Some things are better not knowing.

Why on earth would you want to know that an alternator costs $700.00 to replace?
I can think of 700 reasons why you wouldn’t want to know that.

Why would you want to think ill of an auto manufacturer that, until you’ve found out that replacing an alternator costs $700.00, you’ve had the highest regard for? A regard derived from owning an auto of theirs for eleven years without ever knowing that an alternator costs $700.00 to replace.

Why would you want to delay a planned vacation because an alternator costs $700.00 to replace?

Why? Why? Why?

The @#$%^&* car is just a !@#$%^&*()_+ year old!!

The @#$%^&* car is just a !@#$%^&*()_+ year old!!

Saturday’s posting.
October 6, 2018
My 179th consecutive daily posting.
Time is 1.05am
Boston’s temperature will be 67
under sunny skies



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Question of the Day:

What does Renaissance mean? �


The answer to today’s quiz question:

The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries. It is an extension of the Middle Ages and is bridged by the Age of Enlightenment to modern history.
It grew in fragments, with the very first traces found seemingly in Italy, coming to cover much of Europe, for some scholars marking the beginning of the modern age.

The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its own invented version of humanism, derived from the concept that "Man is the measure of all things."

(humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition.

This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature.
Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete.
Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the very first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.

As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch;
the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting; and gradual but widespread educational reform.

In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, and
in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning.

Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man.”

(polymath: "having learned much" is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.)

The Renaissance began in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century.
Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time:
its political structure;
the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici; and
the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

Other major centers were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Milan, Bologna, and finally Rome during the Renaissance Papacy.

David, by Michelangelo (Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy) is a masterpiece of Renaissance and world art.

David, by Michelangelo (Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy) is a masterpiece of Renaissance and world art.

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David, by Michelangelo (Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy) is a masterpiece of Renaissance and world art, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo.
David is a 17.0 ft marble statue of a standing male nude.
The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence.

David was originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, but was instead placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of civic government in Florence, in the Piazza della Signoria where it was unveiled on September 8, 1504. The statue was moved to the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, in 1873, and later replaced at the original location by a replica.

The pose of Michelangelo's David is unlike that of earlier Renaissance depictions of David.
The bronze statues by Donatello and Verrocchio represented the hero standing victorious over the head of Goliath, and the painter Andrea del Castagno had shown the boy in mid-swing, even as Goliath's head rested between his feet, but no earlier Florentine artist had omitted the giant altogether.
According to Helen Gardner and other scholars, David is depicted before his battle with Goliath.
Instead of being shown victorious over a foe much larger than he, David looks tense and ready for combat.

The statue appears to show David after he has made the decision to fight Goliath but before the battle has actually taken place, a moment between conscious choice and action.
His brow is drawn, his neck tense and the veins bulge out of his lowered right hand.
His left hand holds a sling that is draped over his shoulder and down to his right hand, which holds a rock.

The twist of his body effectively conveys to the viewer the feeling that he is in motion, an impression heightened with contrapposto.
The statue is a Renaissance interpretation of a common ancient Greek theme of the standing heroic male nude.
In the High Renaissance, contrapposto poses were thought of as a distinctive feature of antique sculpture.
This is typified in David, as the figure stands with one leg holding its full weight and the other leg forward.
 This classic pose causes the figure's hips and shoulders to rest at opposing angles, giving a slight s-curve to the entire torso.
The contrapposto is emphasized by the turn of the head to the left, and by the contrasting positions of the arms.

The proportions of the David are atypical of Michelangelo's work; the figure has an unusually large head and hands (particularly apparent in the right hand).
The small size of the genitals, though, is in line with his other works and with Renaissance conventions in general, perhaps referencing the ancient Greek ideal of pre-pubescent male nudity.
These enlargements may be due to the fact that the statue was originally intended to be placed on the cathedral roofline, where the important parts of the sculpture may have been accentuated in order to be visible from below.
The statue is unusually slender (front to back) in comparison to its height, which may be a result of the work done on the block before Michelangelo began carving it.

It is possible that the David was conceived as a political statue before Michelangelo began to work on it.
Certainly David the giant-killer had long been seen as a political figure in Florence, and images of the Biblical hero already carried political implications there.

Donatello's bronze David, made for the Medici family, perhaps c. 1440, had been appropriated by the Signoria in 1494, when the Medici were exiled from Florence, and the statue was installed in the courtyard of the Palazzo della Signoria, where it stood for the Republican government of the city.
By placing Michelangelo's statue in the same general location, the Florentine authorities ensured that David would be seen as a political parallel as well as an artistic response to that earlier work.
These political overtones led to the statue being attacked twice in its early days.
Protesters pelted it with stones the year it debuted, and, in 1527, an anti-Medici riot resulted in its left arm being broken into three pieces.

Commentators have noted the presence of foreskin on David's penis, which is at odds with the Judaic practice of circumcision, but is consistent with the conventions of Renaissance art.


Some details of this monumental work.

He faced Rome with a warning to it.
Amazingly detailed hand.
A close-up.
Detail of David's damaged left foot, caused by exposure to the elements and in 1991 when a deranged man hit it with a concealed hammer.



The School of Athens is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael.   It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.   The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the third painting to be finished there, after La Disputa (Theology) on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus (Literature).  The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance".     fresco:   a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster.   Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.   The word fresco (Italian: affresco) is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", and may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco.   The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is closely associated with Italian Renaissance painting.

The School of Athens is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael.
It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the third painting to be finished there, after La Disputa (Theology) on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus (Literature).
The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance".

fresco:
a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster.
Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.
The word fresco (Italian: affresco) is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", and may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco.
The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is closely associated with Italian Renaissance painting.

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The identities of some of the philosophers in the picture, such as Plato and Aristotle, are certain.
Beyond that, identifications of Raphael's figures have always been hypothetical.
To complicate matters, beginning from Vasari's efforts, some have received multiple identifications, not only as ancients but also as figures contemporary with Raphael.
Vasari mentions portraits of the young Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, leaning over Bramante with his hands raised near the bottom right, and Raphael himself.
He was writing over 40 years after the painting, and never knew Raphael, but no doubt reflects what was believed in his time. Many other popular identifications of portraits are very dubious.

Luitpold Dussler (de) counts among those who can be identified with some certainty: Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras,[11] Euclid,[12] Ptolemy, Zoroaster, Raphael, Sodoma and Diogenes of Sinope. Other identifications he holds to be "more or less speculative".

Here is a detail of a large group of the subjects in the painting.

1: Zeno of Citium[15] 2: Epicurus[15] 3: unknown[16] 4: Boethius[15] or Anaximander[15] 5: Averroes[15] 6: Pythagoras[15][11] 7: Alcibiades[15] or Alexander the Great[15] or Pericles[17] 8: Antisthenes[15] or Xenophon[15] 9: unknown[16][18] or Fornarina as a personification of Love[19] (Francesco Maria della Rovere?)[14] 10: Aeschines[15] 11: Parmenides[14] or Nicomachus[14] 12: Socrates[15] or Anaxagoras[17] 13: Heraclitus[14] (Michelangelo?)[14] 14: Plato[14] (Leonardo da Vinci?)[14] 15: Aristotle[14] (Giuliano da Sangallo?)[20] 16: Diogenes of Sinope[14] or Socrates[17] 17: Plotinus?[14] 18: Euclid[14] or Archimedes[14] (Bramante?)[14] 19: Strabo[14] or Zoroaster?[14] (Baldassare Castiglione?)[14] 20: Ptolemy[14] R: Apelles[14] (Raphael)[14] 21: Protogenes[14] (Il Sodoma[14] or Timoteo Viti[21])

1: Zeno of Citium[15] 2: Epicurus[15] 3: unknown[16] 4: Boethius[15] or Anaximander[15] 5: Averroes[15] 6: Pythagoras[15][11] 7: Alcibiades[15] or Alexander the Great[15] or Pericles[17] 8: Antisthenes[15] or Xenophon[15] 9: unknown[16][18] or Fornarina as a personification of Love[19] (Francesco Maria della Rovere?)[14] 10: Aeschines[15] 11: Parmenides[14] or Nicomachus[14] 12: Socrates[15] or Anaxagoras[17] 13: Heraclitus[14] (Michelangelo?)[14] 14: Plato[14] (Leonardo da Vinci?)[14] 15: Aristotle[14] (Giuliano da Sangallo?)[20] 16: Diogenes of Sinope[14] or Socrates[17] 17: Plotinus?[14] 18: Euclid[14] or Archimedes[14] (Bramante?)[14] 19: Strabo[14] or Zoroaster?[14] (Baldassare Castiglione?)[14] 20: Ptolemy[14] R: Apelles[14] (Raphael)[14] 21: Protogenes[14] (Il Sodoma[14] or Timoteo Viti[21])

Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo are often considered the Big Three of the Italian Renaissance.

The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the name of two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for several significant details.   The version generally considered the prime version, that is the earlier of the two, (shown here) hangs in The Louvre in Paris and the other in the National Gallery, London.  The paintings are both over 6 feet high and are painted in oils.   Both were originally painted on wooden panel, but the Louvre version has been transferred to canvas.  Both paintings show the Madonna and child Jesus with the infant John the Baptist and an angel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual name.   The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel.     There are many minor ways in which the works differ, including the colors, the lighting, the flora, and the way in which sfumato has been used. Although the date of an associated commission is documented, the complete histories of the two paintings are unknown, and lead to speculation about which of the two is earlier.  Two further paintings are associated with the commission: side panels each containing an angel playing a musical instrument and completed by associates of Leonardo. These are both in the National Gallery, London.   Amazingly, while we had to literally elbow our way through the crowds that came to take pictures of DaVinci’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ my cousin and I could walk right up to this painting and spend as long as we wanted without being intruded upon.

The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the name of two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for several significant details.
The version generally considered the prime version, that is the earlier of the two, (shown here) hangs in The Louvre in Paris and the other in the National Gallery, London.
The paintings are both over 6 feet high and are painted in oils.
Both were originally painted on wooden panel, but the Louvre version has been transferred to canvas.

Both paintings show the Madonna and child Jesus with the infant John the Baptist and an angel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual name.
The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel.

There are many minor ways in which the works differ, including the colors, the lighting, the flora, and the way in which sfumato has been used. Although the date of an associated commission is documented, the complete histories of the two paintings are unknown, and lead to speculation about which of the two is earlier.

Two further paintings are associated with the commission: side panels each containing an angel playing a musical instrument and completed by associates of Leonardo. These are both in the National Gallery, London.

Amazingly, while we had to literally elbow our way through the crowds that came to take pictures of DaVinci’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ my cousin and I could walk right up to this painting and spend as long as we wanted without being intruded upon.

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The subject of the painting is the adoration of the Christ child by the infant John the Baptist.
This subject relates to a non-Biblical event which became part of the medieval tradition of the holy family’s journey into Egypt.
The Gospel of Matthew relates that Joseph, the husband of Mary, was warned in a dream that King Herod would attempt to kill the child Jesus, and that he was to take the child and his mother and flee to safety.


There are a series of non-Biblical narratives that relate to the journey to Egypt. One of these concerns Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, whose family, like that of Jesus, resided in the town of Bethlehem where the Massacre of the Innocents was to take place.
According to legend, John was escorted to Egypt by the Archangel Uriel, and met the holy family on the road.
The Louvre website refers to the angel in the painting as "Gabriel" (but the description of the painting in the Louvre still refers to Uriel). This accords with the Apocryphal gospel of John the Baptist, which describes his removal from Bethlehem as by Gabriel rather than Uriel and does not mention the meeting on the road to Egypt.

The subject of the Virgin Mary with the Christ child being adored by John the Baptist was common in the art of Renaissance Florence. John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence and has often been depicted in the art of that city.
Those who painted and sculpted the subject of the Mary and child with St John include Fra Filippo Lippi, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

The scene is depicted taking place against a background of rock formations.
While scenes of the Nativity were sometimes depicted as taking place in a cave, and Kenneth Clark points to the existence of an earlier rocky landscape in an adoration painted for the Medici family by Fra Filippo Lippi, the setting was unprecedented and gave to the paintings their usual name of the Virgin of the Rocks.

The painting shows a grouping of four figures, the Virgin Mary, the Christ child, the infant John the Baptist and an angel arranged into a triangular composition within the painting and set against a background of rocks, and a distant landscape of mountains and water.

Mary makes the apex of the pyramidal figure group, stretching one hand to include John and raising the other above the head of the Christ child in a blessing.
John kneels, gazing towards the Christ child with his hands together in an attitude of prayer.
The Christ child sits towards the front of the painting, supported by the angel, and raising his right hand in a sign of Benediction towards the kneeling John.

Detail of Angel and Christ blessing John who prays

Detail of Angel and Christ blessing John who prays

So my friends, I start your day with beautiful images.  Nothing to say after that.  Except, Love you.    And you, too, “Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

So my friends, I start your day with beautiful images.
Nothing to say after that.
Except, Love you.

And you, too, “Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”