Monday, September 30, 2013

Gondola Lessons

Gondola lessons, Rio di Santa Marina, Venice
Gondola lessons, Rio di Santa Marina
Venice, September 2013

“The tour is aimed at reasonably adventurous travelers and requires little experience in rowing (my occasional forays into kayaking helped get me oriented but really, expertise was not essential). The trick here is that you don't row from a seated position. Like gondoliers, you climb on the top's flat surface and engage in the ultimate multi-tasking recreational experience. You're not just required to achieve the treacherous art of balance (the gondoliers make it look a bit easier than it really is). You also have to wield the one oar, stretching to a length of 15 meters, in the process.”
(Gondola Lessons in Venice, The Independent Traveler)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

San Stae

Church of San Stae, Campo di San Stae, Santa Croce, Venice
Church of San Stae (Saint Eustachius) seen from the Grand Canal
Campo di San Stae, Santa Croce
Venice, September 2013

“An aficionado of Venetian light, English painter William Turner loved painting the sun-washed Palladian exterior of this church, with its facade dotted by statues of angels and cardinal virtues. You can see what a painter obsessed with light effects might admire in this church: for all its gleaming white classical grandeur, it retains a languid seaside air, with early-morning lagoon mists that collect mystically around its base.”
(Chiesa di San Stae, Lonely Planet)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lost in Cannaregio?

Tourists looking at a map in Campo dei Miracoli, Cannaregio, Venice
Tourists looking at a map in Campo dei Miracoli, Cannaregio
Venice, September 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013


Equestrian statue of Gattamelata by Donatello, piazza del Santo, Padua
Equestrian statue of Gattamelata by Donatello, 1453
Piazza del Santo
Padua, September 2013

See also: Bartolomeo Colleoni

“The Gattamelata is considered one of Donatello's most important and groundbreaking works for both its subject matter and composition. Donatello sculpted the Gattamelata using the lost wax method, which was standard at the time for bronze statues, but he incorporated an individualism and emotional quality with which other sculptors had yet to experiment. Furthermore, he relied on his own capacity for expression in his work rather than physical dimensions.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Market Stalls

Antique market empty stalls, Campo San Maurizio, Venice
Antique market empty stalls, Campo San Maurizio
Venice, September 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Duomo di Murano

Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, Duomo di Murano, Campo San Donato, Murano
The apse of the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato
Campo San Donato, Murano, Venetian Lagoon
Venice, September 2013

“The main entrance is on the west. In front of the church on this side, there is a beautiful square surrounded by smaller historical buildings. Meanwhile, the eastern facade, which faces a canal, has been decorated with impressive collonades to create a magnificent first impression for guests.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Head of Carmagnola

The so-called Head of Carmagnola, porphiry head, south west corner  Venice
The porphyry head known as the head of Francesco Bussone da Carmagnola
South-west corner of the balustrade, Basilica di San Marco (St Mark's Basilica)
Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square)
Venice, September 2013

“The porphyry head, brought back from the sack of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade of 1204, was long the subject of studies and discussions aimed at historical identification of the person represented. More or less life size (40 centimetres high) there is a hole in the upper part of the head which must have been for fixing it to the wall. The large eyes framed with arched eyebrows once had vitreous paste pupils, and the dense ornamentation of the crown imitates settings of precious stones and gold plate.”
(The Head of Carmagnola, Basilica di San Marco)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Le Zitelle

Le Zitelle, Santa Maria della Presentazione by Andrea Palladio, Fondamenta Zitelle, Giudecca, Venice
Le Zitelle (Santa Maria della Presentazione) by Andrea Palladio, 1581
Fondamenta Zitelle, Giudecca
Venice, September 2013

“The church forms part of an ecclesiastical complex created by the Jesuit Benedetto Palmi in order to assist poor girls and although the building site on the Giudecca was acquired in 1561, works on the church began after Palladio’s death. The first stone was laid in 1581 and the church consecrated in 1588. However, huge purchases of building materials are documented already in 1575-1576, perhaps intended precisely for the church. On this basis, recent hypotheses consider a project by Palladio both possible and datable to the mid-1570s, but neither the façade nor the interior of the church display characteristics which are unequivocally related to Palladio’s language, unless in an extremely clumsy and unfaithful version.”
(The Zitelle, Palladio and the Veneto)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Big Ships

MSC Divina cruise ship, IMO 9585285, Saint Mark's Basin, Venice
The 333-meter MSC Divina cruise ship crossing Saint Mark's Basin
Seen from the Giudecca island
Venice, September 2013

“Residents of the beautiful, fragile city of Venice are preparing to stage a canal-bank protest on Saturday over an invasion of up to 13 cruise ships in the space of 24 hours, which they say will turn St Mark's Basin into a motorway. The particularly busy weekend, apparently caused by a quirk in the cruise ship calendar, has reignited growing fears over the impact the vessels are having on the city and the alleged risk they pose to its infrastructure and inhabitants.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ca' d'Oro's Pinnacles

Pinnacles of the Ca' d'Oro, Grand Canal, Venice
Pinnacles of Palazzo Santa Sofia or Ca' d'Oro (Golden House)
Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
Venice, September 2013

See also: Ca d'Oro

“On the opposite side of the serpentine Grand Canal past the Rialto bridge, the Ca’ d’Oro is one of the most lavishly decorated palaces in the city, with its ogive windows, cream-colored Gothic tracery and Egyptian-style pinnacles. Originally, the façade was painted in gold leaf and ultramarine like the interior of a Persian palace, says Howard. The Ca’ d’Oro now houses a museum of paintings, sculpture and furniture, and contains a medallion portrait of Mehmet II by Bellini.”
(East Meets West in Venice, Saudi Aramco World)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sunset over Porto Marghera

Sunset over Porto Marghera, seen from the Canale della Giudecca, Venice
Sunset over Porto Marghera, seen from the Giudecca Canal
Venice, September 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Santa Maria Zobenigo

Façade of Santa Maria del Giglio, St. Mary of the Lily, Santa Maria Zobenigo, Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo, Venice
Façade of the church of Santa Maria del Giglio (St. Mary of the Lily)
Known as Santa Maria Zobenigo, Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo
Venice, September 2013

“This church was built in the second half of the seventeenth century by Giuseppe Benoni; the façade is the work of Giuseppe Sardi.Antonio Barbaro left detailed instructions in his will for the design, building and financing of this church, which was intended to glorify the generosity of the donor and his family. The themes represented on the richly decorated façade are profane and, indeed, war-like, with little relation to the religious function of a church.”
(Façade of Santa Maria del Giglio, World Heritage Center)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Le répit du travailleur

Le Répit du travailleur, The Worker's Respite by Jules Pendariès, Esplanade  Roger-Linet, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris
“Le répit du travailleur” (The Worker's Respite) by Jules Pendariès, 1907
Esplanade Roger-Linet / rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Ganges

The Ganges, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, piazza Navona, Rome
The Ganges, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers)
By Gian Lorenzo Bernini,1651, Piazza Navona
Rome, April 2013

See also: The Nile

“The Ganges, representing Asia, holds a long oar to signify its long but navigable waters. Domenico’s account of the fountain describes the Ganges as ‘holding a leafy branch in its hand denoting the fertility of its land,’ and while no such branch exists today the figure is indeed surrounded by lots of lush vegetation.”
(The Ganges, The 2013 Bernini Online Exhibit)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht

Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht, Don't Forget the Love by Henry Schmidt, East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, Berlin
“Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht” (Don't Forget the Love) by Henry Schmidt
East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Berlin Wall - Test the Rest - Bruderkuß - Stay Free - Without Title - Sonic Malade - Niemandsland - Many Small People - Curriculum Vitae

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Great Clock

The dial of the Great Clock by Augustus Pugin
Palace of Westminster, Parliament Square
London, October 2009

“The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock dial in gilt letters is the Latin inscription:
Which means O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First.
(Big Ben, Wikipedia)

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Parasols and sun loungers, Paris-Plages (Paris Beaches)
Voie Georges Pompidou, Pont au Change
Paris, July 2011

“Paris-Plages (‘Paris Beaches’; till 2006 Paris-Plage in the singular) is a plan run by the office of the mayor of Paris that creates temporary artificial beaches each summer along the river Seine in the centre of Paris, and, since 2007, along the Bassin de la Villette in the northeast of Paris. Every July and August, roadways on the banks of the Seine are blocked off and host various activities, including sandy beaches and palm trees.”
(Paris-Plages, Wikipedia)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Matteiano Obelisk

Matteiano Obelisk, Villa Celimontana, Rome
Matteiano Obelisk, Villa Celimontana (previously known as Villa Mattei)
Rome, May 2012

See also: Obelisk of Montecitorio - Macuteo Obelisk - Quirinale Obelisk - Pulcino della Minerva - Minerveo Obelisk - Esquiline Obelisk - Sallustian Obelisk
External links: List of obelisks in Rome (Wikipedia)

“The obelisk is a small example given to the Mattei in 1582. Its lower part is made up of parts of several obelisks and is of unknown origin, but the top part (2.68m high) has hieroglyphics of Rameses II, derives from the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis, and was (like those now in piazza della Minerva and via delle Terme di Diocleziano) brought to Rome in antiquity to adorn the Temple of Isis (in the area of the present via di Pie' di Marmo). In the 14th century it was placed on the steps of the Campidoglio - legend holds that the globe placed on its tip held the ashes of Augustus and that the obelisk was raised on the Campidoglio by Cola di Rienzo as a symbol of Roman liberty.”
(Obelisk, Villa Celimontana)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Last Judgment

Mosaic of the Last Judgment by Lattanzio Serena and Liborio Salandri, central portal, Basilica di San Marco, St Mark's Basilica, Venice
Mosaic of the Last Judgment by Lattanzio Serena and Liborio Salandri, 1836
Central portal, Basilica di San Marco (St Mark's Basilica)
Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square)
Venice, September 2012

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Bell of Hope

Bell of Hope, St. Paul's Chapel churchyard, Lower Manhattan, New York
The Bell of Hope, St. Paul's Chapel churchyard
Broadway, Lower Manhattan
New York, September 2008

“To the greater glory of God and in recognition of
the enduring links between the City of London
and the city of New York”

“The Bell of Hope is situated in St. Paul's churchyard in New York right next to where the World Trade Center used to sit. The Lord Mayor of the City of London presented this bronze bell to New Yorkers on the first-year anniversary of September 11th. Cast by the same foundry as the Liberty Bell and London's Big Ben, it conveys the empathy and solidarity of the people of London with the people of New York. The Reverend Dr. Daniel Paul Matthews, Rector of Trinity Church, rang the bell on the second anniversary. The Bell of Hope is permanently located in St. Paul's churchyard.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marguerite Boucicaut

Monument to Mme Boucicaut and Mme de Hirsc by Paul Moreau-Vauthier, Square Boucicaut, Paris
Monument to Mme Boucicaut and Mme de Hirsc by Paul Moreau-Vauthier, 1914
Square Boucicaut, Quartier Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin, 7th arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alcide De Gasperi

The tomb of Alcide De Gasperi by Giacomo Manzù, Saint Lawrence outside the Walls, Rome
The tomb of Alcide De Gasperi (1881–1954), politician and prime minister of Italy
By the sculptor Giacomo Manzù
Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls
Rome, April 2013

“Active in the resistance during World War II, he succeeded in reorganizing the PPI as the Christian Democratic Party. Upon the fall of the fascist regime (1943) he returned to the forefront of Italian politics. He became secretary of the Christian Democratic Party and was appointed minister without portfolio in Ivanoe Bonomi’s first cabinet (June 1944). Minister of foreign affairs in the two succeeding cabinets, De Gasperi formed his own cabinet on December 10, 1945. He was to remain in office for more than seven years.”
(Alcide De Gasperi, Encyclopædia Britannica)

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Bundeskanzleramt, German Chancellery, Berlin by Eduardo Chillida, Berlin
Bundeskanzleramt (German Chancellery) designed by Charlotte Frank and Axel Schultes
In the forecourt: the sculpture “Berlin” by Eduardo Chillida, 2000
Berlin, September 2011

“Occupying 12,000 square meters (129,166 square feet), it is also one of the largest government headquarters buildings in the world. By comparison, the new Chancellery building is eight times the size of the White House. A semi official Chancellor apartment is located on the top floor of the building. The 200 square meter two-room flat has thus far only been occupied by Gerhard Schröder; current Chancellor Angela Merkel prefers to live in her private apartment in Berlin.
Because of its distinctive but controversial architecture, journalists, tourist guides and some locals refer to the buildings as Kohllosseum (as a mix of Colosseum and former chancellor Helmut Kohl under whom it was built), Bundeswaschmaschine (federal laundry machine, because of the round-shaped windows and its cubic form), or Elefantenklo (elephant loo).”

Saturday, September 7, 2013

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare by John Quincy Adams Ward, Central Park, New York
William Shakespeare by John Quincy Adams Ward, 1870
South end of the Literary Walk, Central Park
New York, September 2007

“Since the late 1990s this sculpture has been a place for occasional public readings of Julius Caesar during the Ides of March. Central Park has other Shakespearean associations as well. In 1890, Eugene Schieffelin released 80 starlings into the park, because they were mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays (there are now over 200 million of them in America). In 1915, the Shakespeare Society assumed maintenance of a rock garden, built in 1912, in the park near West 79th Street. In 1934, the Shakespeare Garden, which features particular plants named in his writings, was relocated to the hillside between Belvedere Castle and the Swedish Cottage, and in 1989, a new landscape design by Bruce Kelly and David Varnell was implemented. In 1958, after two seasons at the East River Amphitheater, Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare Festival moved to Central Park. The Delacorte Theater became its permanent home, opening in 1962.”
(William Shakespeare, Central Park Conservancy)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Labyrinth Fountain

Fontaine-labyrinthe, Labyrinth Fountain by Marta Pan, place des Fêtes, Paris
Fontaine-labyrinthe (Labyrinth Fountain) by Marta Pan, 1986
(There was no trace of water at the time)
Place des Fêtes, 19e arrondissement
Paris, July 2005

“The artist describe her work as follows: ‘The fountain is made up of five concentric basins extending from the steps along a gradual slope. The tiers wrap around the fountain and connect it to the ground around it on all sides.’ The water current is inverted from basin to basin, which makes it appear to move faster. In the original arrangement, a wall of water was added to the tiers, providing them with a background. The water streamed along the gently sloping wall and disappeared into a discharge spout at the foot of the wall. The work, inaugurated in 1986, marked both the desire to introduce living art into the urban environment and give a new identity to a place that was deconstructed by town planning in the 1960’s.”
(Labyrinth Fountain, Mairie de Paris)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anita Garibaldi

Monument to Anita Garibaldi by Mario Rutelli, piazzale Anita Garibaldi, Janiculum, Rome
Monument to Anita Garibaldi by Mario Rutelli, 1932
Piazzale Anita Garibaldi, Janiculum
Rome, April 2013

“The equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi's Brazilian wife Anita, who fought alongside her husband in defense of Rome in 1849 while pregnant before succumbing to illness is located just about 200 meters far from a big equestrian monument of her husband, which is located on top of Janiculum Hill in Rome. The statue was created in 1932 by Mario Rutelli. It depicts Anita Garibaldi with a pistol in her right hand holding a baby in her other hand. The monument is also Anita Garibaldi's grave as her ashes rest in the statue's pedestal.”
(Anita Garibaldi, Waymarking)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Campanile di San Marco

Campanile di San Marco, St Mark's Campanile, Piazza San Marco, St Mark's Square, Venice
Campanile di San Marco (St Mark's Campanile)
Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square)
Venice, September 2012

“On 14th July 1902 the campanile suddenly collapsed as a result of imprudent constructional work. The damage was not irreparable: the ‘proclamation stone’ at the corner of the church prevented collapse of the corner column, thus saving the church. The Balcony however was buried under the rubble. News of the collapse spread throughout the world and the Municipal Administration resolved that the Campanile should be rebuilt exactly as it had been. The first stone was laid on 25th April 1903 and nine years later, in 1912, on St. Mark's day, the new campanile was inaugurated. Externally the building was a faithful copy but was built, for greater safety and static stability, in accordance with the more rigorous laws on construction technique. Certain destroyed parts were reintegrated: on two sides of the dado above the belfry, alternated with the Justices, the two moving Lions in Istria stone replaced those sculpted at the time of the fall of the Republic, and the embossed copper statue of the Archangel Gabriel that topped the tower was recomposed with the original fragments and almost entirely redone, copying the old 1822 model.”
(The Campanile, Basilica di san Marco)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Verticil, cast iron sculpture by Charles Hadcock, Hanover Square, Mayfair, London
“Verticil”, cast iron sculpture by Charles Hadcock, 2009
Hanover Square, Mayfair
London, October 2009

“Charles Hadcock RBS is a sculptor who thinks big. His monumental sculptures explore 3 dimensions in a way that would test traditional technical drawing but, by making 3D drawings we can help in the visualising stages and in production.”
(CAD services to sculptors, JB Technical)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Georges-Louis Leclerc

Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon by Jean Carlus, Jardin des Plantes, Paris
Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon by Jean Carlus, 1908
Jardin des Plantes, 5e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Miss Van

Street painting by Miss Van, via dei Pettinari, Rome
Street painting by Miss Van
Via dei Pettinari
Rome, April 2013

“At the beginnings, my dolls were self-portraits. Graffiti has a very megalomaniac side; instead of writing my name, I chose to represent myself through my dolls. I felt a real need to affirm myself, maybe because I have a twin sister and I had to show my difference.Later on when I didn’t feel as much this need to mark my identity, my work became. The idea of provocativeness has also a part in my conception of my work. I have always liked painting a sexy doll in an inappropriate place. I want to provoke strong reactions.”
(History, Miss Van)