Archive for the R.I.P. Category

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, Reqcuiscat in Pace

Posted in 20th century, 21st Century, Liz Taylor, R.I.P. on March 23, 2011 by babylonbaroque

We knew it was coming, but nonetheless…

She will always hold a special place in my heart, her beauty, her brashness, her talent.

She stuck by her “boys” during the dark hours , that isn’t easily forgotten.

God bless you Elizabeth.

more info


Perfection

I wish I had posted this for St. Patrick’s Day

More perfection


yet more

We all have a favorite scene, my favorite is the high heel crush from Butterfield 8, one of my favorite films.


Wishing you a safe journey!

Love from Babylon

Just one more, I love this image and couldn’t locate it before.

off into the sunset…

Follow this link and this for more information concerning Miss Taylor.

Feast Day of Saint Nicholas of Myra, in memory of Moses.

Posted in Ilya Repin, Moses, Nicholas of Myra, Philadelphia, R.I.P. on December 6, 2010 by babylonbaroque

I had been planning this post as today is the feast day of Blessed Nicholas of Myra, patron of thieves, sailors, students, and children. Unfortunately yesterday was an unhappy day here in Babylon,our dear cat Moses had to be put down.

I dedicate this post to his fuzzy memory.

Saint Nicholas of Myra

270 AD

6th December 336 AD

The Bishop of Myra, Nicholas is often referred to as Nikolas the Wonderworker, he is the model for our beloved Sinterklaas, Santa Claus.

As the Wonderworker, the Bishop was known for many miracles.

 

This 19th century prayer card illustrates one such miracle, a particularly grisly tale. A famine had struck , starvation rampant, an evil Butcher lures three little boys to his home, the Evil butcher swiftly slaughters the wee ones, expertly butchering them and cures them as hams for market. Beloved Nicholas, sees through this false marketing and resurrects the little ones.

Tales like this little gem are the reason I cannot abandon the Church.

The following image by the masterful Ilya Repin illustrates a similar tale but I have yet found specifics. It is of course a marvelous image, Repin spun magic.

Saint nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents from Death

1888

Ilya Yefimovich Repin

1844-1930

The State Russian Museum

Nicholas is of course most famous for his charity.

The most famous tale being of a poor fellow with three young daughters ( three being a theme);poor fellow is unable to provide a dowry for the lasses. Nichiolas seeing the man’s dire situation saves the girls from a life of slavery and prostitution. Nicholas also spares the fellow’s pride by tossing three bags of gold through an open window.

Another tale, is Nicholas tosses the bags down the chimney, in their descent they land in the stockings that have been left by the hearth to dry.

Gentile De Fabriano

ca, 1425

We have certainly strayed a bit from the origin of this tale in the excesses of our  celebration of Christmas.

We may have strayed, but Nicholas understood his charity as symbolic of a greatness beyond his own actions.

He is famous for saying”The Giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves”.

I need to keep that in mind.

The Virgin and Child with St. Julian and St. Nicholas of Myra

ca. 1490-92

Lorenzo Di Credi

Musée de Louvre

A novena to Saint Nicholas , Bishop of Myra is available here.

As I mentioned we lost our dear cat Moses yesterday.

Moses was fourteen, born on the streets of Philly, feral, spooked, and beautiful.

He suffered from an anxiety that left him ambivalent about affection.

He demanded love, yet would swat you away if you nuzzled too closely.

Moses was a grey Manx, he hopped like a bunny perhaps due to the absence of a tail.

Poor bugger suffered with cystitis throughout the fourteen years, awakening us in his kittenhood with the most chilling scream. He continued with painful outbreaks throughout his life; we dealt with them as best as we could.

For the most part we managed his suffering, he rewarded us with dead lizards he proudly hunted down.

Moses 1996

His anxiety and grumpiness earned him the nickname Moses Bin Laden.

He was a funny boy, demanding, affectionate, vocal.

We missed not hearing his 6 am wake up yowl this morning.

Recquiscat in Pace Moses.

Moses

1996

5th December 2010

Take care dear boy.

Marie Antoinette la Reine Martyre

Posted in 18th century, Basilica of Saint-Denis, Bourbon monarchy, French-American, Jacques Louis David, Kucharski, Marie Antoinette, R.I.P., Vigee Le Brun on October 15, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Before we begin the frivolities of the weekend, I thought it important to remember that tomorrow, October 16th , at 12:15 p.m. marks the 217th anniversary of this great woman’s murder.

Recquiscat in Pace

Queen Marie Antoinette of France

b. 2nd November 1755

d. 16th October 1793, 12:15 pm

Daughter of Empress Maria Theresia of Austria and  Holy Roman Emperor Franz I. Stephan of Austria

ca. 1786

Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun

Art Institute, Detroit

(of all places)

There are two anniversaries on the annual calendar that  upon my ritual reading of the events causes my heart to ache. The first being the reading of the Passion , the second being the cruelties inflicted upon Marie Antoinette that October morning 1793. Faith and politics aside, both illustrate man’s ability to disregard humanity , particularly shocking when faced with another who has been reduced to abject wretchedness. My great hope is that I would rise above such base behavior, but even Peter found strength elusive.

I love this image of the Queen by Alexandre Kucharski (ca. 1791).

It expresses a great humanity, unlike so many of the “glamour” shoots which we are most familiar with.

The softness of her coloring, the luminous quality of her skin prompting Vigée Le Brun to comment that the Queen’s skin “so transparent that it allowed no shadow,”.

Source: Antonia Fraser

As much as I may admire the subtle humanity captured by Kucharsky, we have all fallen for her  royal public image.

Be it a formal court painting, inspiring reverence and awe,

or a fashion spread, few have been able to ignore her charms ; save for humorless republicans and godless anarchists.

To our very day, folks who share a love of glamour, romance, and style find inspiration in the Martyr Marie.

My dear friend Patrick Ediger of the design house French American has wittily designed a new fabric due out this winter.

It has been dubbed Queen of Pop, I am particularly attracted to the “chandelier” head dress.

Queen of Pop

French American

Winter 2010

click for detail.

As an aspiring artist I am particularly touched by Vigée Le Brun’s remembrance of an awkward moment before the Queen. After having cancelled a sitting with the Queen due to illness, Le Brun went to apologize the next day ;the Queen graciously cancelled her  own scheduled plans for an impromptu sitting. The Queen’s kindness caused Le Brun to fumble .

” I remember that, in my confusion and my eagerness to make a fitting response to her kind words,I opened my paint-box so excited that I spilled my brushes on the floor. I stooped down to pick them up. “Never mind, never mind,” said the Queen, and for aught I could say, she insisted on picking them all up herself…”. source

Le Brun, a favored and ridiculously prolific court painter, remained true to the memory of Her Majesty. Her allegiance complicated matters when the upstart Napoleon sat upon the republican throne.

Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun

b. 16th March 1755

d. 30th March 1842

If interested her fascinating memoir is easily downloaded.

In the early hours of October 16th 1793, Marie Antoinette demonstrated her courage and faith in a final letter to her sister-in law, Madame Elizabeth:

“October 16. 4:40 in the morning

I have just been condemned to death, not to a shameful death, that can only be for criminals, but in order to rejoin your brother. Innocent like him, I hope to demonstrate the same firmness as he did at the end. I am calm, as people are whose conscience is clear. My deepest regret is at having to abandon our poor children; you know that I only lived on for them and for you, my good and tender sister.”

source: Marie Antoinette, the Journey, Antonia Frazer, pg. 436

Denying the Queen the dignity of Widows Weeds, “Antoinette Capet”was forced to wear a common white dress. The trip to the guillotine was designed to be a trail of humiliation.

The Queen would defy their base intentions.

The hateful David took pleasure in depicting the Queen in her final humiliating moments. Her critics saw imperial Hapsburg haughtiness, justification for their cruel perversions; I see a woman of great breeding, brutally shorn of hair, a sad cap with a few black ribbons of morning, a body and spirit broken, forced to sit in a donkey cart. Willful hatefulness only elicited dignity from this great Queen.

Final sketch by the odious David.

Her breeding and innate kindness apparent even as she approached the blade. Having stepped upon her executioner’s foot, she instinctively apologized, ” I did not do it on purpose”.

For all of her perceived  “sins” that is perhaps a fitting response.

True to the Catholic faith , she chided the false priest Abbé Girard when he suggested she gather her courage.

This great Queen , daughter of the great Empress Maria Theresia did not require this traitor’s words of encouragement.

“Courage! The moment when my ills are going to end is not the moment when courage is going to fail me.”

Well put dear Queen.

Much of her reputation has been restored, aside from the tiresome”cake” references, many folks hold a tender place in their hearts for this unfortunate woman.

Her final resting spot, the Basilica of Saint-Denis.

source

So tomorrow, no matter what your time zone, a t 12:15 pm give a “shout-out ” to dear Marie Antoinette.

Viva la Reine!

Viva la Reine!

Viva la Reine!


Have a great weekend.

Respectfully submitted,

BabylonBaroque

image sources

Recquiscat in Pace Julius Caeser

Posted in R.I.P. on March 14, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Beware the Ides of March!

R.I. P.

Julius Caeser

15 March 44 B.C.

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