Russian Christmas fortune telling & Fortune Tellers thru the ages


Russian Mykola Pymonenko (Russian artist, 1862-1912), Yuletide Fortune Tellers  1888
In Russia, there is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day (January 7), when many practicing Christians do not eat any meat. The Christmas Lent period ends with the 1st star in the night sky on January 6 – a symbol of Jesus Christ’s birth. Christmas Eve marks the start of an old Slavic holiday, Svyatki, which lasts until January 19, the day Russian Orthodox Epiphany is celebrated. During this 2-week period old traditions of fortune telling & caroling are carried on by many residents. Some cook vareniki, a kind of stuffed dumplings filled with mushrooms & potatoes plus “telling objects” – tomatoes for love; coins for wealth; a bay leaves for jobs & fame; rings for weddings; & thread for travel. Some drop melting wax into water & use the resulting shapes to predict the future.  Some set fire to a crumpled piece of paper using the burnt remains to fortell coming events. I will begin this post with a few Russian fortune telling paintings & then look chronologically at fortune tellers from a variety of countries.

Orest Kiprensky (Russian artist, 1782-1836) Fortune Teller with a Candle 1828

Konstantin Makovsky (Russian artist, 1839-1915) Christmas Fortune Telling

Mikhail Vrubel (Russian painter, 1856-1910) The Fortune Teller

Lucas Van Leiden (Dutch painter, 1494-1533) The Fortune Teller

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian painter, 1573-1610) Fortune teller

Jacob Van Velsen (Dutch artist, 1597-1656) The Fortune Teller

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian painter, 1573-1610) Fortune teller II

Jean Valentin de Boulogne (French artist, 1591-1632) Fortune Teller Detail

Nicolas Régnier (Flemish painter, 1591–1667) Cardsharps and Fortune Teller Detail

Nicolas Régnier (Flemish painter, 1591–1667) Game with Fortune Teller Detail

Nicolas Régnier (Flemish painter, 1591–1667) The Fortune Teller

Jean Valentin de Boulogne (French artist, 1591-1632) Cheerful Company with Fortune Teller Detail

Bonheur Rosa or Georges De La Tour (French artist, 1593-1652) The Fortune Teller

Georges De La Tour (French artist, 1593-1652) Fortune Teller 1632-35

Jan Cossiers (Flemish painter, 1600-1671) Fortune Telling

Antone Pesne (French artist, 1683-1757) Fortune Teller 1710

Jean Antoine Watteau (French artist, 1684-1721) The Fortune Teller

Jean Baptiste Joseph Pater (French artist, 1695-1736) The Fortune Teller

Pietro Longhi (Venetian painter, 1701-1785)  The Fortune Teller Detail

Joshua Reynolds (English artist, 1723-1797) Young Fortune Teller

Pietro Longhi (Venetian painter, 1701-1785) The Fortune Teller Detail

Joshua Reynolds (English artist, 1723-1797) The Gypsy Fortune Teller

Pietro Longhi (Venetian painter, 1701-1785) A Fortune Teller at Venice 1756 Detail

Francois Joseph Navez (Belgian artist, 1787-1869) The Fortune Teller

David White (Scottish artist, 1785-1841)  Josephine and the Fortune Teller

William Sidney Mount (American artist, 1807-1868) Dregs in the Cup Fortune Telling 1838

Diaz de la Pena Narcisse (French artist, 1807-1896) Gipsies Listening tho the Prophecies of a Fortune Teller

Abraham Solomon (English artist, 1824-1862) Doubtful Fortune

Henry John van Lennep (American artist, 1815–1889) Gypsy Fortune Teller

Platt Powell Ryder (American artist, 1821-1896) The Tale of the Cup

Edward John Poynter (British artist, 1836-1919) The Fortune Teller

Frederic Bazille (French artist, 1841-1870) The Fortune Teller 1869

Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter (French artist, 1844-1913) The Fortune Teller

Jean Georges Vibert (French artist, 1840-1902) The Fortune Teller

Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Shall I Tell Your Fortune 1876

Luca Sacco (American artist, 1858–1912) The Fortune Teller

Nikolaos Gyzis (Greek artist, 1842-1901) The Fortune Teller

Edgar Degas (French artist, 1834-1917) Mary Cassatt With Cards 1888

Robert Loftin Newman (American artist, 1827-1912)   The Fortune Teller 1894

Frances Hodgkins (New Zealand artist, 1869-1947) Fortune Teller 1896

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American artist, 1851-1938)  The Fortune Teller

Alfons Spring (German artist, 1843-1908) The Fortune Teller

Colin Campbell Cooper (American painter, 1856-1937)  Fortune Teller 1921

Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish artist, 1862-1946) ) The Fortune-Teller (Woman in Yellow Dress), 1926

Tamara de Lempicka (Polish Art Deco artist,  Russia 1898–1980 Mexico) The Fortune Teller

4 responses

  1. ein frohes neues jahr ich selbert bin eine romantische seele aber habe respeckt vor moderne kunst alles liebe weiterhin von jasmin damaro

    2014/01/04 at 3:37 pm

    • Vielen Dank, Endschuldigung für meine späte Antwort, ich war lange nicht auf wordpress…vielen Dank für dein Kommentar.

      2014/01/31 at 12:14 pm

  2. Einen schönen guten Morgen das sind ja ganz tolle Gemälde wunderschön,die haben bestimmt in echt ihren Wert.Wünsche dir auch eine gute neue Woche lieber Gruß Gislinde

    2013/11/04 at 10:27 am

    • Vielen Dank Gislinde, ja sie zu besitzen, würde einen wahnsinnigen Wert bedeuten, Man sieht es jetzt an dem Fund in München…
      liebe Grüße Helga und einen schönen Abend

      2013/11/06 at 6:03 pm