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Beirut, O Queen of the World

Beirut, O Queen of the world Who sold your bracelet inlaid with sapphire? Who seized your magic ring and cut your golden nails? Arise, Beirut, so that the world may survive…that we may survive….that love may survive. Nizar Qabbani, Beirut! O Queen of the World (Images courtesy Instagram #Beirutblast)

le Corbusier

Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965) was one of the most important and influential modern architects of the 20th Century, and is known for his works in the International Style – a style that crossed national boundaries post World War I in Europe. Villa Savoye outside Paris is the icon of International Style and reflects le … Continue reading “le Corbusier”

Chirico’s Shadows

Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico’s works from his highly influential metaphysical period lasted for a few brief years before 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 sun elongates shadows seems to invite … Continue reading “Chirico’s Shadows”

“Our Life” in Tiles

Art on buildings, among other public places, was a big thing for socialist countries – and in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz is one of the most iconic and largest of these artworks. It wraps around two floors of the East German Ministry of Education’s “House of the Teachers” building like a bandage. Artist Walter Womacka (1925 – … Continue reading ““Our Life” in Tiles”

Newton’s Tree

Much like the college students of the year 2020, Newton too was sent home from Cambridge University during the bubonic plague epidemic of 1666, and it was while he was home sitting under the apple tree in his garden that the apple fell to the ground – and the rest as they say is history.  … Continue reading “Newton’s Tree”

Blue & Yellow Beauties

I first noticed the beauty of blue and yellow paintings in Dutch artist Willian van Aelst’s Still Life with Flowers (1664) with striking yellow lemons against the intense and deep blues of the tablecloth. I was so intrigued by the gorgeousness of these two colors together that I thought I would find some more – … Continue reading “Blue & Yellow Beauties”

A Rose by any other name..

I am always intrigued by names and how they originate and get associated with things. I thought I’ll research a few of my favorite flowers and see how they got the name they did. Tulip – this beautiful flower originated in Persia and Turkey and gets its name from the Turkish word for turbans. Men … Continue reading “A Rose by any other name..”

Braque and the Mural

While looking at mosaics and murals from the Socialist bloc countries, I came across a cropped image of this mural on a building in Halle-Neustadt, Germany. The first thing that struck me about the mural was that it reminded me of a Georges Braque cubist artwork – it has the same monochromatic color scheme, the … Continue reading “Braque and the Mural”

Shinrin-Yoku

“In the woods, is perpetual youth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Hippocrates – the father of medicine – is thought to have said, “Nature itself is the best medicine.” In his 1836 essay, Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, –no … Continue reading “Shinrin-Yoku”

Flotsam and Jetsam

While most of us may relate to them as the twin eels in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, these two very interesting words originate from marine debris and are related to the items that were once on a ship but are now in the ocean. Flotsam is debris or rubbish that is found floating around in … Continue reading “Flotsam and Jetsam”

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