Friday, January 31, 2014

Museo di Storia Naturale

Courtyard of the Geology and Palaeontology Section, Natural History Museum, via Giorgio la Pira, Florence
Courtyard of the Sezione di Geologia e Paleontologia (Geology and Palaeontology Section)
Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum)
Via Giorgio la Pira
Florence, October 2013

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Trattoria Sempione

Sign of the Trattoria Sempione on Rio dei Bareteri, seen from the Ponte dei Baretèri, Venice
Sign of the “Trattoria Sempione” on Rio dei Bareteri
Seen from the Ponte dei Bareteri, San Marco
Venice, September 2013

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Athena Arms the Warrior

Athena bewaffnet den Krieger, Athena arms the warrior by Karl Heinrich Möller, Schloßbrücke, Berlin
“Athena bewaffnet den Krieger” (Athena arms the warrior)
By Karl Heinrich Möller, 1851
Schloßbrücke (Palace Bridge)
Berlin, September 2011

See also: The Wounded Warrior - Nike Instructs the Boy - Athena Leads the Young Warrior - Athena Protects the Young Hero

“Stone bridge built 1821-24 after a design of the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The main elements of the bridge's decorations are the eight more-than-life-size sculpture groups on high marble pedestals over the stone bridge piers. The groups show scens from Greek mythology related to warfare. These Carrara marble statues were sculpted between 1847 and 1857 by various students of Christian Daniel Rauch. The red granite pedestals rest on pedestals, they are provided with circular medallions, work of the sculptor Friedrich Wilhelm Wolff, each motif is the image of an eagle with symbolic additions. The original medallions are lost and reconstructed in 1989.”
(Statues on the Palace Bridge, Statues - Hither & Thither)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Frédérick Lemaître

Bust of Frédérick Lemaître by Pierre Granet, square Frédérick-Lemaître, Paris
Bust of Frédérick Lemaître by Pierre Granet, 1898
Square Frédérick-Lemaître, 10e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“The actor Lemaitre (sculpted here by Pierre Granet in 1898) was also a regular of this neighbourhood, featuring mainly in hysterical crime plays on the Boulevards nearby. These two must surely have bumped into each other on numerous occasions.”
(Grisettes et Lorettes, Invisible Paris)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Arco di Trionfo

Arco di Trionfo, Arch of Triumph by Jean-Nicolas Jadot, piazza della Libertà, Florence
Arco di Trionfo (Arch of Triumph) by Jean-Nicolas Jadot, 1737
Piazza della Libertà
Florence, October 2013

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Speedboat Landing

Speedboat landing of the Hotel Excelsior, Lungomare Marconi, Lido di Venezia, Venice
Speedboat landing of the Hotel Excelsior
Lungomare Marconi, Lido di Venezia
Venice, September 2013

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Aldersgate Flame

John Wesley’s Conversion Place Memorial, Aldersgate Flame, Nettleton Court, Aldersgate Street, London
John Wesley’s Conversion Place Memorial, “Aldersgate Flame”, 1981
Nettleton Court, Aldersgate Street
London, October 2009

Just outside the Museum of London, in what was once Aldersgate, is a bronze memorial, commemorating the converstion of John Wesley, on May 24th 1738. John Wesley's evangelical conversion took place in a now-demolished Moravian Church believed to have been on this site. On the plaque is inscribed the passage from Wesley's diary that day.

Wednesday May 24, 1738.

What occur’d on Wedn. 24, I think best to relate at large, after premising what might make it the better understood. Let him that cannot receive it, ask of the Father of Lights, that he would give more Light both to him and to me.
I think it was about five this Morning, that I opened my Testament on those words, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises, even that ye should be partakers in the divine Nature.” 2 Pet. i. 4. Just as I went out, I open’d it again on those Words, “Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.” In the Afternoon I was asked to go to St. Paul’s. The Anthem was, “Out of the Deep have I call’d unto thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my Voice. O let thine Ears consider well the Voice of my Complaint. If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it? But there is Mercy with thee; therefore thou shalt be feared. O Israel, trust in the Lord: For with the Lord there is Mercy, and with him is plenteous Redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his Sins.”
In the Evening I went very unwillingly to a Society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a Quarter before nine. While he was describing the Change which God works in the Heart thro’ faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warm’d. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for Salvation: And an Assurance was given me, That He had taken away my Sins, even mine, and saved me from the Law of Sin and Death.

- John Wesley

Friday, January 24, 2014

Le Bel costumé

“Le Bel costumé by Jean Dubuffet, Tuileries Garden, Paris
“Le Bel costumé” by Jean Dubuffet, 1998
(Created after the artist's death using his 1973 sketches)
Tuileries Garden, 1er arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti, Pitti Palace, Piazza de' Pitti, Florence
Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)
Piazza de' Pitti
Florence, October 2013

“The Pitti Palace, which was formerly the residence of the grand-dukes of Tuscany and later of the King of Italy, now houses several important collections of paintings and sculpture, works of art, porcelain and a costume gallery, besides providing a magnificently decorated historical setting which extends to the Boboli Gardens, one of the earliest Italian gardens famous also for its fountains and grottoes.”
(The Pitti Palace, Polo Museale Fiorentino)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Garbage Patch State

The Garbage Patch State by Maria Cristina Finucci, Ca' Foscari University, Venice
“The Garbage Patch State” by Maria Cristina Finucci
Main courtyard of the Ca' Foscari University
Venice, October 2013

“The Garbage Patch State by artist Maria Cristina Finucci was opened to the public on 29 May 2013. The installation is set until 24 November 2013 in the main courtyard of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. It sums up in a simple image what is in fact a very complex phenomenon of islands made of garbage and floating in the middle of the oceans. The idea is inscribed in the framework of Wasteland, a complex art project on which the artist has been working for several months, composed of videos, images, and many other interventions.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MV Guy V. Molinari

MV Guy V. Molinari Staten Island Ferry, New York
“MV Guy V. Molinari” Staten Island Ferry
New York, September 2007

“Each ferry carries about 4,400 passengers and are capable of carrying 30 vehicles. Propulsion is provided by two (2) of the three (3) turbo-charged propulsion diesel generators installed, driving four (4) AC propulsion motors, two (2) at each end, driving a fixed-pitch propeller via a line of shafting. The double-ended ferries are 310 ft long and cost about $40 Million each.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jays Paris

Jay Paris luxury suites, rue Copernic, Paris
Jays Paris Hotel, luxury suites, rue Copernic
Quartier de Chaillot , 16e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Built in the mid 19th Century, the building combines old-fashioned elegance with modern technology. Guests discover an interesting play on natural light throughout the building, elegant works of art and a charming blend of antique furniture and contemporary design.”
(Jays Paris Life, Jay Paris)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Leonardo's Bicycle

Replica made from the alleged 1493 Caprotti sketch, Leonardo da Vinci Museum, via Cavour, Florence
Replica made following the alleged 1493 Caprotti sketch
Leonardo da Vinci Museum, Via Cavour
Florence, October 2013

“News of a bicycle-like sketch said to have been discovered during the ten-year restoring period of Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus popped up in 1974, when literary historian Augusto Marinoni gave a lecture in Vinci, Leonardo’s birthplace. From the chronology of disclosures and (in part circumstantial) evidence, it is now becoming clear that we are dealing with a recent forgery.”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prato della Valle

Prato della Valle, Isola Memmia, Padua
Prato della Valle, Isola Memmia
Padua, September 2013

“Prato Della Valle is reputed to be the largest square in Europe and is certainly stunning with its many statues gracefully adorning it.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Wounded Warrior

Nike richtet den Verwundeten auf, Nike assists the wounded warrior by Ludwig Wilhelm Wichmann, Schloßbrücke, Berlin
“Nike richtet den Verwundeten auf” (Nike assists the wounded warrior)
By Ludwig Wilhelm Wichmann, 1853
Schloßbrücke (Palace Bridge)
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Athena Arms the Warrior - Nike Instructs the Boy - Athena Leads the Young Warrior - Athena Protects the Young Hero

“Stone bridge built 1821-24 after a design of the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The main elements of the bridge's decorations are the eight more-than-life-size sculpture groups on high marble pedestals over the stone bridge piers. The groups show scens from Greek mythology related to warfare. These Carrara marble statues were sculpted between 1847 and 1857 by various students of Christian Daniel Rauch. The red granite pedestals rest on pedestals, they are provided with circular medallions, work of the sculptor Friedrich Wilhelm Wolff, each motif is the image of an eagle with symbolic additions. The original medallions are lost and reconstructed in 1989.”
(Statues on the Palace Bridge, Statues - Hither & Thither)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Benjamin Godard

Bust of Benjamin Godard, by Jean-Baptiste Champeil, square Lamartine, Paris
Bust of Benjamin Godard, by Jean-Baptiste Champeil, 1904
Square Lamartine, 16e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Godard was a child prodigy on the violin, studied composition, and in his youth composed symphonies, chamber works, concerti, and piano music. His best-known opera, Jocelyn (1881), is remembered for its famous ‘Berceuse.’ Other works included the operas Pédro de Zalaméa (1884) and La Vivandière (1895) and his Symphonie Légendaire, Opus 100 (1886). Godard’s music, charming and sentimental, at its best shows an affinity with that of Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann.”
(Benjamin Godard, Encyclopædia Britannica)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Villa Medici Obelisk

The Egyptian obelisk from Villa Medici in Rome, Boboli Gardens, Florence
The Egyptian obelisk from Villa Medici in Rome
Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens)
Florence, October 2013

“The main treasure the Grand Dukes moved to Boboli from Villa Medici is the Egyptian obelisk which once stood in Isaeum/Serapeum Campense a large complex of Temples dedicated to the Egyptian gods Isis (hence Isaeum) and Serapis (hence Serapeum) in Campus Martius (see a page on the obelisks of Rome). The obelisk was originally erected by Ramses II in Heliopolis. A copy now stands in Villa Medici.”
(Florentine Recollections - in Boboli Gardens, A Rome Art Lover's Web Page)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

San Francesco della Vigna

The church of San Francesco della Vigna, Campo San Francesco della Vigna, Castello, Venice
The church of San Francesco della Vigna
Campo San Francesco della Vigna, Castello
Venice, September 2013

“The church was built using the number three, a reference to the Holy Trinity, as an important design element. The interior has the splendid painting by Antonio Falier da Negroponte, Madonna and Child, a stunning transition piece between the Gothic and the Renaissance styles, as well as other works by Giorgione, Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini. The vineyards after which the church is named are unfortunately closed to the public, but the cloister is open.”
(Around Castello, A Lover of Venice)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Statue of George V

Statue of George V by William Reid Dick, Old Palace Yard, London
Statue of George V by Sir William Reid Dick, 1947 (unveiled)
Old Palace Yard, Parliament Square
London, October 2009

“The construction of the statue took place prior to the Second World War, but the danger of bringing the statue to London prevented the erection of it until after the war. The carving of the statue actually took place in the quarry from which the stone was produced, and during the war years it was placed inside one of the quarry's tunnels in order to prevent it from potential damage due to German bombing raids. Following the war it was moved to the Tate Gallery while the statue's site was prepared for it. The statue was placed in the original proposed spot opposite the House of Lords, which required the demolition of No. 5 Old Palace Yard. It was unveiled by King George VI, on 22 October 1947 and was attended by Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.”
(Statue of George V, Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Closed Gate

Gate to an internal courtyard, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
(Museum of Hunting and Nature)
Rue des Archives, 3e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Saturday, January 11, 2014

San Miniato al Monte

Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, St. Minias on the Mountain, viale dei Colli, Florence
Basilica of San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain)
Viale dei Colli
Florence, October 2013

See also: Inside San Miniato

“The geometrically patterned marble façade was probably begun in about 1090, although the upper parts date from the 12th century or later, financed by the Arte di Calimala (cloth merchants’ guild), who were responsible for the church’s upkeep from 1288 (the eagle which crowns the façade was their symbol). The mosaic of Christ between the Virgin and St Minias was made in 1260. The campanile collapsed in 1499 and was replaced in 1523, although it was never finished. During the siege of Florence in 1530 it was used as an artillery post by the defenders and Michelangelo had it wrapped in mattresses to protect it from enemy fire.”
(San Miniato al Monte, Florence, Sacred Destinations)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Venetian Traffic Signs

Venetian traffic sign, canal reserved to rowing boats only, Venice
Canal reserved to rowing boats only
Venice, October 2013

“Just like on the mainland, the water traffic in Venice also has to respect the rules and traffic signs. One-way and no entry signs are visible along the canals, however there is only one canal with a traffic light, Rio Nuovo – even if it hasn’t been used for a while. Other regulations include: motorboats must keep to the right, except along the Rio Nuovo canal where they must keep to the left. Rowing boats must keep to the left. This is because the stern oar is positioned on the right and must be free to move.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Red Cube

Red Cube by Isamu Noguchi, Marine Midland Building, New York
“Red Cube” by Isamu Noguchi, 1968
Marine Midland Building (also HSBC Bank Building)
New York, September 2007

“The bright red painted steel of Isamu Noguchi's Red Cube stands out in strong contrast to the blacks, browns, and whites of the buildings and sidewalks around the sculpture. Located to one side of a small plaza in front of the HSBC (previously the Marine Midland Bank) building on Broadway, Red Cube is surrounded on three sides by skyscrapers, the height of which draw a viewer's eye upwards. The sculpture itself adds to this upward pull, as it balances on one corner, the opposite corner reaching towards the sky. Despite its title, the sculpture is not actually a cube, but instead seems as though it has been stretched along its vertical axis.”
(Red Cube, New York Public Art Curriculum)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin with the habit vert and he Académie des Beaux-Arts, Commander of the Legion of Honour by Andrei Kovalchuk
Pierre Cardin wearing the badge of Commander of the Legion of Honour
With the habit vert and the epée of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Statue by Andrei Kovalchuk, 2011
Carré des Ambassadeurs
Jardins des Champs-Élysées, 8e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Official and personal greetings were sent by the President and Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli and Tair Salakhov, as well as Andrei Kovalchuk, Chairman of the Russian Union of Artists, who created a bronze sculpture of Cardin and presented it to him on this anniversary. The sculpture was installed next to the Place de la Concorde in Paris, on the Champs-Élysées. Congratulations on the occasion of Pierre Cardin’s birthday convey the deep respect and friendship of the Russian people and the nation’s prominent cultural figures.”
(№2 2012, The Tetriakov Gallery Magazine)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Salone dei Cinquecento

Salone dei Cinquecento, Hall of the 500, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the 500)
Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
Florence, October 2013

“Michelangelo completed the life-sized preparatory sketches called ‘cartoons’ (because they were done on large paper, which in Italian is cartone) before being called to Rome by Pope Julius II (to ‘decorate’ the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). His sketches were left in Florence, where they were studied and copied by many aspiring artists, most of whom decided to take home a piece here and there. Soon, nothing was left of these never-realized Michelangelo frescoes. All we know about them comes from a few copies made by artists I shall charitably call ‘less talented’ than Michelangelo.
Da Vinci, on the other hand, got a good head start on his side of the room, but his frescoes were done in by the man's own eagerness to experiment. He mixed wax in with his pigments, but the resulting frescoes were not drying fast enough. So, to speed up the drying, he had wood-fired braziers set up all along the base of the wall—then watched, in horror, as the heat melted the wax in the partly-finished frescoes and the images simply slid down off the wall to puddle on the floor.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria

Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria, Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, Lido di Venezia, Venice
Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria
Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta
Lido di Venezia
Venice, September 2013

“In the romantic ambiance of Lido di Venezia, the Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria awaits with its extraordinary multi-colored mosaic facade, the largest in the continent, created and realized by the famous Bassanese sculptor, Luigi Fabris in 1913. A marvelous example of Liberty style, the hotel has its original furnishings created more than a century ago by the Milan-based designer, Eugenio Quarti, which were exhibited at the prestigious Salone dell’Arte in Paris.”
(History, Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Many Small People

Ohne Titel, Without Title by Muriel Raoux, Kani Alavi, East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, Berlin
“Ohne Titel” (Without Title) by Muriel Raoux, Kani Alavi, East Side Gallery
Mühlenstraße, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Berlin Wall - Test the Rest - Bruderkuß - Stay Free - Without Title - Sonic Malade - Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht - Niemandsland - Curriculum Vitae

“Vielen kleine Leute die in vielen
kleinen Orten viele kleine Dinge
tun, können das Gesicht der Welt
(Afrikanische Weisheit)
“Many small people who in many
small places do many small things
that can alter the face of the world”

(African saying)

“The 1,316-meter-long section of the Berlin Wall, located along the Spree River near Berlin's Ostbahnhof, or East Train Station, is the longest stretch left in the city. Most of the rest of the 43-kilometer-long concrete barrier (the much longer part around the outside of West Berlin was made of barbed wire fencing) was dismantled soon after the border became redundant.
When the artists began work in 1990, however, Germany had yet to unify. ‘In June 1990, when I first painted the wall it was still real -- there was a border crossing nearby on the Oberbaum Bridge and I couldn't go over to West Berlin with my Soviet passport,’ said Moscow artist Alexey Taranin. While much of the west side of the Wall was covered in graffiti during the Cold War, East Germans were kept well away from the barrier, and it remained unsullied -- providing a perfect canvas for the East Side Gallery.”

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Librairie Jousseaume

Librairie Ancienne et Moderne Jousseaume, achat et vente
Galerie Vivienne, 2e arrondissement
Paris, July 2010

“But for me the essential bookshop is the Librairie Jousseaume (at 45 galerie Vivienne, 75002). Only Mr. Jousseaume himself is able to navigate the maze of this infinite collection of books. It's simple: He has everything, or could have everything.”
(The Most Bookish Spots in Paris, The Huffington Post)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Eataly in Florence

Eataly megastore, via Martelli, Florence
Eataly megastore, Via Martelli
Florence, December 2013

“Now a new foodie emporium will be opening next year, 2013, in Via Martelli, Florence, on the site of a historical bookshop. Its 1,300 square feet will be turned into a multi-functional area including bookshops, mini-theme restaurants and events such as cooking classes, in the new perspective of reviving Florence deserted centre, chasing away the recently barbarian invasion of cheap cloth shops. The Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore will be able to shine again in its overall glamour under the stars for the pedestrians able again to gain back the town centre at night.”

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bust of Minerva

Angel with a bust of Minerva, via del Babuino, Rome
Angel with a bust of Minerva
Via del Babuino
Rome, April 2013

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Fulcrum by Richard Serra, Broadgate exit Liverpool Street Station, London
“Fulcrum” by Richard Serra, 1987
Broadgate exit, Liverpool Street Station
London, October 2009

“A couple of weeks back I was in London and as usual was running late so rather than plunging into the bowels of the Tube I caught a cab through the bowels of The City to Liverpool Street Station for my train up to Norwich. As I rattled my bags across the Bishopsgate cobbles I saw the tops of the four massive sheets of steel that make up ‘Fulcrum.’ As I came closer the rest was revealed. There, nestled in the belly of a small amphitheatre that led to the Broadgate entrance was the first Serra sculpture I’d seen since Bilbao. It was unmistakably a Serra. I walked into the station, checked my ticket and platform then wandered back out for a closer look. Notwithstanding the massiveness of Fulcrum – it reaches 55 feet into the air and must – it still works on a human scale. While Fulcrum looks at first glance like a pile of rusted steel headed for the scrap-yard you can soon see how it works at this site. You can lean against it and watch the world go by.”