Friday, August 4, 2017

Painted Scenes and Portraits from the 1670s

Thomas Wyck
Scholar in his Study
before 1677
oil on canvas
Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm

Jean Nocret
Portrait of Louis XIV with members of the royal family
oil on canvas
Château de Versailles

David Teniers
Peasants playing cards
oil on canvas
private collection

The Unconcerned: Song

Now that the world is all in amaze,
    Drums and trumpets rending heavens,
        Wounds a bleeding, mortals dying,
        Widows and orphans piteously crying;
Armies marching, towns in a blaze,
    Kingdoms and states at sixes and sevens:
        What should an honest fellow do,
        Whose courage and fortunes run equally low?
Let him live, say I, till his glass be run,
    As easily as he may;
        Let the wind and the sand of his glass flow together,
    For life's but a winter's day;
Alas! from sun to sun
        The time's very short, very dirty the weather,
    And we silently creep away.
Let him nothing do, he could wish undone,
And keep himself safe from the noise of a gun.

– Thomas Flatman (1674)

John Michael Wright
Portrait of Sir John Corbet of Adderley
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Mary Beale
Portrait of Mary Wither of Andwell
ca. 1670-75
oil on canvas
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Peter Lely
Portrait of Bartholomew Beale
ca. 1670
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Peter Lely
Portrait of Aphra Behn
ca. 1670
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Godfrey Kneller
ca. 1672-75
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Benedetto Gennari
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Michel Corneille the Younger
Aspasia among Greek Philosophers
oil on canvas, mounted on panel
Château de Versailles

from A Satire against Reason and Mankind

    Were I (who to my cost already am
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man)
A spirit free to choose, for my own share,
What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
Or anything but that vain animal
Who is so proud of being rational.

    The senses are too gross, and he'll contrive
A sixth, to contradict the other five,
And before certain instinct, will prefer
Reason, which fifty times for one does err;
Reason, an ignus fatuus in the mind,
Which, leaving light of nature, sense, behind,
Pathless and dangerous wandering ways it takes
Through error's fenny bogs and thorny brakes;
Whilst the misguided follower climbs with pain
Mountains of whimsies, heaped in his own brain;
Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down
Into doubt's boundless sea, where, like to drown,
Books bear him up awhile, and make him try
To swim with bladders of philosophy;
In hopes still to o'ertake the escaping light,
The vapour dances in his dazzling sight
Till, spent, it leaves him to eternal night.
Then old age and experience, hand in hand,
Lead him to death, and make him understand,
After a search so painful and so long,
That all his life he has been in the wrong.
Huddled in dirt the reasoning engine lies,
Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise.

– John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1679)

Marcantonio Franceschini
Lot and his Daughters
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

follower of Salvator Rosa
Monks Fishing
before 1673
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

David Teniers
oil on canvas
private collection

Bartolomé Murillo
Virgin of the Annunciation
ca. 1670-80
oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston