Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pingyao City Walls

Pingyao city walls

Pingyao (2002 population: 490.000) is located about 715 km from Beijing. It is the last fully walled city in China; it is still surrounded by its city walls which are among the best preserved walls in China. The 12 meter high and 6 km long walls date back to the 14th century.

Map of the ancient city of Pingyao (

next episode: a mamluk

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Miss Maude Fealy

next episode: Pingyao

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (part II)

Self-portrait in a Straw Hat by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, after 1782 (National Galery, London).

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) painted several famous portraits of Marie-Antoinette. In 1835 she wrote her memoirs.

next episode: Maude

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (part I)

Madame Vigée-Le Brun et sa fille, 1786 (Louvre Museum)

Self-portrait with her daughter Jeanne-Lucie (Julie) (1780-1819) by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) is considered to be the most famous female painter of the 18th century.

next episode: more of Mme Lebrun

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lieutenant Colonel Seymour

Lieutenant Colonel (?) Francis Seymour, Fusilier Guards, Crimean War. Photo made by Roger Fenton, 1855.

next episode: madame Le Brun

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gene Tierney Behind the Scenes

Gene Tierney behind the scenes

next episode: fusilier guard

Monday, September 10, 2012

Waterloo Veteran of the Month: Monsieur Maire

Melchior Naire of the 7th Hussars

All the veterans are wearing the Saint Helena medal. This medal was awarded to the soldiers who had fought with Napoleon I.

Saint Helena medal

next episode: CDV

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marie-Denise Villers

'Young Woman Drawing' by Marie-Denis Villers, 1801 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). It may be a self-portrait of the artist.

Marie-Denise 'Nisa' Villers (Paris, 1774 – Paris, 1821), born Marie-Denise Lemoine, was a painter who specialized in portraits. Her first exhibit was of three paintings at the Paris Salon of the Year VII (1799), and one of them won her 1500 francs. From then on her portraits attracted much attention. Her last exhibit at the Paris Salon was in 1814, seven years before she died at the age of 47.

next episode: medal

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

US presidential election 1884: James Blaine

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 James Blaine from Maine. The year is 1884.

The Democrat Grover Cleveland narrowly defeated Republican James Blaine in popular votes (48.5% against 48.2%). In electoral votes the score was 219-182.

James Gillespie Blaine (1830-1893)

facts of interest:
  • The first election of a Democrat as President since 1856.
  • If in New York 575 voters (from the 1.167.169) would have voted for Blaine instead of Cleveland the latter would have lost the election (source).
  • After newspapers reported that Cleveland had fathered a child out of wedlock and that the child had gone to an orphanage, Blaine's supporters started singing Ma, Ma, Where's my Pa?
         After Cleveland's victory, his supporters would respond with Gone to the White House Ha, Ha, Ha.
next episode: Marie-Denis

Sunday, September 2, 2012

King Louis Bonaparte Day !

Louis Bonaparte and son

Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (September 2, 1778 – 1846) and his second son Napoleon Louis Bonaparte.

Emperor Napoleon made his brother Louis the king of Holland in 1806. But Louis (or Lodewijk, as he start calling himself) took his duties seriously and put Dutch welfare above French interests. Finally Napoleon's army invaded Holland July 1st, 1810.

Louis decided to abdicate in favor of his son. Napoleon Louis 'reigned' as Lodewijk II, King of Holland, for 11 days. On July 13th Holland was annexed by France.

Napoleon Louis died in 1831. His younger brother, Charles Louis-Napoleon, would become Emperor Napoleon III of France.

next episode: James Blaine


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