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Pieter Soutman

Pieter Claesz Soutman was a Dutch Golden Age painter and printmaker from Haarlem. Soutman was born and died in Haarlem, where he was a contemporary of Frans Hals, Hendrick Gerritsz Pot, Pieter Claesz, seems to have been influenced by all three, considering the various attributions of his paintings through the centuries. According to the RKD, he was the youngest of six children of the wealthy Catholic owner of the Haarlem beer brewery De Werelt. According to Houbraken, Soutmann trained with Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp, he must have been successful. During Prince Władysław Vasa's visit to Antwerp in 1624, he was recommended by Rubens as an excellent painter; that same year he went to Poland. Soutman was employed as a servitor of the king Sigismund III Vasa until 1628, when he returned to Haarlem, his family connections enabled him to become affiliated with the Catholic Hofje Codde en Van Beresteijn. Today this is one hofje, he was regent of the Codde hofje. Soutman became a respected portrait painter in Haarlem and won many commissions for group portraits, including lucrative schutterstukken.

One of his portraits that he painted for the Beresteijn family was sold as a Frans Hals to the Louvre in the 1860s, but this was not from deception, but ignorance on the part of the hofje regents. This sale was considered a scandal in the Dutch press at the time, Conrad Busken Huet wrote that the government should keep this national treasure in the country. Soutman's work hangs today in various museums, in the Huis ten Bosch in Den Haag, his pupils were Cornelis Visscher, Jacob Louys, Pieter van Sompel. Peter Danckerts de Rij, another Dutch Golden Age painter at the Polish court

The Supremes

The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity, it is said that their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success. Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, Betty McGlown, the original group, are all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, they formed the Primettes as the sister act to the Primes. Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, the group signed with Motown the following year as The Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, Ross and Wilson carried on as a trio.

During the mid-1960s, the Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer and Holland-Dozier-Holland as its songwriting and production team. In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. In 1970, Ross left to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Jean Terrell and the group reverted to being The Supremes again. During the mid-1970s, the lineup changed with Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene joining until, after 18 years, the group disbanded in 1977. In Detroit in 1958, Florence Ballard, a junior high school student living in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, met Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who were two members of a Detroit singing group known as the Primes. Ballard sang, as did Paul Williams' girlfriend Betty McGlown, so Milton Jenkins, the Primes's manager, decided to create a sister group to be called the Primettes. Ballard recruited her best friend Mary Wilson. Mentored and funded by Jenkins, the Primettes began by performing hit songs of artists such as Ray Charles and the Drifters at sock hops, social clubs and talent shows around the Detroit area.

Receiving additional guidance from group friend and established songwriter Jesse Greer, the quartet earned a local fan following. The girls crafted an age-appropriate style, inspired by the collegiate dress of popular doo-wop group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Within a few months, guitarist Marvin Tarplin was added to the Primettes' lineup— a move that helped distinguish the group from Detroit's many other aspiring acts by allowing the girls to sing live instead of lip-synching. After winning a prestigious local talent contest, the Primettes' sights were set on making a record. In hopes of getting the group signed to the local upstart Motown label, in 1960 Ross asked an old neighbor, Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, to help the group land an audition for Motown executive Berry Gordy, who had proven himself a capable songwriter. Robinson liked "the girls" and agreed to help, but he liked their guitarist more. Robinson arranged for the Primettes to audition a cappella for Gordy—but Gordy, feeling the girls too young and inexperienced to be recording artists, encouraged them to return when they had graduated from high school.

Undaunted that year the Primettes recorded a single for Lu Pine Records, a label created just for them, titled "Tears of Sorrow", backed with "Pretty Baby". The single failed to find an audience, however. Shortly thereafter, McGlown became left the group. Local girl Barbara Martin was McGlown's prompt replacement. Determined to leave an impression on Gordy and join the stable of rising Motown stars, the Primettes frequented his Hitsville U. S. A. recording studio every day after school. They convinced Gordy to allow them to contribute hand claps and background vocals for the songs of other Motown artists including Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells. In January 1961, Gordy relented and agreed to sign the girls to his label – but under the condition that they change the name of their group; the Primes had by this time combined with Otis Williams & the Distants and would soon sign to Motown as the Temptations. Gordy gave Ballard a list of names to choose from that included suggestions such as "the Darleens", "the Sweet Ps", "the Melodees", "the Royaltones" and "the Jewelettes".

Ballard chose "the Supremes", a name that Ross disliked as she felt it too masculine. On January 15 the group signed with Motown as the Supremes. In the spring of 1962, Martin left the group to start a family. Thus, the newly named Supremes continued as a trio. Between 1961 and 1963, the Supremes released six singles, none of which charted in the Top 40 positions of the Billboard Hot 100. Jokingly referred to as the "no-hit Supremes" around Motown's Hitsville U. S. A. offices, the group attempted to compensate for their lack of hits by taking on any work available at the studio, including providing hand claps and singing backup for Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. During these years, all three members took turns singing lead: Wilson favored soft ballads, Ballard favored soulful, hard-driving songs, Ross favored mainstream pop songs. Most of their early material was produced by Berry Gordy or Smokey Robinson. In December 1963, the single "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" peaked at number 23 on the

Varga (astrology)

The term Varga in Indian astrology refers to the division of a zodiacal sign into parts. Each such fractional part of a sign, known as an aṃśa, has a source of influence associated with it, so that these sources of influence come to be associated with collections of regions around the zodiac. There are divisional, charts used in Jyotisha; these vargas form the basis of a unique system of finding the auspiciousness or inauspiciousness of planets. Hindu astrology divides the zodiac into several types of segments; the particular location of planets in the Varga charts materially influences the results of planets constituting a yoga. The two sets of vargas that are used are – a) the Shadvarga i.e. the six-fold division of sign namely, the Rasi or sign, the Hora, the Drekkena or decanate, the Navamsa, the Dwadasamsa and the Trimsamsa, b) the Saptavarga i.e. the seven-fold division, by tagging the Saptamsa to the Shadvargas. Some follow the Dasavargas or the ten-fold division, in his Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, Parasara speaks about the Shodasvarga or the sixteen-fold division of a rasi.

Planets become more auspicious if they are in same zodiac sign in shodasa varga or 16 divisional charts. Accordingly, the status thus acquired by planets stands graded for easy identification etc; when a planet acquires two out of sixteen such vargas or divisions it is known to have gained the status called the Parijatamsa or Bhedakamsa, when three vargas are gained the Uttamamsa or Kusumamsa or Vyanjanamsa, four – the Gopuramsa or Naagpushpamsa or Kimshukamsa or Chaamaramsa, five – the Simhasanamsa or Kundakamsa or Chhatramsa, six – the Parvatamsa or Keralamsa or Kundalamsa, seven – the Devalokamsa or Kalpavrkshamsa or Mukatamsa, eight – the Kumkumamsa or Brahmalokamsa or Chandanvanamsa, nine – the Iravatamsa or Poornachandramsa, ten – the Vyshnavamsa or Shridham or Ucchaishrvamsa, eleven – the Saivamsa Dhanvantriamsa, twelve – the Bhaswadamsa or Suryakantamsa, thirteen – the Vaisheshikamsa or Vidrumamsa, fourteen – the Indrasanamsa, fifteen – the Golokamsa, sixteen – the Shrivallabhamsa.

The Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra defines sixteen divisional schemes, each named according to the denominator of the fraction specific to the division. Thus, the integral fraction is division by 1, which yields, trivially, 12 regions of the zodiac corresponding to the 12 signs themselves: perforce this varga scheme is named rāśi. A divisor of 2 defines 24 regions; the divisor of 3 defining 36 regions, named drekkana, is related to the Decans of Chaldean horology. Four other vargas are attributed to Jaimini: Besides Rāshi, Drekana, Dasamsa and Sashtiamsa are considered significant divisional charts. A planet situated in any one rasi i.e. sign, by itself constitutes a yoga or an ava-yoga owing to the relationship it establishes with the rasi-lord and other bhava-lords with reference to the Lagna and each other, but its mere occupation need not produce the results assigned for its such occupation. No planet acts alone, it becomes an active participant by having established an unavoidable relationship with one or more other planets.

The failure of the yogas to give the expected results can be due to the varga-wise weak status of the dispositors of the yoga-forming planets rather than the weakness of these planets. The Sun situated in the 9th house from the lagna but not in an inimical sign or navamsa gives wealth, sons and piety though it makes one antagonistic towards father and wife and not experience happiness. However, the Sun as the lagna-lord exalted in the 9th makes the person and his father fortunate, have many brothers and friends, adept and renowned. Janardan Harji in his Mansagari states that if at the time of birth any planet occupies a friendly sign or its own sign or is in its exaltation sign in a trikonabhava that planet having gained many favourable vargas gives its assigned good results in full. One such planet makes one wealthy, two adept and renowned. In the section devoted to arishtas and arishtabhanga of Chapter IV he reiterates that if at birth a strong Mercury or Venus or Jupiter is situated in a kendrasthana from the lagna if combined with an evil planet, it will single-handedly soon destroy all arishtas, that the Moon situated in the 8th house from the lagna in a drekkena owned by Jupiter, Venus or Mercury will confer a long lease of life.

Parasara states. A Raja yoga arises if the birth ascendant or hora-lagna or ghati-lagna is occupied by one or more planets occupying their exaltation, own or moola-trikona rasi, navamsa or drekkena.