Sunday, September 10, 2017

15C -17C Biblical Gardens - Bathsheba Bathing

Illustrated manuscripts and early depictions of landscapes in portrayals of Biblical gardens give us a glimpse of gardens familiar & imagined during the periods the images were created.

“David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." (2Sam 11:2, King James Version)
Bathsheba 1498 Bathing in a Court Garden, from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498–99, Jean Bourdichon. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79, recto

Bathsheba becomes David’s wife, after he sees her bathing & has her husband Uriah killed; she becomes Solomon’s mother & helps him take the throne after David’s death.
Bathsheba 1400s Printed Bible, Nuremberg.

In the Bible, gardens were located, if possible, beside a river or fountain, Genesis 13:10 Numbers 24:6. In other places reservoirs were provided, from which the water was distributed in various ways, as occasion required, Proverbs 21:1 So 4:12-16 Isaiah 58:11.  Springs were popular in gardens, often opening into a square pool or trough from which water could be drawn for garden irrigation or even washing laundry. Spring-heads and streams could supply pools for drinking from, washing in, or even keeping fish in. The most popular depiction of outside bathing was Bathsheba.
Bathsheba Secret Garden 1498 from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498–99, Jean Bourdichon. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79, recto. 

In the earlier Medieval garden, a Hortus Conclusus was an enclosed garden representing or containing a religious allegory. Biblical gardens often were surrounded by hedges of thorns (Isaiah 5:5) or by walls of stone (Proverbs 24:31). "Watch-towers" or "lodges" were also built in them (Isaiah 1:8; Mark 12:1), in which their keepers sat. Because of their seclusion, gardens in the Bible frequently were used as places for secret prayer and communion with God (Genesis 24:63; Matthew 26:30-36; John 1:48; 18:1, 2). 
Bathsheba 1508 bathing in a garden and a male messenger, from the Book of Hours of the Vasselin Family, Harley Manuscript. 2969, f. 91, British Library.

In the Bible, gardens and groves were often furnished with pavilions, seats, etc., and were used for banqueting and mirth, Isaiah 51:3; for retirement and meditation, & John 18:1; for devotional purposes, Matthew 26:30 John 1:48 18:1,2.
 Bathsheba 1513 Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) Illustration for The Knights of Turnbull

Bathsheba, surrounded by her servants, portrayed bathing in a formal, geometric garden with grottos, fountains, and peacocks in background from the 'Icones Biblicae' published by Mathias Merian in Frankfurt before 1630. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bathing - In Gardens & the Countryside - Illuminated Manuscripts

Jakob von Warte in his bath, an illumination from the Menasse Codex, c. 1300-1330

Herbs & flowers floating in a scented bath water often were used as deodorants. An infusion of bay leaves and hyssop was used in the bath. It was believed that a preparation of sage salvia officinalis was used to stop perspiration. Dioscorides suggests sage as a disinfectant and astringent writing that: "it will make a man's body clean; therefore who that useth to eat of this herb or drink it, it is marvel that any inconvenience should grieve them that use it."

 Couldrette, Roman de Mélusine, Flanders 15th century (Paris,  Bibliothèque nationale de FranceFrançais 24383, fol. 19r)

Codex Schürstab. Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Ms. C 54 (Nürnberg c 1472)
 1520 Not Illuminated Manuscripts but a stained glass window of woman bathing outdoors. Probably made for Thomas Pykerell (d. 1545 CE) England, Norfolk, 1520 CE.

1480 The Nymph Salmacis And Hermaphroditus portrayed bathing in a garden. Les Métamorphoses

 1372 David watches Bathesheba bathe, Petrus Comestor's Bible Historiale.

1488 Badeszene-Holzschnitt-Johann-Schaeffler Museum der Badekultur, Zülpich.

 Badehaus. Konrad Kyeser, Bellifortis, Clm 30150, Tafel 08, Blatt 35v (Ausschnitt).

 Balneum Contorellus - 15C manuscript of De Balneis Puteolanis, University of València.

 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 8161, f. 8r. Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis puteolanis. Naples, mid-14C

"If, however, the woman is fat and seemingly dropsical, let us mix cow dung with very good wine and with such a mixture we afterward anoint her. Then let her enter a steambath up to the neck, which steambath should be very hot from a fire made of elder [wood], and in it, while she is covered, let her emit a lot of sweat... We also treat fat men in another way. We make for them a grave next to the shore of the sea in the sand, and in the described manner you will anoint them, and when the heat is very great we place them halfway into the grave, halfway covered with hot sand poured over. And there we make them sweat very much. And afterward we wash them very well with the water of the previous bath." The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine. Ed. and trans. Monica H. Green (Philadelphia, 2001). 

Christine de Pisan Epitre d'Othea Période Vers 1460 Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 49

 De baneis omnia quae extant apud Graecos, latinos, et arabas, tam medicos quam quoscunque ceteram artium probatos scriptores, 1553

 La Vie seigneuriale  Le Bain Pays-Bas du Sud, premier quart du XVIe siècle Laine, soie H. 2, 85 m; l. 2, 85 m Acq. , 1852 Cl. 2180

 Latona turns four bathers into frogs for muddying the water she wishes to drink mss kb nl

 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France Français 606 L´Epistre d’Othea by Christine de Pisan

 Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis Puteolanis Période XIVe s. (vers 1350-1370) Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 135 [Petrus de Ebulo], De balneis Puteolanis v

 Petrus de Ebulo, De balneis Puteolanis Période XIVe s. (vers 1350-1370) Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 135 [Petrus de Ebulo], De balneis Puteolanis

 Pilgrims bathing in the Jordan. Guillaume de Boldensele, Liber de quibusdam ultramarinis partibus (trans. of Jean le Long). Paris, c.1410-1412.

 Recueil des oeuvres de  Christine de Pisan (1363-1431) 1401-1500

 The Hague, KB, 76 G 8 fol. 93r, David sees Bathsheba bathing

 Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 291, detail of fol. 043v. Konrad von Eichstätt. Regel der Gesundheit. Bavaria, after 1477.

Venus Bathing. Martin le Franc, Le Champion des Dames (1440) Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Français 12476, detail of f. 10r

Pietro da Eboli (XIII secolo) De Balneis Puteolanis. Miniatura del Codice Angelico Ms. 1474 (Biblioteca Angelica di Roma)

 Codices vindobonenses 2759-2764 in the Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, in Vienna, Austria.

 Codices vindobonenses 2759-2764 in the Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, in Vienna, Austria.

The Hague, KB, 76 F 21 fol. 15r Mary in bath Fol. 15r: miniature

 Illuminated Manuscript - Bathing

 London, British Library, Add. 17987, folio 111v. Man and woman in tub

Bany màgic de Medea, 1338-1344  "every one full of flowers and sweet green herbs...Have a basin full of hot fresh herbs and wash (her) body with a soft sponge, rinse (her) with fair warm rose-water, and throw it over (her).  

For aches & pains, "it is good to boil various herbs like camomile, breweswort, mallow and brown fennel and add them to the bath."    John Russell’s Book of Nurture 1400s


Did people in the Middle Ages take baths? April 13, 2013

Archibald, Elizabeth, “Did Knights Have Baths? The Absence of Bathing in Middle English Romance,” Cultural Encounters In The Romance Of Medieval England, edited by Corinne Saunders (Boydell, 2005)

Caskey, Jill, “Steam and “Sanitas” in the Domestic Realm: Baths and Bathing in Southern Italy in the Middle Ages,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 58, No. 2 (1999)

Harvey, Barbara, Living and Dying in England, 1100-1540: The Monastic Experience (Clarendon Press, 1993)

Holmes, Urban Tigner, Daily Life in the Twelfth-Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 1952)

Lucas, A.T., “Washing and Bathing in Ancient Ireland,” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 95, No. 1/2 (1965)

Newman, Paul B., Daily Life in the Middle Ages (McFarland and Co., 2001)

Smith, Virginia, Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity (Oxford University Press, 2007)

van Dam, Fabiola I., “Permeable Boundaries: Bodies, Bathing and FLuxes, 1135-1333,” Medicine and Space: Body, Surroundings and Borders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. Patricia Baker (Brill, 2012)

van Winter, Johanna Maria, “Medieval Opinions about Food and Drinking in Connection with Bathing,” Spices and Comfits: Collected Papers on Medieval Food (Prospect Books, 2007)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Garden Fountains (and Bathing Pools) - Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, & author, wrote of gardens in his 1625 Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall in the appropriately titled essay Of Gardens. Bacon had inherited his father's estate at Gorhambury in Hertfordshire in 1602. He gardened there & his notes outlining a scheme to make a four-acre water garden still exist in the British Museum. 

Bathing in a garden fountain, from the fresco at Castello di Manta, c. 1411

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626): God Almighty first planted a Garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handy-works: and a man shall ever see, that, when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection.

Frans Pourbus the younger (1569–1622) Portrait of Francis Bacon 1617

For Fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but Pools mar all, and make the Garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures; the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water: the other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, but without fish, or slime, or mud.

1534 Lucas The Elder Cranach (1472-1553)  The Nymph of the  Garden Fountain

For the first, the ornaments of images, gilt or of marble, which are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern: that the water be never by rest discoloured, green, or red, or the like, or gather any mossiness or putrefaction; besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand: also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it doth well.

Two couples and two single figures in a garden square bath with a fountain at center; illustration to an unidentified Latin edition of Sebastian Münster, Cosmographia, probably printed by Petri in Basel, c. 1544-52.

As for the other kind of Fountain, which we may call a bathing-pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty, wherewith we will not trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with coloured glass, and such things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low statues: but the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of Fountain; which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away underground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little; and for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking-glasses, canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.
Four couples seated in a round bath around a garden fountain; a man playing a flute at right; illustration to an unidentified Latin edition of Sebastian Münster, Cosmographia, probably printed by Petri in Basel, c.1544-52.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

15C Gardeners Working - Illuminated Manuscripts

Livre des prouffitz champestres et ruraulx (BNF Arsenal 5064, fol. 151v), 3rd quarter of the 15C  Pierpont Morgan Library, Livre des prouffis champestres et ruraux. MS M.232 fol. 157r

British Library Royal 14 E VI   f. 208 Petrus de Crescentiis Rustican des ruraulx prouffiz du labour des champs) Netherlands, S. (Bruges)c. 1478-c. 1480

Valerius Maximus. Nicolas de Gonnesse

Lady of the Manor Supervising Woman Gardener from Christine de Pisan, Cité des Dames, MS. ADD. 20698, f. 17, Dutch version, 1475

Garden Laborer with spade, rod, pruning fork. France 1400s. Royal 19 BL

Italian manuscript Treatise on Rural Economy by Pietro de Crescenzi, The Patrician Garden, c. 1495

Valerius Corvus bêchant son jardin - BnF, Manuscrits, Français 289, f. 397. " Valerius Corvus was a great Roman General who preferred his garden over war.

Gardener. Landauer Twelve Brother's House manuscript Nuremberg City Library, Germanic National Museum Amb 279.2 ° Folio 0a recto (Landauer I)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gardeners Preparing the Good Earth - Illuminated Manuscripts

Gardeners ploughing & sowing Golf Book (Book of Hours, Use of Rome), workshop of  Simon Benning (1484-1561)  Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1540, Additional MS 24098, f. 26v

Wednesday, August 30, 2017