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St. Sebastian (Mantegna)

St. Sebastian is the subject of three paintings by the Italian Early Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna; the Paduan artist lived in a period of frequent plagues. In his long stay in Mantua, Mantegna resided near the San Sebastiano church dedicated to St. Sebastian, it has been suggested that the picture was made after Mantegna had recovered from the plague in Padua. Commissioned by the city's podestà to celebrate the end of the pestilence, it was finished before the artist left the city for Mantua. According to Battisti, the theme refers to the Book of Revelation. A rider is present in the clouds at the upper left corner; as specified in John's work, the cloud is white and the rider has a scythe, which he is using to cut the cloud. The rider has been interpreted as Saturn, the Roman-Greek god: in ancient times Saturn was identified with the Time that passed by and all left destroyed behind him. Instead of the classical figure of Sebastian tied to a pole in the Rome's Campo Marzio, the painter portrayed the saint against an arch, whether a triumphal arch or the gate of the city.

In 1457 the painter had been trialled for "artistical inadequacy" for having put only eight apostles in his fresco of the Assumption. As a reply, he therefore applied Alberti's Classicism principles in the following pictures, including this small St. Sebastian, though deformed by the nostalgic perspective of his own. Characteristic of Mantegna is the clarity of the surface, the precision of an "archaeological" reproduction of the architectonical details, the elegance of the martyr's posture; the vertical inscription at the right side of the saint is the signature of Mantegna in Greek. The Louvre's St. Sebastian was once part of the Altar of San Zeno in Verona. In the late 17th century-early 18th century it was recorded in the Sainte Chapelle of Aigueperse, in the Auvergne region of France: its presence there is related to the marriage of Chiara Gonzaga, daughter of Federico I of Mantua, with Gilbert de Bourbon, Dauphin d'Auvergne; the picture illustrates the theme of God's Athlete, inspired to a spurious sermon by St. Augustine.

The saint, again tied to a classical arch, is observed from an unusual, low perspective, used by the artist to enhance the impression of solidity and dominance of his figure. The head and eyes turned toward Heaven confirm Sebastian's firmness in bearing the martyrdom. At his feet two iniquitous people are shown: these are intended to create a contrast between the man of transcendent faith, those who are only attracted by profane pleasures. Apart from the symbolism, the picture is characterized by Mantegna's accuracy in the depictions of ancient ruins, as well as the detail in realistic particulars such as the fig tree next to the column and the description of Sebastian's body; the third St. Sebastian by Mantegna was painted some years although some art historians date it to around the same time as the Triumphs of Caesar or earlier due to the fake marble cornice, reminiscent of the painter's time in Padua, it is now in the Galleria Franchetti in Venice. It is quite different from the previous compositions, shows a marked pessimism.

The grandiose, tortured figure of the saint is depicted before a neutral, shallow background in brown colour. The artist's intentions for the work are explained by a banderol spiralling around an extinguished candle, in the lower right corner. Here, in Latin, it is written: Nihil nisi divinum stabile est. Caetera fumus; the inscription may have been necessary because the theme of life's fleetingness was not associated with pictures of Sebastian. The "M" letter formed by the crossing arrows over the saint's legs could stand for Morte or Mantegna, it can be identified as one of the works remaining in the artist's studio after his death in 1506. In the first half of the 16th century the work was in Pietro Bembo's house in Padua, where it was seen by Marcantonio Michiel. Via cardinal Bembo's heirs, in 1810, it was acquired by the anatomist and surgeon Antonio Scarpa for his collection in Pavia. On his death in 1832, the painting was inherited by his brother and his nephew in Motta di Livenza, where it remained until 1893, when it was acquired by Baron Giorgio Franchetti for the Ca' d'Oro, which he left to the city of Venice with its contents in 1916.

Anonimo, Notizia d'opere di disegno, a cura di Jacopo Morelli, Bassano, 1800. Alberta De Nicolò Salmazo, Electa, Milano 1997. Tatjana Pauli, serie Art Book, Leonardo Arte, Milano 2001. ISBN 9788883101878 Ettore Camesasca, Mantegna, in AA. VV. Pittori del Rinascimento, Firenze 2007. ISBN 888117099X Sergio Momesso, La collezione di Antonio Scarpa, 1752–1832, Cittadella, 2007. ISBN 9788886868242Zuffi, Stefano. Mantegna. Arnoldo Mondadori. Louvre's St. Sebastian

Venezuela at the 2016 Summer Paralympics

Venezuela competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, from 7 to 18 September 2016. Every participant at the Paralympics has their disability grouped into one of five disability categories; each Paralympic sport has its own classifications, dependent upon the specific physical demands of competition. Events are given a code, made of numbers and letters, describing the type of event and classification of the athletes competing; some sports, such as athletics, divide athletes by both the category and severity of their disabilities, other sports, for example swimming, group competitors from different categories together, the only separation being based on the severity of the disability. MenWomen With one pathway for qualification being one highest ranked NPCs on the UCI Para-Cycling male and female Nations Ranking Lists on 31 December 2014, Venezuela qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, assuming they continued to meet all other eligibility requirements. Men MenWomen MenWomen Men Venezuela at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Junk (ship)

A junk is a type of Chinese sailing ship. They were developed during the Song dynasty based on Austronesian ship designs which have been trading with the Eastern Han dynasty since the 2nd century AD, they continued to evolve in the dynasties, were predominantly used by Chinese traders throughout Southeast Asia. They were found, in lesser numbers are still found, throughout Southeast Asia and India, but in China. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats. Chinese junks referred to many types of coastal or river ships, they were cargo ships, pleasure boats, or houseboats. They vary in size and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig, however they all employ battened sails; the term "junk" was used in the colonial period to refer to any large to medium-sized ships of the Austronesian cultures in Island Southeast Asia, with or without the junk rig. Examples include the Indonesian and Malaysian jong, the Philippine lanong, the Maluku kora kora.

Views diverge on whether the origin of the word is from a dialect of Chinese, or from a Javanese word. The term may stem from the Chinese chuán based on and pronounced as in the Minnan variant of Chinese, or zhōu, the old word for a sailing vessel; the modern Standard Chinese word for an ocean-going wooden cargo vessel is cáo. Pierre-Yves Manguin and Zoetmulder, amongst others, points to an Old Javanese origin, in the form of "jong"; the word can be traced from an old Javanese inscription in the 9th century. It entered Malay and Chinese language by 15th century, when a Chinese word list identify it as Malay word for ship; the Malay Maritime Code, first drawn up in the late 15th century, uses jong as the word for freight ships. European writings from 1345 through 1601 use a variety of related terms, including jonque, joanga or juanga and jonk; these terms were applied to all large ships in Southeast Asia, not only to Chinese ships. The origin of the word "junk" in English language, can be traced to Potuguese word junco, rendered from Arabic word j-n-k.

This word comes from the fact that Arabic script cannot represent the digraph "ng". The word used to denote both Javanese/Malay ship and Chinese ship though the two were markedly different vessels. After the disappearance of jong in the 17th century, the meaning of "junk", which until was used as a transcription of the word "jong" in Malay and Javanese, changed its meaning to Chinese ship only; the historian Herbert Warington Smyth considered the junk as one of the most efficient ship designs, stating that "As an engine for carrying man and his commerce upon the high and stormy seas as well as on the vast inland waterways, it is doubtful if any class of vessel… is more suited or better adapted to its purpose than the Chinese or Indian junk, it is certain that for flatness of sail and handiness, the Chinese rig is unsurpassed." The sail of Chinese junks is an adoption of Malay junk sail, which used vegetal matting attached to bamboo battens, a practice originated from South East Asia. The full-length battens keep the sail flatter than ideal in all wind conditions.

Their ability to sail close to the wind is poorer than other fore-and-aft rigs. Classic junks were built of softwoods with the outside shape built first. Multiple internal compartment/bulkheads accessed by separate hatches and ladders, reminiscent of the interior structure of bamboo, were built in. Traditionally, the hull has a horseshoe-shaped stern supporting a high poop deck; the bottom is flat in a river junk with no keel, so that the boat relies on a daggerboard, leeboard or large rudder to prevent the boat from slipping sideways in the water. Ocean-going junks have a curved hull in section with a large amount of tumblehome in the topsides; the planking is edge nailed on a diagonal. Iron nails or spikes have been recovered from a Canton dig dated to circa 221 BC. For caulking the Chinese used a mix of ground lime with Tung oil together with chopped hemp from old fishing nets which set hard in 18 hours, but usefully remained flexible. Junks have narrow waterlines which accounts for their potential speed in moderate conditions, although such voyage data as we have indicates that average speeds on voyage for junks were little different from average voyage speeds of all traditional sail, i.e. around 4–6 knots.

The largest junks, the treasure ships commanded by Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, were built for world exploration in the 15th century, according to some interpretations may have been over 120 metres in length, or larger. This conjecture was based on the size of a rudder post, found and misinterpreted, using formulae applicable to modern engine powered ships. More careful analysis shows that the rudder post, found is smaller than the rudder post shown for a 70' long Pechili Trader in Worcester's "Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze". Another characteristic of junks, interior compartments or bulkheads, strengthened the ship and slowed flooding in case of holing. Ships built in this manner were written of in Zhu Yu's book Pingzhou Table Talks, published by 1119 during the Song dynasty. Again, this type of construction for Chinese ship hulls was attested to by the Moroccan Muslim Berber traveler Ibn Battuta, who described it in great detail. Although some historians have questioned whether the compartments were wa

Matthew Kroenig

Matthew Kroenig is an American professor, foreign policy adviser, former government official. He is best known for his work in the Pentagon where he authored the first-ever U. S. government-wide strategy for deterring terrorism and developed strategic options for addressing Iran’s nuclear program, for his scholarly research on nuclear weapons proliferation. He is an Associate Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. Kroenig was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he graduated from Oakville Senior High School in 1996. He received his bachelor of arts in history summa cum laude from the University of Missouri in 2000, he received his master of arts in 2003 and Ph. D. in political science in 2007 from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation was titled "The Enemy of my Enemy is my Customer: Why States Provide Sensitive Nuclear Assistance." He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

His brother, Brad, is a fashion model and his sister, was a broadcast anchor at ABC. His wife, Olivia, is a pharmaceutical sales representative and former NFL cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens. Kroenig began his career as a military analyst in the Strategic Assessment Group at the Central Intelligence Agency. In 2005, he worked as a strategist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he was the principal author of the first U. S.-government-wide strategy for deterring terrorist networks. From 2010 to 2011, Kroenig returned to the Pentagon to serve as a special advisor on Iran policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Kroenig served as a foreign policy advisor on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and as a senior national security advisor on Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign, he is an Associate Professor in Georgetown University's Department of Government and School of Foreign Service and a Senior Fellow in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.

Kroenig is an co-author, or co-editor of six books. These include: The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey, he is the author of dozens of articles on a wide range of issues in international relations and foreign policy, including: Europe, the Middle East, nuclear deterrence and nonproliferation, soft power, democracy. Works by or about Matthew Kroenig at Internet Archive Biographic profile at the Georgetown University website Biographic profile at the Atlantic Council website Personal website


Chabrignac is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the censuses of the population carried out in the commune since 1793. From 2006, the legal populations of the communes are published annually by INSEE; the census is now based on an annual collection of information, successively covering all municipal territories over a period of five years. For municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, a census survey of the whole population is carried out every five years, with the legal populations of the intermediate years being estimated by interpolation or extrapolation. For the commune, the first comprehensive census within the framework of the new system was carried out in 2004. Empress Nam Phương, wife of Bảo Đại, is buried in Chabrignac. Communes of the Corrèze department INSEE