Friday, 31 October 2014

The Indian Lion

“Gone! And you and I quite crestfallen. It’s always like that, you can’t keep him; it’s not as if he were a tame lion.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Amballa City

In Punjab ( India )

Punjab means the Land of the Five Rivers.

Excursion of Her Majesty The Queen of England

On the Lakes of Killarney ( Ireland )

Excursion - a short journey or trip, especially one taken as a leisure activity.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Black Pages

'I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion.' - Johnny Cash

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Casino Dawn

Guido Reni (1575 – 1642) was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style. Baroque style used exaggerated motion and clear detail to produce drama and grandeur.

He was born in Bologna in Italy. His family were interested in the arts, but especially music. 

 At 9 he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. Lots of other famous artists also studied there. At 20 the three Calvaert pupils moved to a rival studio, named Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the Newly Beginning or the Progressives), led by Lodovico Carracci

Their teacher Carracci painted a lamentation of the dead Christ. Here it is -

They decided they wanted the fine arts to be treated with the same respect as music and poetry. At the time people thought of painting as a lower art form. They set up another successful school afterwards. 

The fresco at the top of the page is called Dawn and it is on the ceiling of a casino in Rome called Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi. 

He also painted 'Joseph and the Potiphar's wife'. The story is that the wife spends a few days trying to seduce Jospeh, but fails. Joseph was thinking about God. She is very upset. She decides to tell everyone that he raped her! She especially complains to her husband because Joseph is his slave and therefore his responsiblity.

Her husband believes it is true so he is very angry. He puts Joseph behind bars. 

In prison Joseph thinks about God and impresses everyone by intrepeting dreams.

This scene is described in the text of the Bible 'She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.'

So in the Bible she succeeds in grabbing the cloak but he gets away! 

They have worded it as though he deliberately left it behind. I think this is because they didn't want her to achieve anything from her efforts.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Carte Postale Egyptienne

Some antique postcards of the ancient monumental sculpture -

In Arabic it's name means 'The Father of Dread'.
It is a limestone statue of a reclining lion with a human head. It lays on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.

It is the largest monolith* statue in the world. It is 241 ft long, and 63 ft wide, and 66.34 ft high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is believed to have been built by Egyptians of the Old Kingdom whilst Pharaoh Khafra was king. (c. 2558–2532 BC)

*monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument or building. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Guard Soldiers Playing Cards

'Parisienne cards' and 'History Game' 1840 by O. Gilbert

Most of the soldiers are focused on the card game, but in the background two soldiers chat to a maid who is serving drinks.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Florizel and Perdit

This picture is called 'Florizel and Perdit' and it is by Charles Robert Leslie.

Florizel is a character in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
Florizel is the son of a King. He falls for Perdita, and wants to marry her. His father objects and warns him that his inheritance will be removed if he sees her again. The objection to the marriage is because he knows Perdita is a shepherdess.

'Shepherdess With Her Flock' by Jean Francois Millet

Florizel still loves her. He disguises himself as a shopkeeper to see her. The dilemma is resolved when it is discovered she is royal anyway. 

Princesses don't normally look after sheep, but she did. It was because she didn't know her about parents or her history. She considered herself to be a simple girl. 

'Perdita' by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Colosseum

Lost Purse

'Suddenly, his hand in his waistband, looking for her purse and, surprised, feels nothing.'

Adelaide Ristori

She was an Italian actress and author of a book about her career. Her book was published in 1888 is called 'Studies and Memoirs'.

She had great insight into the characters she played (Mary StuartElizabethMyrrhaPhaedra, Lady Macbeth) and talks in depth about it in her book.

She also turned her vision towards what it meant to be a famous actress, saying - 

'The actor can be compared to the soldier. The former dazzled by his triumphs, sighs continually for the struggles of stage life; the latter filled with the glory he has acquired on the battlefield cannot resign himself to peace.'

Here is her short preface to her book.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Sword Fighting in the Studio

Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (1789 -1863) was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects.

He thought French art took itself too seriously because of it's focus on classicism. He rebelled by painting current events. 

King Louis-Philippe and Napoléon III both commissioned him to paint wars.

When Vernet was asked to edit out a disliked general, he said 'I am a painter of history, sire, and I will not violate the truth.' 

He painted a picture of some models sword fighting in the studio. Two dogs also play fight.

 The other artists were painting the models, but Vernet was motivated to paint the entire scene. He wanted to document what happened in his studio, and how the other paintings were created. 

Calédonien Cattle

A Courtroom

Sunday, 19 October 2014

An Aquarium

'A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.* ' - Lord Byron
* an item of food; especially a choice or tasty dish

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ

The original painting is by Jusepe de Ribera. He painted it in the early 1620s.

The dead Christ is being held by Saint John the Evangelist. His mother Mary is in the middle, hands clasped in prayer. Other artists have chose to paint the scene with Mary holding the dead Christ. 

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea are often included. In the Bible they are followers of Christ who believe he is dead forever so they prepare his body for burial. Here they are omitted by Ribera, who has favored a simpler scene.  

Magdalen is at his feet to wash them with her tears, or to kiss them. She got to know Christ when she was cured of seven devils by him. 

Mourning over the dead Christ immediately after his body was brought down from the Cross is not described in the text of the Bible. However it is a scene with a long pictorial tradition. 

It was commissioned by a foreign prince called Marcantonio Doria. Here he is, as painted by Simon Vouet.

This painting can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris- in Richelieu wing, alongside a collection of clocks, furniture, china and tapestries. On the same floor are the Napoleon III Apartments. They show what Louvre looked like as a royal palace. 

Ribena also painted Christ as a baby. He paints Christ on his mothers lap, but he is not being held by her here either.

The painting is called 'Madonna with the Christ Child and Saint Bruno' 

Friday, 17 October 2014

President of Haiti

Nicolas Fabre Geffrard was President of Haiti from 1859 -1867. During his presidency many tried to assassinate him.
♦ In the first year of Nicolas's presidency, Guerrier Prophète, began to lay out his plan to overthrow him. Guerrier's plan was overheard by Nicolas's guards and then Guerrier was exiled.
♦ In 1859, Nicolas's daughter was assassinated by Timoleon Vanon. 
♦ In 1861, General Legros tried to take over the weaponry storage but was detained by government forces. 
♦ In 1862, Etienne Salomon encouraged the people in the countryside to fight Nicolas, but Salomon was shot and killed.
 ♦ In 1863, Aimé Legros gathered troops to overthrow Nicolas, but he was shot and killed too. 
 ♦ In 1864, the elite community in Port-au-Prince tried to take over the weaponry storage, but the conspirators were later prosecuted and sentenced to jail. 
Here are some postcards from Port-au-Prince.

♦ In 1867, his bodyguard tried to assassinate him inside the National Palace.
♦ He survived all of the attempts to assassinate him. 
♦ In 1865, Major Sylvain Salnave began his takeover of the North and Artibonite.
♦ Nicolas's troops clashed with the Major's troops. After using the Royal Navy for gunboat diplomacy* with the Major, Nicolas's regime was in ruins, especially financially.

♦ He started fights in the North, West, and South. In 1866, a huge fire destroyed hundreds of homes. The following year Nicolas and his family disguised themselves and fled to Jamaica
♦ He died in Kingston on New Years Eve 1878, aged 72.
* In politics, gunboat diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy goals through displays of naval power. Showing naval power can both imply or constitute a direct threat of warfare. In America they call it big stick diplomacy.