Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bacchino Fountain

Fontana del Bacchino, Bacchino Fountain, Giardino di Boboli, Boboli Gardens, Florence
Fontana del Bacchino (Bacchino Fountain) by Valerio Cioli, 1560
(A satiric portrait of court dwarf Pietro Barbino ‘Morgante’ as Bacchus)
Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens)
Florence, January 2017

“His most famous work is the ‘Fontana del Bacchino’ in the Giardino di Boboli, near the entrance to piazza Pitti in Florence. It shows a dwarf at the court of Cosimo I, ironically nicknamed Morgante (the giant of the poem Morgante by Luigi Pulci), portrayed nuded and sitting on a tortoise like a drunken Bacchus.” (Valerio Cioli, Wikipedia)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Empire State Building

Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Street, New York
Empire State Building by William F. Lamb, 1931
Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Street
New York, September 2007

“The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier designs for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio (designed by the architectural firm W. W. Ahlschlager & Associates) as a basis. Every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father's Day card to the staff at the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem to pay homage to its role as predecessor to the Empire State Building. The building was designed from the top down. The general contractors were The Starrett Brothers and Eken, and the project was financed primarily by John J. Raskob and Pierre S. du Pont. The construction company was chaired by Alfred E. Smith, a former Governor of New York and James Farley's General Builders Supply Corporation supplied the building materials. John W. Bowser was project construction superintendent.” (Empire State Building, Wikipedia)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

San Marcello al Corso

St Philip Benizi refuses the papal tiara, by Antonio Raggi, stucco bas-relief over the entrance of San Marcello al Corso, Piazza di San Marcello, Rome
St Philip Benizi refuses the papal tiara, by Antonio Raggi, 1686
Bas-relief over the entrance of San Marcello al Corso
Piazza di San Marcello
Rome, April 2013

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ford Transit

Ford Transit van, Regent Street, London
A Ford Transit van
Regent Street
London, September 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017


Stacked by Ai Weiwei, Ai Weiwei Libero exhibition, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
“Stacked” by Ai Weiwei, 2012
“Ai Weiwei. Libero” exhibition
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza degli Strozzi
Florence, January 2017

“A parallel is implied between old furniture and old lives, and a persistent theme in Ai’s career has been the condition of ordinary Chinese life. The 950 bicycles neatly stacked in interlocking columns symbolise the simple liberation from the highly constricted social and political atmosphere of the Maoist era that Ai’s generation (he was born in 1957) discovered in being physically mobile.” (Up, up Ai Weiwei, The Florentine)

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Horse-drawn carriage, Zietenplatz, Berlin
Horse-drawn carriage
Berlin, September 2011

“The central section extending to Mauerstra├če was called Zietenplatz from 1849 until 1945. The name comes from the statue unveiled in 1794 of the Cavalry General Hans Joachim von Zieten. It formed a unique ensemble of monuments on the square area together with five other statues of generals. Today, the building for representatives of the Province of Thuringia is on the northern corner towards Mauerstra├če. The monument of the Hussar General von Zieten was erected again in 2003, followed by the sculpture of the Old Dessauer on 8 June 2005. The newly designed Zietenplatz, based on a design by the landscape architect Reinald Eckert, Berlin was presented to the public in June 2007.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Madonnina by Giuseppe Perego, Duomo di Milano, Milan Cathedral, Piazza del Duomo, Milano
Madonnina by Giuseppe Perego, 1774
Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
Piazza del Duomo
Milano, November 2016

“The Madonnina spire or guglia del tiburio (‘lantern spire’), one of the main features of the cathedral, was erected in 1762 at the height of 108.5 m (356 ft). The spire was designed by Francesco Croce. At the top of the spire is the polychrome Madonnina statue, designed and built by Giuseppe Perego in 1774, during the episcopacy of Giuseppe Pozzobonelli who supported the idea to place the Madonnina at the top of the Cathedral. By tradition, no building in Milan is higher than the Madonnina. When Gio Ponti’s Pirelli Building was being built in the late 1950s, at a height of 127.1 m (417 ft), a smaller replica of the Madonnina was placed atop the Pirelli building, so the new Madonnina remains the tallest point in Milan. In 2010 another replica was placed as well on the top of the Palazzo Lombardia, at a height of 161 m (528 ft), being then the tallest building in the city.” (Madonnina, Wikipedia)