Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A Wild Parrot & more about Hirsute Portraits
I hadn't been hearing or seeing the wild parrots very much lately, but spring is almost here and they'll be entertaining us along the waterfront again. This guy was having words with a crow as I was riding along The Embarcadero yesterday.
Off & on all day today, I've been researching the odd painting I put here two days ago, thanks to my friend Dianna's insistence on knowing more about the subject. If one is persistent, one can find anything via Google - and this took many links before I finally got to it. I started with "hirsutism in children." When I added "France," I got to a page in "France for Dummies," giving me the location and title of the painting, "L"Hirsutism" at the Chateau de Blois, but nothing else. I saved their reproduction in order to get background information, and from there I found another name, Antonietta Gonsalvus - which led me to her father, Pedro Gonzales (Petrus Gonsalvus), from the Canary Islands. So, that poor creature is a young girl, painted in the court of a king.
Based on documents, this painting is the portrait of Petrus Gonsalvus, born in 1556 on Tenerife. As a child he came to the court of the French King Henry II, who became his tutor. Petrus Gonsalvus and his family, especially his hirsuite children, were popular objects of medical research in these times. Now doctors found out that their 'odd appearance' was the results of a sickness, known as hipertricose.
...and I just keep finding more interesting links, like this blog about Musica & Arte by Ninon.
I meant to work in the yard or the basement today, not stay sitting in this chair!