Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ABC Wednesday
February 2nd, 2011

The letter this week is the Cheerful C

C is for Caballero, Cavalier and Cards

El Caballero de la mano al pecho
El Greco 1541-1614

This famous painting (1580) by Domenikos Theotokopoutes
born on the Island of Crete in 1541, moving from there to Italy
when he was 26, and thence to Toledo, in Spain
where this picture was painted in 1580 and where the artist
was known as The Greek - El Greco.

Translated the title of the picture is
the knight (man) with his hand on his chest
and there has been considerable discussion and controversy about
the position of his hand, and most especially the position of the fingers
with the thumb pointed upwards and the two middle fingers closed together.

It is speculated that the position indicates a request for forgiveness of a sin, or 
that it is an ancient Jewish tradition, although there is no record of this.

On a lighter note we have a picture of

Cavaliers playing Cards, painted by Maximo Caballero

Maximo Caballero was a Spanish  painter who was born in 1867 and died in 1951.

He seems to have painted a number of tavern pictures with these
dashing Cavaliers busy at various activities.

A good place to set up one's easel......

For more C's visit here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her kindly crew.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes - lovely pictures. C is rather a nice letter as it stands for cosy, comfort, candyfloss, caring, cushion - need i go on.

Jingle said...

lovely take on C...

Jedediah said...

I love El Greco, he has such a unique style. I hadn't seen this particular painting before, but I knew it was his just from the shape of the head. It's amazing what's hidden in the old paintings.

RuneE said...

You have told me that El Greco was born on my favourite island, Crete. Thank you.

Sylvia K said...

What a terrific post for the C Day! I love El Greco and I hadn't seen this particular painting before either! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!


Carver said...

Great idea for the letter C. Very interesting and I enjoyed the photographs.

richies said...

Mabey the hand position is a gang sign. :)

An Arkies Musings

mrsnesbitt said...

I love the facts we learn each Wednesday as each of us shares what we find interesting - great stuff!
Thanks so much
ABC Team

Cezar and Léia said...

I love art, and this post is very interesting!

Reader Wil said...

Very great choices for the C words! Thanks for visiting mine. I forget to tell you this: My daughter in Australia wrote this book together with a friend of hers. They went several times a week to Roy McIver, who is an uncle of my daughter's first husband, and recorded his stories on an audio cassette. Back at home she put these stories on the computer and printed them. It took her and her friend two years to finish the book in Roy McIver's own words. The cockatoos are the tribal animals of two tribes in Cape York. They are also symbolic for the reconcilliation of the white Australian people and the Aborigines.

Gigi Ann said...

I liked that painting of the men playing cards. I spent many a winter night playing cards with friends.

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

Thanks for charing this info - very interesting about the paintings :)


Joy said...

I do like a dashing cavalier. There should be more of them. The Prado is on my list of places to go, and see El Greco paintings. Is this one sometimes called the Knights prayer.

Kay L. Davies said...

Very interesting information about El Greco, and about Caballero and his card-playing cavaliers.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Tumblewords: said...

A terrific C post - so interesting!

photowannabe said...

This is what I love about the blogging community. We share so much information. Thanks and I love your series.

Roger Owen Green said...

Not messin' w that dude. Probably does need forgiveness.

On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, Thank you! ROG

Wanda said...

So many details in those marvelous paintings. Especially like the Tavern scene.

Ann said...

My school and where it is located is Pt Chevalier.

ChrisJ said...

Great C's. Quite a mystery about the hand position. I have heard it said that many of the great painters hid signs in their paintings. Since I have no art history to refer to, I have just put such ideas aside as conspiracy theories. But who knows? I like the painting of the cavaliers, mainly because of the colors.

Ann Nichols said...

Such lovely paintings.
Love your blog and am happy to be following along!
Please join me at my history blog...I'd love to have you!
PS El Greco's painted skies always give me shivers...fabulous painter.

Cheryl said...

I love your choices today.

ABC Team

jabblog said...

Two very different but equally interesting paintings. Nice post :-)

Paula Scott said...

Nothing but smart, this is! Fits perfectly for today's letter.

Leslie: said...

Very interesting! And a fascinating piece of art.


Beverley Baird said...

Great choices for C. Love the artwork!


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