Saturday, October 2, 2010

Louis XIV

Typically, I'm not a fan of sculpture. I'll rush past sculpture in any museum to get to the paintings (or more likely, the furniture and decorative arts collection!). Nothing against the artform, but for me it always fades into the background.
However, this bronze bust of Louis XIV from 1700 done copying Bernini always stops me dead in my tracks at the National Gallery of Art. The Duveen brothers art dealers from London swear this bust was given by Louis XIV to his brother Phillipe for his Chateau Saint-Cloud where it sat until the chateau was destroyed in 1870, although there is no documentation. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Arcimboldo exhibit

Last weekend I went to the National Gallery of Art East Wing to see a new exhibit about the renaissance artist, Arcimboldo.
I didn't recognize the name, but I did recognize the art. Arcimboldo (1526-1593) is best known for the paintings of the 4 seasons he did for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II. Summer is probably the most well known, seen below, dating to 1563. These portraits are comprised entirely of flowers and fruits in the most unusual and imaginative ways.
I spent hours in the exhibit examining the tiny details which are really remarkable.
However, my favorite part of the exhibit is after Arcimboldo and not by the artist himself. The artist Philip Haas created a fiberglass scultpure that is ENORMOUS of the artist's painting of 'Winter' from the 4 seasons. It is set off so well by the I.M.Pei designed space and it took me awhile to snap a photo of it with my phone without numerous tourists having their picture taken in front of it! The painting, seen below, was probably inspired by Leonardo's grotesques, which also are featured in the exhibit.
I recommend you all check out the exhibit which runs until January 9th. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Frauenkirche in Dresden

Recently, an Australian friend of mine went on a worldwide tour and sent me back lots of his photos he thought I would enjoy. I was immediatly struck by the beauty of the Frauenkirche in Dresden but even more so by its' fascinating story!
The baroque styled Lutheran church was originally finished in 1743, by George Bahr. The sandstone dome dominated the skyline of the city until it was finally completely destroyed in 1945 during WWII, along with much of the city. It lay in rubble for many years until it was declared a landmark in 1966.
However, the church was finally rebuilt in 2004, after the fall of communism, with only this one wall (the dark portion) being original. A happy case of restoration prooving you can't always keep a good building down!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

detail shot or welcome home

Whats the first thing you see when you get home? If you have this condo (office?) in Carmel, CA, it just may be Ganesha, an Indian god. Why have an ordinary door knocker when you can have something extraordinary like this instead (and I am loving this green door)? A house may be about location, size and style but a home is in the details.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A spot to hang your hat

Don't we all wish for a little place to hang our hat and get away from it all? This charming dormer window in Paris looks to me to fit the bill. The ubiquitous geraniums in pots on a Juliet balcony really are so welcoming and homey. You know behind this facade is a little garret bedroom covered in toile de jouy with stacks of books and a cozy daybed with velvet covers and pots of tea with shortbread(at least in my daydream). Is it me or does fall have everyone longing for a nest of their own? Where would yours be?