The frontispiece is remarkable for another reason, too, however, and that is its portrayal of British history, with a remarkably sophisticated sense of archaeological detail: the four men who frame Albion’s portrait are (top left) Brutus, the original ancestor of the Britons; (top right) Julius Caesar, the first Roman to rule Britain; (bottom left) Hengest, leader of the Anglo-Saxon conquerors of Britain; (bottom right) William the Conqueror, the most recent conqueror of Britain (the final, Dutch, conquest of Britain was still to happen); each in period costume.
The four men are staring each other down in a way rather similar to the opening sequence of Once Upon A Time In The West; the point appears to be that Britain’s past is a contested past.
Am I mistaken to think that the engraver, William Hole, applied the same principle in a later frontispiece he made, namely that for Ben Jonson’s Workes (1616)? (Another connection between Ben Jonson, William Hole and the Poly-Olbion is discussed in our previous post). Here it seems to be Tragedy and Comedy personified who are staring each other down for the favours of Tragicomedy, who towers over them in the composition, accompanied by a satyr and a shepherd.
“As Coleridge put it, we know a man for a poet by the fact that he makes us poets. We know that he is expressing emotions by the fact that he is enabling us to express ours. Thus, if art is the activity of expressing emotions, the reader is an artist as well as the writer. There is no distinction of kind between artist and audience. This does not mean that there is no distinction at all. When Pope wrote that the poet’s business was to say ‘what all have felt but none so well express’d’, we may interpret his words as meaning (whether or no Pope himself consciously meant this when he wrote them) that the poet’s difference from his audience lies in the fact that, though both do exactly the same thing, namely express this particular emotion in these particular words, the poet is a man who can solve for himself the problem of expressing it, whereas the audience can express it only when the poet has shown them how. The poet is not singular either in his having that emotion or in his power of expressing it; he is singular in his ability to take the initiative in expressing what all feel, and all can express.”—
— RG Collingwood, The Principles of Art (1938) (jenlindblad)
“The fruit of the Eucharist is the participation of the body and blood of Christ. There is no sentence of Holy Scripture which saith that we cannot by this sacrament be made partakers of his body and blood except they be first contained in the sacrament, or the sacrament converted into them. “This is my body,” and “this is my blood,” being words of promise, sith we all agree that by the sacrament Christ doth really and truly in us perform his promise, why do we vainly trouble ourselves with so fierce contentions whether by consubstantiation, or else by transubstantiation the sacrament itself be first possessed with Christ, or no? A thing which no way can either further or hinder us howsoever it stand, because our participation of Christ in this sacrament dependeth on the co-operation of his omnipotent power which maketh it his body and blood to us, whether with change or without alteration of the element such as they imagine we need not greatly to care nor inquire.”—Richard Hooker on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, from his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (Book V.67.6)
"For three centuries the C. of E. taught the essentials of the Catholic Faith and ministered the essential Catholic Sacraments to the ordinary English people, when no one else could, or would have been allowed by the state to do. That is her title to exist, and I think a man could and should love her for that, even if he felt that he must leave her now." (from The Question of Anglican Orders, 1945)
Ran across this quotation from Dom Gregory Dix today, who has been much on my mind because of Corpus Christi yesterday. A fascinating way of looking at the subject—seeing the C of E less as agent of persecution and more as victim of persecution, which is very in line with Eamon Duffy’s research and writing for the last thirty years, pointing out that Catholicism in England was not so much driven out as driven underground, and that ordinary priests did the best they could with the hand they were dealt, and steadfastly brought God’s presence to the lives of their flock through all the winds of change. Duffy’s Voices of Morebath on this is particularly vivid, as is the closing chapter of The Stripping of the Altars.
Hi, have you ever wandered across the whimsical steam-punk art of Brian Kesinger? He can be found on deviant art, and his work is also featured on the 'art of animation' tumblr blog - if your adventures have not yet stumbled across his work; enjoy :)
Thank you dear Reader for your question. I have stumbled across the art of Brian Kesinger. I’m afraid it’s not quite my cup of tea - I prefer my steampunk art to be a bit more photorealistic or Victorian-looking.