Love it or hate it

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Today is the day set aside for love, a perfect occasion for going within and glancing back with affection and understanding at your real life journey so far. Today is the day for being. Be with those you love, be kind to yourself. Be quite and call forth the dream you buried long ago.

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Saint Valentine has a lot to answer for. Thanks to him, one day a year we are cuckolded into spending our hard-earned dough on presents, cards, and flowers – all bought in a desperate attempt to tell the person we love. A time when a romantic dinner made a partner weak at the knees, and a simple breakfast-in-bed had them eating from the palm of your hand.  Valentine’s day, a celebration of love which honours Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers.

StValentine

StValentine

A man named Valentinus was martyred on February 14 late in the third century A.D.—this much we know. St. Valentine officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by St. Valentine officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.”

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I Claudius movie, You Must to See

One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. Because of the similarities of these accounts, it’s thought they may refer to the same person. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints.

The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who traveled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonized Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.

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Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things. Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

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The Skull of St. Valentine surrounded by flowers is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You’ll find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England, and France.

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GEOFFREY CHAUCER, English poet. The name Chaucer, a French form of the Latin calcearius, a shoemaker, is found in London and the eastern counties as early as the second half of the 13th century.

The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh there to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today. The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh there to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.

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This is photo from A Knight’s Tale movie

“A Knight’s Tale”  to change your stars, you must win their hearts: a higher ed branding tale If you don’t know the story, it follows the life of a poor 14th century squire named William Thatcher who always dreamed of changing his stars by becoming a knight. He seizes his moment when his master dies during a break in a jousting tournament. Donning his master’s armor, he finishes the tournament in his master’s place  and wins the joust! He then meets up with Geoffrey Chaucer, himself a down on his luck writer/gambler looking for greatness. Chaucer makes Thatcher a deal; in exchange for his care, he’ll write him a patent of nobility. Knowing it’s needed to compete in other tournaments, Thatcher accepts the offer, and in that instant, the two are bonded. William Thatcher will now be known as Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein from Gelderland, and Geoffrey Chaucer will act as his herald. “

 If Love it’s not, O God, what feel I so?

If Love it is, what sort of thing is he?

If Love be good, from where then comes my woe?
If he be ill, wondrous it seems to me
That every torment and adversity
That comes from him I can so joyous think;
For more I thirst, the more from him I drink.

If it is in my own delight I burn,
From where then comes my wailing and complaint?
Rejoicing, why to tears do I return?
I know not, nor, unweary, why I faint.
Oh living death, oh sweet harm strange and quaint!
How can this harm and death so rage in me,
Unless I do consent that it so be?

And if I do consent, I wrongfully
Bewail my case; thus rolled and shaken sore
All rudderless within a boat am I
Amid the sea and out of sight of shore,
Between two winds contrary evermore.
Alas, what is this wondrous malady?
For heat of cold, for cold of heat, I die.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Saint-Valentines-Day2

St. Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated almost universally on 14th February and is often associated with images of cherubs, hearts, and lovers. St. Valentine’s Day has inspired many people to express their love in a variety of ways.  Cards, chocolates, and other gifts are exchanged, all of them bedazzled with or designed in the form of traditional hearts. But how did this shape, ostensibly model after the internal organ, emerge as the universal symbol for the emotion of love? Although the heart symbol can be traced back many generations, nobody is really sure how it took on its current meaning. A leading theory contends that during the seventh century B.C., the silphium plant was used as a form of birth control in the city-state of Cyrene. Legend has it that the plant was so important to the local economy that “coins were minted that depicted the plant’s seedpod, which looks like the heart shape we know today,” according to Slate.

But how did this shape, ostensibly model after the internal organ, emerge as the universal symbol for the emotion of love? what about the carnation symbol of  love and marriage. Valentine’s Day with Carnation ????

Romantic lovers began using floral exchanges to convey emotional messages using the flower meanings. Flowers gave a secret language that enabled them to communicate feelings that the propriety of the times would not allow, there were strict restraints on courtship and any displays of emotion and gestures to communicate than words.

The red Carnation means: My heart aches for you, Admiration than Red Rose means Love, passion. I am romantic and  I’m thankful for Rose.

Allegorical painting of love attributed to Hans Memling

Allegorical painting of love attributed to Hans Memling

However, this is a heart symbol was used by many generations and his shape was to be use as a love symbol. A leading theory contends that during the seventh century B.C., the silphium plant was used as a form of birth control in the city-state of Cyrene. Legend has it that the plant was so important to the local economy that “coins were minted that depicted the plant’s seedpod, which looks like the heart shape we know today,” according to Slate.

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Heart SILPHIUM-SEED

The silphium plant isn’t the only element of nature that resembles the heart shape. From flowers to fruit to birds, when positioned correctly, nature’s multitude of living beings showcase the commonality of the shape if you look for it. Others argue that the shape stemmed from the shape of leaves. Leaves appear in many paintings dating back to The Middle Ages that illustrate a romantic love between men and women and the spiritual love between mankind and God. The heart symbol, the popular icon for the heart, can be traced to before the last Ice Age. Cro-Magnon hunters in Europe use the symbol in pictograms, though it remains a mystery exactly what meaning it held for them. The symbol will not become universal until the Middle Ages.

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The weighing of The Heart “ieb” against the Reed “Feather of Ma’at” in The Hall of Two Truths (Father and Son).

The Egyptians believe the heart, or the ieb, is the center of life and morality. Egyptian mythology states that after death, your heart is taken to the Hall of Maat, the goddess of justice. There your heart is weighed against the Feather of Maat. If your heart is lighter than the Feather, you join Osiris in the afterlife. If you fail the test on the scales, then the demon Ammut eats your heart, and your soul vanishes from existence.

Ancient Greeks hold the heart to be the center of the soul and the source of heat within the body.

Aristotle

They also make some clever medical assertions. Scholars and physicians such as Hippocrates and Aristotle see the connection between the heart and lungs and seem to be aware of its pumping action. The ancient Romans understand that the heart is the single most vital organ in sustaining life, as evidenced in the following quote from the Roman author, Ovid. “Although Aesculapius himself applies the herbs, by no means can he cure a wound of the heart.” Aesculapius is the Greek deity of medicine and healing. Perhaps the most important of all classical physicians, Claudius Galenus, known as Galen, is the personal physician to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though much of what Galen believes is incorrect (he fails to understand circulation, for example), he makes several important observations concerning the heart, including the description of valves and ventricles and the differences between veins and arteries.

They also make some clever medical assertions. Scholars and physicians such as Hippocrates and Aristotle see the connection between the heart and lungs and seem to be aware of its pumping action. The ancient Romans understand that the heart is the single most vital organ in sustaining life, as evidenced in the following quote from the Roman author, Ovid. “Although Aesculapius himself applies the herbs, by no means can he cure a wound of the heart.” Aesculapius is the Greek deity of medicine and healing. Perhaps the most important of all classical physicians, Claudius Galenus, known as Galen, is the personal physician to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though much of what Galen believes is incorrect (he fails to understand circulation, for example), he makes several important observations concerning the heart, including the description of valves and ventricles and the differences between veins and arteries.

In the past and present (I’ll hope also in The future) many of artworks, books  have been created  in hearts shapes. I am happy to share  you some my hearts collection.

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Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu (France, circa 1475), Bibliothèque nationale de France (Ms. Occ. Rothschild 2973) binding cover

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Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu (France, circa 1475), Bibliothèque nationale de France (Ms. Occ. Rothschild 2973)

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Master of the View of Sainte Gudule, Ntherlandish, active about 1485,Oil on wood; Overall

Master of the View of Sainte Gudule, Ntherlandish, active about 1485,Oil on wood; detail

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Heart shaped map of the world from Paris, 1536

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Der Liebeszauber (The Magic of Love, or the Love Spell), by an anonymous artist, Lower Rhine, c. 1470-80. Oil on panel, 24 x 18 cm (9.4 x 7.1 in).

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I love this Jeff Koons Hanging Heart !!!!!!

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Red, heart-shaped balloon that is flying away from the little girl. Banksy

Have a Happy Day!

Ella

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This is me today !!!!!!

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About conservationwithella

Hello, I'm Ella, Art on Paper Conservator & Preservation Manager at Glasgow University Archives and Special Collections. This blog is a walk through my daily life, work, arts & crafts history, my discovery that everything in my life is enough to be a continuous source of reflection. I started blogging to entertain myself but I hope you enjoy it too. I'm sure you agree, that Life without art is nothing. :)

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