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Love Goddess 8: Simonetta Vespucci March 30, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Love Goddess 8: Simonetta Vespucci

Our latest in the love goddess series (for a full list see below) is Simonetta Vespucci (obit 1476), a woman that had the reputation for being the most outstanding beauty of Florence at the apogee of that city’s golden age. We know that she came from Genova (her maiden name was Cattaneo de Candia), we […]

Love Goddess #7: The I-Love-You Wall February 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Love Goddess #7: The I-Love-You Wall

The latest in the Love Goddesses series is this wonderful shrine to carnal and spiritual soul-touching that appeared in the city of love, Paris, in Montmartre no less, in 2000. The artist, Frédéric Baron, assembled the words ‘I love you’ in 311 languages (280 by some counts) and then got a colleague and ‘oriental calligrapher’ […]

Love Goddess #6: All Hail Northumberlandia! January 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Medieval
Love Goddess #6: All Hail Northumberlandia!

***Dedicated to Invisible*** Part of humanity’s long flirtation with the landscape has been the idea that a given locality is a woman. While not universal this repeats itself in many religious systems and sometimes has even made its way into the modern world through placenames. So, in Britain hill, mountain and spur names frequently refer […]

Love Goddess #5: Agnes ‘Madonna’ Sorel January 12, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Love Goddess #5: Agnes ‘Madonna’ Sorel

Jean Fouquet was the greatest French painter of the fifteenth century. He is of special interest in this blog because JF created the fifth love goddess in our series: the notorious, terrifying Madonna from the Melun Diptych, c. 1450. Thanks to Invisible for the tip. Let’s start by remembering that madonnas were everywhere in the […]

Love Goddess 4#: Juliet, Verona and the Invention of Love December 23, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Modern
Love Goddess 4#: Juliet, Verona and the Invention of Love

***One more chapter to go… Sorry again for answered emails. Also the internet connection is playing up so this may be the last chance I have to write before Christmas. If so happy Noel*** Traditions are invented constantly and love is a major human interest: hence the custom in Verona Italy of leaving love letters […]

Ponte Vecchio: Love Goddess # 3 December 12, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Ponte Vecchio: Love Goddess # 3

Ponte Vecchio’s transformation from kitschy chocolate box cover medieval bridge to unlikely love goddess was unexpected. But it has happened nonetheless. In the last ten years many young Tuscan couples have made the pilgrimage there to cement their love. The ritual is long and complicated. The couple in question first go to a hardware store […]

Wynne’s Madonna at Ely: Love Goddess 2# November 26, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Wynne's Madonna at Ely: Love Goddess 2#

Ely Cathedral is one of the great works of English civilisation. Approached by car or on foot over the flatlands of East Anglia it surges above the landscape. In fact, ‘the ship of the Fens’ is one of the few churches that can be enjoyed from a distance: so often we are reduced to glancing […]

Beatrice: An Unlikely Love Goddess 1# November 18, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Beatrice: An Unlikely Love Goddess 1#

Dante’s Beatrice is one of the most famous and simultaneously obscure individuals in history. Dante lauded her to high heaven (literally) in his poetry on the basis of a couple of sightings: his love was steadfast, ideal and a little silly. But what do we know about the ‘true’  Beatrice? Well, most scholars believe that […]