Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Catalan Folk Song

“La canción popular catalana” (The Catalan Folk Song) by Miguel Blay, Palau de la Música Catalana, Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, Barcelona
“La canción popular catalana” (The Catalan Folk Song) by Miguel Blay, 1907
Palau de la Música Catalana by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, 1908
Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt
Barcelona, March 2017

“In 1905, Blay was approached by Modernist architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner to create a group of sculptures for the facade of El Palau de Musica Catalana, a concert hall in Barcelona. The building is known for its Art Nouveau style and is made up of a mix of glass, metalwork, sculpture, and ceramic mosaics. Miguel Blay created a group of sculptures titled “La canción popular catalana” (The Catalan Folk Song) for the facade of the building. The sculptures depict different characters of varying social classes: children, peasants, sailors, etc. In the center, there is a female figure that represents the Catalan song. Above her the patron saint of Barcelona, Sant Jordi, stands holding a sword, protecting her and the other sculptures. It is said to show that people of all classes can enjoy the traditional Catalan music.” (Miguel Blay, Wikipedia)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Palazzo Pubblico

Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia, Piazza del Campo, Siena

“The Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) is a palace in Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. Construction began in 1297 and its original purpose was to house the republican government, consisting of the Podestà and Council of Nine. The outside of the structure is an example of Italian medieval architecture with Gothic influences. The lower story is stone; the upper crenelatted stories are made of brick. The facade of the palace is curved slightly inwards (concave) to reflect the outwards curve (convex) of the Piazza del Campo, Siena's central square of which the Palace is the focal point. The campanile or bell tower, Torre del Mangia, was built between 1325 and 1344 with its crown designed by the painter, Lippo Memmi. The tower was designed to be taller than the tower in neighboring rival Florence; at the time it was the tallest structure in Italy. It was fitted with a mechanical clock during the mid-14th century. Its design has been used as the basis for several other campaniles including the Dock Tower in Grimsby, England constructed in 1852 and the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower in the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham (completed in 1908).” (Palazzo Pubblico, Wikipedia)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Moretto da Brescia

The Madonna and Child with Saints by Moretto da Brescia, National Gallery, London
“The Madonna and Child with Saints” by Moretto da Brescia, 1545
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
London, September 2016

“The saints include Saint Jerome (with his lion) and Saint Joseph (with his flowering staff). The original destination of this altarpiece was probably a chapel or Franciscan church dedicated to Saint Bernardino, who is shown with his monogram of the name of Jesus (IHS) and three mitres at his feet. The mitres are inscribed with the three bishoprics of Urbino, Siena and Ferrara which the saint refused to accept. Also represented are Saint Francis (showing his stigmata), Saint Nicholas of Bari (holding three gold spheres), Saint Catherine of Alexandria (accepting a ring from Christ, in allusion to her vision of a ‘mystic marriage’), and Saint Clare holding the monstrance.” (The Madonna and Child with Saints, The National Gallery)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snake Bag

Snake Bag by Ai Weiwei, Ai Weiwei Libero exhibition, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
“Snake Bag” by Ai Weiwei, 2008
“Ai Weiwei. Libero” exhibition
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza degli Strozzi
Florence, January 2017

“The most compelling installation, however, deals with the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 in which thousands perished. Ai has funnelled his outrage into several composite sculptures in the years since embarking on his own investigation into the disaster, an enquiry that has blamed the guilty and contributed to his ongoing harassment by the authorities. In Snake Bag (2008), 360 identical backpacks stitched together into a serpentine line stretching across an entire wall recalls the 5,000 schoolchildren killed in the tragedy when the metal supporting new buildings buckled and collapsed.” (Up, up Ai Weiwei, The Florentine)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Le Théâtre Rond

Le Théâtre Rond, The Round Theatre, Place Gabriel Kaspereit, Quartier Saint-Georges, Paris
Former “Le Théâtre Rond” (The Round Theatre)
Place Gabriel Kaspereit
Quartier Saint-Georges, 9e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Monday, April 24, 2017

Palazzo Salviati

Palazzo Salviati, Venice
Palazzo Salviati, Dorsoduro
Canal Grande, (Grand Canal)
Venice, September 2013

“Palazzo Salviati is a palace on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro district (or sestieri) in Venice, northern Italy. It is situated between the Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff and Palazzo Orio Semitecolo. The building was built as a shop and the furnace of the Salviati family between 1903 and 1906, designed by the architect Giacomo Dell'Olivo. The company was founded in 1859 by Antonio Salviati. In 1924 the building underwent a major renovation, which involved the addition of an extra floor and the placement of a large mosaic façade. Structurally the façade is relatively simple, with arched doors on the first and third floors and matching arched windows on the second floor. Attention is drawn to the mosaic figures that cover most of the façade, with a very large mosaic in the center of the building and smaller mosaics over the doors on the first floor and at the top of the third.” (Palazzo Salviati, Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

European Robin

European robin, 9/11 Memorial Garden
Grosvenor Square, Mayfair
London, September 2016