Father Time

Last updated

Father time 7765.jpg
A 19th-century Father Time with Baby New Year
LoC-Rotunda-Clock-detail-Father-Time.jpeg
Detail of Father Time in the Rotunda Clock (1896)
Fountain of Time July 2013 3.jpg
Father Time in Fountain of Time
Elizabeth-I-Allegorical-Po.jpg
Allegorical portrait of Elizabeth I with Father Time at her right in the background and Death at her left (~1610)

Father Time is the personification of time. In recent centuries he is usually depicted as an elderly bearded man, sometimes with wings, dressed in a robe and carrying a scythe and an hourglass or other timekeeping device (which represents time's constant one-way movement, and more generally and abstractly, entropy).

Contents

As an image "Father Time's origins are curious". [1] The ancient Greeks themselves began to associate chronos, their word for time, with the agricultural god Cronos, who had the attribute of a harvester's sickle. The Romans equated Cronos with Saturn, who also had a sickle, and was treated as an old man, often with a crutch. The wings and hour-glass were early Renaissance additions, and he eventually became a companion of the Grim Reaper, personification of Death, often taking his scythe. He may have as an attribute a snake with its tail in its mouth, an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity. [2]

Father Time on an Irish memorial stone, displaying an empty hourglass to a mourning widow Grave memorial 3.jpg
Father Time on an Irish memorial stone, displaying an empty hourglass to a mourning widow

New Year

Around New Year's Eve, the media (in particular editorial cartoons) use the convenient trope [3] of Father Time as the personification of the previous year (or "the Old Year") who typically "hands over" the duties of time to the equally allegorical Baby New Year (or "the New Year") or who otherwise characterizes the preceding year. [4] [5] In these depictions, Father Time is usually depicted wearing a sash with the old year's date on it.

Time (in his allegorical form) is often depicted revealing or unveiling the allegorical Truth, sometimes at the expense of a personification of Falsehood, Fraud, or Envy. This theme is related to the idea of veritas filia temporis (Time is the father of Truth).

In the arts

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, c. 1544-45, Agnolo Bronzino Angelo Bronzino - Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time - National Gallery, London.jpg
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time , c. 1544–45, Agnolo Bronzino

Father Time is an established symbol in numerous cultures, and appears in a variety of art and media. In some cases, they appear specifically as Father Time, while in other cases they may have another name (such as Saturn) but the characters demonstrate the attributes which Father Time has acquired over the centuries.

Art

Paintings
Chronos and his child by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, National Museum in Warsaw, is a 17th-century depiction of Titan Cronus as "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe Romanelli Chronos and his child.jpg
Chronos and his child by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, National Museum in Warsaw, is a 17th-century depiction of Titan Cronus as "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe
Father Time statue atop a grave at Mount Moriah Cemetery Mt Moriah Philly John H Jones grave.JPG
Father Time statue atop a grave at Mount Moriah Cemetery
Sculpture

Books

Business and industry

Comics, magazines and periodicals

Film and television

Music

See also

Related Research Articles

Allegory Literary device

As a literary device, an allegory is a narrative, whether in prose or verse, in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred widely throughout history in all forms of art, largely because it can readily illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.

Jan Brueghel the Elder Flemish painter

Jan Brueghelthe Elder was a Flemish painter and draughtsman. He was the son of the eminent Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder. A close friend and frequent collaborator with Peter Paul Rubens, the two artists were the leading Flemish painters in the first three decades of the 17th century.

Chronos Ancient Greek mythological Titan and personification of time

Chronos is the personification of time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature.

Skeleton (undead) undead creature

A skeleton is a type of physically manifested undead often found in fantasy, gothic and horror fiction, and mythical art. Most are human skeletons, but they can also be from any creature or race found on Earth or in the fantasy world.

Helvetia female national personification of Switzerland

Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confoederatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation.

Symbols of death are the symbolic, often allegorical, portrayal of death in various cultures. For allegorical figures that portray death, see Death (personification).

Palazzo Pubblico city hall

The Palazzo Pubblico is a palace in Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. Construction began in 1297 to serve as the seat of the Republic of Siena's government, which consisted of the Podestà and Council of Nine, the elected officials who performed executive functions.

<i>Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time</i> painting by Bronzino

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time is an allegorical painting of about 1545 by the Florentine painter Agnolo Bronzino. It is now in the National Gallery, London. Scholars do not know for certain what the painting depicts.

Allegory in the Middle Ages

Allegory in the Middle Ages was a vital element in the synthesis of biblical and classical traditions into what would become recognizable as medieval culture. People of the Middle Ages consciously drew from the cultural legacies of the ancient world in shaping their institutions and ideas, and so allegory in medieval literature and medieval art was a prime mover for the synthesis and transformational continuity between the ancient world and the "new" Christian world.

Personification An anthropomorphic metaphor in which a thing or abstraction is represented as a person

Personification occurs when a thing or abstraction is represented as a person, in literature or art, as an anthropomorphic metaphor. The type of personification discussed here excludes passing literary effects such as "Shadows hold their breath", and covers cases where a personification appears as a character in literature, or a human figure in art. The technical term for this, since ancient Greece, is prosopopoeia. In the arts many things are commonly personified. These include numerous types of places, especially cities, countries and the four continents, elements of the natural world such as the months or Four Seasons, Four Elements, Four Winds, Five Senses, and abstractions such as virtues, especially the four cardinal virtues and sins, the nine Muses, or death.

<i>The Allegory of Love</i> book by C.S. Lewis

The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (1936), by C. S. Lewis (ISBN 0192812203), is an exploration of the allegorical treatment of love in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which was published on May 21, 1936.

Grim Reaper (comics) Supervillain in Marvel Comics

Grim Reaper is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is also the brother of Wonder Man.

Hendrick van Balen Flemish painter

Hendrick van Balen or Hendrick van Balen I was a Flemish Baroque painter and stained glass designer. Hendrick van Balen specialised in small cabinet pictures often painted on a copper support. His favourite themes were mythological and allegorical scenes and, to a lesser extent, religious subjects. The artist played an important role in the renewal of Flemish painting in the early 17th century and was one of the teachers of Anthony van Dyck.

Marie de Medici cycle series of twenty-four paintings by Peter Paul Rubens commissioned by Marie de Medici

The Marie de' Medici Cycle is a series of twenty-four paintings by Peter Paul Rubens commissioned by Marie de' Medici, widow of Henry IV of France, for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. Rubens received the commission in the autumn of 1621. After negotiating the terms of the contract in early 1622, the project was to be completed within two years, coinciding with the marriage of Marie's daughter, Henrietta Maria. Twenty-one of the paintings depict Marie's own struggles and triumphs in life. The remaining three are portraits of herself and her parents. The paintings now hang in the Louvre in Paris.

Frans Francken the Younger Flemish painter

Frans Francken the Younger was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. Francken created altarpieces and painted furniture panels, but his reputation chiefly relies on his small and delicate cabinet pictures with historical, mythological, or allegorical themes. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in many genres including genre painting and his introduction of new subject matter. He was a frequent collaborator of leading Antwerp painters of his time.

Theodoor van Thulden painter

Theodoor van Thulden was a painter, draughtsman and engraver from 's-Hertogenbosch. He is mainly known for his altarpieces, mythological subjects, allegorical works and portraits. He was active in Antwerp, where he had trained, as well as in Paris and his native 's-Hertogenbosch.

<i>Time Unveiling Truth</i> (Tiepolo) painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Time Unveiling Truth is a painting by the Italian painter Tiepolo. It is now on display in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in Boston, Massachusetts. Father Time is shown on a chariot with a scythe uncovering the body of a female figure of Truth.

<i>The Allegory of Faith</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Allegory of Faith, also known as Allegory of the Catholic Faith, is a painting created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in about 1670–1672. It has been in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1931.

<i>Allegory of Wisdom and Strength</i> C. 1565 painting by Paolo Veronese

Allegory of Wisdom and Strength or Wisdom and Strength is a painting by Paolo Veronese, created circa 1565 in Venice, Italy and now located in the Frick Collection. It is a large-scale allegorical painting depicting Divine Wisdom personified on the left and Hercules, representing Strength and earthly concerns, on the right. Wisdom gazes heavenward while Hercules looks down on jewels below him. The conflict between divine and mortal affairs is central in this allegorical painting.

<i>Herculess Dog Discovers Purple Dye</i> painting by Peter Paul Rubens

Hercules's Dog Discovers Purple Dye or The Discovery of Purple by Hercules's Dog is an oil painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens painted circa 1636, towards the end of his career. It depicts the mythical discovery of Tyrian purple by Hercules and his dog, and was one of dozens of oil on panel sketches made by Rubens for the decoration of the Torre de la Parada in Spain. A completed painting based on Rubens's sketch was made by Theodoor van Thulden in 1636-8, and is now held by the Prado Museum.

References

  1. Hall, 119
  2. Hall, 119-120
  3. Mike Luckovich Copyright 2010 Creators Syndicate. "Father time takes a beating – Foreign Relations Political and Editorial Cartoons". The Week. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  4. "The Father Time Comics and Cartoons – Cartoonist Group – Lisa Benson's Editorial Cartoons". Cartoonist Group. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  5. dePIXion studios www.depixion.com. "AAEC – Political Cartoons". Editorialcartoonists.com. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  6. "An Allegory of Truth and Time". Royal Collection Trust. 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  7. "Museo Nacional del Prado: On-line gallery". Museodelprado.es. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  8. "A Dance to the Music of Time". The Wallace Collection. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  9. "Theodoor van Thulden: Time Revealing Truth, c. 1650". Vivat! Crescat! Floreat!. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  10. "Time Reveals the Truth. The Allegory" . Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  11. "Sebastiano Ricci Belluno 1659-1734 Venice". Christie's. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  12. "Time Unveiling Truth". The National Gallery. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  13. "Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy". The Wallace Collection. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  14. "Truth Unveiled by Time - Civic Art Gallery of Palazzo Chiericati - Musei Civici Vicenza". www.museicivicivicenza.it. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  15. Plock, Phillippa (2011). "Time Uncovering Truth". Waddesdon Collection. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  16. "Time Unveiling Truth". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  17. "Truth, Time and History". Nationalmuseum. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  18. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Clock with Father Time". Metmuseum.org. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  19. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Father Time on a Globe; Design for a Clock". Metmuseum.org. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  20. "Truth Revealed by Time | Galleria Borghese - Sito ufficiale". galleriaborghese.beniculturali.it. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  21. "Digital Collection of Classic Comic Strips". Comic Strip Library. 31 December 1905. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  22. "Digital Collection of Classic Comic Strips". Comic Strip Library. 29 December 1907. Retrieved 12 August 2012.