Candlemas, genre painting, Groundhog Day, Hendrick Avercamp, Nunc Dimittis, The Four Seasons, Valentine's Day, Vivaldi
I haven’t posted an article since Epiphany, Ukraine’s Christmas. I was very busy during the last month. John has been evicted, but there is nothing I can do to help him. He requires more than I can offer. A home for seniors could be his best option. John suffers from Ménière’s disease. He is nearly deaf and he hugs the walls.
- Candlemas: its Stories & its Songs, updated (3 February 2015)
- Feasts and Liturgy (page)
But today February is foremost in my mind. It has been extremely cold. We missed groundhog day but we did not Candlemas, la chandeleur. La Chandeleur invites longer days. In the Northern hemisphere, each new day is slightly longer than the previous day. Candlemas, is also the day Simeon recognized the child Jesus as the Savior and the day His mother was purified.
The season’s Marian antiphon, une antienne, is the Ave Regina Cælorum. The Nunc Dimittis, a canticle, un cantique, is Simeon’s song of praise. He had seen the savior so he could be recalled.
Valentine’s Day / la Saint-Valentin
February also brings Valentine’s Day. We have read many post on a page called:
- Posts on Love Celebrated (page)
Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) is a painter of the Dutch Golden Age of painting. He was born in Amsterdam, where he was trained by Danish-born portrait painter Pieter Isaacsz. He moved to Kampen in 1608. Avercamp’s favorite subject matter was winter inhabited by people and their pets going about their everyday activity: working, fishing, or skating and otherwise amusing themselves on the ice. In other words, he was genre artist when genre painting was a new frontier. Moreover, Avercamp lived during a period known as the “little ice age.”
Interestingly, Avercamp painted as though he stood slightly above his subject matter. He used an aerial perspective. He made sketches of his winter scenes which he transformed into paintings in warmer seasons. Hendrick Avercamp was mute and probably deaf, and he is therefore known as “de Stomme van Kampen.”
February was a busy month, but we have almost caught up. The Pagan precursor of St Valentine’s Day was Lupercalia.
© Micheline Walker
22 February 2023