At the moment we have an exhibition at the Royal Academy entitled “Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932” which is being widely marketed.
|Shrovetide (1916) by Boris Kustodiev|
So seeing Wikipedia’s picture of the day 12th February 2017 caused me to take note more intently and look further than I might otherwise have done.
This quick search gave me the content for this post … with a few creative additions … who could not resist Boris Kustodiev’s (1878 – 1927) “Shrovetide” painting and want to know more … ?
|Maslenitsa (1878) by|
… I had never heard of ‘Maslenitsa’ or the last week of Shrovetide … an Eastern Slavic (particularly Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian) religious and folk holiday celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, also known as Butter Week, Crepe Week, or Cheesefare Week … of as you might expect pagan tradition.
Then the next link on Kustodiev’s art work is to Shrovetide – hence the title of the post … here we learn more of the Christian pre-Lenten Season.
|Shrove Tuesday: Pieter Brueghel the Elder,|
"The Fight Between Carnival and Lent" (1559)
To many of us this means pancake day … the last day before Lent and Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) when we keep to a fast … in today’s age we are meant to eat frugally … but in earlier times the extras were meant to be used up: so having lots of pancakes helped the extra milk, butter, flour, sugar, eggs to go down … the larder is now sparse … until Easter – six weeks hence.
|Kustodiev- a self-portrait (1912)|
So this one Wiki picture of the day introduced me to a Russian artist – Kustodiev, who has a fascinating history (do read – positivity here for all his challenges) … while his paintings totally enamour me, and I hope you.
Gave me and you a post on folk traditions of Maslenitsa (Butter Week) … also very well worth reading, with some other amazing artists being shown.
|A Polish priest sprinkling ashes|
on the heads of worshippers
Then Shrovetide is our last day of feasting before Ash Wednesday tomorrow … when fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance are followed at the beginning of Lent.
Many are not so disciplined now-a-days … but it is good to remember the days of the past and the reasons for these religious seasonal occasions.
|English pancakes with sugar and lemon|
So if you are having pancakes – do enjoy them, remember our ancestors with their practices, and perhaps learn a little more about some artists, Ukrainian and Russian folklore …
… and if you are living in medieval times … then this is the required day for confessing our sins … or if you live in the Netherlands it is the Dutch tradition to eat salted herring on Ash Wednesday to conclude the Carnival …
|English scones with Cornish Cream|
and Strawberry Jam
It is also a time to make us think … as well as to enjoy our English pancakes, English scones, Scottish drop scones, latkes or boxty (in famine times made very simply with raw grated potato) … different names for ‘similar’ items … per my previous post on Boxty ...
Happy Pancake Day and take time to appreciate Kustodiev's paintings ... this page will take you to the others mentioned.
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