Back in July 2008 when this blog was in its infancy one of my first subjects was the picture (above) that hangs on one of the less conspicuous walls at Spencer Alley – a discolored commercial art-print made in the 1930s of a drawing made in the 1530s by François Clouet (court painter to the Valois). The subject here was a 14-year-old boy who would later become Henry II of France (1519-1559). The occasion was his marriage to the 14-year-old Catherine de' Medici.
Back in July 2008 starting from scratch and maintaining a running visual online journal seemed fresh and adventurous. Four years later, as an ongoing diversion, it can soak up as much or as little time and energy as circumstances permit. But freshness is no longer an attribute – the world has moved off toward briefer and quicker, more discontinuous and less static word-and-image formats. These current innovations, however, do not suit my one-track linear mind so well as the column-like, book-like, old-school blog format. I like these little pinned-down memorials of each day, like chloroformed insect specimens, each to reside in its labeled niche and not tumble out of it.
François Clouet lived from 1515 to 1572 and created all the portraits seen here. He occupied his entire life with painting and drawing Henry and Catherine and their associates and their descendants (three of Henry and Catherine's sons also became Kings of France) and their wives and their hangers-on.