Sunday, October 30, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - Archery - 17C Competition

Dedicated outdoor public areas in local towns & communities were the scene of amusements & recreation in the centuries before more dignified commercial public pleasure gardens & public park spaces blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & public grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen. 
David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) Archery in a Town's Public Space 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 16C & 17C Elites celebrate in a fairly fanciful Garden of the Villa Medici

Gardens were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation in the centuries before public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others.
Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) A Celebration of Love in the Garden of the Villa Medici

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 17C Dancing Outside a Local Public Tavern or Inn Garden

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday taverns in the centuries before commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. 
David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) Peasants Dancing outside at an Inn

Thursday, October 27, 2016

16C Card Game for the Alehouse or its Garden

The 16C Alehouse Card Game of Put – a chance to bluff & cheat at cards!
by Mike Rendell from his fabulous blog The Georgian Gentleman Jan 22 2014

Thomas Rowlandson/George Woodward collaboration, published by Ackermann i

"Sometimes in Spanish bars you see a group of elderly gentlemen enthusiastically playing a game of cards called truc – it seems to involve a lot of triumphalism and theatrical posturing, and apparently is very similar to the English game called “Put”. In Catalonia they play it as a foursome but with partners (as in Bridge) and this gives rise to some intriguing signals between players on the same side. Apparently:
Closing one eye: means you hold a three.
Pouting your lips: means you hold a two.
Showing the tip of your tongue: means you have an Ace.

"Obviously it helps if you can give these signals to your playing partner without being observed by the other two players! It also means that if a Catalonian winks, blows you a kiss and then sticks his tongue out at you, it is best not to call the Police until you have checked what game he is playing….

"Truc seems to be a bit more complicated than the old English game of Put, but it is clear that they share a common ancestry – no doubt sailors brought it back from abroad. There are records of Put being played in England as far back as the 16th Century.

"I had not come across Put until I saw this Thomas Rowlandson/George Woodward collaboration, published by Ackermann in August 1799 and appearing on the Lewis Walpole Library site. It is called “A game at Put in a country alehouse”. The yokel on the left says “Zome-how – I donna half like the looks o-thee!” while holding a pair of fives and an ace. Across the table his companion looks shell-shocked at a hand containing a royal card and two aces (?) and announces “I put.”

"So, how was Put played and what is it all about? It was certainly a very popular game in taverns in the 18th Century, even though (or rather, because) it relied relatively little upon skill or memory, but rather a lot on “brass neck” and bluffing. No suits to worry about, no counting of cards already turned up: just you pitting your wits against your opponent (usually only two people played, but it could be three or four), armed with just three cards for each deal.

"The first thing to remember was that it wasn’t “aces high” – or even low. The sequence in the 52-card pack was (high) 3-2-A-K-Q-J-T-9-8-7-6-5-4 (low) – the same as in truc. Three cards were dealt to each player, and the non-dealer would lead off. His opponent would try and win the trick by playing a higher card. Remember: there were no trump cards and no suits to follow.

"The game was won by the first player to score 5 points over as many deals as necessary. Where both players played cards of equal value, that trick was tied and the player who led had to do so again. A player who won two tricks, or one trick when both the others were tied, won the hand, and scored one point. If the players each won a trick and the other trick was tied, the hand was deemed to be a draw and no points were scored – this was called “trick and tie”.

"What makes the game interesting, and gives it a quality similar to Brag, is that players try and ‘con’ their opponent by talking up their hand. Either player, when about to lead a card, may do one of three things:
1.  He can throw his hand in, thus conceding the deal and giving a point to the opponent.
2.  Lead a card without saying anything. His opponent must then play.
3.  Say “Put”, which is short for “I put it to you that you should throw your cards in while you have the chance.” If the opponent follows this advice, the deal ends and the putter scores 1 point. If not, it is a case of ‘put and see’ and the putter leads and the other must play.

"What this means is that a player with a weak hand may still win, by asserting the strength of his hand and hoping that his opponent will cave in. It led to much histrionics and double bluffing.
 Charles Cotton. The Compleat Gamester, (London, 1674).

"The game was mentioned in a book by Charles Cotton called The Compleat Gamester, (London, 1674).  Cotton was an intriguing person – a close friend of Isaac Walton and a contributor to his Compleat Angler, published in 1653. His Compleat Gamester was considered the “standard” English-language reference work on the playing of games – especially  games where betting was a popular feature, and including billiards, card games, dice, horse racing and cock fighting. His authorship of the book was not disclosed at the time it was first published, although it was acknowledged in some of the later editions. Poor Cotton died bankrupt in 1687 and is buried in St James Church Piccadilly.

"Various later editions of The Gamester appeared in the 18th Century. According to Cotton, Put was an extremely disreputable game. He called it “the ordinary rooking game of every place” and much of his chapter on Put is devoted to a description of various common types of cheating. This might be done by marking the cards, or introducing cards from another pack, etc. He also explained “The High Game”, in which the cards were stacked so as to deal the victim a three and two twos, while the dealer dealt himself a two and two threes. The non-dealer would fancy his chances and call ”Put” and perhaps agree some extra wager on the side, which the dealer would then “see” and win. Cotton remarked that you were unlikely to get away with this more than once against the same player!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - Skittles & Cards at a Local 17C Tavern or Inn Garden

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday taverns in the centuries before commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. 
David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) Playing Cards and Skittles outside the local tavern.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 16C & 17C Elites Promenade, Court, & Listen to Music in a private Garden

Gardens were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation in the centuries before public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others.
Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Promenading in a Garden

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Monday, October 24, 2016

17C Men, Women, & Children Celebrating at a Local Tavern or Inn Garden Terrace

This gathering is taking place on one of the little garden terraces, that tavern owners began to attach to their inns during this period for the use of the general populace.  Dutch artist Jan Steen (1626-1569) is best known for his upbeat genre paintings depicting scenes from everyday life. 

Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) Celebrating on a Garden Terrace

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday inns & taverns in the centuries before commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

16C & 17C Elites gather for a concert in a large Formal Garden

Gardens were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation in the centuries before public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic.  For recreation, elites enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others.


Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) In the Park of a Classic Palace

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sports & Games - Brawling - 17C Outside a Local Tavern or Inn

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & even occasional fights at everyday inns & taverns in the centuries before more refined commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.  
Pieter Angillis (Flemish, 1685-1734) Peasants Brawling outside a local Tavern

Friday, October 21, 2016

16C & 17C Elites at The Escorial, near Madrid,

Royal Gardens were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.


Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) In the Gardens at The Escorial, near Madrid, Spain. Note: Few, if any, women are depicted on the lower level immediately in front of the entrance to The Escorial, and few are on the upper level.

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

17C Dancing on a Local Tavern or Inn's Garden Terrace

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday inns & taverns in the centuries before more dignified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.   
Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) The Dancing Couple 1663

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 16C & 17C Elites celebratng with Music & Food in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.


Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Dining in a Garden

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 17C Locals Enjoying Dinner & Music Dinner on a Tavern or Inn's Garden Terrace

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday inns & taverns in the centuries before more dignified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.  
Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) A Meal & Music under the Inn's Garden Arbor 1650