Parthagica Directory 09
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Parthagica Directory 09
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It was not to be expected that so pushing a woman as Mrs. Chapman would be turned from the object she had set her heart on by the interposition of ordinary obstacles. She had taken good care to have the engagement pretty well trumpeted over Bowling Green; and in less than three months from the time what is described in the foregoing chapter occurred, the lady had a day fixed for the wedding ceremony, which, she declared should be on such a scale of magnificence as would astonish all New York, to say nothing of West Bowling Green. And now she was distracting her wits, and the wits of her friends, over what she called the preliminaries extraordinary. Weddings, the lady said, must be illuminated according to the position of the family. And to that end an additional amount of elegant furniture was got for the house, a new carriage was ordered, and Mr. Napoleon Bowles was to appear in a new livery, with top boots. Nor was the family finery to be neglected, for at least a dozen dressmakers had been employed for a month plying their needles. In short, this great coming event in the history of the Chapman family had afforded Bowling Green enough to talk about for a month.

The earliest decorative art appeared in Ireland. It was probably first planted there by missionaries from Italy, and it reached its height in the seventh century. In the ninth and tenth centuries missal illumination of a Byzantine cast, with local modifications, began to show. This lasted, in a feeble way, until the fifteenth century, when work of a Flemish and French nature took its place. In the Middle Ages there were wall paintings and church decorations in England, as elsewhere in Europe, but these have now perished, except some fragments in Kempley Church, Gloucestershire, and Chaldon Church, Surrey. These are supposed to date back to the twelfth century, and there are some remains of painting in Westminster Abbey that are said to be of thirteenth and fourteenth-century origin. From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century the English people depended largely upon foreign painters who came and lived in England. Mabuse, Moro, Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck, Lely, Kneller--all were there at different times, in the service of royalty, and influencing such local English painters as then lived. The outcome of missal illumination and Holbein's example produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a local school of miniature-painters of much interest, but painting proper did not begin to rise in England until the beginning of the eighteenth century--that century so dead in art over all the rest of Europe.

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