Queen of Kings

Tamar

Tamar the Great!!! (1160 – 1213) was the Queen regnant of Georgia. Her father, George III,  made co-ruler when she was just 18. When he passed away, she succeeded in “calming down”  the opposition to her rule and successfully took over as Queen.

So successful, she was said to be the “King of Kings and Queen of Queens” by her people. She was an active military leader, a patron of the arts & culture, and her reign is still referred to as “The Golden Age”.

She kicked ass and didn’t apologize. When she died, her crown went to her daughter, Rusadan. Tamar was so incredibly respected by her people, she was canonized in the Orthodox church. Her image is currently on Georgia’s currency, the 50 Lari note. It is also the most popular name for girls in Georgia to this day.

There is a FABULOUS article on her here:

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=754345014062

turning heads since 189 BC.

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Chiomara

Chiomara was the wife of the Galatian Cheiftan, Orgiagon. Rome invaded (what would now be somewhere in Turkey) their land (as the Romans did) so  the tribe rebelled causing the Galatian War of 189 BC.

During the war, Gnaeur Manlius Vulso (pig) beat down the Galatians and took a bunch of hostages. One of which was described as “a woman of exceptional beauty”. This woman was Chiomara. Needless to say, she was raped, tortured and held for ransom. Even during these very violent times, rape was considered to be unacceptable. It’s quite surprising that Gnaeur didn’t just kill her. Well, his greed did NOT get him a-head.

The Galatians came to the meeting point with the ransom. As the pig, Gnaeus, was counting his gold, Chiomara gave her men a signal to cut off his head. And they did.

She proceeded to carry the head home, wrapped in her dress and dropped it at her husband’s feet upon her return. She then said something to the effect of “Only one man alive should have me.”

I like her. I like her a lot.

Morning Glory

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Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna Romanov (1897 – 1918) was Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra’s second daughter. She was born on a sunny morning in June to which the Tsar wrote “the second bright happy day in our family”, “she looks just like her mother!”

Tatiana was described as being tall, refined, and beautiful. Many considered her the most attractive of the Romanov girls (I, personally, think they were all devastatingly gorgeous). She was very close to her sister, Olga, and seemed to be a natural born leader. She became a war nurse during World War I and was rumored to have fallen in love with at least one of the soldiers.

Looking at photographs of Tatiana, it is no wonder she was her mother’s favorite- so regal and elegant.

There’s an in-depth article about this breath-taking Grand Princess here: http://www.freewebs.com/tatiana_romanov/bio.htm

Grand Duchess Maria. Gorgeous and gone.

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I’ve decided to take a break from painting Queen Victoria’s Children, and move over to the Romanov girls.

This is Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanova of Russia. She was the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna. On this tragic day in history, Maria and her entire family were murdered by the Bolsheviks.

Before their capture, Maria was described as a pretty, flirtations girl. Her and her sister, Anastasia, were referred to as “the Little Pair” because they were often dressed in the same outfit and shared a room. Maria was interested in the arts, nursing, and having a large family. *SOB*

Their story is so incredibly sad, I have a very hard time getting through the information. Knowing that these beautiful princesses were shot at point blank range is impossible to comprehend.

There’s a powerful video on Maria and her family here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xshg3ZKt8CY

and a very in depth article on her here: https://romanovpalace.wordpress.com/grand-duchess-maria-nikolaevna/

The History Chicks have a podcast on the Romanovs, here: http://thehistorychicks.com/?s=Romanov

Alice not in Wonderland.

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Princess Alice (1843 – 1878) was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Unfortunately, she was the first of nine to die. Victoria outlived three of her children. How horrible.

She had a typical (ha) royal childhood until, of course, her father came down with Typhoid Fever in 1861 when Alice was just 18 years old. Alice was said to have nursed her father throughout his illness up until the day he died.

While the family was still in mourning over Albert’s death, Alice married the German Prince Louis of Hesse. Needless to say, the wedding was not exactly a celebration. Even Queen Victoria described it as being more like a funeral than a wedding. ouch.

From caring for her dying father, Alice was very involved with women’s causes and nursing. Her contributions during the Austro-Prussian war were quite brave– she worked out in the field hospitals even through her pregnancies.

She had seven children with Louis, including Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (born as Princess Alix of Hesse). Alexandra, as you may know, married Nicholas II of Russia and was murdered with her entire family in 1918. Kind of glad Alice wasn’t around for that.

Alice’s youngest son Friedrich “Frittie” died after falling out a window in 1873 (he had hemophilia), Poor girl never really recovered. As a result of the loss, she became quite attached to her other son, Ernest, and youngest daughter Marie.

In 1878, almost the entire family came down with Diptheria. Alice died shortly after (baby Marie dying first, age 4), her last words being “dear papa”. Sad, sad story.

I’m going in the other room to cry now.

Little Miss Why

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This month, I’ll be featuring Queen Victoria’s children (mostly her daughters).

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was the fourth daughter and sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She defied the role of “princess” a bit by becoming an artist, sculptor and architect.

She was born at Buckingham palace in 1848 and spent most of her childhood hopping around the palace as well as Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle. Rough. Her family called her “Little Miss Why” because of her curious nature.

When her father died in 1861, the entire royal family went into an intense mourning period (Victoria spent the rest of her life in mourning). They became so morose, Louise was eventually so fed up with a house full of black-clad downers, that on her 17th birthday she begged to open the ballroom for a big party. Denied. Arguments ensued, and Victoria was said to be incredibly irritated with the matter AND her daughter.

Louise eventually fell in love with and married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll in 1871. It started off pretty good, but they drifted apart for some time. Eventually they reconnected in 1911. When he died a few years later, she was devastated.

She is often referred to as Victoria’s “rebel” daughter due to some unconfirmed rumors that Louise gave birth to an illegitimate child at the age of 18 -and- that she supposedly had an affair with her mentor, sculptor Edgar Boehm. Boehm died at the age of 56 of a stroke while in his studio. The rebel Princess was the only person with him at the time. Rumors said that he had died while making love to the very gorgeous Louise.

So back to the illegitimate child… Queen Victoria’s obstetrician was Sir Charles Locock (unfortunate last name). Locock adopted a baby boy named Henry in 1867. When Henry grew up, he told everyone that he was Louise’s son. Scandal! In 2004, his descendants asked for DNA testing, but they were denied access by the Court of Arches. They wanted to compare his DNA with that of Louise’s niece, Tzarina Alexandra of Russia.

In 1939, Louise died at Kensington palace at the age of 91 where a marble statue of her mother (that Louise sculpted) still remains.

There’s a great article on her here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/29/mystery-of-princess-louise-review

Another one here: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/march-18-1948-birth-of-the-princess-louise-duchess-of-argyll/

Rainbow Bright!

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Iris_Final

Last up for the Greek Goddesses this month… Iris. And this is well-timed if you’re a proud citizen of the United States. Iris is the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow! Oh happy day!

Iris is the messenger of the Gods, connecting them with humanity. She travels at the speed of wind and easily bounces between the sea and the underworld, bridging heaven and earth. She is almost always depicted with wings and a multi-hued gown.

Iris cannot deliver messages to humans in her “goddess form” so she takes on the appearance of someone the recipient knows. One of her duties is to carry water from the Styx (river of oaths) to Mount Olympus for the gods to swear by.

#lovewins

Our goose is cooked.

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HUGE news. We’ve developed a new Facebook page for our book that comes out June 2016. The official title is A Thyme and Place: Medieval Feasts and Celebrations for the Modern Table. This will be a series, featuring food from different periods in history. More information and pre-order links coming soon. For interesting tidbits, articles, illustrations and photos of our progress, go check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/deconstructinghistory

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wonder woman.

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Artemis, often called Diana (Roman), was the Greek Goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, the moon, childbirth and chastity. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.

She is almost always depicted with a bow and arrows, and often with deer. She hunted animals, but also protected them in the forest. She  protected women and female animals during labor and childbirth but could also bring on disease.

As an infant goddess, she helped deliver her own twin brother. Yes. That’s what I just wrote. That is why she is the Goddess of childbirth. And if that doesn’t impress you, on her third birthday (yes, third) she asked for the following: to never be distracted by love or marriage, a bow and arrow, hunting clothes, 80 nymphs to be her friends, and all the mountains in the world.

All the mountains in the world? Ok Veruca Salt. I got you a Fisher Price Farm Set, that will have to do.

A little more info here: http://www.ancient.eu/artemis/

and here: http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com/artemis-diana-greek-goddess-of-mountains-forests-and-hunting/

oh night divine.

Nyx

Nyx is the Greek Goddess of Night. She is shadowy and mysterious with exceptional power and beauty. So powerful, even Zeus feared her. She has many children including Hypnos (God of Sleep), Eris (Goddess of Strife), Eros (God of Procreation) Apate (Goddess of Deceit- which sounds like my next painting) Moros (God of Doom), Oizys (Goddess of Misery, which also sounds like another painting) end many many more.

Some records indicate that she was the mother of Hemera, Goddess of the Day. While other stories indicate they are siblings. Mother and daughter -or- Sister and Sister are said to live in a dreary house in the far west where they pass each other at sunrise and sunset.

There is a great, kid-friendly, article on Nyx here: http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/greek-gods-mythology/nyx.htm

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