanger his health. This intensity of Pluto, so personalised within him, may indicate the fascination of self portraiture – he produced several good examples of this. In these magnetic self portraits, note the intensity (Pluto house 1 square Sun) of the stare.
Another outstanding feature of his chart is the relatively full house 10 in Gemini, including the Sun, Saturn, and Venus conjunct Moon. The latter conjunction is in beneficial aspect to Uranus in house 2, a very clear indication of his distinctive, unusual manner and his originality, not only in character but artistically.
Ambitious, distinctive, but very likeable
He was also clearly a very versatile, communicative, physically attractive, rather pleasant and probably quick witted person – once you got beyond the initial intensity (Pluto) of his personality.
Many people at the time testified to his charm and wit. Mercury is also high up in the chart, so with all these luminaries here is a strong indication of ambition, the desire to ‘become’ someone in the world. This Mercury is in Taurus in house 9, so he had a practical mentality and a strong interest in philosophy and travel. He made two important trips to Italy and one to the Netherlands.
He was indeed also something of a humanist, contributing much in literature, especially in the realms of natural sciences and mathematics. He wrote treatises on measurement, practical theories (Mercury Taurus house 9) on such things as fortifications, proportion, and also on artistic theory. “Human Proportions” is probably his most important literary work, which took virtually a lifetime to produce.
copyright Francis Barker 2019
Well, unlikely scoreline, perhaps, especially as Flanders isn’t ‘officially’ a country but in the Renaissance stakes, as in who were the greatest in terms of painting and artistic influence, well, maybe Flanders just edges it. Not that I could emulate either as my style owes far more to more recent trends in art, like impressionism. Take a look, won’t you?