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Ancient Lights

The right to light – what a fascinating concept. This right was passed into law in England in 1663 and stated that if a property owner has enjoyed light coming in through a window in the building for a period of twenty years, then their neighbor cannot build a taller house or wall, plant a … Continue reading “Ancient Lights”

Liquid Stone

Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, responsible for a number of the brutalism inspired buildings in Brazil, died at the age of 92 earlier this week. He was part of the iconic generation of modern Brazilian architects from the Paulista School whose open and airy buildings made of poured concrete dot the urban landscape of … Continue reading “Liquid Stone”

Little Peach Swords

When I think of flowers at home in vases, the first ones that come to mind are long peach gladioli. These beautiful flowers -which come in many more colors and share a name origin with Roman gladiators – are named after the Latin word “gladius” or little sword due to their shape.  The flowers were … Continue reading “Little Peach Swords”

Nature & Empire

In 1835, Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848) started working on his five series work titled, “The Course of Empire,” in which he outlined the history of man – from nomadic times to a civilized state which ultimately led to the complete desolation of both man and nature. He was commissioned to make a series of … Continue reading “Nature & Empire”

Chirico’s Shadows

Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico’s (1888 – 1978) works from his highly influential metaphysical period lasted for a few brief years before the start of World War I. The works show empty, yet architecturally rich, city landscapes with mesmerizing late afternoon wintertime shadows. That hour of the day when the last remnants of the wintertime … Continue reading “Chirico’s Shadows”

Joyeux Anniversaire Fragonard

Born on this day – April 5, 1732 -Jean-Honore Fragonard made joyful and exuberant paintings and was one of the most prolific artists in Rococo France. He recorded the excesses of the hedonistic pre-revolutionary French court of Louis XV with bright colors, lavish scenes, lush foliage, playful putti, and over the top pastoral scenery. Apart … Continue reading “Joyeux Anniversaire Fragonard”

Thy bliss-wrought genius

I am endlessly fascinated by art, paintings, and the stories that make these works come alive. As I was learning about Russian realist artist Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817 – 1900) and his paintings for my previous blog, I was reminded of British artist Joseph Mallard William Turner (1775 – 1851). Both artists captured the power … Continue reading “Thy bliss-wrought genius”

Aivazovsky’s Constantinople

Ninety-one years ago, on March 28, 1930, Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul by the Turkish Post Office. The city was built in 657 BCE when it was called Byzantium until it was renamed by Constantine the Great in 330. When Constantinople fell in 1453 it became a part of the Ottoman empire. Connecting two continents, … Continue reading “Aivazovsky’s Constantinople”

Say Shibboleth !!

This was such a popular post when I did it last year that I thought I should share it again. I saw the word “Shibboleth”for the first time earlier this week. When I logged out of an account, it said something along the lines of a Shibboleth logout. Which of course, got me wondering – … Continue reading “Say Shibboleth !!”

The Artist Collector

I’m fascinated by famous artists that are also collectors -Edgar Degas is one such artist who was also a collector and owned paintings by Edouard Manet and Paul Gauguin. Another such artist who was an avid collector – and left his amazing collection for Musee d’Orsay (Paris) – is the French Impressionist artist Gustave Caillebotte … Continue reading “The Artist Collector”

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