Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mucha - La Peinture

Mucha: Muse de La Peinture (1898)

next episode: 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Isma'il Pasha

Isma'il Pasha ordering his chibouque (Roger Fenton, 1855).

Isma'il Pasha (1813-1865) (real name Kmety Gyorgy) was a Hungarian general in the Ottoman (Turkish) army during the Crimean War.

He's handed a chibouque; a Turkish tobacco pipe with a long stem and a red clay bowl.

He was entrusted with the defense of Kars against the attacks of the Russians. When a famine in the fortress became very worse he handed over the command to an English colonel and pulled off. After the war he published an apology under the title: 'A narrative of the defense of Kars on the 29th of Sept. 1855' (London 1856). He was later Governor General of Kastamonu in Asia Minor.

next episode: a muse

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas !

Medieval Prison Tower, Amersfoort (photo RfA)

Happy Christmas!

next episode: a pasha

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gargoyles in Amersfoort

The Amersfortian sculptor Ton Mooy, who I have mentioned in an earlier post, also made several gargoyles. These are shown at the walls of the canals in the inner city.

A gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water.

Ton Mooy in his atelier:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The Montelbaanstoren in Amsterdam in 1925, by Cornelis Vreedenburgh (1880-1946), 59 x 73 cm. Originally build in 1516 to help defend the city, the tower was enlarged in 1606 with a decorative top.

present day situation

next episode: gargoyles

Monday, December 19, 2011

York City Walls

York Minster Cathedral and Old City Wall, York, England (source)

I've never been to York, a city in northern England. It was founded by the Romans and frequently visited by the Vikings. During its history several walls were build, from which a large portion still exist. Judging by the pictures it looks like a beautiful city.

York city walls (photo Kevin Ireson)

next episode: Amsterdam

Friday, December 16, 2011

Movie poster: Bad Girl

Sally Eilers (coloured black&white photograph, 

Bad Girl movie poster (1931)

next episode: York

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

State of Sequoyah

The proposed State of Sequoyah 

In honor of commenter Mary (born in Sentinel, Oklahoma) we take a closer look at the Sooner State this time.

The State of Sequoyah was the proposed name for a state to be established in the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma. In 1905, faced by proposals to end their tribal governments, Native Americans of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory proposed this state as a means to retain some control of their land.

The proposed state was ‘Sequoyah’ named in honor of the Cherokee Sequoyah who created an effective writing system for the Cherokee language in 1825. In 1905 a constitutional convention was called and a constitution was adopted. A referendum resulted in 56.279 votes in favor of the constitution and 9.073 votes against.

However the petition for statehood was denied by the US Congress, mainly due to the resistance of Eastern delegates who were afraid there would be too many Western states. Instead, in 1907 Indian and Oklahoma territories were merged into one state whose name is a Choctaw word for 'red people': Oklahoma.
next episode: Sally

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Captain Lord Balgonie

Alexander Leslie-Melville, Viscount Balgonie (1831 – 1857) was a British soldier. He held the title of Lord Balgonie as a courtesy title; he was the eldest son of David Leslie-Melville, 8th Earl of Leven, 7th Earl of Melville. 

He served in the Grenadier Guards, and died in 1857 as a result of hard campaigning in the Crimean War. Notice the shabby clothes and the look of dispair. One of the finest portraits of Roger Fenton, 1855.

next episode: Oklahoma!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Unknown Lady in Nine Oval Views

Unknown Lady, by Albert Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes, ca 1845-61 (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (not on view).

next episode: a viscount

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Van der Helst - Banquet of the Civic Guard

The Celebration of the Peace of Münster, 18 June 1648 in the Headquarters of the Amsterdam Civic Guard (Rijksmuseum). 

This banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in celebration of the Peace of Münster was painted 1648 by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613-1670). Visible through the window are buildings on the opposite side of a canal; the two façades belong to the brewery 'The Lamb' and the church 'By the Lamb'.

link to a high resolution image

In 2006 it was damaged by a German art vandal by spraying lighter fuel on its surface and lighting it. At present the painting has been restored and is exhibited at the Rijksmuseum.

Bartholomeus van der Helst (self portrait, 1655)

next episode: medallion

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The Schreierstoren at the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam, by Eduard Alexander Hilverdink (1846 - 1891), 23 x 32 cm. Build around 1487, the Schreierstoren used to be part of the first city wall. It's the sole surviving defense tower of Amsterdam.

present day situation

From this site Henry Hudson started his famous trip to explore America on behalve of the Dutch in 1609.

next episode: a celebration


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