The Signs As Legendary Creatures

Aries: Titian 
Taurus: Centaur 
Gemini: Werewolf 
Cancer: Kraken
Leo:  Chimera
Virgo:  Gorgon
Libra:  Dragon
Scorpio: Manticore
Sagittarius: Centaur
Capricorn:  Satyr
Aquarius:  Siren 
Pisces:  Mermaid

Iris Murdoch’s Favorite Painting
Titian, The Flaying of Marsyas, ca. 1570–76, oil on canvas, 83" × 81".Iris Murdoch, who would be ninety-six today, thrilled to paintings of every stripe, but she was compelled by one work in particular: Titian’s The Flaying of Marsyas, from the late sixteenth century. She mentions it in her 1990 Art of Fiction interview:INTERVIEWERDo you... Read More »
By Dan Piepenbring

Apollo flayed the satyr Marsyas alive for his hubris.

Selamat Berlebaran!

Semoga Idul Fitri tahun ini menjadi momen terbaik kita untuk terus memantaskan diri, merawat cinta di dalam keluarga, merayakan kasih sayang pada sesama, mengeja alif-ba-ta semesta, menguatkan keyakinan di setiap titian anak tangga menuju surga.

Dengan segala kerendahatian kami mengucapkan selamat berlebaran. Mohon dimaafkan segala kesalahan, yang tampak maupun tak.

-Fahd Pahdepie
-Rizqa Abidin
-Falsafa Kalky Pahdepie
-Alkemia Malaky Pahdepie

Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain – the first marriage of the reigning Queen of England with the purpose to breed a new line of English Catholic princes.

On July 25 1554, Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain at Winchester Cathedral. Catherine of Aragon’s dream finally came true: at the age of thirty seven, Mary Tudor became the first queen regnant in England and was able to turn her attention to finding a husband.

The match was suggested by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who wanted to use a great chance of creating an alliance Anglia-Spaniard against France and of restoring the Roman Catholic Church in England. To elevate his son to Mary’s rank, Charles V ceded the crown of Naples, as well as his claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, to Philip.

During their marriage negotiations, a portrait of Philip of Spain by Titian was sent to Mary in September 1553. 

Mary was charmed by the image of young Philip in armor. She was thrilled to marry him from the beginning despite the fact that he was only twenty-six, eleven years Mary’s junior, and had a son from a previous marriage.

Mary called the match a “greater match than she deserved.”

Mary wanted to divide her responsibilities as a wife, which she would have to Philip, from her duties she had as the queen, stressing a political nature of their marriage. In one of her letters, she wrote that “if Philip will be inclined to be loving, this is not my desire, therefore I am in the age that he’s highness already knows, and never I fed love thought. But if he to desire to interfere in the government of my country, could not allow such thing”.

But not everyone wanted Mary to marry a Spanish Prince. The House of Commons asked the queen not to marry a foreigner, but Mary insisted that she had already made her final choice. In spite of her fears that she could have complexities with the Parliament, both houses ratified the marriage treaty within days of Parliament’s opening.

Finally, Mary’s marriage to Philip took place with pomp and splendor befitting Mary’s role as Queen of England.

In her book “Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen”, Anna Whitelock writes about the wedding ceremony: “The ceremony was one of unparalleled pomp and extravagance. Winchester Cathedral was decorated resplendently with banners, standards, streamers, and tapestries, all emblazoned with Spanish regalia. A raised wooden platform, covered with carpets, reached from the main door of the church to the choir, at its center a dais in the shape of an octagon, the setting of the solemnization of the marriage. The arrangements for the wedding were based on those of Mary’s mother’s marriage to Prince Arthur. The ceremony was to be traditional and performed in Latin by Bishop Gardiner, assisted by other bishops, all attired in copes and miters.”

Mary was pleased and dedicated to Philip, intending to be a good and dutiful wife to him. Someone may think that Philip was a very bad husband, but it is not true because he was generous and attentive to her even though he never loved her. Philip also kept his word and didn’t interfere into the English state affairs, thoroughly devoted to politics in Spain, Italy and America.

Ruy Gómez da Silva, 1st Prince of Éboli, a Portuguese nobleman and one of Philip’s main advisers, said tactfully: "The Queen is a lady of quality, but older than we thought, but his Highness is behaving so well and gives so many gifts that I’m sure both will be very pleased with each other, the king is trying to be as friendly as possible, he believes that his marriage was not made for flesh, but for the restoration of this area and preservation of those states (Flanders).”

Another Spanish courtier, one of Philip’s entourage, wrote to his friend about the first months of Philip’s life in England: “Their Majesties are the happiest couple in the world, and more in love than words can say. His Highness never leaves her, and when they are on the road he is ever by her side, helping her to mount and dismount. They sometimes dine together in public, and go to mass together on holidays. The Queen, however, is not at all beautiful: small, and rather flabby than fat, she is of white complexion and fair, and has no eyebrows. She is a perfect saint and dresses badly. All the women here wear petticoats of coloured cloth without admixture of silk, and above come coloured robes of damask, satin or velvet, very badly cut.”

But the tension at the royal court was slowly glowing. It was true that Philip was doing everything to secure the goodwill of the English people, but the truth was that many of courtiers and even servants hated the Spaniards. Many Spanish noblemen were robbed in the streets of London and on the roads where the royal cortege stopped on the progress. Soon a number of Spanish noblemen and gentlemen obtained permission to depart from England.

When Mary just became the Queen of England, she issued a royal proclamation that she would not compel anyone to abandon Protestantism. Nevertheless, being a staunch Catholic and not wishing to tolerate heretics in her realm, Mary ordered arrests of leading Protestant churchmen, including John Bradford, Hugh Latimer, and Thomas Cranmer. 

Philip’s role in the restoration of Catholicism in England cannot be diminished: Mary and Philip presided over a joint session of Parliament, in which reconciliation with Rome after twenty years of division was achieved. By the end of 1554, the Heresy Acts were revived, and numerous Protestants were executed.

One of the main purposes of the union for Mary was to give birth to a Catholic heir to the English crown. At first, it seemed that Mary had successfully conceived, and the pregnancy had been confirmed by Mary’s royal physicians. Letters were sent to bishops ordering special prayers for this “good hope of certain succession”. The news was proclaimed across Europe, and Mary was very happy.

In the days before Christmas 1535, Queen Mary wrote to Charles V, her father-in-law: “As for that child which I carry in my belly, I declare it to be alive and with great humility thank God for His great goodness shown to me, praying Him so to guide the fruit of my womb that it may contribute to His glory and honour, and give happiness to the King, my Lord and your son, to your Majesty, who were my second father in the lifetime of my own father, and are therefore doubly my father, and lastly that it may prove a blessing to the realm.”

Mary went into confinement and made provisions for the birth of the child. On April 30 1535, bells rang out the news that Mary safely delivered a prince of England, but people’s hopes were empty – the rumors that had spread in England were false. The queen didn’t go into labor, and fresh calculations for the new date of delivery were made.

Ruy Gómez da Silva wrote: “All this makes me wonder whether she is with child at all, greatly as I desire the thing to be happily over.” Philip shared Gómez’s suspicions and grew restless, simultaneously being increasingly involved with the war against France. 

As weeks passed, it became apparent that Mary’s pregnancy was false.  For Mary, embarrassment was great and humiliation even greater. Soon Philip departed from England to the Low Countries. 

In Philip’s absence, Mary and Reginald Pole, who was proclaimed Archbishop of Canterbury after his return from Rome to England, continued persecutions of Protestants and burning them at the stake, which, however, proved to be ineffective to eradicate heresy and was condemned even by Alfonso de Castro, one of Philip’s own ecclesiastical staff.

Philip again returned to England for a while, and Mary was happy again. Mary’s second reunion with her husband was called by one of diplomats “a warmed over honeymoon”. But Philip’s reasons for return were purely political: he needed money for the war with France and an English declaration of war against France. Soon, Philip left England again, and Mary never saw her husband again. England was drawn into the military conflict with France, but the result of that campaign was horrible – England lost Calais.

Soon Mary was again convinced that she was carrying Philip’s child, but her pregnancy was again false. Her heath began to deteriorate, and she suffered from intermittent fevers, insomnia, headaches, and loss of vision. In the Low Countries, Philip learned about the death of his father and left for Brussels. Then he unexpectedly learned about the death of his wife.

Philip II of Spain wrote to his sister in Spain about Mary’s untimely death: “You may imagine what a state I am in. It seems to me that everything is being taken from me at once.” With regards to Mary’s death, he added: “May God have received her in His glory! I felt a reasonable regret for her death. I shall miss her, even on this account.”

The royal marriage of Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain wasn’t a love match, but it wasn’t a doomed match because the spouses accepted that love was not a part of their marriage.

Even though she was married, Mary I of England was never happy in personal life. I blame King Henry VIII for the unhappiness of his eldest daughter and for her sad, lonely end. Henry VIII was obsessed with the idea of having a male heir and married six times, declaring Mary illegitimate in the process and depriving her of a chance for a marriage at a younger age than it actually happened in her life. 

Henry VIII destroyed the Tudor dynasty with his own hands, and he has no one to blame but himself for the fact that neither Elizabeth nor Mary married and had children.


“Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen”, Anna Whitelock

Bloody Mary: The Life of Mary Tudor, Erickson, Carolly


art history meme • [4/9] paintings: jean auguste dominique ingres - grande odalisque

The painting was commissioned by Napoleon’s sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples, and finished in 1814. Ingres drew upon works such as Dresden Venus by Giorgione, and Titian’s Venus of Urbino as inspiration for his reclining nude figure, though the actual pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder is directly drawn from the 1809 Portrait of Madame Récamier by Jacques-Louis David.

Ingres portrays a concubine in languid pose as seen from behind with distorted proportions. The small head, elongated limbs, and cool color scheme all reveal influences from Mannerists such as Parmigianino, whose Madonna with the Long Neck was also famous for anatomical distortion.