1895: Clearing

Paul Ranson - The Clearing or Edge of the Wood (c. 1895)

Paul Ranson: The Clearing or Edge of the Wood (c. 1895)

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2017: Mural

Sam Rodriguez - Here & There (2017)

Sam Rodriguez: Here & There (2017)

“Recently, I completed the first of what I hope will be many projects here in my hometown of San Jose, California on 8th & Empire Streets….On this wall, there is a portrait of my own daughter who goes to school nearby, and my friend’s daughter who lives a few blocks away.” (source)

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1371: The Strangest Duel

Middle_Ages_rabid_dog

The strangest duel I ever met with, was one fought Between a dog and a man in the year 1371, in the presence of King Charles V of France… A Gentleman of the Court was supposed to have murdered another, who had been missing for some days. This suspicion arose from the mute testimony of the person’s dog, a large Irish greyhound, who with uncommon rage attacked this supposed murderer wherever he met him. As he was a gentleman, and a man of very nice honour (though by the way he really had murdered the man), he could not bear lying under so dishonourable a suspicion, and therefore applied to the king for leave to justify his innocence by a Single combat with the said dog. The king being a great lover of justice, granted his suit, ordered the lists to be made ready, appointed the time, and named the weapons. The gentleman was to have an offensive club in his hand; the dog a defensive tub, to resort to occasionally. The Irish greyhound willingly met this fair inviter, at the time and place appointed. They fought; the dog prevailed, and almost killed the honorable gentleman, who had then the honour to confess his guilt, and of being hanged for it in a very few days.

Susannah Dobson: Historical Anecdotes of Heraldry and Chivalry: Tending to Shew the Origin of Many English and Foreign Coats of Arms, Circumstances and Customs (1795)

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1675: Libertine with Monkey

Jacob Huysmans - Portrait of John Wilmont, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)

Jacob Huysmans: Portrait of John Wilmont, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)

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.

from A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind (1675)

The infamous courtier, poet, and libertine John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester was the most notorious of the “merry gang” of inveterate rakes at the court of Charles II known for their witty conversation, dueling, public nudity, general debauchery, and rude remarks about the king.

Describing Rochester’s early years at court in a 1680 biography, Gilbert Burnet reported that

As he told me, for five years together he was continually Drunk not all the while under the visible effect of it, but his blood was so inflamed, that he was not in all that time cool enough to be perfectly Master of himself. This led him to say and do many wild and unaccountable things: By this, he said, he had broke the firm constitution of his Health, that seemed so strong, that nothing was too hard for it.

Huysmans’s portrait of Rochester shows him placing a poet’s laurel wreath on a monkey—likely modeled on an actual pet—as the animal ruins a book, tearing its pages to shreds.

Rochester died in 1680, at the age of 33, likely from venereal disease and alcoholism.

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1894: Versions

Kobayashi Kiyochika - Our Naval Forces in the Yellow Sea Firing at and Sinking Chinese Warships (1894)

Josh Cochran - Tritons (c. 2006)

 

Kobayashi Kiyochika: Our Naval Forces in the Yellow Sea Firing at and Sinking Chinese Warships (1894)

Josh Cochran: Tritons (c. 2006)

Kiyochika’s print is propaganda celebrating Japan’s military superiority in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895.

Sources here and here.

 

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2018: The Sky

2018-02-15

See more here.

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1961: Invitation

René Magritte - L_invitation au voyage (1961)

René Magritte: L’invitation au voyage (1961)

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