Monday, February 27, 2012

Gene Tierney Movie Card

Gene Tierney Movie Card

next episode: Monsieur Moret

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two Sisters

Quarter plate daguerreotype with a lot of dust on the glasplate. Sisters or girlfriends?

next episode: a movie card

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

US presidential election 1872 - To butter a watermelon

While we're waiting for the 2012 presidential election let's take a look at some of the previous races to the White House. This month's resident loser is Horace Greeley, a man with a remarkable hair style. The year is 1872.

There were three main parties involved in this election: The Republicans, The Democrats and The Liberal Republicans. The latter consisted of Republicans who were disappointed in the involvement of the incumbent president Ulysses Grant in corruption scandals.

Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

facts of interest:
  • The Democrats and the Liberal Republicans both nominated the same candidate: Horace Greeley. He was a news editor with no talent for campaigning.
  • Grant won easily, helped by his large funds, his Civil War stardom and the bad reputation of the job of news editor (what's new!). It didn't help that Greeley's vice-presidential candiate turned up drunk all the time (at a campaign picnic he once tried to butter a watermelon).
  • Horace Greeley died after the popular vote but before the Electoral College casted its votes. So far this has been the only election in which a candidate died during the process.
  • As a result of his death the electors who should have voted for Greeley now voted for four different candidates and eight different vice-presidental candidates.
  • This was the first election in which a female candidate competed: Victoria Woodhull from the Equal Rights Party. On Election Day she was in jail for indecency.
next episode: two sisters

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giovanna Tornabuoni

Giovanna Tornabuoni by Ghirlandaio, 1488-90. Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Click for more Giovanna.

next episode: Horace Greeley

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hoop Dress Sisters - part II

The carte de visite (CDV) was a type of small photograph the size of a visiting card. It was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. The size of a carte de visite is 2½ by 4 inches. It was enormously popular in the 1860s.  This one shows another hoop dress lady, I figure she's a sister of last month's posting.

next episode: Giovanna

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

City Walls Nanking

Nanking (Nanjing) has been the capital of China in severaloccasions, the lasttime between 1912 and 1949. It's preset university was founded in 245.

next episode: hoop

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

next episode: Nanking

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Group of 6 soldiers

Group of 6 soldiers during the Crimean War. They have made a tripod with their rifles.

Due to the size and cumbersome nature of his photographic equipment, Fenton was limited in his choice of motifs. And because of the not very photosensitive material of his time (1855), he was only able to produce pictures of unmoving objects, mostly posed pictures.

Here is color picture of a group of people who are reenacting this periodl the so-called 'Diehard Company':

Members of the Diehard Company reenacting 57th and 77th Regiments.

next episode: Jean

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Waterloo Veteran of the Month: Monsieur Fabry

Quartermaster Fabry of the 1st Hussars.

Some of the earliest photographs of veterans are a series of fifteen original sepia views of members of Napoleon's army taken when these old soldiers were well into their 70s and 80s. These remarkable photographs provide probably the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armée and the Imperial Guard, some of them actually wearing their original uniforms and insignia.

next episode: diehard

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mona Lisa 2.0

Dozens of replicas of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (La Gioconda in Italian; La Joconde in French) have been made during the 16th and 17th centuries. One of them was stored in the vaults of the Prado Museum in Madrid. Last year curators found out that the panel was made of 16th century wood. Using infrared technology they discovered that underneath the black background a landscape was hidden.

It also revealed that the painting's underdrawings, sketches the painter makes before starting the actual painting, matched the underdrawings of the original Mona Lisa (the Louvre took IR images in 2004). This suggests that the copy was made at the same time, and at the same location, as the original! Appartently one of Leonardo's students painted it alongside the master.

The black overpainted was added to match other paintings in the gallery, it has been removed now. The result is a vibrant colorful painting, without cracks, and with eyebrows. This is how the original may have looked like years ago...

The painting will be fully restored by March, when it will be displayed next to the original in the Louvre in Paris from March 29 to June 25.

Left: the copy before the restoration. Middle: the restored copy. Right: the original. 

The woman is generally believed to be Lisa Gherardini, and is thought to have been painted between 1503 and 1519.

next episode: Monsieur Fabry

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dog Confiscations

The police is confiscating dogs, Amsterdam July 1942 by Karel Bönnekamp (Resistance Museum Amsterdam).

Everybody, at least in Holland, knows that the Germans confiscated nearly all bicycles during WWII and transported them to Germany. Until quite recently, when a Dutchman wanted to express he was still angry because of the occupation, he would say 'Give back my bike!'.

But the Germans snitched more than just bikes, also dogs were taken of their owners. The dogs were used for the clearing of mine fields. Every dog owner had to report, but only the large dogs were confiscated, since the mines needed a certain amount of pressure to detonate.

This photo was secretly made by amateur photographer Karel Bönnekamp, a member of the resistance. He made pictures of the shady businesses of the Germans. When I first saw this picture I was shocked, it was the first time I heard about this. It is another example of the hard times the previous generations experienced during the war.  

More old photos involving dogs can be found at Sepia Saturday.

next episode:  Monsieur Fabry


Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog Real Time Web Analytics