Tag Archives: England

Vox Pisces

Vox Pisces, 8″ x 10″, a work in progress by Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler.
I enjoy the patina of folk tale on this story, about a book. There’s quite probably a book called Vox Piscis. It may be at the threshold of truth, that it was found at a fish market. It does strain credulity that it was found in the stomach of a 93 year old cod fish. An Atlantic cod has a lifespan of 25 years, tops. Actually, you couldn’t fit a book in an immature codfish. So, the fish would have had to have been 8 years old already, to reach full size. That would have had to have been a hundred and one year old cod fish, in which the treatise was found. Satisfying as a story, but not very manageable in the light of cold reason.

Anyway, the story that launched this piece:
On June 23, 1626, a fishmonger in Cambridge, England gutted a cod and found a book inside, wrapped in a sailcloth. It was a discourse on the sacraments written by Protestant priest, John Firth, burned at the stake in 1533. Before he was executed he was imprisoned in an Oxford fish cellar, where he wrote the treatise, stuffed it in a fish, and threw the fish back out into the water, presumably. The volume was called Vox Pisces, The Voice of the Fish.

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The Voice of the Fish

Another day of progress on this, The Voice of the Fish.
On June 23, 1626, a fishmonger in Cambridge, England gutted a cod and found a book inside, wrapped in a sailcloth. It was a discourse on the sacraments written by Protestant priest, John Firth, burned at the stake in 1533. Before he was executed he was imprisoned in an Oxford fish cellar, where he wrote the treatise, stuffed it in a fish, and threw the fish back out into the water, presumably. The volume was called Vox Pisces, The Voice of the Fish.

Vox Pisces, 8″ x 10″, a work in progress by Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler

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The Voice of the Fish

On June 23, 1626, a fishmonger in Cambridge, England gutted a cod and found a book inside, wrapped in a sailcloth. It was a discourse on the sacraments written by Protestant priest, John Firth, burned at the stake in 1533. Before he was executed he was imprisoned in an Oxford fish cellar, where he wrote the treatise, stuffed it in a fish, and threw the fish back out into the water, presumably. The volume was called Vox Pisces, The Voice of the Fish.
I wanted to make a painting about that. So I will.
Vox Pisces, 8″ x 10″, a work in progress by Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler

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The Straw Bear

Beginning in the 14th century, the first Monday after the 12th day (Epiphany) was “Plough Monday”. The day before, farmers had their ploughs blessed, then on Plough Monday the decorated plough was taken door to door with dancing and music. A man would dress as an old woman called “the Bessy”. Another would dress as a fool with a donkey’s tail. They would take up a collection. Stingy homeowners would find their yards ploughed up if they did not give money. In Cornwall there was a cross-dressing dance called “guise dancing”. In the Fenlands, a custom called the Straw Bear was central to the celebration. A man was dressed head to toe in straw and led house to house by his keeper. The Straw Bear is seen on Shrove Tuesday in parts of Germany, Poland and Austria.

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The Ivy Girl

Finished The Ivy Girl today. There was an old custom in some parts of England of the ‘Ivy-Girl’, wherein the girls in the village built an effigy of ivy known as the ‘Ivy-Girl’. It was stolen by the young boys in the village and then burned.
Here is my fantastical and macabre interpretation of the folk tradition. Acrylic on canvas board 8″ x 10″. At My Good Babushka.
This makes a nice companion piece to The Holly Boy.

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The Ivy Girl

It’s slow going, putting all this ivy in.
There was an old custom in some parts of England of the ‘Ivy-Girl’, wherein the girls in the village built an effigy of ivy known as the ‘Ivy-Girl’. It was stolen by the young boys in the village and then burned.
Here is my fantastical and macabre interpretation of the folk tradition. Acrylic on canvas board 8″ x 10″.

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The Holly Boy

The Holly Boy. There was an old custom in some parts of England of the ‘Holly-Boy’, wherein the boys in the village built an effigy of holly known as the ‘Holly-Boy’. It was stolen by the young girls in the village and then burned.
Here is my fantastical and macabre interpretation of the folk tradition. Acrylic on canvas board 8″ x 10″.
Original by Julie K. Schuler. At My Good Babushka.

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