For comments mail P.H.Gommers@skynet.be


Nathaniel Hawthorn, 1804-1864 is an American writer of novels and short stories. He rewrote and interpreted six classical Greek myths for boys and girls, taking into account the puritan attitude of the Victorian area. He named the bundle, Tanglewood Tales, after the name of the cabin he rented to write the stories. It was edited in 1853 by Ticknor, Reed & Fields in Boston with some illustrations. The name of the illustrator is not mentioned.

After a number of reissues, appeared in 1903 the Tanglewood Tales with illustrations by the French/British well known illustrator Edmond Dulac, in english 'Edmund' Dulac, at Hadder& Stroughton, London.  He illustrated, about all the known children books, made paintings, now sold as posters and designed stamps of the crowned heads of the kingdom. He was one of the first, who let the colours make the form of his illustrations without enclosing his figures and objects with black pencil. He introduced 14 beautiful colour prints; not all  referred to one of the six tales. Among which there was his prent of Europe and the bull. This illustration is said to be out of his blue period.


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In 1921 Tanglewood Tales were translated in French under the name of: La Toison d'or et quelques autres contes de la Grèce ancienne, illustré par Edmond Dulac. La Toison d'or being the Golden Fleece, the sixth and last tale of the original book. As writer or editor is mentioned Charles Guyot, and came out at H.Piazza, Paris. The original english version and writer is not mentioned. The 14 illustrations are the same as in the English edition, and so is Europe and the bull.

His design under 28_02 came out as a poster. And is again from his blue period.



American and English editions continued to appear with other illustrators, most of them without Europe. An exception is the issue from Penn Publishing Cpmpany, Philadelphia, 1921 with 10 illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterret, 1900-1931. Her Europe on the bull became the title print of the book.


Antwerp, 1 july

European culture is particularly evident in its literary development, based on Homerus and its classical antiquity mingled with the values of Christianity and humanism. During about two/thirds of its history Latin was used as the unique written language.The literary offspring into regional (later national) languages maintained its mutual influence resulting in the wellknown different European literary trends since the Renaissance. Travelling and migrating artists, scientists, church dignataries, artisans and merchants kept  the literary traditions and developments alive throughout Europe. Of course translations and knowledge of several languages were  helpful in struments.
The Dutch daily, Volkskrant, 7 jni 2014, discussed Dutch translations of 5 books in five different European languages on the short list for the European Literature prize.(a Dutch initiative). A review of European literature is given in the Dutch 'Nieuwe literatuurgeschiedenis', , Meulenhoff, Amsterdam,1994. The interrelationsship of European culture is brilliantly described in Made in Europe by Pieter Steinz, Nieuw Amsterdam uitgevers, 2014, It will be translated in English.
The indicated article is accompanied by a caracturial print of Europe on the bullgod. On top of the print a ornamental letter looking like a closed E or Ɛ-epsilon has been added





The head of the bull looks like a caricature of a man with devil horns. The designer and interpretation is not clear yet.



Nicolas de Fer, publisher and engraver, 1646-1720, became the French court provider of maps, atlasses and city streetmaps. In 1694 he published a worldmap with two hemispheres, His son in law, geographer Guillaume Danet, active between 1700-1730, designed the map and Hendrik van Loondonnée made the engraving and the colouring. The written  geographic descriptions on the map are from de Fer himself. Size 78 - 110,5 cm.


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On its basis the four continents are represented by female figures with attributes pointing to each continent. In the middle America and on the right  Lady Europe, apparently sitting on the bull, petting with her right hand the bull's head, just recognizable against the white of the title inscription. 


Amsterdam, 1 august.


Roman oil lamps of red earthware abound all over the Roman empire. Lamps with mythical Gods and myths originate mainly from Egypt from the first and second century AD. The  Europe with bullZeus image designed on the basin is rather classical, with her shawl neatly floating above her. (D.M.Bailey, Cataloque of the lamps in the British Museum, 1975)

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The grip of the lamp shows a crowned woman with a baby in her arms. Given the probable period, it could be the goddess Serapis, from the widespread religion all over the Roman empire. This religion was started by the Ptolomacs in an apparent endeavour to integrate the different religions of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The connection between the handle and the body of the lamp appears to show a face, eyes, nose, mouth.
The little hole in the middle  is customary and lets the air/oxygen in when the lamp is burning.

The lamp was for sale on internet, and subsequently sold on the website of the auctionhouse of classical artifacts, Edgar L. Owen.com, USA


September 1, An attentive observer, Belgium


In 2013 Marseille had been chosen as the European cultural capital. Given the close links between the cities of Beiruth and Marseille, the municipality of Beiruth offered Marseille on this occasion a large statue of 'Europe on bull-Zeus', expressing the ancient Phoenician links between the two cities.


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The sculpture was made by the Libanese artist George Merheb. On the right (28_10) the design and on the left the statue in rusted steel. it has been placed on the rondpoint de Bonnefon and inaugurated by the maires and representatives of the two cities on Thursday, 7 November 2013.  The huge horns of the bull, give the impression of an African ox. The flowing hair of Europe could suggest her bulging shawl on ancient pictures. 


Marseille, info city of Marseille,  1 october 2014



  The biannual De Hollandsche Mercurius was the forerunner of the Europische Mercurius issued in Amsterdam between 1690 -1756,(see first half 2014).
De Hollansche Mercurius was edited and issued by Peter Casteleyn, bookprinter and seller, called "In de Keijsers Kroon, situated "op het Zandt", in Haarlem.
It ran from 1650 to 1690. Only the  initials H.M of the editor are mentioned. Most issues have a frontprent with either Mercurius or The Dutch Maiden, or Peace, or Mars etc. Only the 1688 issue shows a prent with Lady Europe sitting on the bull.






Europe riding Bull-Zeus with her hands raised to heaven, because of wars starting in Europe. William III, Stadhouder of Holland, Prince of Orange enters with a big army and invaded England. Princess Mary of England and a committee of protestant English nobelmen invited him over to chase the catholic Stuart king James II  o. William marries princess Mary and they  become king and queen of Great Britain. French Louis XIV, favouring king James declares war to king William the third. France attacks Austrian southern part of the Netherlands. William forms the, European-wide, League of Augsburg, So started the nine years war.The war spread to the new colonies in America, where French, Indians and English tried to improve their positions; The upperhalf of the prent an Indian with a feather in his hair is shown. Below Europe is confronted with the seagod Poseidon and on the left probably his wife, goddess Amphitrite. The prent is not accompanied by a poem or other explanation.


Gent University Library,    1 November 201




The over 300 years running  German porcelain factory, Hutschenreuther, produced in the second half of the 20th century a cake-set with 12 plates (12cm). Each plate features one of the twelve zodiac signs. The design was from Ole Winthers. On the plate representing the Taurus-constellation, we see the stars of the constellation making the head and horns of the bull. The remaining design on the plate indicates that Taurus represents here the bull from the Europe myth, Europe is riding on the bull, who arrives on the island of Crete.




 Some ancient mythologists wrote that Zeus sent the bull, bringing Europe to Crete, in gratitude to the Heavens. According to the Europe myth, Zeus changed himself into the bull, bringing Europe to Crete himself. The eagle design with crown indicates that God/Zeus is here present, meaning the swimming bull is God/Zeus. But in that case he could not have been sent to the Heavens of the zodiac.The heavenly body on the left does not help in finding a way out of this dilemma.


Bois-Le-Duc,  1 December 2014        Thanks for the gift of Mr. ² Mrs. A. Weiler/Gerritsen