June 24, 2016

Happy Birthday!

        This blog is now six years old and over 625 posts featuring gorgeous art, inspiring fantasy, and incredible wisdom and insight (or something like that.)  Six years of blogging may not be a particularly useful accomplishment, but it’s certainly an accomplishment of some sort, so I went looking for some relief block prints of celebrations.  I soon discovered that most depictions  of revelry in the history of art are not exactly my kind of party.  Exhibit 1: this fabulous woodcut of an appalling gang of drunk and disorderly party animals from the mid-seventeenth century.  Smoking, drinking, brawling, and barfing just aren't my idea of fun.

      So I looked for more festive images and found this charming group of revellers, also listed as a seventeenth century woodcut.  Frankly, I have my doubts.  I think the people look much more like the early twentieth century in style, and their clothes definitely aren't seventeenth-century.  The solid black banner in the middle would be quite unusual in an early wood block print, and the scalloped pattern on the ground seems more modern to me, too.  So I wish I could get more information on this.  (Oh, the frustration of the internet.)  Still, I find the image delightful, no matter when it was made.
        Perhaps I’d better just forget the party scheme.  Maybe this group of jesters and fools is more appropriate to illustrate six years of blogging - a foolish endeavor, no serious utility, but hopefully some entertainment value!

[Pictures: The Industrious Smith, wood block print from a ballad by Humphrey Crouch, 1833-52 (Image from Shaping Sense, and English Broadside Ballad Archive);
Villagers dancing around a maypole, woodcut, seventeenth century? (Image from Hidden Highgate);
Rural Recreations, wood block print from a ballad, 1641-1703 (Image from English Broadside Ballad Archive).]

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