Thursday, March 22, 2018

07 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, The beautiful and damned women of history

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Oil on canvas
25 1/2 by 21 1/4 in
Private Collection

While Chassériau's precise inspiration for Mary Stuart Swearing Revenge is unknown, it is possible that the work was based on Friedrich Schiller's play of 1800 or Donizetti's opera, Maria Stuarda, written in 1845. 

It has been suggested that the face of Mary Stuart in this picture is recognizable as famed actress Alice Ozy (1820-1883), who became Chassériau's mistress around 1849 and who may have played Mary Stuart in Paris in 1845. The scene pictured is that of the death of David Riccio, who entered Queen Mary's service in 1561 and became a close confidant after helping to arrange her marriage to Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley. Darnley was suspicious of Riccio's close relationship with Mary, and eventually had him dragged from her supper room at Holyroodhouse and stabbed to death in front of her. Chassériau has chosen to capture Mary's grief and suffering at seeing Riccio's lifeless body before her.  As Louis-Antoine Prat suggests, she continues a theme of beautiful and damned women who inspired the artist, including Sappho (Below), Cleopatra, Cordelia, Juliette and Desdemona More of this picture

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856, see below

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Sapho, c. 1849
oil on wood
H. 0.27; L. 0.21
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Sappho (c. 630 – c. 570 BC) was an archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Sappho's poetry was lyric poetry, and she is best known for her poems about love. 

Little is known of Sappho's life. She was from a wealthy family from Lesbos. Ancient sources say that she had three brothers; the names of two of them are mentioned in the Brothers Poem discovered in 2014. She was exiled to Sicily around 600 BC, and may have continued to work until around 570.

Sappho's poetry was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, and she was among the nine lyric poets deemed major by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. Today, Sappho's poetry is still considered extraordinary, and her works have continued to influence other writers up until the modern day. Outside of academic circles, she is perhaps best known as a symbol of same-sex desire, particularly between women.

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856, see below

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Sappho Leaping into the Sea from the Leucadian Promontory, c. 18540
Musée du Louvre (France - Paris)

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856, see below

Circle of the MASTER OF THE MANSI MAGDALENA, (active circa 1510 - 1530 in Antwerp)
The death of Cleopatra as allegory of temptation.
Oil on panel.
47.5 x 35.5 cm.
Private Collection

According to accepted historical accounts, Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of ancient Egypt, committed suicide by holding a snake to her body and allowing a snake, known as an asp, to bite her, killing her with its poisonous venom.  More The death of Cleopatra

Master of the Mansi Magdalen, active early 16th century. The Master is named from a picture known as 'The Mansi Magdalen' (Berlin, Staatliche Museum), perhaps of about 1525 or later. The Master borrowed from some of the engravings by Dürer, one as late as 1511. He was a follower of Quinten Massys. More Master of the Mansi Magdalen

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Othello and Desdemona in Venice, c. 1850
Oil on wood
25 × 20cm
Musée du Louvre (France - Paris)

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856, see below

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Desdemona Retiring to her Bed, c. 1849
Oil on canvas 
42 cm (16.54 in.), Width: 32 cm (12.6 in.)
Musée du Louvre (France - Paris)

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856, see below

Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856
Desdemona, c. 1849
Oil on panel 
35 cm (13.78 in.), Width: 27 cm (10.63 in.)
Private collection

Théodore Chassériau (September 20, 1819 – October 8, 1856) was a French Romantic painter noted for his portraits, historical and religious paintings, allegorical murals, and Orientalist images inspired by his travels to Algeria.

Chassériau was born in El Limón, Samaná, in the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic). In December 1820 the family left Santo Domingo for Paris, where the young Chassériau soon showed precocious drawing skills. He was accepted into the studio of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1830, at the age of eleven, and became the favorite pupil of the great classicist, who regarded him as his truest disciple.

After Ingres left Paris in 1834 to become director of the French Academy in Rome, Chassériau fell under the influence of Eugène Delacroix, whose brand of painterly colorism was anathema to Ingres. Chassériau's art has often been characterized as an attempt to reconcile the classicism of Ingres with the romanticism of Delacroix. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1836, and was awarded a third-place medal in the category of history painting. In 1840 Chassériau travelled to Rome and met with Ingres, whose bitterness at the direction his student's work was taking led to a decisive break.

In 1846 Chassériau made his first trip to Algeria. From sketches made on this and subsequent trips he painted such subjects as Arab Chiefs Visiting Their Vassals and Jewish Women on a Balcony...

After a period of ill health, exacerbated by his exhausting work on commissions for murals to decorate the Churches of Saint-Roch and Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, Chassériau died at the age of 37 in Paris, on October 8, 1856. More on Théodore Chassériau

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Monday, March 19, 2018

13 Ancient Egyptian Artefacts - With footnotes - 5 - With footnotes

Romano-Egyptian, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. Heavy gold foil formed into the likeness of a Nile crocodile. Incredibly detailed with open mouth exposing rows of deadly teeth, almond-shaped eyes and rows and rows of scaley scutes with pronounced central dorsal ridge. Size: 6.875" L (17.5 cm), 37.1 grams of 97% pure gold.

Sobek was a Crocodile god venerated at Crocodilopolis in the Faiyum, which was an important oracular centre during the Graeco-Roman Period, and, together with Haroeris (Horus the Elder), in the twin-temple at Kom Ombo where a crocodile necropolis was discovered. Seti I referred to him as Lord of Silsileh where he had a temple during the 19th dynasty. As god of the water he created the Nile from his sweat and caused plants to be lush and green, one of the traditional roles of Osiris. More

Egyptian blue composition head of a man, Roman Period

An Egyptian blue composition head of a man, Roman Period, c. 1st Century AD, perhaps a pharaoh or emperor, wearing tight-fitting headdress with uraeus, his face quite handsome, his ears outside the headdress. H: 2 ½ in (6.4 cm).

Ancient Egyptian Wooden Boatman with Articulated Arms

Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2040 to 1802 BCE. A hand-carved, three-dimensional wooden boatman, with classic Egyptian face (large, dark-outlined eyes), a cropped haircut, and a white loincloth. He is in a seated position, with long, articulated arms, which probably would have been raised to hold oars in his original placement. During the Sixth Dynasty, it became common to place wooden models of lifelike scenes in Egyptian tombs; by the Middle Kingdom, they were placed in the tomb chamber, around the coffin, although some very rich tombs had a separate chamber just for wooden models. Two ships are found in almost all tombs that have models from this time period, and those ships are, during the Middle Kingdom, staffed by boatmen like this one. This boatman was made to be a servant in the afterlife, ready to row the deceased upon the eternal Nile, as real boatmen would have done in life. Size: 2.6" W x 6.6" H (6.6 cm x 16.8 cm) 

Egyptian Wooden Boatman with Articulated Arms

Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2040 to 1802 BCE. A hand-carved, three-dimensional wooden boatman, with a painted face, a cropped haircut, painted reddish skin, and a white loincloth. Size: 2.3" W x 7.8" H (5.8 cm x 19.8 cm) 

Large Egyptian Pottery Astarte Figure

Egypt, New Kingdom or earlier, ca. 1543 to 1292 BCE. A large hollow pottery figure of a female goddess with a voluptuous body and a large headdress. She wears jewelry and very little clothing. Her hair is long, straight, and painted black; atop her head is a massive headdress topped by what appears to be four ostrich feathers. Although the figure is painted, it also has the look of being a mold for a bronze statue; it may have served a dual purpose. Astarte is the goddess who is also known as Ishtar in some parts of Mesopotamia. During the 18th Dynasty, she arrived in Egypt, brought by contact with Semitic people. She was worshipped in Egypt as a warrior goddess and often paired with the violent war goddess Anat. Size: 5.25" W x 18.3" H (13.3 cm x 46.5 cm) 

Egyptian Deep Blue Faience Amulet of Sekhmet

Egypt, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, ca. 1353 BCE. A small faience amulet in the shape of a bust of Sekhmet. The goddess, a fierce hunter, is depicted as a lioness wearing a traditional Egyptian crown (the uraeus has broken off). She was prayed to as a protector of pharaohs and led them in warfare. Size: 0.55" W x 0.95" H (1.4 cm x 2.4 cm) 

Egyptian Faience Thoth Baboon Amulet

Egypt, Third Intermediate Period to Late Dynastic Period, ca. 1070 to 332 BCE. A highly-detailed faience amulet of the god Thoth in his baboon form. Thoth was the god of writing, accounting, and other intellectual pursuits, associated with the ibis and the baboon. 0.75" W x 1.6" H (1.9 cm x 4.1 cm) 

Egyptian White Faience Ushabti

Egypt, probably Memphis, New Kingdom, Ramesside period, Dynasty XIX, ca. 1279 to 1193 BCE. Mummiform votive ushabti, white faience with transparent glaze, details in black, wearing a short wig with sidelock (wick of youth) and a small goatee, adorned with a broad usekh collar, holding agricultural implements in each hand, seed sack on the back and a column of hieroglyphic inscriptions on front naming “Rema” as the owner. Translation is "The iIluminated one, the Osiris, Sem Priest of Ptah, r m a."   Size: 5.625" H (14.3 cm)

Egyptian terracotta figure of Harpokrates on horseback

A large Egyptian terracotta figure of Harpokrates on horseback, Roman, c. 1st - 2nd Century AD, dressed in a short tunic and wears a large bound wreath and a Double Crown, his left hand on the horse’s head, right hand on its flank. H: 9 in (23cm), W: 6 4/5 in (17.3cm). 

Silver statuette representing Harpocrates
Greco-Roman, Dynasty Ptolemaic , 350-30 BC

Harpokrates. In late Greek mythology as developed in Ptolemaic Alexandria, Harpocrates is the god of silence, secrets and confidentiality. Harpocrates was adapted by the Greeks from the Egyptian child god Horus. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus represented the newborn Sun, rising each day at dawn. When the Greeks conquered Egypt under Alexander the Great, they transformed the Egyptian Horus into their Hellenistic god known as Harpocrates. More

 Isis (on the left, holding a sistrum), Sarapis (wearing a modius), the child Harpocrates (holding a cornucopia) and Dionysos (holding the thyrsus). Marble relief, last quarter of the 2nd century CE, found at Henchir el-Attermine, Tunisia.
H. 1.92 m (6 ft. 3 ½ in.), W. 83 cm (32 ½ in.)
Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum

Nefertem was, in Egyptian mythology, originally a lotus flower at the creation of the world, who had arisen from the primal waters. Nefertem represented both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the Egyptian blue lotus flower, having arisen from the primal waters within an Egyptian blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea. 

Nefertem the child comes from his earth father Nun's black primordial waters, and his sky mother is Nut. When he matures, he is Ra.

Nefertem was eventually seen as the son of the Creator god Ptah, and the goddesses Sekhmet and Bast were sometimes called his mother. In art, Nefertem is usually depicted as a beautiful young man having blue water-lily flowers around his head. As the son of Bastet, he also sometimes has the head of a lion or is a lion or cat reclining. The ancient Egyptians often carried small statuettes of him as good-luck charms. More

God Shu holding the sky above his head
Cairo Museum

Shu (Egyptian for "emptiness" and "he who rises up") was one of the primordial Egyptian gods, a personification of air, one of the Ennead of Heliopolis. Shu was the father of Nut and Geb and grandfather of Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys. His great-grandsons are Anubis and Horus. More

Acknowledgement: Artemis GalleryAncient Resource

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1606 - 1669
Etching with engraving and drypoint, circa 1631, a good impression of this scarce print, the rare second state (of five), a previously unrecorded state between New Hollstein's fourth and fifth state (of ten), before the lengthening of the hair sheet: 63 by 56mm 2½ by 2¼in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 17; NEW HOLL. 120; H. 108)
Etching, 1633, a very good impression of the second (final) state, New Hollstein's second state (of five), before the wear usually seen in this print, framed plate: 132 by 103mm 5¼ by 4 1/8 in sheet: 136 by 108mm 5 3/8 by 4¼in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 18; NEW HOLL. 134; H. 109)
Etching with engraving, 1634, a good though slightly later impression of the second (final) state, with only slight wear in the right cheek, framed, plate: 124 by 102mm 5 by 4in, sheet: 140 by 116mm 5½ by 4½in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 220; NEW HOLL. 218; H. 206)
Etching, 1644, a good, early impression of this rare print, the only state, with scratches in the sky and sulphur-tinting in the sky, printing with burr in the foliage at right plate: 95 by 68mm 3¾ by 2 5/8 in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 81 II); NEW HOLL. 119; H. 103)
Etching with engraving, 1633, a good impression of the third state (of five), New Hollstein's fourth state (of eight), on paper with a Heraldic watermark, possibly Arms of Bern, sheet: 525 by 407mm 20 5/8 by 16in

1606 - 1669
 (B., HOLL. 44; NEW HOLL. 125; H. 120)
Etching with engraving and drypoint, 1634, a good impression of the third (final) state, New Hollstein's third state (of six), with touches of burr on the angel's face, sheep and elsewhere, on paper with a Foolscap watermark
sheet: 256 by 218mm 10 1/8 by 8 5/8 in.

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 67; NEW HOLL. 298; H. 256)
Etching with drypoint, circa 1657, a very fine 'black sleeve' impression of the only state, New Hollstein's first state (of two), printing with rich, velvety burr on Christ's robe, the beard of the man at upper left and on the sleeve of the man at lower left, on Japan paper, sheet: 155 by 206mm 6 1/8 by 8 1/8 in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 94; NEW HOLL. 312; H. 301)
Etching with drypoint, 1659, a very fine, rich impression of the second state (of four), New Hollstein's second state (of six), printing with rich burr and vertical wiping scratches in the sky, on laminated Japan paper
plate: 180 by 214mm 7 by 8 3/8 in,. sheet: 186 by 221mm 7 3/8 by 8¾in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 236; NEW HOLL. 252; H. 239)
Etching with drypoint, 1650, a fine impression of the second (final) state, with rich burr, framed, sheet: 83 by 107mm 3¼ by 4¼in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 172; NEW HOLL. 47; H. 16)
Etching, circa 1630, a very good impression of this scarce subject, fifth state (of six), New Hollstein's eighth state (of nine), printing with delicate plate tone, plate: 92 by 66mm 3 5/8 by 2 5/8 in, sheet: 98 by 75mm 3 7/8 by 3in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 262; NEW HOLL. 92; H. 92)
Etching, circa 1631, the third (final) state, a strong, later impression on smooth wove paper; B. 262: sheet: 155 by 134mm 6 1/8 by 5¼in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 351; NEW HOLL. 121; H. 107)
Etching, 1633, a very good impression of this scarce portrait, printing with plate tone, the second (final) state, New Hollstein's second state (of three), sheet: 42 by 41mm 1¾ by 1 5/8 in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 354; NEW HOLL. 5; H. 1)
Etching, 1628, a fine, early impression of this rare subject, an intermediary state between the first and second state (before the reduction of the plate but with the bust completed), New Hollstein's second state (of four), printing with plate tone, with inky plate edges and the burr clearly visible, sheet: 67 by 64mm 2¾ by 2½in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 343; NEW HOLL. 91; H. 52)
Etching, circa 1631, a very good impression of the second state (of three), before the straightening of the outline of the nose, with touches of burr on the mouth, the nose and the hands, on paper with an indistinct countermark (possibly PDB), framed, plate: 148 by 130mm 5¾ by 5 1/8 in, sheet: 150 by 132mm 5 7/8 by 5¼in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 259; NEW HOLL. 175; H. 169)
Etching, circa 1639, a fairly good impression of the only state, New Hollstein's first state (of three), on paper with part of a Heraldic watermark, plate: 137 by 114mm 5 3/8 by 4½in, sheet: 142 by 119mm 5 5/8 by 4¾in

1606 - 1669
(B., HOLL. 273; NEW HOLL. 301; H. 291)
Etching, circa 1657, a Basan impression, tenth (final) state, New Hollstein's eleventh state (of twelve), on paper with part of a Proprietary watermark, sheet: 158 by 208mm 6¼ by 8¼in

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

10 Works, The Gunpowder Plot: the conspirators' last stand at Holbeach House, Guy Fawkes

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

Ernest Crofts, R.A. (1847-1911)
On the track of a fugitive, c. 1910
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.)

Ernest Crofts (15 September 1847 – 19 March 1911) was a British painter of historical and military scenes. Born in Leeds, Ernest studied at Rugby School, for several years, and then headed to Berlin where he developed his interest in art and decided upon a career as a painter. His first acquaintance with war was made in 1864 when he accompanied a Prussian doctor in the Schleswig-Holstein War, and the operations around Düppel.

He returned to London and became a pupil under A. B. Clay, but was back in Germany a few years later, this time in Düsseldorf which was the center for historical painting in Europe. In 1874, he exhibited Retreat, representing an episode in the Franco-Prussian War during the Battle of Gravelotte, and in the same year, another scene from the same conflict, One touch of nature makes the whole world kin which won him the Crystal Palace prize medal.

Ernest Crofts, RA (British, 1847-1911) The Gunpowder Plot: the conspirators' last stand at Holbeach House 51 x 72in (129.5 x 182.8cm)
Ernest Crofts, RA (British, 1847-1911)
The Gunpowder Plot: the conspirators' last stand at Holbeach House 
signed and dated 'E. Crofts 1892' (lower left)
oil on canvas
51 x 72in (129.5 x 182.8cm)

Crofts was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts on 19 July 1878, the year that his picture, Wellington on his march from Quatre Bras to Waterloo was shown. The artist walked and sketched much of the area around the battlefield of Waterloo. In 1896, he was elected a full academician of the Royal Academy, and his Diploma Work, a Civil War scene, was entitled To the Rescue. Two years later he succeeded Philip Calderon as keeper and trustee of the RA. He was in effect chief director of the academy art schools as well as chief custodian of the Diploma Galley.

In 1901 the king commissioned him to paint a picture of the distribution of the war medals following the Boer War. Two years later, he painted a large scene of the funeral of Queen Victoria. One of his most ambitious works was the panel in the ambulatory of the Royal Exchange which portrayed Queen Elizabeth opening the first Royal Exchange in 1571. 

The artist died of pneumonia at Burlington House on 19 March 1911. More

Crispijn van de Passe the Elder, (c.1564, Arnemuiden - buried 6 March 1637, Utrecht)
The craftsmen of the Gunpowder Plot
National Portrait Gallery

Crispijn van de Passe the Elder, (c.1564, Arnemuiden - buried 6 March 1637, Utrecht) was a Dutch publisher and engraver and founder of a dynasty of engravers. Most of their engravings were portraits, book title-pages, and the like, with relatively few grander narrative subjects. As with the other dynasties, their style is very similar, and hard to tell apart in the absence of a signature or date, or evidence of location. Many of the family could produce their own designs, and have left drawings.

Crispijn van de Passe I was born in Arnemuiden in Zeeland, and trained and worked in Antwerp, then the centre of the printmaking world, with hugely productive workshops. By 1585 he was a member of the artists' Guild of Saint Luke, and doing work for Christopher Plantin. The disruptions of the Dutch Revolt scattered these artists across Northern Europe; de Passe was an Anabaptist, which made his position especially difficult. He first moved to Aachen, until Protestants were also expelled from there. He started his own engraving and publishing business in Cologne in 1589, but again was forced to leave in 1611. He set up in business in Utrecht, by about 1612, where he created engravings for the English and other markets, and where he died in 1637. His works include a famous rendition of the English Gunpowder Plotters, although it is not known what basis he had for the likenesses. More

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England's Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed. His fellow plotters were John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

Henry Perronet Briggs (1793–1844)
The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the Taking of Guy Fawkes, circa 1823
Oil on canvas
149 × 199 cm (58.7 × 78.3 in)
Current location
Laing Art Gallery,  Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Henry Perronet Briggs RA (1793 – 18 January 1844) was an English painter of portraits and historical scenes. Hewas born at Walworth, County Durham. While still at school at Epping he sent two engravings to the "Gentleman's Magazine" and in 1811 entered as a student at the Royal Academy, London, where he began to exhibit in 1814. From that time onwards until his death he was a constant exhibitor at the annual exhibitions of the Academy, as well as the British Institution, his paintings being for the most part historical in subject. After his election as a Royal Academician (RA) in 1832 he devoted his attention almost exclusively to portraiture. More

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and arrested. 

Embleton, Ron (1930-88)
The Gunpowder Plot

Gouache on paper

Charles Gogin (1844–1931)
Guy Fawkes, c. 1870
Oil on cardboard
40.5 x 57.2 cm
York Museums Trust

Sir John Gilbert (1817 - 1897)
Guy Fawkes before King James, c. (1869-70)
90 x 52 cm (35,4 x 20,4 inches)
Watercolour on paper
Harrogate Museums and Art Gallery, North Yorkshire

After Sir John Gilbert.
Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), GUNPOWDER PLOT, 1605 being interrogated by King James I and his council in the King's bedchamber at Whitehall, following discovery of the 'Gunpowder Plot' to blow up the Houses of Parliament, 5 November 1605. 
Wood engraving, 1861

The Gunpowder Plot Guy Fawkes interrogated by James I

Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot's discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

Ronald Sydney Embleton (6 October 1930 – 13 February 1988) was a British comics artist and illustrator whose work was much admired by fans and editors alike. David Ashford and Norman Wright, writing in Book and Magazine Collector (March 2002) note that "his work for such diverse periodicals as Express Weekly, TV Century 21, Princess, Boy's World and Look and Learn have earned him the respect of every practitioner in the field and the gratitude of all of us who admire the art of the comic strip." More

Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher
exacted from the eight conspirators in Britain
National Portrait Gallery, London

Details of the assassination attempt were allegedly known by the principal Jesuit of England, Father Henry Garnet. Although he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death, doubt has been cast on how much he really knew of the plot. As its existence was revealed to him through confession, Garnet was prevented from informing the authorities by the absolute confidentiality of the confessional. Although anti-Catholic legislation was introduced soon after the plot's discovery, many important and loyal Catholics retained high office during King James I's reign. The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which have evolved into the Bonfire Night of today. More

The traditional death for traitors in 17th-century England was to be hanged from the gallows, then drawn and quartered in public. But, despite his role in the Gunpowder Plot - which the perpetrators hoped would kill King James and as many members of parliament as possible - it was not to be Fawkes's fate.

As he awaited his grisly punishment on the gallows, Fawkes leapt to his death - to avoid the horrors of having his testicles cut off, his stomach opened and his guts spilled out before his eyes. He died from a broken neck.

His body was subsequently quartered, and his remains were sent to "the four corners of the kingdom" as a warning to others. More

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