Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fire

Fire by Nic Fiddian-Green, Mount Street Gardens, South Audley Street, London
“Fire” by Nic Fiddian-Green, 2011
Mount Street Gardens, South Audley Street
Mayfair, City of Westminster
London, September 2014

Monday, June 29, 2015

Via Condotti

Via Condotti, Roma
Via Condotti, seen from the top of the Spanish step
Rome, September 2010

“The most famous fashion streets in Rome are three parallel streets that all meet up with Via del Corso, starting from Piazza di Spagna or near there: Via Condotti, Via Borgognona and Via Frattina. The most famous of the three is Via Condotti, which owes its name to the channels that carried water to the Agrippa thermal spa baths. Today it is one of the most elegant streets in the world, lined with the shops of the most famous fashion labels such as Bulgari, who opened his ‘atelier’ here in 1905, Hermés, Cartier, Ferragamo and Battistoni, a historical Roman atelier of male tailored fashion that was a favorite of the Duke of Windsor.”
(Shopping, Italy Travel Guide)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Frog

Frog-shaped drinking fountain by Claude Torricini, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle, La Défense, Paris
“La Fontaine à Boire” (The Drinking Fountain) by Claude Torricini, 1987
Esplanade du Général de Gaulle
Courbevoie, La Défense
Paris, July 2011

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ferry at Sunset

Ferry San Nicolò, IMO 9198422, Venice
Ferry “San Nicolò”, en route from Lido to Tronchetto
Canale della Giudecca (Giudecca Canal)
Venice, September 2013

Friday, June 26, 2015

Urinetown

Urinetown, Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London
Urinetown”, Apollo Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue
London, September 2014

“Greg Kotis had the idea for Urinetown while traveling in Europe. A traveling student on a budget, he encountered a pay-per-use toilet, and began writing shortly thereafter, joining with Mark Hollmann for the journey to Broadway. Initially, no production companies were interested in optioning the musical, but finally the Neo-Futurists, an experimental theatre group from Chicago, agreed to produce Urinetown for their 1999–2000 season.”
(Urinetown, Wikipedia)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Portico dei Servi

Portico dei Servi, Strada Maggiore, Bologna
Portico dei Servi, Strada Maggiore
Bologna, June 2015

“In the case of Santa Maria dei Servi, the piazza in front of the basilica was quite small—which permitted building a wide arcade around it that encloses the entire square without interruption. The arcade is closed on one side by the conventual buildings, but on two sides it is open to the street, and extends along the entire left side of the building. Where the arcade meets the facade, it forms a ‘narthex’ or wide portico of five arches, stretching across the front of the church. The arcade has a decorative cornice and circular moulding on the spandrels echoes the ocular window in the facade.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Harlequin Cow

Harlequin cow, Le Village St-Paul, Paris
Harlequin cow, Le Village St-Paul
Le Marais, 4e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lift Your Head

Museo Marino Marini, Marino Marini Museum, Piazza San Pancrazio, Florence
“Lift your head, give me the best side of your face”, exhibition by Gavin Kenyon
Museo Marino Marini (Marino Marini Museum), Piazza San Pancrazio
Florence, April 2015

See also: Museo Marino Marini

“Drawing inspiration from the area he grew up in, the forests of upstate New York, Kenyon’s bulbous sculptural forms in cement, wool, and other organic materials are rooted in George Bataille's concept of informe (1929). Curated by Alberto Salvadori, the exhibit is comprised of 13 new works created by Kenyon specifically for this unprecedented Florentine project, works which will be housed in the Marino Marini Museum crypt. Produced in italy, the sculptures constitute a key juncture for Kenyon, as formal combinations fusing elements typical of his work, such as the untamed nature of shapes and the inherent anarchy of free matter to discover its own form despite breaking with rules of construction—while considering as well the formal symbolic conventions of renaissance architecture as represented in the museum crypt space.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

High Wind IV

High Wind IV by Lynn Chadwick, City of London
“High Wind IV” by Lynn Chadwick, 1995
St Mary Axe, City of London
London, September 2014

See also: Couple on a Seat

“In the 1980s and 1990s, many people felt that Chadwick's work had failed to evolve - but they simply were not looking. His Stairs, of 1991, with two figures passing in opposite directions, is one of the most telling representations both of movement and of human relationships in sculpture. Similarly his High Wind IV, of 1995, emphasises that he, in his work, had retained in old age all the vigour and wit of his best known pieces of sculpture from his earlier phases.”
(Lynn Chadwick, The Guardian)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sala Petrassi

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

See also: Sala Santa Cecilia - 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)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Victory over the Empire

La Victoire sur l'Empire by Gaspard Marsy and Anselme Flamen, Palace of Versailles, Versailles
“La Victoire sur l'Empire” by Gaspard Marsy and Anselme Flamen, 1682
Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
France, July 2009

See also: The Victory over Spain

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

St Michael, Cornhill

Parish church of St Michael, Cornhill, City of London, London
Parish church of St Michael, Cornhill
City of London
London, September 2014

“Scott added an elaborate Gothic porch (1858–1860) facing Cornhill. It is decorated with carving by John Birnie Philip, which includes a high-relief tympanum sculpture depicting ‘St Michael disputing with Satan’. Scott inserted Gothic tracery to the circular clerestory windows, and into the plain round-headed windows on the south side of the church. New side windows were created in the chancel, and an elaborate stone reredos, incorporating the paintings of Moses and Aaron from its predecessor, was constructed in an Italian Gothic style. A contemporary account of the work explained that this was appropriate since ‘the classical feeling which pervades the Italian school of Gothic art enabled the architect to bring the classical features of the building into harmony with the Gothic treatment which our present sympathies demand’. The chancel walls were lined with panels of coloured marble, up to the level of the top of the reredos columns, and richly painted above this point.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bethesda Terrace

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Central Park, New York
Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
Mid-Park at 72nd Street, Central Park
New York, September 2007

“Bethesda Terrace is considered the heart of Central Park. In their original plan, Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux envisioned a sweeping Promenade (the Mall) that led to a grand terrace overlooking the Lake. The magnificent carvings represent the four seasons and, on the side facing the Mall, the times of day. Today, Central Park Conservancy employs a sculptor to care for the sandstone carvings and sculpture and a zone gardener and their crew to take care of the landscapes. In the summer, aquatic plantings such as water lilies and lotus are placed in the fountain, reviving a 19th century tradition.”
(Bethesda Terrace, Central Park Conservancy)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Avenue Constant Coquelin

Building on the corner of boulevard des Invalides with avenue Constant Coquelin, Paris
Building on the corner of avenue Constant Coquelin
With boulevard des Invalides, 7e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Monday, June 15, 2015

Palazzo di Giustizia

Court of Justice and Indiano Bridge in background, Florence
Palazzo di Giustizia (Court of Justice) seen from Fiesole
Ponte all'Indiano (Indiano Bridge) in background
Florence, April 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Our Lady of Mercy

Our Lady of Mercy by Georges-Laurent Saupique, church of Notre Dame de France, Leicester Square, London
Our Lady of Mercy by Georges-Laurent Saupique, 1953
Church of Notre Dame de France, Leicester Square
London, September 2014

See also: Notre Dame de France

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fontana del Nettuno

Fontana del Nettuno, Fountain of Neptune by Giambologna, Piazza del Nettuno, Bologna
Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) by Giambologna, 1567
Piazza del Nettuno (Palazzo d'Accursio on the left)
Bologna, June 2015

“If you were Bolognese, you'd be used to it, pass it every day on the way to market, lean against the edge of it, never give it a second thought. But the fountain of Neptune in Bologna's main square does come as a surprise to visitors because of the four lounging ladies around the base and the alpha-male Neptune who dominates the eponymous square. Lactating Nereids were popular in Italy in the mid-16th century, a manifestation of the high Mannerist style. Neptune’s fountain was commissioned to celebrate the newly appointed Pope Pious IV, Giovanni Angelo di Medici; architect Tommaso Laureti completed his work by 1565. Two years later Jean de Boulogne added his muscled giant, earning himself ever afterwards the nickname ‘Gianbologna’.”
(The Fountain of Neptune, ItalianNotebook)

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Victory over Spain

La Victoire sur l'Espagne by François Girardon, Palace of Versailles, Versailles
“La Victoire sur l'Espagne” by François Girardon, 1682
Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
France, July 2009

See also: The Victory over the Empire

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Casino degli Spiriti

Venice
Casino degli Spiriti (House of the Ghosts)
Fondamenta Gasparo Contarini, Cannaregio
Venice, September 2013

“This house experienced different stories. According to some, it belonged to an intellectual jovial fellow and he made it an artistic and literary place. But the house was on the way of San Michele’s funeral processions and it was maybe used as a an autopsy theatre. Corpses used to stay here the night before they were buried. For some others, it was used as a warehouse by smugglers, that spread those legends to keep people away. There is also a long and tedious story with a three-person household including a defunct flirt and a jealous husband. Nowadays though it is not secluded anymore, the Casino degli Spiriti seems to be still haunted. Some pretend they heard strange noises. Some others say its lugubrious aspect is enough to scare you. The house was bought by English that re-decorated it richly (in a strange way though : a bathroom was papered with black tapestry only). Nowadays the ghost story slightly died away but its name survived. But a few years ago two criminal gondoliers (today in jail) robed a lady, murdered her, cut up her body, put into a bag and threw it into the canal, near this tragic and gloomy house.”
(James Morris, Visa to Venice)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cleaning the Walkie Talkie

London
Cleaning windows on the “Walkie Talkie”, by Rafael Viñoly
In background the Lloyd's building by Richard Rogers
And 30 St Mary Axe by Norman Foster
Seen from the Monument, City of London
London, September 2014

See also: Walkie Talkie

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Postfuhramt

Postfuhramt, Post Office, Oranienburger Straße, Berlin
Postfuhramt (Post Office)
Oranienburger Straße
Berlin, September 2011

“The Postfuhramt in Mitte's Oranienburger Straße is a large, elegant brick building originally constructed in the 19th century as a distribution depot and stables for Berlin's horse-drawn postal wagons. Currently it is being used as an exhibition center by gallery C|O Berlin. The Postfuhramt was constructed between 1875 - 1881 to plans by architect Carl Schwatlo. It was heavily damaged during bomb raids in 1943 and 1944, although the building has largely been reconstructed. Until 1989 it was used by various incarnations of the German postal service. Following German reunification the building became surplus to requirements and stood empty for several years. Between 1997 and 2001 it was used for various exhibitions. Since 2006 it is being used by C|O Berlin.”
(Postfuhramt, Berlin Guide)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Not Anymore

Love-locks on the Pont des Arts, Paris
“Love-locks” on the Pont des Arts
6e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

See also: Cadenas d'amour - Love Padlocks - Ksusha and Kolia - Pont de l'Archevêché - Ponte Milvio

“The French capital has had a definitive falling out with the estimated 1m “love-locks” that it says are threatening some of the city’s most historic monuments. On Monday, workers armed with bolt cutters closed off the celebrated Pont des Arts over the Seine, where a railing collapsed last year under the weight of so many locks, and began breaking hearts around the world. Parisian officials have had a turbulent relationship with the trend since it hit Paris in 2008. When the first dewy-eyed couples began declaring their undying love by writing their initials or names on a padlock, attaching it to a monument and throwing the keys into the River Seine, it seemed relatively harmless. Since then, however, the locks have grown like metal barnacles over bridge railings, palisades, and parapets. Some have even been spotted on the Eiffel Tower.”

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rucellai Sepulchre

Rucellai Sepulchre, Rucellai Chapel, deconsecrated church of San Pancrazio, Florence
Rucellai Sepulchre, Rucellai Chapel
Deconsecrated church of San Pancrazio
Florence, April 2015

“The Cappella Rucellai, also known as Santo Sepolcro, was quickly executed and concluded in 1467, as is attested to by the date inscribed in Latin above the entrance door, and is a scale copy of the building in Jerusalem (said to be Christ’s original tomb) which circulated in numerous drawings in the Renaissance. It was the modest tomb chapel of the patron, Giovanni Ruccellai, who was pretty much the second richest man in Florence at the time.”

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Peace

Peace by Ana Tzarev, Riverside Park Gardens, Millbank, London
“Peace” by Ana Tzarev, 2014
Riverside Park Gardens, Millbank
London, September 2014

“Just up the road from the Tate Britain on London’s Millbank sits a giant purple flower! Overlooking the Thames and sitting near to Vauxhall Bridge it’s just the latest in a series of striking sculptures popping up around the World from Croatian artist Ana Tzarev. Titled ‘Peace’ it won’t be there forever in fact it was placed in it’s current location on Riverside Park Gardens just after this years Chelsea Flower Show and is mid way through a six month residency. Afterwards the four metre high fibreglass sculpture will no doubt move on to somewhere else, taking it’s message of Peace with it.”

Friday, June 5, 2015

Victor Hugo

Monument to Victor by Lucien Pallez, piazzale Victor Hugo, Rome
Monument to Victor Hugo by Lucien Pallez, 1905
Piazzale Victor Hugo
Rome, September 2010

“In 1903 Emperor William II of Germany donated to the Italian State a Monument to Goethe by Gustav Eberlein; the poet is shown standing on a colossal Corinthian capital and is surrounded by statues portraying characters of his works Iphigenia in Tauris, Mignon and Faust. Two years later the Romans watched the arrival of a French reply to the German gift: a monument to Victor Hugo by Lucien Pallez; because the French writer's association with Rome was rather loose (he visited the city when he was six) the inscription quoted a speech he made to praise Garibaldi.”
(Villa Borghese, A Rome Art Lover's Web Page)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Le Roi-Soleil

Equestrian statue of Louis XIV by Pierre Cartellier and Louis Petitot, Château de Versailles, Versailles
Equestrian statue of Louis XIV by Pierre Cartellier and Louis Petitot, 1838
Place d'Armes, Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
France, July 2009

“The return of the equestrian bronze statue of Louis XIV is excellent news. The location designated by the public establishment, in front of the Avenue de Paris, is indeed the best possible choice. Louis XIV will continue, to the chagrin of those who claim that this work is of no artistic value, to welcome visitors to Versailles. The group, first installed in 1836 between the Gabriel and Dufour pavilions (at the site of the royal grill destroyed at the end of the 18th century), is made up of two distinct elements originally. The horse, sculpted by Pierre Cartellier, was to be used in the production of an equestrian monument to Louis XV commissioned by Louis XVIII in 1816 for the Place de la Concorde in Paris, replacing Bouchardon’s which was destroyed during the Revolution. It was finally founded in 1829 by Charles Crozatier and completed with a Louis XIV produced by Louis Petitot, Cartellier’s son-in-law, then finished in bronze by Crozatier. Severely damaged, the group was removed from its original location to make room for the mediocre modern grill which claims to restitute the one by Hardouin-Mansart.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Palazzo Venier dei Leoni

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni
Seen from the Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
Venice, September 2013

“Palazzo Venier dei Leoni was probably begun in the 1750s by architect Lorenzo Boschetti, whose only other known building in Venice is the church of San Barnaba. It is an unfinished palace. A model exists in the Museo Correr, Venice. Its magnificent classical façade would have matched that of Palazzo Corner, opposite, with the triple arch of the ground floor (which is the explanation of the ivy-covered pillars visible today) extended through both the piani nobili above. We do not know precisely why this Venier palace was left unfinished. Money may have run out, or some say that the powerful Corner family living opposite blocked the completion of a building that would have been grander than their own. Another explanation may rest with the unhappy fate of the next door Gothic palace which was demolished in the early 19th century: structural damage to this was blamed in part on the deep foundations of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.”
(The Palace, Peggy Guggenheim Collection)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Miranda

DUKW Miranda of London Duck Tours, London
The DUKW “Miranda” of London Duck Tours
London, October 2009

See aso: Cleopatra

“All our Ducks are named after female Shakespearean characters: Mistress Quickly, Beatrice, Desdemona, Titania, Miranda, Elizabeth, Portia, Rosalind. Four of our Ducks took part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3rd June 2012. Desdemona featured in the film ‘Nativity 2’ starring David Tennant. The ‘minions’ from the Movie ‘Despicable Me’ have enjoyed a tour. Rosalind was used in the hit US TV series ‘Band of Brothers’”
(Quirky Facts, London Duck Tours)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Jekyll & Hyde Club

Facade of the former Jekyll & Hyde Club, Sixth Avenue at 57th Street, New York
Facade of the former Jekyll & Hyde Club
Sixth Avenue at 57th Street
New York, October 2008