Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Protection Civile de Paris

Boat of the Protection Civile de Paris, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Paris
Boat of the Protection Civile de Paris
16e arrondissements
Seen from the Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Paris, July 2012

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Church of Santa Trinita

Church of Santa Trinita, Holy Trinity, via de' Tornabuoni, Florence
Church of Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity)
Via de' Tornabuoni / Piazza Santa Trinita
Florence, October 2013

“This basilica, founded by the Vallombrosan Order, was built during the 11th century. It was enlarged in the Gothic style during the first thirty years of the 14th century and later on from the end of that century till about 1405. The outside facing in hard sandstone, designed at the end of the 16th century (1593-1594) by Bernardo Buontalenti, displays a double order of composite pilasters, and at its upper central point there is a round window.”
(Church of Santa Trinita, Scientific Itineraries in Tuscany)

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Gesuati

Santa Maria del Rosario, St Mary of the Rosary, Fondamenta delle Zattere ai Gesuati, Venice
Santa Maria del Rosario (St Mary of the Rosary), commonly known as I Gesuati,
Fondamenta delle Zattere ai Gesuati, Dorsoduro
Venice, September 2013

“Monks from Siena from the order of The Blessed Giovanni Colombino established themselves here in 1392. In 1423 they built an oratory and cloister dedicated to Saint Jerome. (They had previously occupied the nearby church of Sant’Agnese.) A proper church and monastery were built here by the Poor Gesuati order (as they now called themselves) from 1494, consecrated 1524 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation. The order was suppressed in 1668 and in 1669 the Dominicans bought the place and got Giorgio Massari to build the present, much larger, church, beginning work in 1726, to the east of the old church, and finishing it in 1743.”
(Gesuati, The Churches of Venice)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Majas on a Balcony

Majas on a Balcony, attributed to Goya, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
“Majas on a Balcony”, attributed to Goya, 1800-1810
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, September 2007

See also: Le Balcon

“The theme of women on a balcony overseen by watchful, somewhat threatening male companions strongly engaged Goya, who treated this subject in a painting now in a private collection. Dating from about 1810, the latter is among Goya's masterpieces. The Metropolitan's painting is sometimes considered a variant composition, its attribution questioned by some experts. Expressively and stylistically, however, the two paintings are quite different and the Metropolitan's painting has suffered from abrasion and past overcleaning.”
(Majas on a Balcony, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Le Balcon

Le Balcon, The Balcony by Édouard Manet, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
“Le Balcon” (The Balcony) by Édouard Manet, 1868
Musée d'Orsay, rue de Lille, 7e arrondissement
Paris, July 2005

See also: Édouard Manet

“The painting, inspired by The Majas at the balcony by Francisco Goya, was created at the same time and with the same purpose as The Lunch in the workshop. The three characters, who were all friends of Manet, seem to be disconnected from each other: while Berthe Morisot, on the left, looks like a romantic and inaccessible heroine, the young violinist Fanny Claus and the painter Antoine Guillemet seem to display indifference.”
(The Balcony, Wikipedia)

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Mask of Dante

Dante Death Mask, Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, piazza della Signoria, Florence
The Mask of Dante, Museum of Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, October 2013

“In the past, this relief was considered to be the actual Dante death mask, carved directly from the face of the lifeless Dante Alighieri. Recent studies, though, consider it more likely that this relief is the cast of a lost sepulchral effigy of Dante. Of course, this theory does not deprive the mask of its value and its suggestive power: that is why the mask is still preserved in the most important palace in Florence.
Dante Alighieri, the Florentine poet and father of the Italian language, died in exile in Ravenna (near Bologna) in 1321. According to tradition, the effigy from which the mask was sculpted was preserved in the tomb of Dante in Ravenna. The mask kept in Palazzo Vecchio was probably carved in 1483 by Pietro and Tullio Lombardo. In the middle of sixteenth century, the mask was donated to sculptor Giambologna, who then gave it to his scholar Pietro Tacca. Dante’s death mask became a model of study for young artists.
Around 1830 the mask belonged to sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, who donated it to English painter and Dante scholar Seymour Kirkup, also famous for having contributed to the discovery of the portrait of Dante attributed to Giotto in the chapel of the Bargello Palace.
This is why the Dante death mask is also known as Maschera Kirkup (Kirkup Mask). Kirkup’s widow gave the mask to literary critic Alessandro D’Ancona, who was at that time a senator of the Kingdom of Italy.
Senator D’Ancona gave the Dante death mask to the Palazzo Vecchio in 1911.”
(Dante Death Mask, Florence Inferno)

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Model and photographer at work, Campo Santo Stefano, Venice
Model and photographers at work
Campo Santo Stefano, San Marco
Venice, October 2013

See also: Model at Work - Model and Photographers

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik

Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik mark, WMF Building, Mauerstraße, Berlin
Mark of the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (Metalware Factory of Wuerttemberg)
Facade of the former WMF Building, Leipziger Straße / Mauerstraße
Berlin, September 2011

“During the 1920s, Abteilung für Galvanoplastik was producing reproductions of large-scale Italian Renaissance bronze works for an American clientele. Albert Weiblen Marble & Granite Co., Inc. of New Orleans pursued the acquisition of a gilt copper reproduction of Ghiberti's ‘Gates of Paradise’. In 1910, the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti had granted WMF the exclusive right to take a sharp cast of the original doors, from which WMF created a reproduction that was exhibited at the International Building Trades Exhibition in Leipzig (1913). WMF produced a trilingual catalog about the doors, titled Erztüre des Hauptportals am Baptisterium in Florenz.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lantern of the Dome

Lantern of the dome, Saint-Louis des Invalides, Paris
Lantern of the dome, Saint-Louis des Invalides
Avenue de Tourville, 7e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Shortly after the veterans' chapel was completed, Louis XIV constructed a separate private royal chapel, which was named ‘Église du Dôme’. The architect for the dome was Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the royal chapel stood finished 1706, in which it was inaugurated by the king himself. The royal chapel is considered one of the very finest examples of French Baroque architecture.
The dome itself was inspired by the origin of all Baroque domes; the dome of the grand St. Peters Basilica in Rome. The Église du Dôme has in turn been the inspiration for several other buildings, including the San Francisco City Hall.
In 1989 during the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, the dome itself was regilded for the 5th time since its creation. During the process, a large number of thin gold leaves were used. The total weight equaled around ten kilos pure gold.”
(Les Invalides - Dome, World Site Guides)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, Florence
Loggia dei Servi di Maria (Loggia of the Servant of Mary)
Basilica della Santissima Annunziata (Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation)
Equestrian statue of Ferdinando I de' Medici by Giambologna
Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents)
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
Florence, October 2013

“This piazza takes its name from the Basilica Santissima Annunziata, Florence, which terminates the axis at one end of a long street, the present Via dei Servi. The street is closed at the other end by Brunelleschi's great dome. The loggias on three sides of the square make it probably the best example of a Renaissance piazza. Broadly speaking the piazza as it now appears represents the general ideas of town planning of Brunelleschi and his contemporaries. Indeed it was Brunelleschi himself who designed the major building in the square, the Ospedale degli Innocenti or the Hospital of the Innocents.”
(Cliff Moughtin, Urban Design: Street and Square)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Corte del Duca Sforza

Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco, Venice
Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco
Venice, September 2013

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mount Street

Building by James Trant Smith, Mount Street, City of Westminster, London
117-121 Mount Street / 1 Mt Street Mews
City of Westminster
London, October 2009

“Terrace of houses and flats with shops. 1886-7 by James Trant Smith. Red brick and lavish terracotta dressings, slate roofs. Ornate and eclectic exercise in Queen Anne and Flemish styles. Four storeys with dormered and gabled attics. Ground floor mostly original shop fronts with segmented arched display windows framed together with doorways by engaged decorated columns and pilasters supporting continuous entablature with iron cresting. Upper floors have 2 pairs of canted bay windows flanking central bowed oriel rising to shaped gable and at each end of block polygonal corner pavilions with domed attics - mullioned-transomed casements and sashes with glazing bars in architraves. Smaller gabled windows and elliptical arched dormers in roof. Moulded string and sill courses. The east corner pavilion has additional cast iron balconies and inset busts to each floor. Plain brick return elevations. Prominent chimney stacks. Part of the 1880s -90s rebuilding of Mount Street for the Grosvenor Estate.”
(117-121, Mount Street W1, British Listed Buildings)

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Tip of the Island

Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Bir-Hakeim bridge, Parigi
The northern tip of the Île aux Cygnes and the central arch of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim
With the statue “La France Renaissante” by Holger Wederkinch
16e arrondissements
Paris, July 2012

See also: La France Renaissante - Charging the Eiffel Tower

“The bridge, made of steel, is the second to have stood at the site. It was constructed between 1903 and 1905, replacing an earlier bridge that had been erected in 1878. An arch bridge, it is 237 metres (777 ft) long and 24.7 metres (81 ft) wide. The bridge has two levels: one for motor vehicles and pedestrians, and a viaduct above, through which passes Line 6 of the Paris Métro. The railway viaduct is supported by metal colonnades, except where it passes over the île aux Cygnes, where it rests on a masonry arch. Many commemorative plates decorate the viaduct bridge, including several dedicated to soldiers fallen in Belgium during the Second World War.”
(Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Wikipedia)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Milano 25

Taxi Milano 25, via dei Calzaiuoli, Florence
Taxi Milano 25, Via dei Calzaiuoli
Florence, October 2013

“Most Florentines have seen the taxi brimming with trinkets, toys and flowers. The driver of the most outrageous and child-friendly cab in town is Caterina Bellandi, aka Milano 25. When not working as a taxi driver in the city, she escorts sick children to and from Florence's Meyer hospital, free of charge. What started out as offering free rides to ill kids has completely changed her life. Hers is ‘a mission’, she says, ‘Decorating the taxi is like putting my heart on my sleeve; when I bring my kids to the hospital I want to share my pain and my joy with them ... the taxi is supposed to give them joy.’”
(The adventures of Milano 25, The Florentine)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

San Luca Evangelista

Church of San Luca Evangelista, St Luke the Evangelist, Fondamenta della Chiesa, San Marco, Venice
Church of San Luca Evangelista (St Luke the Evangelist)
Fondamenta della Chiesa, San Marco
Venice, September 2013

“Originally built before 1072 by the Dandolo and Pizzamano families, the present church dates from a rebuilding in the mid 16th century. The collapse of part of the façade in 1827 created an urgent need for more rebuilding in 1832, by Sebastiano Santi, with further major work in 1881. Tucked away just North of Campo Manin, opposite a long-disused cinema, it's orangey pink on the outside and not entirely fascinating on the inside. An aisleless nave with deep apsidal chapels, there is a worse-for-wear Veronese, The Virgin Appearing in Glory to Saint Luke, over the high altar and a Palma Giovane, of course.”
(San Luca, The Churches of Venice)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Colgate Clock

Colgate Clock, Jersey City, New Jersey
Seen from Battery Park City
New York, September 2007

“The current clock was built in 1924. It is considered the world's largest clock with a 50' diameter face, and a minute hand that is 25' long. The design was based on Colgate's Octagon Soap. The current Colgate Clock replaced an earlier clock designed by Colgate engineer Warren Day, which was constructed by the Seth Thomas Clock Company for the centennial of the Colgate Company in 1906. That clock had a face measuring 37 1/2 feet in diameter and covering an area of 1,104 square feet. It was installed on the roof of one of the Colgate factory buildings along with its sign that was about 20 feet high.”
(The big clock by the river, Hudson Reporter)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comte de Rochambeau

Bronze statue of Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau by Fernand Hamar, place Rochambeau, Paris
Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 1902
(Copy of the statue by Fernand Hamar in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C.)
Place Rochambeau, 16e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Our Lady in Trastevere

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere), 1143
Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Rome, April 2013

“S. Maria in Trastevere was rebuilt in the XIIth century by Pope Innocent II, who belonged to a family of Trastevere; because his appointment was challenged by an antipope who resided in the Vatican, he wanted S. Maria to be a church which could withstand comparison with the great basilicas; it was designed having in mind S. Maria Maggiore and gigantic columns from Terme di Caracalla were employed; the apse was decorated with a large mosaic and a tall bell tower was built to the right of the church; in the following century also the façade was decorated with a mosaic.”
(S. Maria in Trastevere , A Rome Art Lover's Web Page)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Madonna del Monte

Madonna del Monte, Our Lady of the Mountain island, Scomenzera San Giacomo, Venetian Lagoon, Venice
Madonna del Monte (Our Lady of the Mountain) island
Scomenzera San Giacomo, Venetian Lagoon
Venice, October 2013

“The island Madonna del Monte, aka Madonna del Rosario, is a small island in the Venetian lagoon, located on the canal which connects Murano and Burano. It is dying a slow death. It housed a monastery for a period in the middle ages, but then lay abandoned for centuries, until another monastery was founded in the early 18th century. It lasted just one century before being closed and demolished by Napoleon, like so many other monasteries. In the 19th century it was used for gun powder storage, and the current building dates from this period. It is now suffering from death by waves. It once had a perimeter wall, but the intense motor traffic on the nearby canal has caused that wall to crumble and little of anything is now visible to the casual visitor. Once the wall is down, the constant waves quickly erode the sand and dirt the island is made of. The trees and shrubs near the edge die because of the salty water washing over the shore, and without the roots of the plants there is nothing left to keep the island together.”
(The death of an island, René Seindal)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Athena Protects the Young Hero

Der junge Held wird von Athena beschützt, Athena protects the young hero, by Gustav Blaeser, Schloßbrücke, Berlin
“Der junge Held wird von Athena beschützt”
(Athena protects the young hero)
By Gustav Blaeser, 1854
Schloßbrücke (Palace Bridge)
Berlin, September 2011

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

“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, April 10, 2014

Music Under the Sun

Musicians playing under the sun, quai François Mitterrand, Paris
Musicians playing under the sun, with the Pont des Arts in background
Quai François Mitterrand, 1er arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pasquino Group

Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus, Pasquino Group, Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus also known as Pasquino Group
Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria
Florence, March 2014
See also: Pasquino

“In 1771 the neoclassic artist Anton Raphael Mengs took moulds of the parts he considered antique of this sculpture and the version at the Palazzo Pitti (discussed below) and reassembled them in a plaster model that was intended to be more faithful to the Roman original. It was taken away to be further repaired in 1798[10] and remained in obscurity, undergoing further adjustments by Stefano Ricci in the 1830s, until it was finally re-erected in 1838, in the Loggia dei Lanzi. The feature which still draws most attention is the lifeless hanging left arm of Patroclus, seemingly dislocated, which was in fact part of the Tacca-Salvetti restoration. Other ‘errors’ an archaeologist today would point out, by comparing the fragment with other surviving fragments rather than by relying on his sensitive artistic eye, are the lifted left leg of the bearer and raised right knee of Patroclus, and the picturesquely mounded ground that serves as a base.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Palazzo Lezze

Palazzo Lezze, Corte Lezze, Venice
Calle Lezze, Corte Lezze, San Marco
Venice, October 2013

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bryanston Street War Memorial

Church of the Annunciation War Memorial, Bryanston Street and Old Quebec Street, London
Church of the Annunciation War Memorial
Bryanston Street / Old Quebec Street
London, October 2009

“This war memorial is in the form of a teak crucifix on a Portland stone plinth. The figure of Christ is gilded. The memorial is surrounded by iron railings and there are two Portland stone plaques on the wall of the church behind listing the names of the fallen. The memorial is located adjacent to the Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, Marylebone, London.”
(Bryanston Street, War Memorials Trust)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jean-François Champollion

Statue of Jean-François Champollion by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi,
Jean-François Champollion by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, 1875
Courtyard of the Collège de France
Place Marcelin Berthelot, 5e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“A statue in Paris of Jean François Champollion, the French archaeologist who deciphered hieroglyphics, has been condemned as ‘derogatory’ and ‘shameful’ by Egyptian Egyptologists. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi carved the marble statue depicting Champollion standing with his left foot on a pharaonic head in 1875. It was put on display in the Parc Egyptian created by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette for the Universal Exhibition of 1877. It was originally intended to be transported to Figeac, the birthplace of Champollion, but the project did not find sufficient support and it remained in Paris. In 1878, the statue was placed in its current location in the courtyard of the Collège de France. The statue has triggered the anger of Egyptian Egyptologists and the antiquities ministry.”

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cycling Up

Cycling Up, Pedalando verso l'alto, by Simone D'Auria, Gallery Hotel Art, Vicolo dell’Oro, Florence
“Cycling Up” (Pedalando verso l'alto) by Simone D'Auria
Gallery Hotel Art, Vicolo dell’Oro
Florence, March 2014

(Dedicated to our friend Beata, who was there with us)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ponte Corte Vecchia

Ponte Corte Vecchia toward Campiello dei Trevisani from Fondamenta dell'Abbazia, Venice
Ponte Corte Vecchia toward Campiello dei Trevisani
Seen from Fondamenta dell'Abbazia, Cannaregio
Venice, September 2013

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bellerophon Taming Pegasus

Bellerophon Taming Pegasus by Jacques Lipchitz, Columbia University, New York
“Bellerophon Taming Pegasus” by Jacques Lipchitz, 1966-77
Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia University
Amsterdam Avenue, Morningside Heights
New York, September 2008

“‘Don't expect a blinded lady with scales and all those things from me,’ said sculptor Jacques Lipchitz when Columbia Law School approached him in 1964 to create a work of art on the campus. ‘I will try to think of something else.’ The result is the 23-ton bronze sculpture ‘Bellerophon Taming Pegasus’ towering above the west entrance of Jerome Greene Hall on Revson Plaza. At approximately 30 by 28 feet and nearly five stories high, the outdoor sculpture is one of New York City’s largest. Lipchitz's sculpture depicts the Greek hero Bellerophon wrestling with the winged horse Pegasus, whose hooves, wings and tail radiate in all directions. The tangle of bodies stands precariously atop a base that looks like a giant railroad spike driven into the stairs.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Soldier with a Camera

Taking pictures of an AMX 10 RC from a Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé, avenue de Wagram, Paris
Taking pictures of an AMX 10 RC from a VAB (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé)
Avenue de Wagram, Bastille Day
Paris, July 2011

Search labels: 14 juillet

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Giardino dei Semplici

Orto Botanico, Botanical Garden, Giardino dei Semplici, Garden of Simples, Florence)
Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden), via Micheli
Aka Giardino dei Semplici (Garden of Simples)
Florence, October 2013