Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Joyeux anniversaire!

Even though Fosco is getting to this kind of late, he can't let it pass that today is the birthday of Ste Jeanne d'Arc, born in 1412 in the village of Domrémy in Lorraine. Fosco's favorite representation of Joan of Arc is this 1879 painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage (found in the collection of the Met Museum in NYC and adored by Fosco on his recent visit).

This painting dates from a French revival of interest in Jeanne after the disastrous Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). If you look carefully at the left of the canvas, you can see ghostly shapes of Saint Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret giving Joan her holy charge. Sometimes Fosco wishes we had a historical record of what happened to Joan after that. Oh well.

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