Liotard’s Life

Jean-Étienne Liotard traveled a lot in his life, and it’s not always easy to find out where he was in a given year. I found this tabellaric CV very helpful, it has more details than the other online biographies.

Jean-Étienne Liotard Viennese self-portrait is not, as I thought, the oldest one to survive. There are at least two earlier ones, one in pastel from 1737, and this one, an oil painting that shows him at about thirty years of age, when he was in Paris.

Hannah Williams has written an essay about Liotard’s numerous self-portraits.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Bust of Camilla Barbadori (1619)

CAMILLA BARBADORI was already ten years dead when Bernini made this portrait bust, possibly commissioned by her son Carlo Barberini, who as the elder became head of the Barberini family when his father died. The other son, Maffeo, would some years later become Pope Urban VIII and is nowadays mostly known for his controversy with Galilei.

The bust is now located at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen.

Leda and the Swan, circa 1512–17, attributed to a follower of Il Sodoma.

Christina Rossetti: A Daughter of Eve

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
It’s winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow:—
Stripp’d bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.

Published in The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems, 1866.

John Gibson: Aurora (1842)

John Gibson, born near Conwy in Wales, was already twenty-seven when he travelled to Rome. He would stay there all his life. In 1842 Henry Sandbach, a Liverpool merchant, commissioned this figure of Aurora for his wife Margaret, who had become a close friend of the sculptor. The Sandbach family later built a gallery in their new house, Hafodunos, to display their Gibson sculpture.

A bust of this statue is in the Yale Center for British Art.

The young lady on this portrait by Parmigianino has often, but implausibly, been identified as Antea, a popular Roman courtesan who was the painter’s lover and is mentioned by Pietro Aretino and Benvenuto Cellini.

James Oswald: The Progress of Love

BENEATH the Myrtle’s secret Shade
When Delia blest my Eyes,
At first I viewed the lovely Maid
In silent soft surprise;
With trembling Voice, and Anxious Mind,
I softly whispered Love,
She blush’d a Smile so sweetly kind,
Did all my fears remove;
Did all my fears remove.

Her lovely yielding form I prest,
Sweet Maddening Kisses stole;
And soon her swimming Eyes confest,
The wishes of her Soul:
In wild tumultuous Bliss I cry,
O Delia now be kind,
She prest me close and with a Sigh,
To melting joys resign’d;
To melting joys resign’d.

A Broadside Song with music, c. 1740.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: Flora (1877)
Spring in the Gardens of the Villa Borghese

Robert Herrick: Eternitie

O YEARES! and Age! Farewell
Behold I go,
Where I do know
Infinitie to dwell.

And these mine eyes shall see
All times, how they
Are lost i’ th’ Sea
Of vast Eternitie.

Where never Moone shall sway
The Starres; but she,
And Night, shall be
Drown’d in one endlesse Day.