Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Bronze David

The bronze David by Donatello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
The bronze “David” by Donatello, 1440s
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
Florence, April 2015

“Donatello's bronze statue of David (circa 1440s) is famous as the first unsupported standing work of bronze cast during the Renaissance, and the first freestanding nude male sculpture made since antiquity. It depicts David with an enigmatic smile, posed with his foot on Goliath's severed head just after defeating the giant. The youth is completely naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots, bearing the sword of Goliath.”
(David by Donatello, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Public Showers

Bains-douches, public showers, rue Castagnary, Paris
Les Bains-douches Castagnary (The Castagnary public showers), 1932
Rue Castagnary, 15e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

“Although the French disposition toward hygiene has made marked progress since the Renaissance, it is this royal reticence in tandem with some intriguing historical circumstances that is responsible for the continuing importance of the public showers, the bains-douches municipaux, in contemporary Paris. To the American accustomed to at least one well-equipped bathroom per home, the idea of public showers raises the grimy specter of down-and-out living, violated modesty and communal germs. Nonetheless, in 1990 more than one million Parisians paid the reasonable 4.70 franc fee for a douche chaude.”
(Paris' bains-douches, Paris Voice)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb, English Cemetery, Piazzale Donatello, Florence
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb, 1861
English Cemetery, Piazzale Donatello
Florence, April 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Anno Domini 1908

Sir John Cass Foundation Primary School, Aldgate, City of London
Sir John Cass Foundation Primary School
Duke's Place / St James's Passage
Aldgate, City of London
London, September 2014

“This building now houses the Junior school of the Foundation established by Sir John Cass. Our picture shows the north-east elevation on Dukes Place and the return down an alley. The building extends back to Mitre Street which also has an elevation for show. All other visible aspects of this building were clearly not expected to be on display. We imagine street widening (possibly prompted by bomb damage) has caused this unseemly exhibition, making a once proud building look a mess.”

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Marble David

The marble David by Donatello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
The marble “David” by Donatello, 1409
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
Florence, April 2015

“The marble David is Donatello's earliest known important commission, and it is a work closely tied to tradition, giving few signs of the innovative approach to representation that the artist would develop as he matured. Although the positioning of the legs hints at a classical contrapposto, the figure stands in an elegant Gothic sway that surely derives from Lorenzo Ghiberti. The face is curiously blank (curiously, that is, if one expects naturalism, but very typical of the Gothic style), and David seems almost unaware of the head of his vanquished foe that rests between his feet. Some scholars have seen an element of personality – a kind of cockiness - (contrapposto = relaxed stance, shifted weight) suggested by the twist of the torso and the akimbo placement of the left arm, but overall the effect of the figure is rather bland.”
(David by Donatello, Wikipedia)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Folies Bergère

Façade of the Folies Bergère by Maurice Picaud (Pico), rue Richer, Paris
The façade of the Folies Bergère by Maurice Picaud (Pico)
Rue Richer, 9e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Devil on the Corner

Devil or satyr by Giambologna, Palazzo Vecchietti, Via de' Vecchietti, Via degli Strozzi, Florence
Devil (or satyr) by Giambologna (copy), Palazzo Vecchietti
Via de' Vecchietti / Via degli Strozzi
Florence, April 2015

“One day in the year 1245, St. Peter Martyr, as he usually did, was preaching against the heretics in the Old Market Square (Piazza della Repubblica) in Florence. The crowd that had gathered to hear him were so great in number they filled the square; the crowd overflowed into the Piazza delle Cipolle (Piazza Strozzi). Suddenly the Devil, taking the form of a black horse, wanted to frighten and disperse the crowd engrossed in listening to the saint. The horse began to run like crazy in the market, trampling everything in its path. The crowd began to disperse, and people started running in hopes of saving themselves. St. Peter Martyr saw the situation, raised his arm, and made ??the sign of the cross with his hand, in the direction of the runaway horse. The horse stopped immediately. The faithful began to return to the saint to express their gratitude, and someone realized that the horse was gone. Some centuries later, in 1578, in the memory of that event, Giambologna modeled the statue of the little devil as thanks to Bernardo Vecchietti, who had been his protector and patron. The little devil was placed in the exact location where the horse first appeared and finally disappeared: one of St. Peter Martyr’s many miracles. Even today, the devil is there in Via Vecchietti, and has an appearance similar to a horse.”
(The Giambologna Devil, Florence Inferno)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Byron Burgers

Byron Burgers former Bloomsbury Petrol Station, Store Street, London
Byron Burgers, Store Street at Ridgmount Street
Former Bloomsbury Petrol Station, Camden
London, September 2014

“Gourmet burger chain Byron is to take up home in a stylish redevelopment of a former petrol station on the Bedford Estate at 6 Store Street, WC1. ASK on behalf of its Byron subsidiary is taking a new 25-year lease at a rent of close to £83,000 per year. Located at the junction of Store Street and Ridgmount Street, the development includes reconstruction of the former Bloomsbury Petrol Station and forecourt dating from 1926 which has been converted to a new restaurant. The Garnett & Partners designed project also features a new BREEAM Excellent office building arranged over three levels, while to the rear the Grade II Listed former private dining room of the Academy Hotel has been restored as a suite of offices.”
(Burger Restaurant Brand Byron, EatOut Magazine)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cloister of the Dead

Chiostro dei Morti, Cloister of the Dead, Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation, Florence
Chiostro dei Morti (Cloister of the Dead)
Basilica della Santissima Annunziata
(Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation)
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
Florence, April 2015

See also: Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

“Leaving the church by the door at the end of the nave on the left, we enter the Cloister of the Dead, built around 1453. Above the door is the celebrated fresco of the Madonna del Sacco (1525) by Andrea del Sarto. In the other lunettes there is an interesting but very damaged fresco cycle on the Servites of Mary, painted in the early seventeenth century by Bernardino Poccetti and other artists of his time. Also in the Cloister is the Chapel of the Company of St. Luke, where the Confraternity of Painters had its headquarters in 1562 (before being moved in 1563 by order of Cosimo I to the Academy of the Arts of Design).”
(Santissima Annunziata, The Museums of Florence)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Buci News

Buci News, rue Grégoire-de-Tours, Paris
Buci News, newspapers and stationery, rue Grégoire-de-Tours
Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 6e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Monday, April 20, 2015


Personal/Unpersonal by Simone D'Auria, Gallery Hotel Art, Vicolo dell’Oro, Florence
“Personal/Unpersonal” by Simone D'Auria
Gallery Hotel Art, Vicolo dell’Oro
Florence, April 2015

See also: Mirror - Cycling Up

“Auria’s work, entitled Personal / Unpersonal, takes inspiration from the great men who built the city of Florence and who were represented by animal emblems. For example: the turtle is the symbol of Cosimo I, the perfect image to define prudence and wisdom together, or the rhino for Alessandro de Medici, to symbolize his strength and will.”

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Avatar by Robert Worley, Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London
“Avatar” by Robert Worley, 2009
Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf
London, September 2014

“Robert Worley ARBS was the winner of the First Public Art Award in 2009, a new annual award by the Royal British Society of Sculptors to provide an opportunity for artists new to public art to create a large-scale sculpture commission. The Award was sponsored by Canary Wharf Group, who subsequently purchased Worley’s sculpture Avatar for its permanent collection. Avatar portrays a hawk-like beast with a human form embedded in its back. Worley has undertaken a number of public commissions since winning the Award.”
(Public Art at Canary Wharf, Canary Wharf Group PLC)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sala Santa Cecilia

Sala Santa Cecilia, Parco della Musica, Rome
Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica
Viale Pietro de Coubertin
Rome, May 2012

See also: Sala Sinopoli

“Parco della Musica was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Jürgen Reinhold from Müller-BBM was in charge of acoustics in the three concert halls; Franco Zagari was landscape architect for the outdoor spaces. The three large concert halls are Sala Petrassi, in memory of Goffredo Petrassi, about 700 seats; Sala Sinopoli, in memory of Giuseppe Sinopoli, about 1200 seats; and Sala Santa Cecilia, about 2800 seats. They are structurally separated to ensure soundproofing, though joined at the base by a continuous lobby. A fourth ‘concert hall’, called Cavea, is the open air theater recalling ancient Greek and Roman theaters. The fan-shaped layout is formed around the central piazza.”
(Parco della Musica, Wikipedia)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Honoré Champion

Tomb of Honoré Champion by Albert Bartholomé, Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris
Tomb of Honoré Champion by Albert Bartholomé, 1913
Montparnasse Cemetery, 14e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Padua Astronomical Clock

Replica of the astronomical clock made by Jacopo Dondi dell'Orologio, Torre dell'Orologio, Piazza dei Signori, Padua
Replica of the astronomical clock made by Jacopo Dondi dell'Orologio, 1428
Torre dell'Orologio, Piazza dei Signori
Padua, September 2013

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Notre Dame de France

Church of Notre Dame de France, Leicester Square, London
Roman Catholic church of Notre Dame de France
Leicester Square
London, September 2014

“It is a striking building with a circular ground plan, and lit principally by a central domed skylight. The shape is apparently the consequence of the building's history: the original structure was built not as a church, but as something called ‘Burford's Panorama’ - a sort of exhibition-cum-popular entertainment of the late 18th. Century, which was located in a large rotunda. By late Victorian times, this had become redundant and was purchased in 1865 by Fr. Charles Faure, SM, who had been asked by Cardinal Wiseman to establish a church for London's French community. A church, the first Catholic church to substantially use cast iron in its construction, was designed by the French architect, Louis Auguste Boileau, retaining the circular plan, and consecrated on 11th June 1868.”
(Notre Dame de France, Leicester Square, Sub Umbra Alarum Suarum)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Empire Diner

Empire Diner, Tenth Avenue, Chelsea, New York
Empire Diner, Tenth Avenue / West 22nd Street
New York, September 2007

“The Empire Diner, which graced the corner of Twenty-second Street and Tenth Avenue for thirty-four years, was a New York superstar. Its Art Deco façade had a cameo in Woody Allen's ‘Manhattan’ in 1979, it was depicted on the cover of this magazine in 2010, and it still flickers by in the opening credits for ‘Saturday Night Live.’ The food was nothing special, but they had live piano, and they were open all night long, even when far-west Chelsea was something of a foreboding wasteland. Many of the neighborhood’s pioneers agreed with the establishment’s tagline and self-assessment: the hippest diner on earth. In May, the Empire closed its doors, and, without substantial renovation, the proprietors of Coffee Shop have opened a new restaurant there called the Highliner. The body remains, but the soul has vanished.”
(The Highliner by Ariel Levy, The New Yorker)

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Beehive

Former honey merchant's sign, rue Pierre-Lescot, Paris
Former honey merchant's sign with giant bees
Rue Rambuteau / rue Pierre-Lescot
1er arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Statue of Saint Reparata

Statue of Saint Reparata by Amalia Dupré, Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence
Statue of Saint Reparata by Amalia Dupré
Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower)
Piazza del Duomo
Florence, October 2013

“Amalia Dupré (Florence 1845–1928) was a corresponding member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. She was taught by her father, Giovanni Dupré, a famed sculptor, whose Abel is in the Modern Art Gallery at the Pitti. You can find her work on the façade of the Duomo: she made the statue of St. Reparata and finished the statue of St. Zenobi for her father. In Casacalande, in Campobosso province, on the fourth Sunday of each September, her statue of the Virgin Mary is brought to the Chiesa delle Madonna della Difesa for the day’s religious festivities.”

Saturday, April 11, 2015

John Donne

Bust of John Donne by Nigel Boonham, St Paul's Churchyard, City of London
Bust of John Donne by Nigel Boonham, 2012
St Paul's Churchyard, City of London
London, September 2014

“A statue of John Donne, one of England’s foremost poets and priests, and a Dean of St Paul's, has been unveiled in the newly completed garden to the south of the cathedral. The bronze bust, by artist Nigel Boonham FRBS, points almost due west but shows Donne turning to face east towards his birthplace on Bread Street, just yards from the cathedral. The directions of the compass were important to Donne in his metaphysical work: east is the Rising Sun, the Holy Land and Christ, while west is the place of decline and of death. Underneath the bust is inscribed the Donne text:
Hence is't, that I am carried towards the West,
This day, when my Soul's form bends to the East

Friday, April 10, 2015

Aeneas and Anchises

Aeneas and Anchises by Sandro Chia, Palazzo Valentini, Via IV Novembre, Rome
“Aeneas and Anchises” by Sandro Chia, 2005
Palazzo Valentini, Via IV Novembre
Rome, September 2010

See also: Palazzo Valentini

“The Palazzo's art treasures include the statue of ‘Ulysses’ by Ugo Attardi, as well as works depicting ‘Aeneas and Anchises’ and ‘Europa’, made by Sandro Chia to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the provincial administration of Rome, now located at the entrance.”
(Palazzo Valentini, Wikipedia)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fontaine Vercingetorix

Vercingetorix fountain, jardin Vercingétorix-Brune, Paris
Fontaine Vercingetorix, 1978, Jardin Vercingétorix-Brune
Boulevard Brune / rue Vercingétorix, 14e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Santa Maria della Pietà

Santa Maria della Pietà, Riva degli Schiavoni, San Marco, Venice
Santa Maria della Pietà or della Visitazione
Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello
Venice, September 2013

“Famous as the church of the Ospedale della Pietà, the orphanage where Vivaldi taught and for whose talented girls he composed most of his concerti and oratorios. The complex had been enlarged in 1388, and modernised in 1493 and 1515. The current building dates from a rebuilding of the chapel of the Pietà between 1745-60 on a new site. It was finished well after Vivaldi's death, but it is possible that the composer advised the architect, Giorgio Massari, on the positioning of the choirs and the use of a vestibule to provide a barrier to the noises of the Riva. Massari had won a competition in 1735 to provide plans for the reconstruction of the whole complex, but only the church was ever built. The façade was finally finished in 1906.”
(La Pietà, The Churches of Venice)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Amazon Locker

Amazon Locker Celery, New Street Square, City of London, London
“Order online, pick up here”, Amazon Locker
New Street Square, City of London
London, September 2014

“Amazon has installed collection lockers in office blocks in London as it seeks to make deliveries more convenient. Lockers have been placed in Cardinal Place, near Victoria in London, New Street Square in the City, and at Thomas More Square in east London, according to The Times. The move follows Amazon installing lockers at Land Securities’ One New Change shopping centre in the City, as revealed by”

Monday, April 6, 2015

Horse-drawn Carriage

Horse-drawn carriage, Spandauer Straße, Berlin
Horse-drawn carriage
Spandauer Straße
Berlin, September 2011

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Maréchal Joffre

Maréchal Joffre by Maxime Real del Sarte, Champ de Mars, Paris
Maréchal Joffre by Maxime Real del Sarte, 1939
Avenue de La Motte-Picquet (Place Joffre)
Champ de Mars, 7e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

See also: Alexandre Ier de Yougoslavie

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Overhead Wires

Overhead wires and lines near the main railway station, seen from the Boboli Gardens, Florence
Overhead wires and lines near the main railway station
Seen from the Boboli Gardens
Florence, October 2013

Friday, April 3, 2015

Two Men on a Bench

Two Men on a Bench by Giles Penny, Cubitt Steps, Canary Wharf, London,
“Two Men on a Bench” by Giles Penny, 1995
Cubitt Steps, Canary Wharf
London, September 2014

“Giles Penny’s Two Men on a Bench is a large bronze work in the classical figurative tradition, which has a contemplative air as well as an element of fun. Simplified surfaces and contours imbue it with a monumental presence and narrative sculptural language. Giles Penny came to the attention of the Canary Wharf Group when this work, together with another of his bronzes, Man with Arms Open, were shown here in 1999 as part of the Millennium exhibition, The Shape of the Century. Both sculptures were purchased and are now permanently located here.”
(Public Art at Canary Wharf, Canary Wharf Group PLC)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Via dei Tre Pupazzi

Painted rolling shutter, via dei Tre Pupazzi, Rione Borgo, Rome
Painted rolling shutter, Via dei Tre Pupazzi
Rione Borgo
Rome, April 2013

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tour Eiffel

La Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower see from Champ de Mars, Paris
La tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)
Seen from the Champ de Mars, 7e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

See also:
Eiffel Tower - From the Palais de Chaillot - Under the Tower - Third Floor - 72 Names - Charging the Eiffel Tower
Search labels: Eiffel

“Eiffel reportedly rejected Koechlin’s original plan for the tower, instructing him to add more ornate flourishes. The final design called for more than 18,000 pieces of puddle iron, a type of wrought iron used in construction, and 2.5 million rivets. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the framework of the iconic lattice tower, which at its inauguration in March 1889 stood nearly 10,000 feet high and was the tallest structure in the world—a distinction it held until the completion of New York City’s Chrysler Building in 1930. (In 1957, an antenna was added that increased the structure’s height by 65 feet, making it taller than the Chrysler Building but not the Empire State Building, which had surpassed its neighbor in 1931.) Initially, only the Eiffel Tower’s second-floor platform was open to the public; later, all three levels, two of which now feature restaurants, would be reachable by stairway or one of eight elevators.”
(Eiffel Tower, A&E Television Network)