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  1. #1
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    Smile please help, I'm in trouble

    Hello everyone
    here is my problem, I'm a French student in France, and I am setting up an exhibition in English for English visitors (this is my student project for university), this is about the cathedral of Chartres. Well my "English-checker" dumped at the last minute and I have to find very nice people who could review some bits here and there. This is very important, the exhibition is to start next week
    I paste some, if you could spot the mistakes or things unclear, just underline them, I'll do the rest.
    Many many thanks
    Barbra

    The Annunciation of the Birth of the Virgin to his Father Joachim
    Joachim’s offering in the Temple was refused by the high priest because of his sterility. He has withdrawn ashamed and desperate among the shepherds. An angel appears to him and foretells him the birth of a girl. The commission of this group and the three following ones dated back to the 2nd of January 1519 and gave a very precise description of the work to be done. Joachim had to be represented “at the age forty or about”, the artist was given two models and had to reproduce them: the “stories are portrayed and made in black and white on two pieces of cloth”. Joachim listens to the miraculous annunciation, his eyes are raised towards the messenger angel of heaven (today missing, the statue was sealed onto the wall of the niche). A shepherd sitting on the foreground plays the bagpipe. The instrument is broken but the base of the mouthpiece pipe is visible at the top of the bag. At the back of the niche, a second shepherd carries at the belt shearing tools which are accurately represented. Soulas managed to express the opposite feelings of the characters: the sadness of Joachim and the joy of the shepherds trying to entertain him. The sculptor could not make the scene larger because the niche, leaned onto the pillar of the crossing, was too narrow.

    The Annunciation of the Birth of the Virgin to her Mother Ann
    Ann, left by her husband, stays in her bedroom. An angel comes to foretell her future maternity. The scene makes a pair with the previous one, as much by the theme as the composition. Ann looks as old as Joachim; she is lonely and disheartened, in company of her maid Judith. Before the arrival of the angel (missing too), she was praying kneeled down before her prayer book put on a small lectern equipped with a lock. Her knees left a mark on the cushion. The head of a water spaniel dog emerges on the foreground on the right. The attitude of Ann is similar to that of Joachim: the face raised and looking away shows her loneliness. The treatment is very minute: the bed, the oratory and the stool, are finely treated and are models of woodwork.

    Ann and Joachim Meet at the Golden Gate, by Jehan Soulas in 1519
    After the marvellous annunciation, Ann and Joachim meet up at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. They are and happy and they embrace each other. Ann has come with her maid and Joachim along with his greyhound dog- but there are only his legs left. Behind Jerusalem is represented as a rich and beautiful medieval town. This scene refers more to the eastern iconographic tradition. This kiss exchanged is the prelude of the birth of the Virgin and also the symbol of the Immaculate Conception.

    The Birth of the Virgin, by Jehan Soulas in 1519
    This is the first bath of the Virgin, who is cared by Ann’s maid and the women of the neighbourhood. A maid with broken arms is bent over Ann. The latter lies in “a bed with pillars and a cloth encircling the pillars in the way of a bed curtain”, the commission stipulated. A woman, in a natural gesture, presents the new-born child. Another one standing, rather stiff, holds a “silver-like pot” about to pour the water bath into a tub put on the ground. Soulas made a very realistic familiar scene which introduces believers into the family intimacy of the Virgin. This is not only a religious scene but a genre scene in line with the medieval tradition. The Birth of the Virgin is the last scene that Soulas was commissioned in 1519; it is the most accomplished by the expression and movement.

    The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
    The parents of three-year-old Mary accompany her in the Temple in order to consecrate her to God. On the background, the child Mary climbs on her own the ritual fifteen steps leading to the altar of the sanctuary. Her seriousness and contemplation contrast with the cheerful scene on the foreground: Ann and Joachim animatedly chat; a little boy holding an extremely realistic basket pulls the dress of his mother who looks at the Virgin going away. There again, the familiar scene offsets the religious aspect. These groups as well as the two following ones were ordered to Soulas on the 3rd of March 1520 (the commission was unfortunately lost). The composition of the scene is probably faithful to the description made in the commission, and one can suppose that Soulas was given precise models, like for the previous scenes.


    The Wedding of the Virgin by Jehan Soulas in 1520-1521
    At the age of fourteen and in accordance with the Law of Moses, the Virgin has to be married. Before the high priest blessing them, Mary and Joseph hold their hand, a symbol of their marital union. The upset character on the left is a supplanted suitor of the Virgin. He leans onto a deadwood stick, symbolising his reject. On the background, two witnesses attend the wedding. The scene apparently does not take place in the Temple but in open air, faithfully to the Jewish tradition which considers the wedding as a civil act and not a sacrament. The features of Joseph remind one of the face of King Francis I, reigning over France for a few years then. The sculptor paid tribute to the young King.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: please help, I'm in trouble

    I can start:

    He has withdrawn ashamed- he withdrew
    An angel appears to him and foretells him the birth of a girl.- You jump to the present and back to the past in the next sentence- I stick to the present
    The commission of this group and the three following ones dated- here I would use 'dates'
    A shepherd sitting on the foreground plays the bagpipe- bagpipes
    a second shepherd carries at the belt shearing tools- carries shearing tools on his belt

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
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    Default Re: please help, I'm in trouble

    The Annunciation of the Birth of the Virgin to her Mother Ann
    Ann, left by her husband, stays in her bedroom. An angel comes to foretell her future maternity. The scene makes a pair with the previous one, as much by the theme as the composition. Ann looks as old as Joachim; she is lonely and disheartened, (I'd delete this comma) in the company of her maid Judith. Before the arrival of the angel (missing too), she was praying, kneeling down before her prayer book placed on a small lectern equipped with a lock. Her knees left a mark on the cushion. The head of a water spaniel dog emerges on the foreground on the right. The attitude of Ann is similar to that of Joachim: the face raised and looking away shows her loneliness. The treatment is very detailed: the bed, the oratory and the stool, are finely treated and are models of woodwork.

    Ann and Joachim Meet at the Golden Gate, by Jehan Soulas in 1519
    After the marvellous annunciation, Ann and Joachim meet up at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. They are and (something missing here) happy and they embrace each other. Ann has come with her maid and Joachim with his greyhound dog- but there are only his legs left. Behind, Jerusalem is represented as a rich and beautiful medieval town. This scene refers (alludes?) more to the eastern iconographic tradition. This kiss exchanged is the prelude of the birth of the Virgin and also the symbol of the Immaculate Conception.

    The Birth of the Virgin, by Jehan Soulas in 1519
    This is the first bath of the Virgin, who is cared for by Ann’s maid and the women of the neighbourhood. A maid with broken arms is bent over Ann. The latter lies in “a bed with pillars and a cloth encircling the pillars in the way of a bed curtain”, the commission stipulated. A woman, in a natural posture, presents the new-born child. Another one standing, rather stiff, holds a “silver-like pot” about to pour the water bath into a tub put on the ground. Soulas made a very realistic familiar scene which introduces believers into the family intimacy of the Virgin. This is not only a religious scene but a genre scene in line with the medieval tradition. The Birth of the Virgin is the last scene that Soulas was commissioned to make in 1519; it is the most accomplished in expression and movement.

    The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
    The parents of three-year-old Mary accompany her in the Temple in order to consecrate her to God. On the background, the child Mary climbs the ritual fifteen steps leading to the altar of the sanctuary on her own. Her seriousness and contemplation contrast with the cheerful scene in the foreground: Ann and Joachim animatedly chat; a little boy holding an extremely realistic basket pulls the dress of his mother who looks at the Virgin going away. There again, the familiar scene offsets the religious aspect. These groups as well as the two following ones were ordered from Soulas on the 3rd of March 1520 (the commission was unfortunately lost). The composition of the scene is probably faithful to the description made in the commission, and one can suppose that Soulas was given precise models, like for the previous scenes.


    The Wedding of the Virgin by Jehan Soulas in 1520-1521
    At the age of fourteen and in accordance with the Law of Moses, the Virgin has to be married. Before the high priest blessing them, Mary and Joseph hold hands, a symbol of their marital union. The upset character on the left is a supplanted suitor of the Virgin. He leans on a deadwood stick, symbolising his reject. On the background, two witnesses attend the wedding. The scene apparently does not take place in the Temple but in open air, faithful to the Jewish tradition which considers the wedding as a civil act and not a sacrament. The features of Joseph remind one of the face of King Francis I, reigning over France for a few years then. The sculptor paid tribute to the young King.

    I've made a few suggestions in red.

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