Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Boy Bringing Bread

Pieter de Hooch - A Boy Bringing Bread (Wallace Collection, London) 1663

Pieter de Hooch (or Hoogh, Hooghe) (1629-1684) was a Dutch Golden Age painter famous for his quiet domestic scenes with a few figures. In the background there a canal with a second woman can be seen, possibly the boy’s mother. Originally a girl reading a book sat in the doorway, but she was painted out in favour of the lady and the boy, who leads the eye to the doorway. Purchased by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford for his collection c. 1865.

possible self-portrait of Pieter de Hooch (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

next episode: cleveland

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Champs-Elysees, 1871

The Champs-Elysees photographed from the Porte Maillot (Alinari Archives/Corbis)

On 28 January 1871 Paris surrendered to the Prussians ending the Franco-Prussian war. Paris, under siege for over four months, had been heavily bombarded. This photograph, with the Arc de Triomphe in the distance, shows the destruction along the Champs-Elysees. The exact date is unknown, but it is thought to have been taken during the Paris Commune in March 1871.

next episode: bread

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Tour Of Ancient Rome

A Tour of Ancient Rome in 320 CE

Rome Reborn is an international initiative to create a 3D digital model of the ancient city as it might have appeared in A.D. 320. For more about the project, see:


next episode: Paris

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tsar & Daughters in Captivity

The last Tsar of Russia and three of his four daughters (Olga, Anastasia and Tatiana) in captivity at Tobolsk in the winter of 1917-1918, Beinecke Library.

Today, 97 years ago, they were murdered at Yekaterinburg. They are buried in the St. Catherine's Chapel in St. Petersburg.

next episode: Wanda

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Barbara Stanwyck Day !

Barbara Stanwyck 

(born Ruby Catherine Stevens; July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) 

I'm a fan

next episode: Tsar

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stevens Castle

Stevens Castle,  a 40-room Victorian mansion built on the highest point in Hoboken overlooking the Hudson River, in 1854

Col. John Stevens III (son of John Stevens Jr.,  delegate to the Continental Congress in 1783) was an inventor and engineer. In 1784 he bought the land where today the city of Hoboken is located. He laid out the streets and sold off parcels to found the city. In 1791 he received one of the country's first patents for developing the steam engine.

In 1806 he built the Phoenix, a steamboat that ultimately sailed from Hoboken to Philadelphia, thereby becoming the first steamship to successfully navigate the open ocean. The first railroad charter in the U.S. was given to Stevens and others in 1815 for the New Jersey Railroad. In 1825 he designed the first American-built steam locomotive.

Replica of John Steven's steam carriage, which ran in 1825 in Hoboken (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)

Edwin Augustus Stevens, one of colonel Stevens' 11 children, was active in the design and construction of ironclad vessels (the Stevens Battery) for the U.S. Navy. In 1854 he built the mansion known as Stevens Castle on the hill overlooking New York harbor from the cliffs of Hoboken. All of high society America at the time visited there.
Another son of the colonel, Robert Livingston Stevensbuilt and operated profitably the first commercial railroad in the United States, the Camden and Amboy Railroad, and invented the T-shaped railroad track rail, still used today. His brother John Cox Stevens founded America's first yacht club and started the America's Cup race.

After Edwin's passing in 1868, the 55 acre site with the castle was turned into a college for engineering called 'Stevens Institute of Technology'. The mansion was used as the original dormitory and offices for the college. As the college expanded over the years, space was needed and the castle was demolished in 1959 to build a highrise office building for the college. Only the castle gatehouse remains...

next episode: Barbara

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


photos by RfA, 2010

Today's etappe of the Tour de France ends in the beautiful French city of Amiens, this town is certainly worth a visit!

next episode: castle

Monday, July 6, 2015


photos by RfA, 2009

The day after tomorrow the Tour de France will start in the French-Flemish city of Arras (Dutch: Atrecht), a town with two beautiful market squares.

After WWI the town hall with its belfry tower was complete destroyed and had to be rebuild.

next episode: Amiens

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tour d'Utrecht

The finish. Or the start, it always confuses me

Today the Tour de France, World's biggest cycling event, will start in Utrecht. This city is located about 12 miles to the southwest of Amersfoort.

In a Dutch city canals are not hard to find

Utrecht is the child you'd get when Amsterdam and Amersfoort would marry. Its population is a bit larger (twice as much), and their tower is a bit higher than ours (45 feet difference), but besides that it's a nice city to visit on a Saturday afternoon.

 The Dom-toren IE Stupid-tower

next episode: Arras


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