Myths and Legends

E2BN Myths and Legends Latest E2BN Myths and Legends

  • The Lady of Van Lake
    on August 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Lakes have always been magical places. People are drawn to their waters to fish, sail or just relax. However, the vision that one young man saw on a remote lake, in Wales, many years ago was truly…

  • Anansi Brings Stories to the World
    on February 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Anansi the spider knew there was something missing from the earth, and that thing was stories. He was a very clever trickster but getting the stories from the Sky God would not be easy. There would…

  • Canobie Dick
    on September 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

    One day, a horse trader called Canobie Dick met a mysterious stranger, whose home was deep inside the Eildon Hills. Read the story to find out if he was brave enough to fulfil the challenge he found…

  • The Glass Knight
    on February 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

    We all face difficult challenges from time to time. Sometimes we may even feel a task is too hard, even impossible, for us to do. Long ago a young knight was feeling just as hopeless when he faced a…

  • The Robber Dunne, the Staple and the Ring
    on February 18, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Do you know how your village or town got its name? Some places are named after their location or famous people. Some place names may even tell a story – like Dunstable!

  • Demeter and her Daughter Persephone
    on January 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Do you know how the seasons came to be? This is what the Ancient Greeks believed.

  • The Treasure of Callow Pit
    on January 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Buried treasure has inspired many an adventurer. This is the story of two brave young men and what happened when they found treasure in a dark and forbidding pit.

  • Perseus and Medusa
    on January 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Perseus was no ordinary young man and he was caught up in a chain of events that would be told in myths forever and a day

  • The Spiders and the Christmas Tree
    on November 28, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Have you ever wondered how the beautiful decorations on a Christmas tree were invented? This myth tells how an unwanted, small creature was responsible for some of them.

  • The Legend of Devil’s Dyke
    on October 14, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Devil’s Dyke is an area steeped in myths and legends, but why was it built? This tale, of gods and demons, offers one explanation.

  • Robin Hood and the Silver Arrow
    on April 5, 2013 at 12:00 am

    What would you do if your enemy threw down a challenge that you know is a trap? Would you choose the safe route and ignore it or would you ‘go for it’?

  • Slaying the Dragon and Cheating the Devil
    on March 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Many knights of old battled fierce dragons. This is the tale of England’s last dragon slayer; he lived over 1000 years ago in Hertfordshire.

  • The Mermaid of Zennor
    on March 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

    How strong is the power of song? Can a beautiful voice reach across the waves?

  • An Execution and a Miracle
    on March 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Do you believe in miracles? Many years ago, in Westoning, there lived a farmer called Ailward and this is the story of his miracle.

  • St Brendan’s Voyage to the Land of Youth
    on March 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Today we would think nothing of crossing the oceans in a comfortable aeroplane or liner. But what if you only had a small wooden boat covered in animal hides? This is the story of one man’s quest to…

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Van Eyck

JAN VAN EYCK (1390-1441) Belgium

The Man in a Red Turban: thought to be a self portrait.

Isabella of Portugal

Van Eyck is accredited with developing techniques with the recent innovation of oil paints. For most of his career he was sponsored and is believed to have been secretly sent to Spain to broker the marriage of Philip of Spain to Isabella of Portugal whose portrait he painted. This all took place against the background of exploration when Columbus set out on his voyage of discovery.
It was the fashion for women to scoop up their rather voluminous robes as depicted in this portrait, so the bride is not necessarily pregnant!

The Arnolfini Portrait.

The Ghent Altarpiece

This painting, probably done by both Jan and his brother Hubert, is regarded as being one of the earliest major paintings in oils. Napoleon is reputed to have stolen it, then the Calvinists threatened to burn it and the Nazis coveted it. In 1935 one of the panels was stolen and has yet to be recovered.

Van Dyck

THE OLD MASTERS: DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS

VAN DYCK

ANTHONY van DYCK (1599, Antwerp – 1641, London)
Van Dyck’s portraits, predominantly of the aristocracy during the time of Charles I, were defined by their elegance and colour and they were in huge demand and he was knighted for his efforts. Neither of these facts are surprising when one reads the following comment on Queen Henrietta Marie . . .

Self Portrait

Queen Henrietta Marie

. . . In 1641, when Sophia, later Electoress of Hanover, initially met Queen Henrietta Maria, in exile in Holland, she wrote: “Van Dyck’s handsome portraits had given me so fine an idea of the beauty of all English ladies, that I was surprised to find that the Queen, who looked so fine in painting, was a small woman raised up on her chair, with long skinny arms and teeth like defence works projecting from her mouth…”
If you are interested in history and want to know more about the aristocracy during the time of
NOTE: When you explore the links related to these artists you will find quite a few mentions in the descriptions of pictures which include the phrase “after the artist”. What this means is that the picture was probably painted by a pupil or contemporary in the style of the artist and is not the actual work of the artist under discussion.

Rembrandt

REMBRANDT (1606-1669) Leiden, Netherlands
Man with the Golden Helmet

IMPORTANT FACT: This familiar painting is now considered to NOT be by Rembrandt but by one of his contemporaries. Please check THE OLD MASTERS LINKS FOR DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS for further information

Self Portrait

Rembrandt van Rijn’s painting of the Night Watch demonstrates why he was considered to be the master of light and shade using the technique known as chiaroscuro. He was also a portrait artist, in addition to which, he painted self-portraits nearly every year of his painting life. However, he seemingly painted more ‘selfies’ than he did of other people and some critics point out that he was not very good at portraiture as he adjusted his work to what he wanted to see which was not necessarily what was in front of him. However, other critics feel he was playing when he portrayed himself with curly hair or with a nose broader than his own. His landscapes include this self-indulgence of painting what he wanted to see. He was a prolific worker producing about 300 paintings, 300 etchings (a lot of himself) and 2000 sketches. During his lifetime Rembrandt’s reputation was built on his etchings not his paintings.

Man with the Golden Helmet

Rembrandt broke the mould of tradition or group portraiture, and this painting was rejected by the group of militia who commissioned it, and it was banished to a storeroom. The title of ‘The Night Watch’ is actually a misnomer. It was applied in the late 1700s because of the perceived darkness of the picture, but on renovation and cleaning, it was found to have been painted showing daylight.

The Night Watch

Many lectures on anatomy for prospective medical students are introduced with this painting “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp”. In those days, a dissection procedure had great spectator value. Two points of note, apparently Rembrandt got his anatomy a bit wrong in the placement of the arm muscles, and secondly, the valve between the large and small intestines which prevents a backflow, is named the Tulp Valve.

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp

He did not paint many landscapes of which ‘The Stone Bridge’ is one. The menace of the approaching storm is emphasized by the shaft of sunlight on the tree.

The Stone Bridge

The Three Trees

The Shell

The method Rembrandt employed for his etchings was uniquely his own and has never been used since. Again he used his mastery of chiaroscuro to great effect.

Frans Hals

FRANS HALS (Born in Belgium 1580 – 1666 died in the Netherlands)
HALS1 HALS2
Self Portrait The Laughing Cavalier
HALS3 The magic of Hals’ portraiture is that he captures the character of his subjects. He is also noted for the intricate delicacy of the lacework that many of his subjects wore. He followed in Rembrandt’s footsteps with the arrangements of his group portraits.
Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard
HALS4 HALS5
Laughing Boy The Lute Player
Much of the charm of Hals’ formal portraits is that the many of subjects are smiling – a convention sometimes frowned upon by his contemporaries. The “Laughing Boy” epitomises Hals ability to capture character with sensitivity, and while ‘The Lute Player” is one of the many paintings Hals did for pleasure – he painted everybody from the village idiot to boys sneaking a cigarette to fishermen and musicians.
HALS6 HALS7
Catharina Hooft with her Nurse Detail from Portrait of a Sixty year old Woman
A trick used by Hals to give the impression of movement is how he posed his subjects. Here it would appear that both the nurse and her charge were distracted as they both look up, their attention taken from the apple the nurse is holding. The details of the brocade gown and the exquisite lacework are almost a trademark of his portraiture as is also depicted in the attention he paid to the careworn hand and delicacy of the cuff in the portrait of a sixty year old woman.