Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Clothes

Captain William Pechell and men of the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot in winter dress during the Crimean War. 1855, Roger Fenton.

Following the public outcry at the condition of the troops in the Crimea during the winter of 1854, the British Government had sent out fresh supplies of warm clothing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Water Lilies

A photo of water lilies in the Okavango Delta in Botswana by Frans Lanting, 1989. 

Water lilies mottle the surface of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. They represent one of the oldest evolutionary branches of flowering plants. The Okavango Delta  is the world's second largest inland wetland region. The delta is maintained by annual pulse flooding of the Okavango River.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas !

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center, 1961.

"As the anti-submarine warfare carrier USS Essex (CVS-9) steamed toward a nine-day visit to Rotterdam, Holland, for the Christmas Holidays, crewmen formed the traditional Dutch equivalent of America's 'Merry Christmas' on the flight deck."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movie poster: Pandora's Box

Silent film star Louise Brooks playing LouLou in the classic 1929 German movie 'Pandora's Box'.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wife & Man

 6th plate daguerreotype

The daguerreotype is named after the French artist and chemist Louis Daguerre, who announced its perfection in 1839 after years of research and collaboration with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography. Instead of Daguerre obtaining a French patent, the French government provided a pension for him and announced on August 19, 1839 the invention as a gift "Free to the World."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Captain Francis Baring

Crimean War: Captain Francis Baring, Fusilier Guards, Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, attached to the Light Division. Photo by Roger Fenton, 1855.

Francis Baring (1833-1895) gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the Scots Guards. He died unmarried at age 61.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ina Claire

Ina Claire performed on Broadway in several musicals in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. She was an sophisticated comedienne, and “she never missed a nuance”.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fall Blau (Case Blue)

A friendly local talking to German soldiers (Bundesarchiv)

Fall Blau (Case Blue) was the German codename used by the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) for its 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia that lasted between 28 June and 19 August 1942. The offensive was so named because German military plans were "cases", or solutions to problems. The operation was a continuation of Unternehmen Barbarossa (Operation Barbarossa).

The German offensive faced two problems: the continued resistance of the Red Army which now occupied a defensive position west of the Volga river,  and the demand by Adolf Hitler for securing the Caucasus oil fields, which had to be reached by crossing the Caucasus mountains.

Initially the German offensive met with spectacular gains. However, the Red Army defeated the German Army at Stalingrad. This defeat forced the Germans to retreat from the Caucasus for fear of being trapped themselves

Crossing a river (Bundesarchiv)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter in Amersfoort!

Wall Houses, near the Thief's Tower (photo by RfA)

(Way) earlier than expected winter has arrived in Amersfoort.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alfred Stevens - A Doll (Une Poupée)

The Lady In Pink

Lady with a Japanese Doll (Femme à la Poupee Japonaise), also known as The Lady In Pink, by Alfred Stevens (1867, private collection).

Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) was born in Brussels as the son of an officer in the service of King William I of the Netherlands. He was a friend of Manet and was influenced by Japanese prints, as were so many French artists of the time. He seems to have had a collection of Japanese dolls which he used to add an exotic or colorful touch to his paintings of elegant society women.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lieutenant Yates

Lieutenant John 'Joey' Yates of the 11th Hussars during the Crimean War. At the left the groom, a person responsible for the feeding and care of horses. Notice the dog.

In the immediate aftermath of the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade (25 October 1854) Yates was one of the first to meet Lord Cardigan on his return from the 'Valley of Death', joining him at about the time he made his famously remark to General Cathcart: ''I have lost my Brigade''. Yates, then, hanging back at the respectful distance of a pace or two, trotted away with Cardigan to the northern edge of the Causeway Heights (the hill forming the left side of the valley) where they met other returning survivors

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mucha - Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile

Mucha: Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile (LU), 1896.


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