La Saint-Valentin

Saint Valentine, officially Saint Valentine of Rome, was a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint, commemorated in Christianity on February 14. Since the Middle Ages he is associated with a tradition of courtly love.  In French it is La Saint-Valentin, and is almost as widely celebrated as it is in the UK.

 St Valentine of Terni (central Italy), illumination in a 14th Century French manuscript now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

The story goes that Valentine was a Roman priest during the reign of Claudis II, a time when Christianity was abolished. Valentine was caught secretly marrying Christian couples, and was martyred.  Thenceforth he became the symbol of love.

  “Lovers in the sky of Nice” by French artist, Marc Chagall, Valentine’s Day 1964

  post-cards became popular in France around 1890, soon after they became popular in Britain. This one says “sincere wishes”.

 sweet Valentine painting by Jean H Fragonard (1732-1806, Grasse, south of France)

  by French artist Watteau (1684-1721), now in the Louvre, Paris

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Posted on 14/02/2019 by Catherine
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