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Wednesday

40 Rearest Snuff Boxes

Give me women, wine, and snuff
Untill I cry out "hold, enough!"
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection:
For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.

John Keats

Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco into Europe after his voyage (1494-96) to South America. There he saw American Indians snuffing an unknown powder, some of which Columbus brought back to Europe, where it quickly became fashionable.

Mother of Pearl Snuff Box, 1765

In the 16th century French Ambassador in Lisbon Jean Nicot sent snuff tobacco, popular in Portugal, to Queen of France Catherine de Medici, who suffered from migraines. And that immortalized his name. It was believed that sniffing tobacco healed migraine. At the court of Francis II of France, son of Catherine, snuff tobacco became fashionable amongst the ladies and gentlemen of the aristocracy, and at the reign of Louis XIV it was part of the court etiquette.
Aristocracy was passionate about its snuff habits and even built special rooms for storing their snuff.

Chrysoprase, Berlin, 1755

Splendid noblemen used to treat each other with snuff tobacco while the containers for it were luxury items and were considered as jewelery variety, they were supposed to be handled with the utmost elegance and intended to impress. Made of silver and gold, rich in detail, adorned with precious stones, sometimes playing popular melodies while being opened, snuff-boxes rooted into the everyday life of all levels of the population and were an indispensable accessory for men and women too. Even Andersen's tin soldier in the fairy tale admired the beautiful dancer leaning against the snuff-box on the table.

Black Marble Snuff Box, Berlin, 1765

Tuesday

Contemporary Artists - Stanislav Plutenko Russian Painter

The contemporary Russian artist employs a mixed technique using oil, tempera, acrylic, watercolour and finishing with clear paints.
While studying at the Moscow University of National Economy, he had been taking private lessons in painting. The artist's first artworks appeared in 1984. 
plutenko.ru



Monday

Contemporary Artist Daniel Keys

The contemporary artist Daniel J. Keys started painting at the age of eleven and being entirely home educated, time was very permitting for him to develop his skill as a self taught artist. He began emulating Richard Schmid's style in his own paintings. Later Mr. Schmid has become a sort of art adviser to him.
Daniel’s work is represented by two major art galleries: Greenhouse Gallery of Fine art in San Antonio, and Gallery 1261 in Denver.
the artist's site




Friday

Merry Christmas To Everyone and Happy Holidays!!





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The First Christmas Cards

People had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings. First in person. Then via post. By 1822, homemade Christmas cards had become the bane of the U.S. postal system. That year, the Superintendent of Mails in Washington, D.C., complained of the need to hire sixteen extra mailmen. Fearful of future bottlenecks, he petitioned Congress to limit the exchange of cards by post, concluding, "I don’t know what we’ll do if it keeps on."
Not only did it keep on, but with the marketing of attractive commercial cards the postal burden worsened. The first Christmas card designed for sale was by London artist John Calcott Horsley.

A respected illustrator of the day, Horsley was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy British businessman, who wanted a card he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a "merry Christmas."




Sir Henry Cole was a prominent innovator in the 1800s. He modernized the British postal system, managed construction of the Albert Hall, arranged for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and oversaw the inauguration of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Most of all, Cole sought to "beautify life," and in his spare time he ran an art shop on Bond Street, specializing in decorative objects for the home. In the summer of 1843, he commissioned Horsley to design an impressive card for that year’s Christmas.

Monday

Australian Painter Agnes Noyes Goodsir (1864-1939)


The Australian painter Agnes Noyes Goodsir was born in Portland, Victoria, the daughter of the Commissioner of Customs at Melbourne. She started her art education at the Bendigo School of Mines in the 1890s, and in 1899, she moved to Paris to continue her studies. From about 1912 she shuttled between London and Paris, but finally settled in Paris at 18 Rue de l'Odéon. Agnes Goodsir moved within lesbian circles in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, her constant companion was Rachel Dunn, known as Cherry and depicted in several of her paintings, such as Girl with Cigarette 1925, The Letter 1926.


Her work was extremely successful and exhibited at the New Salon, the Salon des Indépendants, the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, at the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute in London.
Her major interest was in painitng portraits and some of her sitters were Count Leo Tolstoy, Dame Eadith Walker, Dame Ellen Terry, Countess Pinci, Bertrand Russel, and, reportedly, Italian leader Benito Mussolini.
After the artist's death, Rachel Dunn sent some 40 paintings to Agnes's family in Australia and others to Australian galleries.

Watercolors by Alex Votsmush Russian Artist (3)

Watercolors by Alex Votsmush Russian Artist(1)
Watercolors by Alex Votsmush (2)




Saturday

Giovanni Maranghi, Contemporary Italian Artist


Giovanni Maranghi (b.1955 near Florence) received his Diploma from the “Liceo Artistico” (Art High School0. Later Maranghi enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Florence. At the same time he attended the Academia de Belle Arti in Florence. Maranghi’s first shows date back to the mid 1970s with exhibitions in Italy, Holland, Belgium, United States, Turkey and France.
the artist's site



Monday

Austrian Painter Rudolf Wacker (1893 -1939)


The Austrian painter, Rudolf Wacker started his career as a graphic artist; in 1920, after spending 5 years in Russian captivity as a prisoner of war, he had lived in Berlin where he dedicated himself to Expressionism. In 1922, living in his home town Bregenz, Austria, he took a style change towards the New Objectivity. Rudolf Wacker was a founding member of the Artists' Association "The Circle." He was a close friend with other Swiss painter Adolf Dietrich, another member of the "The Circle."


The painter was openly opposed to the cultural policies of the Nazis. He suffered a heart attack after an interrogation by the Gestapo and died soon afterwards in his parents' house in Bregenz.


British Painter William Henry Margetson (1861-1940)

The paintings of beautiful women was the major subject of the British painter William Henry Margetson. He studied at the South Kensington Schools, and then at the Royal Academy. The artist produced also illustrative work. He was married to Helen Hatton, also an artist.




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