|SELF ENCOUNTER CLASSSaturday, July 31|
Rick Thomas, H.W., M.
“In the process of letting go,
you will lose many things from the past,
but you will find yourself.
– Deepak Chopra
ACCEPTING FORBIDDEN, HIDDEN EMOTIONS
We have grown accustomed to looking the other way when a strong emotion comes up for us that is difficult to get past, perhaps wishing it would just go away instead of working through to accept, understand and release it.
SELF-ENCOUNTER is a Five-Step technique that is an adjunct to Releasing the Hidden Splendour. The aim is to confront the past as we do in Releasing the Hidden Splendour and put it in its place, so that it does not contaminate our present. We accomplish this through Self-Observation and the use of this technique to uncover the origin of self-defeating attitudes. Only then are we released to live the present more fully, enable ourselves to grow into a richer future and make use of our potential.
This will be a participatory class with live material and student interaction along with lessons from Thane’s recorded class.
More Info or Register Here
Saturday, July 31 – class begins at 9:00 am PT and runs to 5 pm PT.
There will be breaks of 15 min. between lessons
and a 45 min. meal break.
Wed, Jul 28, 2021 2:06 pm
By alan blackman
“Apologies: unexpectedly blocked today at the source.”
Great Art Explained Please consider supporting this channel on Patreon, thanks! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=53686503 “What a brilliant series this is” – Stephen Fry on Twitter 12 December 2020 “Thoroughly researched and cleverly presented, with stunning visuals, Great Art Explained makes you realise that familiarity with a work of art sometimes makes us indifferent to its power” – Forbes Magazine, 9 July 2020 I started “Great Art Explained” during lockdown. My aim is to make videos which focus on one great artwork. I want to present art in a jargon free, entertaining, clear and concise way with no gimmicks. Subscribe and click the bell icon to get more arts content. Each video takes me about three weeks to a month, so I download at least once a month: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePD… Michelangelo was the first superstar artist. He was a sculptor, a painter, an architect, a poet and an engineer. An outsider touched by genius. His statue of David, the most famous statue in the world, personifies the aesthetics of High Renaissance art, the politics of Renaissance Florence, and the technical virtuosity of Greek sculpture. James Payne looks at the story of Michelangelo’s David, and discovers it is anything but the story of a teenage boy king who slew Goliath. CREDITS All the videos, songs, images, and graphics used in the video belong to their respective owners and I or this channel does not claim any right over them. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. BOOKS Michelangelo: His Epic Life – Martin Gayford Michelangelo: A Tormented Life – Antonio Forcellino From Marble to Flesh. The Biography of Michelangelo’s David – Victor Coonin “Theme” music: JS Bach “Sonata for violin solo No.1 in G Minor” David, Accademia, Florence. Images are in the public domain.
Zide Door’s informational pamphlet includes the disclaimer that “Magic mushrooms are not for everyone.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’
About 25 masked members of Pastor Bob’s flock gathered in a light-filled sanctuary tucked behind a small cafe. More tuned in via Zoom, their faces projected in little squares on a large screen.
It was Sunday morning, July 18, and many congregants at churches in San Francisco and across the Bay Area were cautiously attending their first in-person worship service in more than a year.
But there’s something different about this Berkeley fellowship. Its sacraments are not bread and wine. They are psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and ayahuasca tea.
On this Sunday, Pastor Bob held up two potted plants that can be brewed into that bitter mind-altering beverage. “They are guiding us,” he preached, “into something ineffable.”
Church elders had invited me to attend their service for this article. But two days later, after thinking about it some more and talking to their lawyers, Pastor Bob asked that I refrain from using his last name or mentioning the name of their church.
Welcome to the Church that Dare Not Speak Its Name — at least in the pages of The San Francisco Examiner.
Pastor Bob’s flock is part of a burgeoning underground network of shamans, guides and psychotherapists who employ psychedelic drugs and plants as tools for spiritual understanding, psychological healing and personal growth.
Acolytes say that psychedelics have opened them up to classic mystical experiences — to feelings of transcendence, timelessness and oneness with a higher power. They offer the same kind of conversion stories one hears at evangelical churches or Buddhist meditation centers.
Some of these churches and gatherings are cautiously coming out of the closet, emboldened by a state bill that could soon decriminalize the possession and sharing of some of California’s most popular psychedelic drugs and “sacred plant medicines.”
The move to decriminalize
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, has already passed the Senate and faces a tough Assembly vote next month. If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would decriminalize (some) psychedelic drugs on New Year’s Day.
“We need to end the war on drugs, period, but that’s a much bigger project,” Weiner said. “Right now, many people are benefiting from psychedelic drugs, and they are not addictive.”
In a telephone interview, Weiner told me that he first got interested in this issue about a decade ago when the teenage son of a couple he knew kicked a heroin habit at a psychedelic treatment center in Mexico.
That rehab center used ibogaine, a plant-based psychoactive drug, to help the young man see the root causes of his addiction. “He has never used since,” Weiner said.
Since then, the San Francisco lawmaker watched as cities like Denver and Oakland, and then the entire state of Oregon, passed legislation to decriminalize drugs like psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.
A variety of types of psychedelic mushrooms are available for people who join the Zide Door Church of Entheogenic Plants. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Weiner’s bill would decriminalize the possession (but not the sale) of psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine, mescaline, LSD and DMT, the psychoactive component in ayahuasca.
Amendments to the bill in recent weeks have removed ketamine from the approved list, placed limits on the amount of drugs one can possess, and changed the language from allowing “social sharing” to “facilitated or supported use.”
Unlike the other drugs on the decriminalization list, ketamine can already be legally used with a doctor’s prescription. The changes around the “sharing” language were meant to show that the intent of the law is to allow therapeutic, guided or spiritual use of psychedelics.
This decriminalization campaign comes as a growing number of nonprofit groups and pharmaceutical companies are sponsoring government-approved clinical trials that could soon result in the federal reclassification of psilocybin and MDMA, popularly known as “Molly” or “Ecstasy.” That would allow certified therapists to routinely and legally use those substances to treat patients suffering from depression, substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder.
The cognitive freedom argument
As some work to medicalize and others lobby to legalize psychedelics, a third movement argues that constitutional guarantees for the freedom of religion already allow Americans to alter their consciousness by any means necessary.
So far, the federal government and the courts have only gone along with this cognitive freedom argument in very limited cases. Members of the Native American Church can openly use peyote in their religious rituals. And U.S. branches of two Brazilian religious movements have been allowed to legally drink ayahuasca tea in their weekly ceremonies.
But other independent ayahuasca churches have been denied permission by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which along with other federal agencies continues to routinely seize shipments of sacramental tea coming in from Mexico and South America.
Over in Berkeley, Pastor Bob and the elders of his psychedelic church argue that they should not have to convince the DEA that they are a legitimate religion.
“I am confident that our practice is legally supported in the United States, but demonstrating that to the DEA and the courts could be costly, time-consuming and a real distraction from what we are trying to do,” he said.
Pastor Bob’s church is one of about a dozen psychedelic communities that have banded together in an alliance, which hopes to self-regulate their ceremonial use of “entheogens,” a term referring to compounds that allow one to connect with a divine power.
No psychedelic substances were passed out at the Sunday service I attended. Those who want to partake are required to join the church and go through a period of education, preparation and initiation before they can attend supervised sessions with the “sacrament carriers.”
“These are not demonic, addictive drugs,” Bob told me. “They are healing sacraments.”
According to the church’s website, the psychedelic rituals are a way for members “to directly experience truth about one’s self and about existential being.”
A retired physician and member of the Berkeley church, who requested anonymity for personal privacy reasons, told me he was “a poster boy for external success, but deep down I felt very lonely and disconnected.”
“Through entheogens I’ve had divine experiences. I lost my fear of dying,” he said in an interview before the Sunday service.“Most of the time, I’ve been in the paradigm of the ego — planning the future, worrying about the past. Entheogens brought me to the paradigm of this moment. Right now. Our true selves dwell in the now. Not in the ego.”
The Berkeley fellowship is a “multi-sacrament church,” meaning that its offerings include ayahuasca, mushrooms, LSD and changa, a smokable short-acting mixture that contains DMT, the active ingredient in ayahuasca tea.
“It can be very deep,” Bob told the Sunday gathering. “We sit in a circle out in the redwoods.”
The psychedelic renaissance
Pastor Bob’s flock is just one of many spiritual groups emerging in the so-called “psychedelic renaissance.”
Across the Bay, Christopher “Doc” Kelley and Erik Davis lead the Psychedelic Sangha of San Francisco.
It describes itself on its website as a home for “spiritual misfits, freaks, seekers, psychonauts, weirdos, rebels, outsiders, nonconformists, counterculturists, and anyone who elects to exercise their cognitive liberty.”
“We don’t provide psychedelic substances to people,” Kelley told me. “We provide a safe space for people to explore psychedelics and integrate the experience.”
Those spaces might include a gathering in Golden Gate Park or a visit to an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in downtown San Francisco. Members of the sangha (a word normally used to describe a Buddhist congregation) dose themselves, but “psychedelic rangers” are present to help anyone who has a bad trip.
“We believe in the therapeutic benefits of recreational use,” Kelley said. “We’ve moved beyond the shaman paradigm. We empower individuals to make smart decisions.”
Davis told me he has mixed feelings about the medicalization of psychedelics and the “rise of expertise and professionalism.” His goal is to “keep psychedelics weird.”
“There’s so much hype and emphasis on integration,” he said. “People are pushing hard to find meaning. I like the lighter touch. I invite people to go into the mystery of these states, but mystery doesn’t sell as well as a program or a plan.”
Davis, a popular speaker on the psychedelic circuit, is the author of several books, including “High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies.”
I ran into Doc Kelley and Erik Davis at a recent book signing in Mill Valley for Kile Ortigo’s new book, “Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide for Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration.”
Ortigo, a licensed clinical psychologist who lives in Daly City and has an office in Palo Alto, is a certified psychedelic integration therapist, having graduated from a popular training program run by the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
The legally murky state of psychedelic psychotherapy and entheogenic religion was summed up in the four-word answer Ortigo gave when an audience member at his book talk asked him about his own psychedelic experiences.
“I plead the Fifth,” he replied, noting that there was a reporter present and explaining that he could lose his license by talking about his own use or encouraging others to take illegal substances.
But he could publish a 430-page book on the subject.
Will the decriminalization of psychedelics in California make all this less convoluted?
Maybe, or maybe not.
In 2019, the Oakland City Council passed a measure that directs its police department to stop arresting people for using plant-based psychedelics like ayahuasca and magic mushrooms.
That did not prevent the cops from raiding an unlicensed cannabis church that had recently added magic mushrooms to its offerings last summer. That group, which had started calling itself the Zide Door Church of Entheogenic Plants, was back in business in 24 hours and continues to distribute its fungal sacrament to card-carrying members.
‘Mushrooms are the origin of religion’
Last week, on the Friday after I attended Sunday services at the Church That Dare Not Speak Its Name, I met with the spiritual leader of Zide Door, the very high priest Dave Hodges.
From the outside, Zide Door looks more like a fortress than a church. It occupies the lower floor of an aging building on lower 10th Avenue, between International Boulevard and a homeless shanty town nestled along the Oakland BART tracks.
Steel plates cover the inside of the windows. Members of the church pass by an armed security guard and through an airport-style metal detector. All visitors, including this reporter, are required to join the fellowship in order to get past the reception desk and into the chapel.
It was there that I was greeted by Hodges, who was running a bit late and walked in holding two giant clear plastic bags stuffed full of magic mushrooms.
“There is no doubt in my mind that mushrooms are the origin of religion,” said Hodges, who grew up in San Jose, where he started his first cannabis club in 2009. “At high doses, you leave your body and have spiritual visions and encounters with entities with lessons to teach you.”
Hodges, 39, is a true believer in the “stoned ape” theory of religious evolution, an idea popularized by the late Terence McKenna, a self-styled ethnobotanist and mystic.
“Mushrooms help you connect with the part of yourself that exists outside of space and time,” he said in an interview. “Some call that soul. Some call that spirit.”
Next to the small room where we spoke, rows of church pews that haven’t been filled since the COVID shutdown were roped off with marijuana-leaf bunting. It’s been well over a year since the high priest has given any sermons from the altar, which consists of a pulpit surrounded by knee-high statues of the red-and-white-capped amanita muscaria mushroom.
Most of Hodge’s flock, which saw a huge membership increase following media accounts of last year’s police raid, prefer the popular psilcybe cubensis. They can be obtained through the exchange of tokens, which are available to members who contribute to the good works of their church.
Zide Door initiates are given a pamphlet with helpful tips on how to safely partake of the sacrament — whether they are microdosing to increase productivity or gobbling down mind-blowing doses to melt into divine oneness with all and everything.
The first sentence offers some good advice. “Magic mushrooms are not for everyone.” The safety guide ends with this warning:
“Remember: MUSHROOMS CANNOT KILL YOU! They can only make you think they can. Everything will be OK.”
It’s been nearly a year since the Oakland cops seized $5,000 in cash and nearly $200,000 worth of cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms from Zide Door, but the authorities have yet to file any criminal charges. According to Hodges, the city is now trying to shut him down by pressuring his landlord and declaring his church to be a public nuisance.
But the high priest says that his lawyers are ready to fight for their constitutional right to commune with the mushroom gods.
Hodges is not the only entheogenic entrepreneur who has been drawn to Oakland since the city council’s 2019 vote to “decriminalize nature.”
Between the passage of the Oakland law and the COVID shutdown, psychedelic insiders noticed a steady stream of sketchy shamans rolling into town offering weekend workshops.
“They were doing as much medicine as they could in three days without preparation and integration, and then just leaving people high and dry,” said Danielle Negrin, executive director of the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco. “I met someone who was on psychiatric drugs and was only off for one day and took ayahuasca and had a really challenging experience.”
At the same time, Negrin stressed that “there are a lot of underground people who are stationed here and doing amazing work.”
“Yes, it’s great that there is statewide decriminalization on the horizon, but there needs to be a huge educational campaign that goes with it — how to find a guide and how to work safely with these medicines.”
Don Lattin is the author of seven books, including “The Harvard Psychedelic Club and Changing Our Minds—Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy.” Learn more at donlattin.com.
“The day after, for the country-side also be able to see the hero,
He went to inspect the city being built at Pithom.–
My book was closed from that day forward.
He went round with an officer who unfortunately
was zealous, but unintelligent. Silly man:
Silly, silly man. He found a labourer
Idling or resting, and he thought, I suppose,
“I’ll show this prince that I’m worth my position”
And beat the workman. A Jewish bricklayer.
He beat him senseless.
“Moses turned—turned to what was going on—
Turned himself and his world turtle. It was
As though an inward knife scraped his eyes clean.
“The General of Egypt , the Lion and the Prince
Recognized his mother’s face in the battered body
Of a bricklayer; saw it was not the face above
His nursery, not my face after all.
He knew his seed. And where my voice had hung till then
Now voices descending from ancestral Abraham
Congregated on him. And he killed
His Egyptian self in the self of that Egyptian
And buried that self in the sand.”
–Christopher Fry in The Firstborn
“Virtuous men alone possess friends.”
François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plume Voltaire (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity—especially the Roman Catholic Church—as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.Wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Portrait of Goya by Vicente López Portaña, c. 1826. Museo del Prado, Madrid|
|Born||Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes|
30 March 1746
Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain
|Died||16 April 1828 (aged 82)|
|Known for||Painting, drawing|
Yard with Lunatics, c. 1794
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (/ˈɡɔɪə/; Spanish: [fɾanˈθiskoxoˈseðeˈɣoʝailuˈθjentes]; 30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His paintings, drawings, and engravings reflected contemporary historical upheavals and influenced important 19th- and 20th-century painters. Goya is often referred to as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns.
Goya was born to a middle-class family in 1746, in Fuendetodos in Aragon. He studied painting from age 14 under José Luzán y Martinez and moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. He married Josefa Bayeu in 1773. Their life was characterised by a series of pregnancies and miscarriages, and only one child, a son, survived into adulthood. Goya became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786 and this early portion of his career is marked by portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, and Rococo-style tapestry cartoons designed for the royal palace.
He was guarded, and although letters and writings survive, little is known about his thoughts. He suffered a severe and undiagnosed illness in 1793 which left him deaf, after which his work became progressively darker and pessimistic. His later easel and mural paintings, prints and drawings appear to reflect a bleak outlook on personal, social and political levels, and contrast with his social climbing. He was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795, the year Manuel Godoy made an unfavorable treaty with France. In 1799, Goya became Primer Pintor de Cámara (Prime Court Painter), the highest rank for a Spanish court painter. In the late 1790s, commissioned by Godoy, he completed his La maja desnuda, a remarkably daring nude for the time and clearly indebted to Diego Velázquez. In 1800–01 he painted Charles IV of Spain and His Family, also influenced by Velázquez.
In 1807, Napoleon led the French army into the Peninsular War against Spain. Goya remained in Madrid during the war, which seems to have affected him deeply. Although he did not speak his thoughts in public, they can be inferred from his Disasters of War series of prints (although published 35 years after his death) and his 1814 paintings The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Other works from his mid-period include the Caprichos and Los Disparates etching series, and a wide variety of paintings concerned with insanity, mental asylums, witches, fantastical creatures and religious and political corruption, all of which suggest that he feared for both his country’s fate and his own mental and physical health.
His late period culminates with the Black Paintings of 1819–1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the Quinta del Sordo (House of the Deaf Man) where, disillusioned by political and social developments in Spain, he lived in near isolation. Goya eventually abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover. There he completed his La Tauromaquia series and a number of other, major, canvases.
Following a stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side, and suffering failing eyesight and poor access to painting materials, he died and was buried on 16 April 1828 aged 82. His body was later re-interred in the Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Famously, the skull was missing, a detail the Spanish consul immediately communicated to his superiors in Madrid, who wired back, “Send Goya, with or without head.”
Early years (1746–1771)
Francisco Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, on 30 March 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. The family had moved that year from the city of Zaragoza, but there is no record why; likely José was commissioned to work there. They were lower middle-class. José was the son of a notary and of Basque origin, his ancestors being from Zerain, earning his living as a gilder, specialising in religious and decorative craftwork. He oversaw the gilding and most of the ornamentation during the rebuilding of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (Santa Maria del Pilar), the principal cathedral of Zaragoza. Francisco was their fourth child, following his sister Rita (b. 1737), brother Tomás (b. 1739) (who was to follow in his father’s trade) and second sister Jacinta (b. 1743). There were two younger sons, Mariano (b. 1750) and Camilo (b. 1753).
His mother’s family had pretensions of nobility and the house, a modest brick cottage, was owned by her family and, perhaps fancifully, bore their crest. About 1749 José and Gracia bought a home in Zaragoza and were able to return to live in the city. Although there are no surviving records, it is thought that Goya may have attended the Escuelas Pías de San Antón, which offered free schooling. His education seems to have been adequate but not enlightening; he had reading, writing and numeracy, and some knowledge of the classics. According to Robert Hughes the artist “seems to have taken no more interest than a carpenter in philosophical or theological matters, and his views on painting … were very down to earth: Goya was no theoretician.” At school he formed a close and lifelong friendship with fellow pupil Martín Zapater; the 131 letters Goya wrote to him from 1775 until Zapater’s death in 1803 give valuable insight into Goya’s early years at the court in Madrid.
Visit to Italy
At age 14 Goya studied under the painter José Luzán, where he copied stamps[which?] for 4 years until he decided to work on his own, as he wrote later on “paint from my invention”. He moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs, a popular painter with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1763 and 1766 but was denied entrance into the academia.Sacrifice to Pan, 1771. Colección José Gudiol, Barcelona
Rome was then the cultural capital of Europe and held all the prototypes of classical antiquity, while Spain lacked a coherent artistic direction, with all of its significant visual achievements in the past. Having failed to earn a scholarship, Goya relocated at his own expense to Rome in the old tradition of European artists stretching back at least to Albrecht Dürer. He was an unknown at the time and so the records are scant and uncertain. Early biographers have him travelling to Rome with a gang of bullfighters, where he worked as a street acrobat, or for a Russian diplomat, or fell in love with a beautiful young nun whom he plotted to abduct from her convent. It is possible that Goya completed two surviving mythological paintings during the visit, a Sacrifice to Vesta and a Sacrifice to Pan, both dated 1771.Portrait of Josefa Bayeu (1747–1812)
In 1771 he won second prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma. That year he returned to Zaragoza and painted elements of the cupolas of the Basilica of the Pillar (including Adoration of the Name of God), a cycle of frescoes for the monastic church of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. He studied with the Aragonese artist Francisco Bayeu y Subías and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous. He befriended Francisco Bayeu and married his sister Josefa (he nicknamed her “Pepa”) on 25 July 1773. Their first child, Antonio Juan Ramon Carlos, was born on 29 August 1774.
The marriage and Francisco Bayeu’s 1765 membership of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and directorship of the tapestry works from 1777 helped Goya earn a commission for a series of tapestry cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Factory. Over five years he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate and insulate the stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real del Pardo, the residences of the Spanish monarchs. While designing tapestries was neither prestigious nor well paid, his cartoons are mostly popularist in a rococo style, and Goya used them to bring himself to wider attention.
The cartoons were not his only royal commissions, and were accompanied by a series of engravings, mostly copies after old masters such as Marcantonio Raimondi and Velázquez. Goya had a complicated relationship to the latter artist; while many of his contemporaries saw folly in Goya’s attempts to copy and emulate him, he had access to a wide range of the long-dead painter’s works that had been contained in the royal collection. Nonetheless, etching was a medium that the young artist was to master, a medium that was to reveal both the true depths of his imagination and his political beliefs. His c. 1779 etching of The Garrotted Man (“El agarrotado”) was the largest work he had produced to date, and an obvious foreboding of his later “Disasters of War” series.The Garroted Man, before 1780. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Goya was beset by illness, and his condition was used against him by his rivals, who looked jealously upon any artist seen to be rising in stature. Some of the larger cartoons, such as The Wedding, were more than 8 by 10 feet, and had proved a drain on his physical strength. Ever resourceful, Goya turned this misfortune around, claiming that his illness had allowed him the insight to produce works that were more personal and informal. However, he found the format limiting, as it did not allow him to capture complex color shifts or texture, and was unsuited to the impasto and glazing techniques he was by then applying to his painted works. The tapestries seem as comments on human types, fashion and fads.
Other works from the period include a canvas for the altar of the Church of San Francisco El Grande in Madrid, which led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art.
In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca, favorite of King Charles III, commissioned Goya to paint his portrait. He became friends with the King’s half-brother Luis, and spent two summers working on portraits of both the Infante and his family. During the 1780s, his circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, the King and other notable people of the kingdom whom he painted. In 1786, Goya was given a salaried position as painter to Charles III.The Family of the Infante Don Luis, 1784. Magnani-Rocca, Parma
Goya was appointed court painter to Charles IV in 1789. The following year he became First Court Painter, with a salary of 50,000 reales and an allowance of 500 ducats for a coach. He painted portraits of the king and the queen, and the Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy and many other nobles. These portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter; his Charles IV of Spain and His Family is an especially brutal assessment of a royal family.[B] Modern interpreters view the portrait as satirical; it is thought to reveal the corruption behind the rule of Charles IV. Under his reign his wife Louisa was thought to have had the real power, and thus Goya placed her at the center of the group portrait. From the back left of the painting one can see the artist himself looking out at the viewer, and the painting behind the family depicts Lot and his daughters, thus once again echoing the underlying message of corruption and decay.Portrait of Manuel Godoy, 1801. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Goya earned commissions from the highest ranks of the Spanish nobility, including Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa Pimentel, 12th Countess-Duchess of Benavente, José Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba and his wife María del Pilar de Silva, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos. In 1801 he painted Godoy in a commission to commemorate the victory in the brief War of the Oranges against Portugal. The two were friends, even if Goya’s 1801 portrait is usually seen as satire. Yet even after Godoy’s fall from grace the politician referred to the artist in warm terms. Godoy saw himself as instrumental in the publication of the Caprichos and is widely believed to have commissioned La maja desnuda.
Middle period (1793–1799)
La maja desnuda, 1790–1800
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VIII as Lord High Chancellor of England from October 1529 to May 1532. He wrote Utopia, published in 1516, which describes the political system of an imaginary island state.
More opposed the Protestant Reformation, directing polemics against the theology of Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin and William Tyndale. More also opposed Henry VIII’s separation from the Catholic Church, refusing to acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church of England and the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and executed. On his execution, he was reported to have said: “I die the King’s good servant, and God’s first”.
Born on Milk Street in the City of London, on 7 February 1478, Thomas More was the son of Sir John More, a successful lawyer and later a judge, and his wife Agnes (née Graunger). He was the second of six children. More was educated at St Anthony’s School, then considered one of London’s best schools. From 1490 to 1492, More served John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England, as a household page.:xvi Morton enthusiastically supported the “New Learning” (scholarship which was later known as “humanism” or “London humanism”), and thought highly of the young More. Believing that More had great potential, Morton nominated him for a place at the University of Oxford (either in St. Mary Hall or Canterbury College, both now gone).:38
More began his studies at Oxford in 1492, and received a classical education. Studying under Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn, he became proficient in both Latin and Greek. More left Oxford after only two years—at his father’s insistence—to begin legal training in London at New Inn, one of the Inns of Chancery.:xvii In 1496, More became a student at Lincoln’s Inn, one of the Inns of Court, where he remained until 1502, when he was called to the Bar.:xvii
According to his friend, the theologian Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, More once seriously contemplated abandoning his legal career to become a monk. Between 1503 and 1504 More lived near the Carthusian monastery outside the walls of London and joined in the monks’ spiritual exercises. Although he deeply admired their piety, More ultimately decided to remain a layman, standing for election to Parliament in 1504 and marrying the following year.:xxi
More continued ascetic practices for the rest of his life, such as wearing a hair shirt next to his skin and occasionally engaging in self-flagellation.:xxi A tradition of the Third Order of Saint Francis honours More as a member of that Order on their calendar of saints.
More married Jane Colt in 1505. In that year he leased a portion of a house known as the Old Barge (originally there had been a wharf nearby serving the Walbrook river) on Bucklersbury, St Stephen Walbrook parish, London. Eight years later he took over the rest of the house and in total he lived there for almost twenty years, until his move to Chelsea in 1525.:118;271 Erasmus reported that More wanted to give his young wife a better education than she had previously received at home, and tutored her in music and literature.:119 The couple had four children before Jane died in 1511: Margaret, Elizabeth, Cicely, and John.:132
Going “against friends’ advice and common custom,” within thirty days More had married one of the many eligible women among his wide circle of friends. He chose Alice Middleton, a widow, to head his household and care for his small children. The speed of the marriage was so unusual that More had to get a dispensation from the banns of marriage, which, due to his good public reputation, he easily obtained.
More had no children from his second marriage, although he raised Alice’s daughter from her previous marriage as his own. More also became the guardian of two young girls: Anne Cresacre would eventually marry his son, John More;:146 and Margaret Giggs (later Clement) would be the only member of his family to witness his execution (she died on the 35th anniversary of that execution, and her daughter married More’s nephew William Rastell). An affectionate father, More wrote letters to his children whenever he was away on legal or government business, and encouraged them to write to him often.:150:xiv
More insisted upon giving his daughters the same classical education as his son, an unusual attitude at the time.:146–47 His eldest daughter, Margaret, attracted much admiration for her erudition, especially her fluency in Greek and Latin.:147 More told his daughter of his pride in her academic accomplishments in September 1522, after he showed the bishop a letter she had written:
When he saw from the signature that it was the letter of a lady, his surprise led him to read it more eagerly … he said he would never have believed it to be your work unless I had assured him of the fact, and he began to praise it in the highest terms … for its pure Latinity, its correctness, its erudition, and its expressions of tender affection. He took out at once from his pocket a portague [A Portuguese gold coin] … to send to you as a pledge and token of his good will towards you.:152
More’s decision to educate his daughters set an example for other noble families. Even Erasmus became much more favourable once he witnessed their accomplishments.:149
A portrait of More and his family, Sir Thomas More and Family, was painted by Holbein; however, it was lost in a fire in the 18th century. More’s grandson commissioned a copy, of which two versions survive.
Early political career
Study for a portrait of Thomas More’s family, c. 1527, by Hans Holbein the Younger
From 1510, More served as one of the two undersheriffs of the City of London, a position of considerable responsibility in which he earned a reputation as an honest and effective public servant. More became Master of Requests in 1514, the same year in which he was appointed as a Privy Counsellor. After undertaking a diplomatic mission to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, accompanying Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal Archbishop of York, to Calais and Bruges, More was knighted and made under-treasurer of the Exchequer in 1521.
As secretary and personal adviser to King Henry VIII, More became increasingly influential: welcoming foreign diplomats, drafting official documents, and serving as a liaison between the King and Lord Chancellor Wolsey. More later served as High Steward for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
In 1523 More was elected as knight of the shire (MP) for Middlesex and, on Wolsey’s recommendation, the House of Commons elected More its Speaker. In 1525 More became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with executive and judicial responsibilities over much of northern England.
Campaign against the Protestant Reformation
Sir Thomas More is commemorated with a sculpture at the late-19th-century Sir Thomas More House, Carey Street, London, opposite the Royal Courts of Justice.
More supported the Catholic Church and saw the Protestant Reformation as heresy, a threat to the unity of both church and society. More believed in the theology, argumentation, and ecclesiastical laws of the church, and “heard Luther’s call to destroy the Catholic Church as a call to war.”
His early actions against the Protestant Reformation included aiding Wolsey in preventing Lutheran books from being imported into England, spying on and investigating suspected Protestants, especially publishers, and arresting anyone holding in his possession, transporting, or distributing Bibles and other materials of the Protestant Reformation. Additionally, More vigorously suppressed Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament.
The Tyndale Bible used controversial translations of certain words that More considered heretical and seditious; for example, it used “senior” and “elder” rather than “priest” for the Greek “presbyteros“, and used the term congregation instead of church; he also pointed out that some of the marginal glosses challenged Catholic doctrine. It was during this time that most of his literary polemics appeared.
Many accounts circulated during and after More’s lifetime regarding persecution of the Protestant “heretics” during his time as Lord Chancellor. The popular sixteenth-century English Protestant historian John Foxe, who “placed Protestant sufferings against the background of… the Antichrist”, was instrumental in publicising accusations of torture in his Book of Martyrs, claiming that More had often personally used violence or torture while interrogating heretics. Later authors such as Brian Moynahan and Michael Farris cite Foxe when repeating these allegations. Peter Ackroyd also lists claims from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and other post-Reformation sources that More “tied heretics to a tree in his Chelsea garden and whipped them”, that “he watched as ‘newe men’ were put upon the rack in the Tower and tortured until they confessed”, and that “he was personally responsible for the burning of several of the ‘brethren’ in Smithfield.”:305 Richard Marius records a similar claim, which tells about James Bainham, and writes that “the story Foxe told of Bainham’s whipping and racking at More’s hands is universally doubted today”. More himself denied these allegations:
Stories of a similar nature were current even in More’s lifetime and he denied them forcefully. He admitted that he did imprison heretics in his house – ‘theyr sure kepynge’ – he called it – but he utterly rejected claims of torture and whipping… ‘as help me God.’:298–299
More instead claimed in his “Apology” (1533) that he only applied corporal punishment to two heretics: a child who was caned in front of his family for heresy regarding the Eucharist, and a “feeble-minded” man who was whipped for disrupting prayers.:404 During More’s chancellorship, six people were burned at the stake for heresy; they were Thomas Hitton, Thomas Bilney, Richard Bayfield, John Tewkesbury, Thomas Dusgate, and James Bainham.:299–306 Moynahan argued that More was influential in the burning of Tyndale, as More’s agents had long pursued him, even though this took place over a year after his own death. Burning at the stake had been a standard punishment for heresy: 30 burnings had taken place in the century before More’s elevation to Chancellor, and burning continued to be used by both Catholics and Protestants during the religious upheaval of the following decades. Ackroyd notes that More zealously “approved of burning”.:298 Marius maintains that More did everything in his power to bring about the extermination of the Protestant “heretics”.
John Tewkesbury was a London leather seller found guilty by the Bishop of London John Stokesley of harbouring English translated New Testaments; he was sentenced to burning for refusing to recant. More declared: he “burned as there was neuer wretche I wene better worthy.” After Richard Bayfield was also executed for distributing Tyndale’s Bibles, More commented that he was “well and worthely burned”.:305
Modern commentators are divided over More’s religious actions as Chancellor. Some biographers, including Ackroyd, have taken a relatively tolerant view of More’s campaign against Protestantism by placing his actions within the turbulent religious climate of the time and the threat of deadly catastrophes such as the German Peasants’ Revolt, which More blamed on Luther, as did many others, such as Erasmus. Others have been more critical, such as Richard Marius, an American scholar of the Reformation, believing that such persecutions were a betrayal of More’s earlier humanist convictions, including More’s zealous and well-documented advocacy of extermination for Protestants.:386–406
Some Protestants take a different view. In 1980, More was added to the Church of England’s calendar of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church, despite being a fierce opponent of the English Reformation that created the Church of England. He was added jointly with John Fisher, to be commemorated every 6 July (the date of More’s execution) as “Thomas More, scholar, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Reformation Martyrs, 1535”. Pope John Paul II honoured him by making him patron saint of statesmen and politicians in October 2000, stating: “It can be said that he demonstrated in a singular way the value of a moral conscience … even if, in his actions against heretics, he reflected the limits of the culture of his time”.
As the conflict over supremacy between the Papacy and the King reached its apogee, More continued to remain steadfast in supporting the supremacy of the Pope as Successor of Peter over that of the King of England. Parliament’s reinstatement of the charge of praemunire in 1529 had made it a crime to support in public or office the claim of any authority outside the realm (such as the Papacy) to have a legal jurisdiction superior to the King’s.
In 1530, More refused to sign a letter by the leading English churchmen and aristocrats asking Pope Clement VII to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and also quarrelled with Henry VIII over the heresy laws. In 1531, a royal decree required the clergy to take an oath acknowledging the King as Supreme Head of the Church of England. The bishops at the Convocation of Canterbury in 1532 agreed to sign the Oath but only under threat of praemunire and only after these words were added: “as far as the law of Christ allows”. This was considered to be the final Submission of the Clergy. Cardinal John Fisher and some other clergy refused to sign. Henry purged most clergy who supported the papal stance from senior positions in the church. More continued to refuse to sign the Oath of Supremacy and did not agree to support the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine. However, he did not openly reject the King’s actions and kept his opinions private.
On 16 May 1532, More resigned from his role as Chancellor but remained in Henry’s favour despite his refusal. His decision to resign was caused by the decision of the convocation of the English Church, which was under intense royal threat, on the day before.
Indictment, trial and execution
In 1533, More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as the Queen of England. Technically, this was not an act of treason, as More had written to Henry seemingly acknowledging Anne’s queenship and expressing his desire for the King’s happiness and the new Queen’s health. Despite this, his refusal to attend was widely interpreted as a snub against Anne, and Henry took action against him.
Shortly thereafter, More was charged with accepting bribes, but the charges had to be dismissed for lack of any evidence. In early 1534, More was accused by Thomas Cromwell of having given advice and counsel to the “Holy Maid of Kent,” Elizabeth Barton, a nun who had prophesied that the king had ruined his soul and would come to a quick end for having divorced Queen Catherine. This was a month after Barton had confessed, which was possibly done under royal pressure, and was said to be concealment of treason.
Though it was dangerous for anyone to have anything to do with Barton, More had indeed met her, and was impressed by her fervour. But More was prudent and told her not to interfere with state matters. More was called before a committee of the Privy Council to answer these charges of treason, and after his respectful answers the matter seemed to have been dropped.
On 13 April 1534, More was asked to appear before a commission and swear his allegiance to the parliamentary Act of Succession. More accepted Parliament’s right to declare Anne Boleyn the legitimate Queen of England, though he refused “the spiritual validity of the king’s second marriage”, and, holding fast to the teaching of papal supremacy, he steadfastly refused to take the oath of supremacy of the Crown in the relationship between the kingdom and the church in England. More furthermore publicly refused to uphold Henry’s annulment from Catherine. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, refused the oath along with More. The oath reads:
…By reason whereof the Bishop of Rome and See Apostolic, contrary to the great and inviolable grants of jurisdictions given by God immediately to emperors, kings and princes in succession to their heirs, hath presumed in times past to invest who should please them to inherit in other men’s kingdoms and dominions, which thing we your most humble subjects, both spiritual and temporal, do most abhor and detest…
In addition to refusing to support the King’s annulment or supremacy, More refused to sign the 1534 Oath of Succession confirming Anne’s role as queen and the rights of their children to succession. More’s fate was sealed. While he had no argument with the basic concept of succession as stated in the Act, the preamble of the Oath repudiated the authority of the Pope.
His enemies had enough evidence to have the King arrest him on treason. Four days later, Henry had More imprisoned in the Tower of London. There More prepared a devotional Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation. While More was imprisoned in the Tower, Thomas Cromwell made several visits, urging More to take the oath, which he continued to refuse.
Site of scaffold at Tower Hill where More was executed by decapitation
Commemorative plaque at the site of the ancient scaffold at Tower Hill, with Sir Thomas More listed among other notables executed at the site
The charges of high treason related to More’s violating the statutes as to the King’s supremacy (malicious silence) and conspiring with Bishop John Fisher in this respect (malicious conspiracy) and, according to some sources, included asserting that Parliament did not have the right to proclaim the King’s Supremacy over the English Church. One group of scholars believes that the judges dismissed the first two charges (malicious acts) and tried More only on the final one but others strongly disagree.
If any person or persons, after the first day of February next coming, do maliciously wish, will or desire, by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, practise, or attempt any bodily harm to be done or committed to the king’s most royal person, the queen’s, or their heirs apparent, or to deprive them or any of them of their dignity, title, or name of their royal estates … That then every such person and persons so offending … shall have and suffer such pains of death and other penalties, as is limited and accustomed in cases of high treason.
The trial was held on 1 July 1535, before a panel of judges that included the new Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Audley, as well as Anne Boleyn’s uncle, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, her father Thomas Boleyn and her brother George Boleyn. Norfolk offered More the chance of the king’s “gracious pardon” should he “reform his […] obstinate opinion”. More responded that, although he had not taken the oath, he had never spoken out against it either and that his silence could be accepted as his “ratification and confirmation” of the new statutes. Thus More was relying upon legal precedent and the maxim “qui tacet consentire videtur” (“one who keeps silent seems to consent”), understanding that he could not be convicted as long as he did not explicitly deny that the King was Supreme Head of the Church, and he therefore refused to answer all questions regarding his opinions on the subject.William Frederick Yeames, The meeting of Sir Thomas More with his daughter after his sentence of death, 1872
Thomas Cromwell, at the time the most powerful of the King’s advisors, brought forth Solicitor General Richard Rich to testify that More had, in his presence, denied that the King was the legitimate head of the Church. This testimony was characterised by More as being extremely dubious. Witnesses Richard Southwell and Mr. Palmer both denied having heard the details of the reported conversation, and as More himself pointed out:
Can it therefore seem likely to your Lordships, that I should in so weighty an Affair as this, act so unadvisedly, as to trust Mr. Rich, a Man I had always so mean an Opinion of, in reference to his Truth and Honesty, … that I should only impart to Mr. Rich the Secrets of my Conscience in respect to the King’s Supremacy, the particular Secrets, and only Point about which I have been so long pressed to explain my self? which I never did, nor never would reveal; when the Act was once made, either to the King himself, or any of his Privy Councillors, as is well known to your Honours, who have been sent upon no other account at several times by his Majesty to me in the Tower. I refer it to your Judgments, my Lords, whether this can seem credible to any of your Lordships.
The jury took only fifteen minutes, however, to find More guilty.
After the jury’s verdict was delivered and before his sentencing, More spoke freely of his belief that “no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality” (take over the role of the Pope). According to William Roper‘s account, More was pleading that the Statute of Supremacy was contrary to the Magna Carta, to Church laws and to the laws of England, attempting to void the entire indictment against him. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered (the usual punishment for traitors who were not the nobility), but the King commuted this to execution by decapitation.
The execution took place on 6 July 1535 at Tower Hill. When he came to mount the steps to the scaffold, its frame seeming so weak that it might collapse, More is widely quoted as saying (to one of the officials): “I pray you, master Lieutenant, see me safe up and [for] my coming down, let me shift for my self”; while on the scaffold he declared that he died “the king’s good servant, and God’s first.” After More had finished reciting the Miserere while kneeling, the executioner reportedly begged his pardon, then More rose up merrily, kissed him and gave him forgiveness.
Another comment he is believed to have made to the executioner is that his beard was completely innocent of any crime, and did not deserve the axe; he then positioned his beard so that it would not be harmed. More asked that his foster/adopted daughter Margaret Clement (née Giggs) be given his headless corpse to bury. She was the only member of his family to witness his execution. He was buried at the Tower of London, in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in an unmarked grave. His head was fixed upon a pike over London Bridge for a month, according to the normal custom for traitors.
More’s daughter Margaret later rescued the severed head. It is believed to rest in the Roper Vault of St Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury, perhaps with the remains of Margaret and her husband’s family. Some have claimed that the head is buried within the tomb erected for More in Chelsea Old Church.
Among other surviving relics is his hair shirt, presented for safe keeping by Margaret Clement. This was long in the custody of the community of Augustinian canonesses who until 1983 lived at the convent at Abbotskerswell Priory, Devon. Some sources, including one from 2004, claimed that the shirt, made of goat hair was then at the Martyr’s church on the Weld family’s estate in Chideock, Dorset. The most recent reports indicate that it is now preserved at Buckfast Abbey, near Buckfastleigh in Devon.