Friday, March 15, 2013

Arty Farty Friday 15 March

15 March 44 BC : Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March.
Typogravure of a 19th century painting by Karl von Piloty:

Julius Caesar, the "dictator for life" of the Roman Empire, murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey's Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar's own protege, Marcus Brutus. Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war on March 18 and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar's decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar's underlings. Cassius Longinus started the plot against the dictator, quickly getting his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join.

Caesar should have been well aware that many of the senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head. Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, "You, too, my child?
From This Day in History.

Nearer to our own time:

Janet Leach was born 15 March 1918 in Grand Saline, Texas, USA died 12 September 1997. She was a studio potter working in later life at St Ives, Cornwall in England. In 1956 she married Bernard Leach, a famous British studio potter. Janet was a potter in her own right before meeting Bernard and her independent spirit ensured that her work was quite different from much of her husband's in style. She never felt the need to pay reverence to her husband's work, was sometimes even critical of it. In return her own work was not always valued within the St Ives Studio, much of it remained hidden. David, Bernard Leach's son from one of his previous marriages, stated before his father's death: "Janet must be the one person who has worked closely with him for a number of years without being visibly influenced. She is so strong in herself that she has maintained more independence than anyone else who has been as close to that dangerous fire, my father!"

See more about Janet Leach HERE and HERE

Aldo Giorgini, artist and scientist, pioneer in computer graphics, was born in Voghera, Italy on 15 March 1934. He was one of the first computer artists to combine software writing with early printing technologies, leaving an aesthetic legacy in the field of the digital arts. He died in 1994.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg United States Supreme Court Justice was born on
15 March 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. Simmie Knox, under commission of the United States Supreme Court painted this portrait of her. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) and the first Jewish female justice. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of women's rights as a constitutional principle. (Wikipedia)

Finally - another link to the date, and - stretching things a bit to achieve arty-fartyness - a famous ceiling painting by Caravaggio (the only ceiling painting by him).

The date:

Every 248 years Pluto moves inside Neptune's orbit for about 20 years. The period January 23, 1979 to March 15, 1999 was the last time Pluto's very eccentric orbit carried it inside the orbit of Neptune. During that time, Neptune became the outermost planet in the solar system.

For 35 interesting facts about Pluto, see Random Facts, HERE

The painting:

The fresco, features Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune as allegorical representations of alchemy. The artist used his own body and facial features as model for the figures. Jupiter stands for sulphur and air, Neptune for mercury and water, and Pluto for salt and earth. The fresco was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte for the ceiling of a small second-floor alchemy lab of his hunting lodge in 1597.

On his eagle, Jupiter swoops down towards Neptune and Pluto, who are standing at the opposite edge of the ceiling, as if he were making the sky light up with a crystal ball. Any interpretation of the gathering of the gods, seen, unusually, from below, must shift between mythology (the gods, identified by the animal associated with each: an eagle for Jupiter, a sea stallion for Neptune and the three-headed dog Cerberus for Pluto); astrology (zodiac signs can be seen on the globe), and alchemy.
Hat tip to Guia Bargigli at THIS BLOG for clear representations, information and interpretation of the painting.

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