Monday, December 18, 2017

El Peix

“Peix d'Or” (Golden Fish) by Frank Gehry, Passeig Marítim, Barceloneta, Barcelona
“Peix d'Or” (Golden Fish) by Frank Gehry, 1992
Passeig Marítim, Barceloneta
Barcelona, March 2017

“The 52m long golden fish sculpture El Peix is one of the best known and most striking landmarks on Barcelona’s seafront. It’s gold coloured stainless steel surface shines under the Mediterranean sun and changes appearance depending on the angle of the sun and the current weather conditions. The fish statue was built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The gold coloured steel structure serves as a canopy for the casino and restaurants which link the luxurious Hotel Arts to the seafront.” (Frank Gehry’s Golden Fish Sculpture, Barcelona Lowdown)

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Kiss

Banner outside the Pinacoteca di Brera inspired by “Il bacio” (The Kiss) by Francesco Hayez, Via Brera, Milano
Banner outside the Pinacoteca di Brera inspired by
“Il bacio” (The Kiss) by Francesco Hayez, 1859
Via Brera
Milano, November 2016

Il bacio (The Kiss) is an 1859 painting by the Italian artist Francesco Hayez. It is possibly his best known work. This painting conveys the main features of Italian Romanticism and has come to represent the spirit of the Risorgimento. It was commissioned by Alfonso Maria Visconti di Saliceto, who donated to the Pinacoteca di Brera after his death. The painting represents a couple from the Middle Ages, embracing while they kiss each other. It is among the most passionate and intense representations of a kiss in the history of Western art. The girl leans backwards, while the man bends his left leg so as to support her, simultaneously placing a foot on the step next to him as though poised to go at any moment. The couple, though at the center of the painting, are not recognizable, as Hayez wanted the action of the kissing to be at the center of the composition. In the left part of the canvas shadowy forms lurk in the corner to give an impression of conspiracy and danger.” (The Kiss, Wikipedia)

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Flying Dutchman’s Lighthouse

Leuchtturm (Lighthouse), Donauinsel (Danube Island), Vienna
Leuchtturm (Lighthouse), (Bregenz, 1989) 1997
Donauinsel (Danube Island)
Vienna, September 2017

“This lighthouse never operated on the Viennese Donauinsel. In fact, this is not a lighthouse, but only a part of the Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman’s scenery. It was constructed at the Lake Constance stage at Bregenz in 1989, later transported to the Technical Museum in Vienna. Finally it found its place on the long Donauinsel in 1997. It soon became part of the city landscape, a favourite theme for many photographers, despite it is functioning as a weather station and a city webcam.” (Lighthouses of the Danube, Donau Insel)

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Vincent & Theo van Gogh

Vincent and Theo van Gogh's graves, Cimetière d'Auvers sur Oise, Chemin des Vallées, Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Vincent and Theo van Gogh's graves
Cimetière d'Auvers sur Oise
Chemin des Vallées
Auvers-sur-Oise, July 2005

“Dr. Paul Gachet lived in Auvers-sur-Oise. He was acquainted with the avant-garde artists of the time. Through this connection, Vincent van Gogh moved to Auvers to be treated by him, though he considered the doctor to be in a worse state than himself. Gachet befriended Van Gogh and was the subject of two portraits, one of which, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, was sold at auction for over $80m (£48m) in 1990. Van Gogh died by a gunshot to the chest. The room on the upper floor of the Auberge Ravoux where he died has been preserved, although no furniture remains. Auvers-sur-Oise is the final resting place of both Vincent and his brother Theo van Gogh, who died six months later.” (Auvers-sur-Oise, Wikipedia)

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gardens of Palazzo Corsini al Prato

Palazzo Corsini al Prato by Bernardo Buontalenti, Via il Prato, Florence
Gardens of Palazzo Corsini al Prato
Via il Prato
Florence, April 2017

“Adjoining the palazzo designed and begun by Bernardo Buontalenti in the late 16th century for Alessandro Acciaioli, the garden was completed on a plan by Gherardo Silvani in the following century. Originally conceived to apportion greater space to the experimental cultivations of Acciaioli, a great lover of botany, it was transformed into an Italian garden when it became property of Filippo di Lorenzo Corsini in 1621. Still today, the garden is divided into two parts by a lane lined by a series of statues on bases that gradually decrease in height, so as to give the perspective view an effect of greater depth. The regular shaped beds are made up of box hedges and decorated with potted citrus trees. At the end of the 16th century, Agostino Del Riccio reported the presence of one of the first examples of ‘bamia’ or arboreal althaea (Hybiscus syriacus). In the early 19th century, Antonietta Waldstatten Corsini transformed part of the English garden by realising a small hill, a lake, and several small woods traversed by winding paths. In addition to the Italian garden flower-beds, there are two lemon-houses for sheltering the potted citrus trees and a ‘carro matto’, a wooden instrument for raising and transporting vases. The garden also has a lawn with century-old linden trees and a vegetable garden-orchard, which is one of the few testimonies of agricultural areas inside the city.” (Palazzo Corsini al Prato Garden, Scientific Itineraries in Tuscany)

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Széchenyi lánchíd (Széchenyi Chain Bridge) by William Tierney Clark, seen from the Budavári Palota (Buda Castle), Budapest
Széchenyi lánchíd (Széchenyi Chain Bridge) by William Tierney Clark, 1849
Seen from the Budavári Palota (Buda Castle)
Budapest, September 2017

“The Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd) is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Designed by the English engineer William Tierney Clark and built by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary. It was opened in 1849. It is anchored on the Pest side of the river to Széchenyi (formerly Roosevelt) Square, adjacent to the Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and on the Buda side to Adam Clark Square, near the Zero Kilometre Stone and the lower end of the Castle Hill Funicular, leading to Buda Castle.” (Chain Bridge, Wikipedia)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Dome

Millennium Dome by Richard Rogers, 1999
Millennium Way, North Greenwich
London, September 2014

“The Millennium Dome, also referred to simply as The Dome, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium of the Common Era. Located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, England, the exhibition was open to the public from 1 January to 31 December 2000. The project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy as it failed to attract the number of visitors anticipated, with recurring financial problems. All of the original exhibition and associated complex has since been demolished. The dome still exists, however, and it is now a key exterior feature of The O2. The Prime Meridian passes the western edge of the Dome and the nearest London Underground station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee line.” (Millennium Dome, Wikipedia)

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