Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Baigneuse, 1887.

Rudyard Kipling: A Servant When He Reigneth

Three things make earth unquiet
And four she cannot brook
The godly Agur counted them
And put them in a book—
Those Four Tremendous Curses
With which mankind is cursed;
But a Servant when He Reigneth
Old Agur entered first.

An Handmaid that is Mistress
We need not call upon.
A Fool when he is full of Meat
Will fall asleep anon.
An Odious Woman Married
May bear a babe and mend;
But a Servant when He Reigneth
Is Confusion to the end.

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Evelyn de Morgan: Boreas and Oreithyia, 1896

Lagrenée l’aîné

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée, also known as Lagrenée l’aîné, was born on December 30, 1724, in Paris. He studied under Carle Vanloo. In 1749 received the Prix de Rome. After studying at the French Academy in Rome he returned to Paris in 1754. In 1755 he became a member of the Royal Academy, presenting as his diploma picture The Rape of Deianira.

In 1760 he came to St. Petersburg at the invitation of the Empress Elizabeth to complete the work in the Winter Palace, begun by Louis Joseph Le Lorrenom, and he was entrusted with the management of the Imperial Academy of Arts. His prolific pedagogical activities at the Academy of Fine Arts had a great influence on the formation of Russian academic art. In Russia, painted a portrait of Empress Elizabeth (Douai Museum). In 1762 he returned to Paris. 1781–1787 he was Director of the French Academy in Rome. In 1804 Napoleon conferred on him the cross of the légion d’honneur, and on June 19, 1805 he died in the Louvre, of which he was honorary keeper.

He painted large decorative, allegorical, historical and religious works and small-format paintings on the same topic, widely represented, in addition to the Louvre, in many state museums in France, and in other European collections.

Translated from this article, with some additions from Wikipedia.

William Bouguereau: La Perle, 1894.

Anacreon: Praise of Bacchus

WHILST our joys with wine we raise,
Youthful Bacchus we will praise.
Bacchus dancing did invent;
Bacchus is on songs intent;
Bacchus teacheth Love to court,
And his mother how to sport;
Graceful confidence he lends;
He oppressive trouble ends;
To the bowl when we repair,
Grief doth vanish into air;
Drink we then, and drown all sorrow;
All our cares not knows the morrow;
Life is dark, let’s dance and play,
They that will be troubled may;
We our joys with wine will raise,
Youthful Bacchus we will praise.

translated by Thomas Stanley, 1651.

Zenobia’s last look on Palmyra

In 1888, Herbert Gustave Schmalz, son of a German father and an English mother, was thirty-two years old and had established a reputation as a painter of histories. Two years later, he would travel to Jerusalem and mainly paint New Testament themes for a while.

Alcaeus: The Storm

JOVE descends in sleet and snow,
Howls the vexed and angry deep;
Every storm forgets to flow,
Bound in winter’s icy sleep,
Ocean wave and forest hoar
To the blast responsive roar.

Drive the tempest from your door,
Blaze on blaze your hearthstone piling,
And unmeasured goblets pour
Brimful, high with nectar smiling.
Then, beneath your poet’s head
Be a downy pillow spread.

Translated by John Herman Merivale (1779–1844).

John William Godward: Faraway Thoughts, 1892.

Henrietta Batthyány: World Wisdom

THE FOLLOWING TEXT was written in 1875 by Henrietta Batthyány under the title World Wisdom, or— Experiences of a Matron; or, The Female Chesterfield’s Advice to her Friends. It is not a translation, she originally wrote it in English.

Batthyány is the name of an old distinguished Hungarian Magnate family. Henrietta was probably born around 1830 in Vienna, her oldest poems are from 1847, I could not find out her maiden name. She wrote in German and English, sometimes French, never Hungarian. Her last dated poem is from March 1892. In a letter to the Times, published August 12, 1896, she is mentioned as “now deceased.”

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