Saturday, June 29, 2013

John Singer Sargent in his Studio with Madame X

John Singer Sargent in his studio, ca. 1884

John Singer Sargent -  Portrait of Madame X (1884)

Madame X is Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau. Originally her right shoulder strap was down, which, combined with her sexy pose, caused a scandal when the painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon, ruining Sargent's career in France. Later, Sargent overpainted the shoulder strap to raise it up and make it look more securely fastened.

Reproduction of the original painting

next episode: ?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Star Wars Lunch

The R2-D2 model with actor Kenny Baker inside enjoying a snack during a break on the set of the first Star Wars movie (1976).

next episode: Madame X

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vincent van Gogh - The Red Vineyard

'De Rode Wijngaard' ('La Vigne Rouge') by Vincent van Gogh

'The Red Vineyard' by Vincent van Gogh was painted near ArlesFrance in November 1888. It is in the collection of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. It is supposedly the only piece sold by the artist while he was alive (to Anna Boch  for 400 Swiss Francs, about $1,600 today).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Waterloo Day

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium.

next episode: Willem & Maurits

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Daguerreotype of Stern Lady (with Chatelaine?)

One of my dags, a 6th plate daguerreotype dating from the 1850s.

Although I am more interested in faces than jewelry, a lot of these old daguerreotypes display fascinating shiny gems (sometimes in the form of chatelaines), often highlighted by their gold tinting (see my collection of dags). Unfortunately this one is a bit blurry, but I appreciate her stern look! 

More old pics can be found on  Sepia Saturday...

next episode: waterloo

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Amersfoort Day !

City view, 1588 (click to enlarge)

Amersfoort gained its city rights at June 12, 1259.

next episode: dag

Monday, June 10, 2013


Tatiana Romanov (June 10, 1897 – July 17, 1918) and her mother, ca. 1914 (Beinecke Library).

[more Tatiana]

next episode: Amersfoort

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Conwy City Walls

Conwy is a town on the north coast of Wales.

 The city walls were build in the 13th century by King Edward I, as part of the conquest of Wales by the English.

next episode: Tatiana

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Barcode Flag Of Europe

Proposal for a new flag of the European Union. 
Europe's 'diversity and unity' is represented as vertical stripes.

In 2002, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his think-tank AMO, an independent part of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), designed a new flag in response to European Commission President Romano Prodi's request to find ways of rebranding the Union.

The barcode comprised of 15 flags, arranged from west (left) to east.

The proposed new design was dubbed the "barcode", as it displays the colors of every European flag of the then 15 members. The described aim is "to portray Europe as the common effort of different nations, with each retaining its own unique cultural identity". Unlike the current flag, it would change to reflect new member states.

Updated barcode flag depicting 25 nations.

The joining of ten new members to the EU in 2004 resulted in a first official update of the barcode. It now depicts the flags of 25 members but was never officially adopted by the EU. However, in 2006 the  Austrian Government used the flag as the logo of its European Union Presidency.

next episode: Conwy

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Waterloo Veteran of the Month: Monsieur Taria

Sergeant Taria, Grenadier of the French Imperial Guard 1809-1815, wearing the grenadier bearskin. Veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and survivor of the Russian campaign. This photo was taken in 1858, when he was at least 70 years old.

next episode: barcode flag


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