Friday, February 18, 2011

Picture of the Week

This image was photographed by Chris Craymer (http://www.chriscraymer.com/ ) for Vanity Fair. It’s my favourite for the week because it is beautiful, striking and fun, look at that kid’s grin.
It is also a contemporary reimaging of a very old story, Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene first published in 1590.



The first book of The Faerie Queene focus on the adventures of the Knight of the Red Crosse who is accompanied by a beautiful maiden, as is usually the case.
Here are two stanza’s from the poem describing each the knight and the maiden. It’s written in Old English because do doesn’t love reading Old English… right?
But on his brest a bloudie Crosse he bore,
    The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
    For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he wore,
    And dead as liuing euer him ador'd:
    Vpon his shield the like was also scor'd,
    For soueraine hope, which in his helpe he had:
    Right faithfull true he was in deede and word,
    But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad;
Yet nothing did he dread, but euer was ydrad.
A louely Ladie rode him faire beside,
    Vpon a lowly Asse more white then snow,
    Yet she much whiter, but the same did hide
    Vnder a vele, that wimpled was full low,
    And ouer all a blacke stole she did throw,
    As one that inly mournd: so was she sad,
    And heauie sat vpon her palfrey slow:
    Seemed in heart some hidden care she had,
And by her in a line a milke white lambe she lad.


You can read the rest of the first book, in all its Old Englishy goodness, here: http://www.luminarium.org/renascence-editions/queene1.html


And just for fun here is my favourite image depicting a character from The Faerie Queene;

Una and the Lion by Briton Rivière.

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