Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man & Wife

6th plate daguerreotype

Notice the (artificial) blush on their faces. The hairdo of the wife is characteristic for this period (mid 19th century).

next episode: Louis Bonaparte

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Woman With A Lute (Vermeer)

Woman With A Lute, ca 1662-1663

One of my favorite painters is Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). Only about 36 paintings are known to exist of his hand.

overview of all his paintings

One of his most famous paintings is The Girl With The Pearl Earring, I've seen this in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Acually, I've seen 10 of his paintings (3 in The Hague, 4 in Amsterdam, 2 in Berlin, 1 in Vienna). These are the Vermeers located in the US:
Vermeer's paintings in the US
So all the Vermeers are shown in museums located at the East Coast. But when regular blog visiter Mary pointed me to the direction of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena I noticed a Vermeer is shown over there, albeit temporarily: The Woman With A Lute. It has al the characteristics of Vermeer: a girl in the light from the window in his studio. And in the background a map; just take a look at the map, it's brilliantly depicted..

The map of Europe has been made by either Joducus Hondius or Joan Blaeu.

next episode: couple

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crown Prince Alexander Day !

Prince Alexander

Willem Alexander (25 August 1851 – 21 June 1884), Prince of Orange, was heir apparent to his father King William III of the Netherlands from 11 June 1879 until his death. He was the third child of King William III and Queen Sophie. 

He became the crown prince after the death of his brother William in 1879. He wasn't in good health, which deteriorated after the death of his dear loved mother (in 1877) and brother (in 1879). He lived the live of a hermit in his house near the parliament in The Hague, where he ignored his father the king and the king's new wife Emma. In contrast with his father he was interested in politics so he would have been a good king probably...

Alexander died from typhus in 1884. His burial was delayed for several weeks since his father refused to interrupt his vacation in Germany. He died childless and unmarried at the age of 32.

more photos

next episode: girl with lute

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Georges de la Tour - The Penitent Magdalene

Georges de la Tour (1593-1652) lived in the Lorraine, a mixed France-German region south of The Netherlands. His specialty was to paint religious scenes lit by candlelight. He was an obscure painter until he was rediscovered at the start of the 20th century.

Magdalena with the Smoking Flame, ca. 1640
Magdalena with the Smoking Flame, ca. 1640 ( Louvre-Lens, Lens, France)

This painting is currently misused by some shoe shop. I don't really like it so I won't mention their name. I like this painter though. For instance this painting:

The Fortune Teller, ca 1630 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

Just take a look at the faces.

next episode: a troubled mant

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Operation Gertrud

Operation Gertrud (or Gertrude) was the code name of the invasion plan for Turkey by Nazi Germany, the idea began forming in the beginning of the summer of 1942. 
The idea was that in 1943, after the Blitzkrieg, the Soviets would have been almost destroyed or withdrawn to the far East. Armenia and Georgia would then gain their independence. When the oil of Baku would be in the hands of Germans, Armenian and Georgian armies from East, and Bulgarian, Greek and German armies from Greece and Bulgaria would invade Turkey. The project was abandoned because of the rapid advance of the Red Army in the Caucasus region, and the Allied landings in Sicily.

next episode: our PM [postponed]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Napoleon Day !

Napoleon Bonaparte First Consul (Phillip Thomas, 1802)

Napoleon was born on 15 augustus 1769.

next episode: Gertrude

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mucha - La Danse

Mucha: Muse de La Dance (1898).

next episode: The First Consul

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ce Soir Le Chat Noir

‘La tournée du Chat Noir avec Rodolphe Salis’ 
by Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter Théophile Steinlen (1896). 

Le Chat Noir (French for "The Black Cat") was a 19th-century cabaret in the Montmartre district of Paris. It was opened and closed in 1897.

next episode: a muse

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Victoria & Victoria

Queen Victoria with her eldest daughter Victoria, the Princess Royal (ca. 1844-45).

This is the first photograph ever taken of Queen Victoria. It is an so-called calotype, made by photographer Henry Collen. Royal Library, Windsor Castle.

next episode: Black Cat

Saturday, August 6, 2011

British private in full marching order

British private in full marching order, in front of tent, with rifle, canteen, knapsack, and other equipment during the Crimean War (Roger Fenton, 1855). Note how the tops of the tents were painted red.

I've found a color picture of a group of people who are reenacting this period. They call themselves the 'Diehard Company'.

A member of the Diehard Company.

Notice the strange thing at the top of his hat. And did they forget the make the top of their tent red?

next episode: Two Victorias

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Arm of Liberty

In honour of Sepia Saturday we briefly return to Madison Square Park to look at the Statue of Liberty, or at least a (very important) part of it. How I wish to be able to walk through 19th-century New York.

The arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, New York. These portions of the Statue were exhibited to raise funds for the completion of the statue and its pedestal. The arm and torch remained in the park from 1876 until 1882.

Last night I watched the US Celebrity Apprentice, I noticed these kind of carriages are still in use apparently (note to self: must visit NY soon).

Members of the public could pay fifty cents to climb to the balcony of the torch.

next episode: The Diehard Company


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