Friday, August 31, 2018

Women in Agriculture & Much More 1400s

Labors of the Months, The Tres Riches Heures du Duc Berry (Book of Hours) ca, 1412-1416 - background is Château de Saumur. Detail Havesting the Grain

Women in Agriculture & Much More

Women played an important role in the farming village economy. As the men had to provide the labor services by working several days a week on the lord's demesne, it was the women who had to look after the family crops.  Women not only labored in the fields, they did most of the sheep shearing & were usually in charge of the family garden where they grew vegetables & kept a few chickens. Women also made the cloth, cooked the food, & looked after the children.  As well as supplying the needs of their own families, women were often involved in producing goods for sale. It was they, rather than men, who were more likely to produce bread, beer or clothes to be sold to other members of the village.  In England, on the death of her husband, a woman was entitled by law to take over a third of his holding. In some villages, women who were able to pay the entry fees to the lord, were allowed to carry on farming all the land.  Despite the fact that women contributed so much to the village economy they did not have the same rights as men in the village. For example, women were not allowed to be appointed to official posts such as bailiff, reeve, constable, or aletaster.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

15C Forests, Chases, & Gameparks for Hunting by the Elites

Hunting deer, 15C Illuminated Manuscript

In the Middle Ages, hunting was an activity for elites. Hunting was the privilege of the nobility, closely linked to land ownership.  When agriculture emerged in the Neolithic era, active livestock farming relegated hunting to a secondary role. Hunting became primarily a defensive practice aimed at protecting farmers’ crops from hungry or destructive wild animals. While crops & livestock farming covered people’s basic dietary needs, hunting offered a wider choice of meat to the privileged classes. Noblemen performed necessary management of their lands & the peasants in their employ. They raised funding for military expeditions & social events, practiced horseback riding, hunting, & hawking. Hunting had a dual symbolic & social significance. Being invited to hunt with the King was one of the court’s great honors. In Europe, laws were devised to regulate hunting on royal territory. The elites could show off  their abilities as warriors through hunting. More than a pastime, it was an important arena for social interaction, essential training for war, & a gauge  of nobility.  Local lords maintained & monopolized the gameparks & the taking of big game in forest reserves & small game in warrens. These large sanctuaries of woodland—essentially the royal forest—where populations of game animals were kept & watched over by gamekeepers. Here the peasantry could not hunt, poaching being subject to severe punishment. The lower classes mostly had to content themselves with snaring birds & smaller game outside of forest reserves & warrens.  By the 16C, most areas of land reserved for hunting of game were of 3 kinds, according to their degree of enclosure & being subject to Forest Laws: Forests, large unenclosed areas of wilderness; Chases, which normally belonged to nobles rather than the crown; & Parks, which were enclosed & not subject to Forest Laws.

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

Piero de' Crescenzi (1233-1321) wrote of Hunting in Book 10 of his Liber ruralium commodorum 1304-09. He advised that the gamepark should be stocked with hare, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, rabbits.  He recommended the English, French, & Spanish hare specifically.  He wrote of hunting dogs & their dietary recommendations for each season & even times of the day to feed them.  Those participating in "the hunt" lived with unique vocabularies, customs, & ancient rituals.

Piero de' Crescenzi (1233-1321) Liber ruralium commodorum 1304-09. Illuminator - Master of Fitzwilliam MS. 268 - 1470-1485 - French. Le livre des prouffis champestres et ruraux, Book 10 On hunting (folio 265r)

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

May - Falconry - Using a bird to help hunting other birds. Agricultural calendar from a manuscript of Piero de' Crescenzi (1233-1321) written c. 1306. Illumination from The Boccaccio Master Geneva (active between 1448-75) Illustration 1470-75

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

Egerton Book of Hours Wolfgang Beurer (15C) Bear Hunting

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

Egerton Book of Hours Wolfgang Beurer (15C) Boar Hunting

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

Egerton Book of Hours Wolfgang Beurer (15C) Hare Hunting

Egerton Book of Hours Wolfgang Beurer (15C) Hunting

The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio after 1455

Egerton Book of Hours Wolfgang Beurer (15C) Hunting

Joyce Salisbury, The Beast Within. Animals in the Middle Ages (New York, 1994).

Chasse L.-J. Bord and J.-P. Mugg, La chasse au Moyen Age. Occident latin, Ve–XVe siècle (Paris, 2008).

Robert Delort, Le commerce des fourrures en Occident à la fin du Moyen Age ,2 vols. (Rome, 1978).

HH J. Cummins, The Hound and the Hawk. The Art of Medieval Hunting (London, 2001).

Hunting A. Smets and B. V an den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting” in  Animals in the Medieval Age (Oxford, 2011).

Hannele Klemettilä, Animals and Hunters in the Late Middle Ages (Routledge, 2015)

Edward of Norwich, The Master of Game , ed. W. Baillie-Grohman and F. Baillie-Grohman (Philadelphia, 2005).

MH R. Almond, Medieval Hunting (Phoenix Mill, 2003).

Poétique A. Strubel and C. de Saulnier, La poétique de la chasse au Moyen Age: Les livres de chasse du XIVe siècle (Paris, 1994).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Garden outside the window by Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20, and likely studied in Frankfurt under Matthaus Merian. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year he came to the attention of the art collector the Earl of Arundel who was making an official visit to the continent, & Hollar subsequently became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He remained in England during the beginning of the English Civil War period; but left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects. In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publisher John Ogilby & Sir William Dugdale. Hollar was in London during the Great Fire of 1666, & remains most famous for his scenes of the city before & after the fire. He a skilled etcher, which is remarkable given that he was almost blind in one eye. Hollar died in London on 25 March 1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Preparing the Garden 17C

1644 David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690) Spring. Love the Gardeners in the background moving pots outdoors and raking the garden.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

1609 Garden

1609 Month of April with garden by Jacques Callot . Print made by Adriaen Collaert After Joos de Momper

Friday, August 24, 2018

1658 Walled Garden with dog (or small lion)

1658 Abraham Hertochs (Dutch printmaker, 1626-1672) Wall-enclosed Garden with Raised Geometric Beds. Gentleman & his Lady oversee the springtime work of readying the garden for summer. Gardeners at the back wall seem to be preparing the wall to support vines or wall fruit.  Dog (or small lion} runs alongside the masters.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

1687 Garden

1687 Spring Garden - April Minnend paar, Anonymous, Crispijn van de Passe (I), Maerten de Vos, 1574-1687

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

16C Garden in the Background of a Scantily dressed Allegory

Crispin de Passe (1565-1637), Allegory of The Five Senses - Smell.  Here a Woman in a garden explores the smells around her, including flowers & her 2 dogs.  Geometric garden beds can be seen just below her perch on the hill.

Allegorical stories & art are often set in garden suroundings, frequently in or near walled gardens like the print above. The locus amoenus was one of the traditional locations of epic & chivalric literature. Locus amoenus (Latin for "pleasant place") is a literary term which generally referring to an idealized place of safety or comfort, sometimes beautiful, shady parklands or open woods, or at other times, to a group of idyllic garden areas, sometimes with connotations of Eden. A locus amoenus usually has 3 basic elements: trees, grass, & water. 

Dutch garden was the description given to a particular type of rectangular garden space, often enclosed within hedges or walls, even if part of a larger garden or parkland. The garden in this print is enclosed with hedges. The space surrounded by these hedges appears to be laid out in a highly cultivated & geometrical & perhaps symmetrical, fashion, shaped by dense plantings of flowers, & edged with dense & clipped shrubs, sometimes in geometrical patterns. 

The garden in the back of this print has trellised wooden arbors. Trellis arbors ensured privacy & provided shade while attracting birds to fill the air with bird-songs.  Grapes, roses & rosemary in particular were grown over trellises; gilliflowers (carnations, pinks) were trellised in their pots to keep them from falling over. Other types of local flowering vines were also grown that way. Lattices with climbing plants & trellises with climbing plants were used as garden walls, often starting from the back of a turfed bed or seat, & also for arches & pergolas.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

1614 Garden

Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (Dutch engraver, c 1564-1637) Spring Garden, from Hortus Floridus, published 1614-15

Sunday, August 19, 2018

1616 Garden

1616 Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625) Spring.  The garden wall & pots signal a proper garden.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

16C Etiquette for Gentlemen Dancing even Outdoors

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) Rustic Outdoor Wedding Dancing

Fabritio Caroso, Il Ballarino (1581)
"Furthermore never fart when you are dancing; grit your teeth and compel your arse to hold back the fart... Do not have a dripping nose and do not dribble at the mouth. No woman desires a man with rabies. And refrain from spitting before the maidens, because that makes one sick and even revolts the stomach.  If you spit or blow your nose or sneeze, remember to turn your head away after the spasm; and remember not to wipe your nose with your fingers; do it properly with a white handkerchief. Do not eat either leeks or onions because they leave an unpleasant odour in the mouth."  Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) The Peasants Dance Outdoors 1568

"Never doze during the ball, please, my good companion: sleeping during the dance is like denying God."
Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Belgian painter, 1525-1569) Open Air Wedding Dancing 

"You must always be garbed to perfection and your codpiece must be well tied. We sometimes see codpieces slip to the ground during the basse dance so you must tie them well." 
Antonius Arena, Leges dansandi (1530)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sowing the Seeds - Illuminated Manuscripts

1524 Book of Hours, The Hague, MMW, 10 F 33 France, Jehan de Luc (scribe), Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Clearing the Land 1568

Spring Clearing the Land Anonymous woodcut after 1568 Étienne Delaune (French artist, 1518-1595) Labours of the Months 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Couple meet in a 16C Garden as birds & creatures surround them.

Crispin de Passe (1565-1637), The Four Elements - Air. Gentleman & his Lady befriend each other in a 16C garden + the birds & creatures that surround them.  Because the gentleman is a hunter, some of his birds are lifeless.

Friday, August 10, 2018

16C Just taking a moment to smell the flowers

Ulysses Aldrovandus, De Quadripedibus. Aldrovandus (1522-1605) Canis Gallicus 2.   The flower is: Dens Canis (Tooth of a dog) 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Garden Celebrations - 1546 by Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472-1553

1546 Detail  The Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach the Elder (German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)

1546 Detail  The Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach the Elder (German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

1500s German Garden Party

1530-62 German Garden Party by Virgil Solis.  Here a couple and a friend sit at a garden table to eat & drink while entertained by musicians.  Pots of flowers sit on a garden bench to the left.  The garden is enclosed by thin pales, a variation on wattle fences.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Gardening in the 16C Netherlands + A Little Agricultural History

Landscape with vegetable gardening (Spring). Anonymous Southern Netherlands (historic region) 16th century.

Historical Agriculture

When humans fashioned metal implements at the end of the Neolithic period, agricultural innovation sort of stalled. The Neolithic Period had seen comunities grind stone tools; raise more domesticated plants & animals; establish permanent villages; & create pottery & weaving. Folks still did their reaping, binding, & winnowing by hand. Hand-seeding continued on individual farm plots & large estates alike. According to region, fishing & hunting supplemented the food grown on farms. Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus described the "Germans" as a tribal society of free peasant farmers & warriors, who cultivated their own lands. About 500 years later, European villagers built houses, surrounded by individually owned cultivated fields & meadows, woods, & wasteland used by the entire community. Shared oxen & plow passed from one field to another, & harvesting usually was a cooperative effort.

Rome appears to have started as a rural agricultural society of independent farmers. In the 1st millennium bc, after the city was established, however, agriculture started a capitalistic development that reached a peak in the Christian era. The large estates that supplied grain to the cities of the empire were owned by absentee landowners & were cultivated by slave labor under the supervision of hired overseers. As slaves, usually war captives, decreased in number, tenants replaced them. The late Roman villa of the Christian era echoed the medieval manor in organization; slaves & dependent tenants were forced to work on a fixed schedule, & tenants paid a predetermined share to the estate owner. By the 4C AD, serfdom was well established, & the former tenant was attached to the land.

The feudal period in Europe began soon after the fall of the Roman Empire, widespread from about AD 1100. In the Arab period in Egypt & Spain, farmers began extending irrigation to previously sterile or unproductive land. In Egypt, grain production was sufficient to allow the country to sell wheat in the international market. In Spain, vineyards were planted on sloping land, & irrigation water was brought from the mountains to the plains. In some Islamic areas, oranges, lemons, peaches, & apricots were cultivated. Rice, sugarcane, cotton, & such vegetables as spinach & artichokes, as well as the characteristic Spanish flavoring saffron, were produced. The silkworm was raised, & its food, the mulberry tree, was grown.

By the 12C  agriculture in the Middle East was static, & Mesopotamia, for example, fell back to subsistence level when its irrigation systems were destroyed by the Mongols. The Crusades increased European contact with Islamic lands. In Scandinavia & eastern Germany, the small farms & villages of previous years remained. In mountainous areas & in the marshlands of Slavic Europe, the manorial system could not flourish.

A manor required roughly about 900 to 2000 acres of arable land & the same amount of other prescribed lands, such as wetlands, woodlots, & pasture. Typically, the manor was a self-contained community. A parish church was frequently included, & the manor might make up the entire parish. One or more villages might be located on the manor, & village peasants were the actual farmers. Under the direction of an overseer, they produced the crops, raised the meat & draft animals, & paid taxes in services, either forced labor on the lord's immediate lands & other properties or forced military service.

A large manor often had a grinding mill for grain, an oven for bread, fishponds, orchards, a winepress &/or oil press, & herb & vegetable gardens. Kept bees produced honey. Woolen garments were produced from sheep raised on the manor. Linen textiles were also produced from flax, which was grown for both its oil & fiber. Leather was produced from the manor's cattle. Horses & oxen were the beasts of burden; as heavier horses were bred. A blacksmith, wheelwright, & carpenter made & maintained crude agricultural tools.

The food served in a feudal castle or manor house depended on the season & the lord's hunting prowess. Hunting for meat was the major non-military work of the lord, his family, & his military retainers. Manor residents could also eat domestic ducks, pheasants, pigeons, geese, hens, & partridges; fish, pork, beef, & mutton; & cabbages, turnips, carrots, onions, beans, & peas. Bread, cheese & butter, ale & wine, & apples & pears also appeared on the table. In the south, olives & olive oil might be used, often instead of butter.

The cultivation process was rigidly prescribed. The arable land was divided into 3 fields: one sown in the autumn in wheat or rye; a 2nd sown in the spring in barley, rye, oats, beans, or peas; & the 3rd was left fallow. The fields were laid out in strips distributed over the 3 seasonal fields without hedges or fences to separate the strips. Each male peasant head of household was allotted to work about 30 strips. Helped by his family & a yoke of oxen, he worked under the direction of the lord's officials. When he worked on his own fields, if he had any, he usually followed the village custom. The annual plowing routine was in the autumn & spring, & some fallow acerage was plowed in June.  At harvest time, all the peasants, including women & children, were expected to work in the fields. In all systems, the lord's fields & needs dominated, but a few days each week might be left for work on the family strips & garden plots. Wood & peat for fuel were gathered from common woodlots, & animals were pastured together on village meadows.

About 1300 AD a tendency to enclose the common lands & to raise sheep for their wool alone appeared. The rise of the textile industry made sheep raising profitable in England, Flanders, Champagne, Tuscany, Lombardy, & the region of Augsburg in Germany. Areas around the medieval towns began to specialize in garden produce & dairy products. The manorial system eas negatively affected by the wars of 14-15C  Europe & by the plague outbreaks of the 14C. Villages were wiped out, & land was abandoned. The decline in the labor force meant that only the best land was cultivated. The emphasis on grain was replaced & items produced included wine, oil, cheese, butter, & vegetables, with much sold at market..

By the 16C, population was increasing in Europe, & agricultural production was expanding. More mouths to feed & greed for more trade. By this time Europe was cut off from Asia & the Middle East by an extension of Turkish power. New economic ventures included the products of agriculture. Wars between England & France, & throughout Germany consumed capital & workers.  Exploration & colonization hopefully might circumvent Turkey's control of traditional Eastern trade; provide homes for religious refugees; & bring metals back to European nations to fill some empty coffers.

Colonial agriculture fed the colonists & also to produced cash crops & food for the home country. Crops included sugar, cotton, tobacco, tea, wool, & animal hides. From the 15C to the 19C African slavery provided needed laborers, for Europeans on colonial plantations requiring a larger labor force than the colony could provide. Indians were virtually enslaved as well. Indentured servants from Europe & England, provided both skilled & unskilled labor to many colonies.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Urban Garden - 1502 Nuremberg Garden painted c 1626–1711, by Georg Strauch

1502 Nuremberg Residence and Garden of Magdalene Pairin in Genealogy of the Derrer Family, about 1626–1711, Georg Strauch (German, 1613-1675)

This image of an estate with an enclosed garden in Nuremberg, Germany, appears at the end of a series of Derrer family portraits in their illustrated genealogy. The garden is arranged into flower & vegetable beds surrounded by fruit trees. The urban garden or hortus urbanus, a phrase coined by the 15C theorist Leon Battista Alberti, combined the dignity of a city house with the delights of a country villa & provided a place free from the restrictions of urban society. These gardens often were sites of contemplative withdrawal.

The residence is built of large, square blocks of stone, known as ashlar masonry. Because gardens are surely more impermanent & ephemeral than the stones of the house, this visual record of one of the Derrers' houses & gardens was a particularly effective way of preserving the family's status by looking at what they built & how they fashioned nature for both art & utility.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

1599 Garden

1599 Unknown artist, Portrait of a Girl aged 4, dated 1599

1500s Celebrating in a Garden

Jacob Grimmer (Flemish artist, 1525-1590) Allegory of the Four Seasons - Spring. Here the gentry seem to be gathering to celebrate the arrival of spring, while the peasants work in the gardens behind & husband the animals.

Friday, August 3, 2018

1640 French Garden in the Background

1640 Le Printemps, éditer à Paris, chez Pierre Mariette, rue S.t Jacques, à l'Espérance  / 1640 Spring, edited in Paris by Pierre Mariette Street S.T Jacques, Esperance

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Esaias van de Velde (1587-1630) paints Celebrating in the Gardens of the Elite

Esaias van de Velde (1587-1630) Fiesta en el jardín.

Esaias van de Velde (Dutch painter, from 1587 to 1630) The Garden Party 1604

Esaias van de Velde (1587-1630) Party in the Garden

1578 - Anthony Bays Hohenemser. Festtafel. Garden banqueting hall with ivy - detail

Esaias van de Velde (Dutch painter, 1587-1630) before a Palace Garden Party 1614