[<<] 1600s [>>]

By medium: early music - literature of the 17th century - cabinet of curiosities

People: Urbain Grandier

By era: 1650s - 1660s - 1670s - 1680s - 1690s

Arts and culture: Baroque - Libertinism - print culture

Ars Memoriae (1619) - Robert Fludd

Ars Memoriae: The Theatre (1619) - Robert Fludd
Image sourced here.

Amor Victorious (1602-03) - Caravaggio (1573-1610)

In 1601 Caravaggio painted the "Love Triumphant," for the collection of the Marquis Vincenzo Giustiniani. The latter is reputed to have kept it hidden behind a curtain to show only to his friends, as it was seen as a blatant celebration of sodomy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_art#Modern_erotica [Jan 2005]

"Musei Wormiani Historia", the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum (1655) depicting Ole Worm's cabinet of curiosities.

Musaeum Clausum

Musaeum Clausum (the Sealed Museum) also known as Bibliotheca abscondita is an inventory of remarkable Books, Antiquities, Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living written by Sir Thomas Browne in his old age (an event from the year 1675 is referred to) was first published posthumously in 1684.

Like the encyclopaedia Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Musaeum Clausum is a catalogue of doubts and queries, only this time, in true Borgesian style, in the form of extremely brief, thumb-nail descriptions of supposed, rumoured or lost books, picures and objects. Indeed, the 20th century Argentinian short-story writer Jorge Luis Borges himself once declared: "To write vast books is a laborious nonsense, much better is to offer a summary as if those books actually existed." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musaeum_Clausum [Feb 2005]

Bizzarie di varie figure (1624) - Giovanni Battista Bracelli

Bizzarie di varie figure (1624) - Giovanni Battista Bracelli

Giovanni Battista Bracelli, who had apparently been active in Florence, Rome and Naples, between 1624 and 1649. In Florence in 1624 he had dedicated to the Medici thirty-two plates gathered under the title Bizzarie di varie figure. --http://www.spamula.net/blog/archives/000151.html [Jan 2005]

1619, Jamestown, Virginia

The other crucial event that would play a role in the development of America was the arrival of Africans to Jamestown. A Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in 1619. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. The popular conception of a racial-based slave system did not develop until the 1680s. --http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html [Feb 2005]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown%2C_Virginia [Feb 2005]

Elizabeth Bathory [...]

... 1560 Elizabeth Bathory is born. 1610 Bathory is arrested for killing several
hundred people and bathing in their blood. ... 1614 Elizabeth Bathory dies. ...

Loudon, France, 1634 [...]

Thirty Years War (1618 - 1648)

The revolt began in Prague, where two royal officers were hurled from a window by Protestant members of the Bohemian diet—the so-called Defenestration of Prague (May, 1618). Ferdinand was declared deposed and the Bohemian throne was offered to Frederick V, the elector palatine. Revolt also appeared in other Hapsburg dominions, especially under Gabriel Bethlen in Transylvania. Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria, with the army of the Catholic League under Tilly, helped the imperial forces defeat the Bohemians at the White Mt. near Prague (Nov., 1620). John George of Saxony, a leading German Protestant prince, supported Ferdinand. Frederick, ever afterward called the Winter King, had lost his brief hold on Bohemia. The war continued in the Palatinate, and severe repression began in Bohemia.

Nostalgia [...]

The term was, however, coined in 1678 by Johannes Hoffer (1669-1752) from Latin roots, to refer to "the pain a sick person feels because he is not in his native land, or fears never to see it again". This neologism was so successful that people forgot its origin. Moreover, its original technical meaning, referring to a serious medical disorder, has been lost as the word nostalgia entered everyday language. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostalgia

Café Procope

In 1686 a gentleman from Palermo, Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, opened a coffee-shop in Paris. The excellence of his beverages and sherbets, the agreeable surroundings, the proximity of the old Comedie-Francaise; all of these factors contributed to the popularity of this establishment. It very soon became a meeting place for people of sensibility, and the first literary coffee-shop was born.

For more than two centuries everyone who was anyone (or who hoped to become someone) in the worlds of the arts, letters and politics, frequented the Café Procope. Voltaire came here, and Rousseau; Beaumarchais, Balzac, Verlaine and Hugo; from La Fontaine to Anatole France the list of the habitues of the Procope is a list of the great names in French literature. It was here in the 18th century that the new liberal philosophy was expounded; this was the cafe of Encyclopedistes, of Diderot, Voltaire, d'Alembert and Benjamin Franklin; the history of the Procope is closely linked with eighteenth century revolutionary ideas. Robespierre, Danton and Marat used the cafe as a meeting place, and the young lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte left his hat here as a pledge. --http://home.att.net/~sakal/pages/procope.htm [Sept 2004]

Carnival in Flanders (1935) - Jacques Feyder

Carnival in Flanders (1935) - Jacques Feyder [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

A very funny, saucy French historical comedy, directed by Jacques Feyder, with production assistance by Marcel Carne (who was just on the cusp of his own directorial career)... The story is set in the Flemish town of Boom, in 1616, after the Spanish conquest of the region... When the royal troops announce their intention to billet in the town on their way across country, the village's male population proves so wimpy that it's left up to the womenfolk (led by Francoise Rosay, who is a brilliant actress) to save the town. It's unfortunate that this video version has such incomplete subtitling -- all the racier jokes get glided over, and the text is kept to a bare minimum. But even non-Francophone ingoramuses like myself get how clever and bawdy this film is. Cute. Apparently, this also had a powerful influence on manhy of the costume dramas which came in its wake. --Joe Sixpack via Amazon.com

This gem from 1935 by Belgian-French director Feyder is still wonderfully vibrant and witty. In 1616, the Flemish village of Boom is indulging in its annual fair when a Spanish army is approaching and panic ensues. The women of the village take up action for welcoming the Spaniards while the men hide, but seek the credit later. Movie was accused of slander against the Catholic Church and the 'official' history of Flanders. The reconstruction of Breughelian images is stunning. A painting comes to life. --via amazon.com


from A Biased Timeline of the Counter-Culture
1600		(ca) first thermometer
1606		Founding of Virginia colony starts the colonization
		of North America
1612		Last recorded burning of heretics in England
1615		Galileo faces the Inquisition for the first time
1630-	1680	HIGH BAROQUE
1648		Society of Friends (Quakers) founded
		1600s, Poland & Transylvania: Unitarians
1600s,	1700s	UK: Levellers & Dissenters (original Diggers?) 
		Levellers: advocate religious and social equality 
		1648 The Agreement of the People (pamphlet)
		1649 suppressed by Oliver Cromwell
1653		Peasants' revolt, Switzerland
1660		Cafe Procope opens in Paris
1665		Isaac Newton experiments on gravity
1670		First minute hands on watches
"1692"		Salem witch trials
1600s	late	to mid 1700s: dead period in art (court portraits, art)


  1. Anatomy of Melancholy (1600s) - Robert Burton [Amazon.com]

    The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton appeared in 1621. It is one of the most curious books ever written in English, and one of the unlikeliest literary masterpieces ever written.

    The full title of the first edition, The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. In Three Maine Partitions with their several Sections, Members, and Subsections. Philosophically, Historically, Opened and Cut up. In contemporary language, an Anatomy of Melancholy would likelier be called A Treatise on Clinical Depression. At the outset, then, Burton proposes to give us a medical textbook. And in large measure, that is what it is: Burton applies his large and varied learning in the Scholastic manner to the subject of melancholia. Each section piles on ancient and medićval medical authorities, from Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen forward, and adds to these ancient examples a great deal of Latin poetry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomy_of_Melancholy [Jan 2005]

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De Lavergne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The "Portuguese Letters" were published anonymously in 1669, alleged translations into French of letters written by a Portuguese nun to a French officer who had loved and left her. Recent scholarship suggests Guilleragues was their author. Reminiscent of the exchanges between Heloise and Abelard of an earlier time, the letters display a remarkable acuity of psychological insight into the mind of a woman in love and on the edge of hysteria. --via Amazon.com

The Letters of a Portuguese Nun were written by the 17th century Franciscan nun, Marianna Alcoforado, to Noel Bouton, later Marquis de Chamilly. The letters to her lover which have earned her renown in literature were written between December 1667 and June 1668, and they described the successive stages of faith, doubt and despair through which she passed. The letters could also be considered pieces of unconscious psychological self-analysis. The five short letters written by Marianna to "expostulate her desertion" form one of the few documents of extreme human experience, and reveal a passion which in the course of two centuries has lost nothing of its heat. Perhaps their dominant note is reality, and, sad reading as they are from the moral standpoint, their absolute candour, exquisite tenderness and entire self-abandonment have excited the wonder and admiration of great men and women in every age, from Madame de Sévigné to Gladstone. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_of_a_Portuguese_Nun [Sept 2005]

See also: epistolary novel - love - nun - 1600s - novel

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