Thursday, August 31, 2017

Knights of Pythias

The Pythian Temple, West 70th Street, New York City
If fraternal love held all men bound, how beautiful
this world would be” (Justus H. Rathbone)
The Pythian Temple
West 70th Street
New York, September 2008

“The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization and secret society founded in Washington, D.C., on 19 February 1864. Knights of Pythias in a parade in Racine, Wisconsin, circa 1910
The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress. It was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who had been inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legend of Damon and Pythias. This legend illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honor, and friendship that are the center of the order. The order has over 2,000 lodges in the United States and around the world, with a total membership of over 50,000 in 2003. Some lodges meet in structures referred to as Pythian Castles.” (Knights of Pythias, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Façade of the Madonna dell'Orto

Façade of the church of the Madonna dell'Orto, Campo della Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio, Venice
Façade of the church of the Madonna dell'Orto
Campo della Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio
Venice, September 2013

“The façade, built in 1460–1464, has sloping sides and is in brickwork, divided in three parts by two pilasters strips. The two side sections have quadruple mullioned windows, while the central has a large rose window. The portal is surmounted by a pointed arch with white stone decorations portraying, on the summit, St. Christopher, the Madonna and the Archangel Gabriel by Nicolò di Giovanni Fiorentino and Antonio Rizzo. Under is a tympanum, in porphyry, supported by circular pilaster strips. The whole is included into a porch with Corinthian columns. The upper central section is decorated by small arches and bas-reliefs with geometrical motifs. The upper sides have instead twelve niches each, containing statues of the Apostles. Five other Gothic niches are in the central section, with 18th-century statues representing Prudence, Charity, Faith, Hope and Temperance, taken from the demolished church of Santo Stefano.” (Madonna dell'Orto, Wikipedia)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Yellow Vests

Around the London Fashion Week 2016, Brewer Street, Soho, London
Yellow vests at the London Fashion Week 2016
Brewer Street, Soho
London, September 2016

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hercules

Ercole e Caco (Hercules and Cacus) by Baccio Bandinelli, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
“Ercole e Caco” (Hercules and Cacus) by Baccio Bandinelli, 1534
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, May 2017

“Hercules and Cacus was commissioned by the Medici pope Clement VII, who had been shown a wax model. The supplied block of Carrara marble was not big enough to execute Bandinelli's wax model. He had to make new wax models, one of which was chosen by the pope as the final draft. Bandinelli had already carved the sculpture as far as the abdomen of Hercules, when during the 1527 Sack of Rome, the pope was taken prisoner. Meanwhile, in Florence, republican enemies of the Medici took advantage of the chaos to exile Ippolito de' Medici. Bandinelli, a supporter of the Medici, was also exiled. In 1530 Emperor Charles V retook Florence after a long siege. Pope Clement VII subsequently installed his illegitimate son Alessandro de' Medici as duke of Tuscany. Bandinelli then returned to Florence and continue work on the statue till completed in 1534, and transported from the Opera del Duomo to its present marble pedestal. But from the moment it was unveiled, it faced ridicule; Cellini compared the ponderous group to ‘a sack full of melons’. Afterwards, the Bandinelli tried to sabotage Cellini's career. The statue was restored between February and April 1994.” (Bartolommeo Bandinelli, Wikipedia)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Park Kolonnaden

Parkkolonnaden at Potsdamer Platz, offices and commercial spaces, by Giorgio Grassi, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade, Berlin
Park Kolonnaden at Potsdamer Platz, offices and commercial spaces, by Giorgio Grassi, 2001
Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade
Berlin, September 2011

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Colorful Wall

Hand painted ceramic, Via del Capitano, Siena
A colorful wall outside a shop
Via del Capitano
Siena, April 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Oscar Wilde

“A conversation with Oscar Wilde” by Maggi Hambling, Adelaide Street, London
“A conversation with Oscar Wilde” by Maggi Hambling, 1998
Adelaide Street
London, September 2016

A Conversation with Oscar Wilde is an outdoor sculpture and the first public monument dedicated to Oscar Wilde, located in London, United Kingdom. The memorial was first suggested during the 1980s and early 1990s by fans of his work, including Derek Jarman. Following Jarman's death in 1994, a committee called "A Statue for Oscar Wilde" was formed to bring a tribute to fruition. The committee included the actors Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, and the poet Seamus Heaney. From sketches submitted by twelve artists, six were chosen to create models of their concepts. Maggi Hambling's ‘witty and amusing’ work was chosen for the memorial. It features Wilde's bronze head rising from a green granite sarcophagus which also serves as a bench. Wilde is also depicted holding a cigarette. The work is inscribed with a quotation from his play Lady Windermere's Fan: ‘We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars’. Hundreds of individual donors and foundations contributed funds for the project.” (A Conversation with Oscar Wilde, Wikipedia)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Shoe Planter

Shoe planter with a succulent, Piazza Sant'Elisabetta, Florence
Shoe planter with a succulent
Piazza Sant'Elisabetta
Florence, May 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dragon and Umbrella

Chinese dragon and umbrella, Casa Bruno Cuadros, Casa dels Paraigües (House of Umbrellas), La Rambla / Pla de la Boqueria, Barcelona
Chinese dragon and umbrella, Casa Bruno Cuadros
Casa dels Paraigües (House of Umbrellas)
La Rambla / Pla de la Boqueria
Barcelona, March 2017

“La Rambla is an endless box of surprises. A box that opens and allows us to glimpse jewels, including this allegory to Orientalism, the Casa Bruno Cuadros, which used to be an umbrella shop of Barcelona in its time. Its style, similar to modernisme with its use of colour and the delicacy of its decorations, have made the Casa Bruno Cuadros a worthy addition to the photograph albums of many of Barcelona’s visitors. It was 1883 when the architect Josep Vilaseca undertook the refurbishment of the Casa Bruno Cuadros and the umbrella shop on the ground floor. It was just a few years before the 1888 Universal Exhibition and Barcelona was in the throes of expansion, with interesting buildings being built all over the city. The Catalan home-grown art-nouveau movement, modernisme, was gaining momentum and, with it, the taste for Oriental decorations. The Casa Bruno Cuadros of Barcelona, known by locals as the Casa dels Paraigües (House of Umbrellas) is an example.” (Casa Bruno Cuadros, Turisme de Barcelona)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini

Chiesa della Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (Church of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims), Via dei Pettinari, Rome
Chiesa della Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini
(Church of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims)
Via dei Pettinari
Rome, April 2013

“In 1722, the Piedmontese merchant Giovanni Battista de' Rossi commissioned Giuseppe Sardi to build the façade using designs by Francesco De Sanctis. The stucco statues on the façade were competed by Bernardino Ludovisi.” (Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, Wikipedia)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Clarges Mews

Clarges Mews, Mayfair, London
Clarges Mews, Mayfair
London, September 2016

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sassetti Chapel

Cappella Sassetti (Sassetti Chapel) by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Basilica of Santa Trinita, piazza Santa Trinita, Florence
Cappella Sassetti (Sassetti Chapel) by Domenico Ghirlandaio
Basilica of Santa Trinita, piazza Santa Trinita
Florence, May 2017

“Francesco Sassetti (1421–1490) was a rich banker and a member of the Medici entourage, for which he directed the Medici Bank. In 1478 he acquired the chapel of St. Francis in Santa Trinita, after his proposal to add a decoration portraying the saint had been rejected by the Dominicans of Santa Maria Novella, where his family had had a chapel (later also frescoed by Ghirlandaio, and now known as the Tornabuoni Chapel) since the 14th century. He commissioned the execution of the frescoes from the most famed artist of the city, Domenico Ghirlandaio. The date of the contract is that signed next to the portraits of Sassetti and his wife (December 25, 1480), although the work was not carried out until between 1483 and 1486. The central altarpiece, depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds, is dated 1485. Ghirlandaio portrayed numerous figures of contemporary Florentine society in the scenes. All the work shows the importance of the influence on Ghirlandaio of Flemish school, in particular the Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes, taken by him to Florence in 1483 and now in the Uffizi. The Chapel was restored in 2004.” (Sassetti Chapel, Wikipedia)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saurien

Saurien by Alexander Calder, 590 Madison Avenue, IBM Building, New York City
“Saurien” by Alexander Calder, 1975
590 Madison Avenue (IBM Building)
Madison Avenue at East 57th Street
New York, September 2008

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana boutique, Via Monte Napoleone, Milano
Dolce & Gabbana boutique
Via Monte Napoleone
Milano, November 2016

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Children

“My Children” by Allister Bowtell, Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London
“My Children” by Allister Bowtell, 2002
Duke of York Square
London, September 2016

“Allister Bowtell, who has died of prostate cancer aged 66, was a fine sculptor, an exuberant model maker for television and films, and a larger than life character. He was a former chairman of Chelsea Arts Club - one of the few to be hauled before his own disciplinary committee - a leading light of the London Sketch Club and vice-president of the Vesta Rowing Club. His best-known recent work was the bronze sculpture of two children playing, commissioned by the Cadogan Estate for the Sloane Square refurbishment in London. He made the statues of Melpomene and Euterpe for Oxford's Bodleian Library. In contrast, for television he made models for Dr Who, including the original cybermen, and an edible bunch of flowers for Benny Hill. He made Rod Hull's emu, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee for Jonathan Miller's Alice. He made props for Monty Python and The Goodies, and body moulds for The Joys of Sex. He made a giant pack of Bubblicious chewing gum that blew enormous bubbles for a TV commercial. When he was asked for a model of a drowned man, he naturally wanted to river-test it. Before long, a concerned citizen called the police, doubtless reporting that the dead man's friends were being callously irresponsible. According to legend, three policemen arrived, the most senior of whom said, ‘It's all right, it's that bugger Bowtell again,’ and went on their way.” (Allister Bowtell, The Guardian)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Polizia Municipale

Polizia Municipale (Municipal Police), Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Polizia Municipale (Municipal Police)
Piazza Santa Croce
Florence, May 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana, Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, Barcelona
Palau de la Música Catalana by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, 1908
Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt
Barcelona, March 2017

“The Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth). It was inaugurated February 9, 1908. The project was financed primarily by the society, but important financial contributions also were made by Barcelona's wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie. The Palau won the architect an award from the Barcelona City Council in 1909, given to the best building built during the previous year. Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension under the direction of architects Oscar Tusquets and Carles Díaz. In 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Hospital de Sant Pau. Today, more than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).” (Palau de la Música Catalana, Wikipedia)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Giardini Luzzati

Luzzati Gardens, Genoa
Giardini Luzzati (Luzzati Gardens)
Piazza Giardini Luzzati
Genoa, April 2016

Sunday, August 13, 2017

St Christopher's Place

St Christopher's Place, Barrett Street, Marylebone, London
St Christopher's Place
Barrett Street, Marylebone
London, September 2016

Saturday, August 12, 2017

San Gaetano

San Gaetano, also known as Santi Michele e Gaetano, Piazza Antinori, Florence
San Gaetano, also known as Santi Michele e Gaetano
Piazza Antinori
Florence, May 2017

“The church was built for the Theatine order, who obtained funding from the noble families in Florence, including the Medicis. Cardinal Carlo de' Medici was particularly concerned with the work, and his name is inscribed on the façade. Building took place between 1604 and 1648. The original designs were by Bernardo Buontalenti but a number of architects had a hand in building it, each of whom changed the design. The two most important architects were Matteo Nigetti and Gherardo Silvani. The church is also known as the Church of Santi Michele e Gaetano, because it was built at the site of a Romanesque church, San Michele Bertelde, dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The new church was dedicated to Saint Cajetan, one of the founders of the Theatine order, though the church could not formally be named after him until his canonisation in 1671.” (San Gaetano, Wikipedia)

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Amazon

Equestrian statue by James Pradier, Cirque d'hiver (Winter Circus), Paris
Amazon by James Pradier, 1852
Cirque d'hiver (Winter Circus), rue Amelot
Quartier de la Folie-Méricourt, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Two equestrian statues framed the entrance: a seductive Amazon by James Pradier on the left (which is said to have been modeled after the famous equestrienne, Antoinette Lejars, and was the second version of a statue whose first version adorned the façade of the Cirque des Champs-Eysées), and a Greek warrior by Duret and Bosio, on the right. Frieze and statues are still in evidence today, but the Victory holding a lantern, which originally topped the building, has long disappeared.” (Cirque d'Hiver, Circopedia)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lucio Dalla

Lucio Dalla stencil, Piazza de' Celestini, Bologna
Stenciled Lucio Dalla
Piazza de' Celestini
Bologna, June 2015

“As the title of one of his most famous songs states, Lucio Dalla was born on March 4, 1943, and became one of the most important, as well as most popular, figures in Italian pop music of the second half of the 20th century. Dalla's career was a fascinating musical rollercoaster through several distinct periods. More than once he managed to enrapture and then enrage fans and critics with his sudden changes of musical direction, which were, as is often the case in Italy, invariably perceived as sheer ideological betrayals. Still, at the same time that he was alienating one audience, he was attracting a new and often bigger one. Typically unfazed by controversy, Dalla never let criticism get behind his perennial sad buffoon façade, and kept doing things his way, even at the risk of self-parody. By the early 21st century, Dalla had long become an untouchable icon of Italian pop culture as everybody's favorite mischievous uncle.” (Lucio Dalla, AllMusic)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

International Seafarers Memorial

International Seafarers Memorial by Michael Sandle, International Maritime Organization Headquarters, Albert Embankment, Lambeth, London
International Seafarers Memorial by Michael Sandle, 2001
International Maritime Organization Headquarters
Albert Embankment, Lambeth
London, September 2016

“The International Maritime Organization has announced that renowned British sculptor, Michael Sandle has been chosen to create a memorial to the world’s seafarers at the Organization’s riverside headquarters on the Albert Embankment in London. He has been chosen to execute the sculpture based on the proposed design submitted – which is very clearly based on a cargo ship. Of his design Michael Sandle writes, ‘I have chosen a ship because it signals immediately and unmistakably what the Organization is about’.” (International Maritime Organization)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Tower of Palazzo Vecchio

The Tower of Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), Piazza della Signoria, Florence
The Tower of Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace)
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, April 2017

“Literally ‘towering’ over Florence, the 95 mt. height Tower of Palazzo Vecchio is one of the city's unmistakable symbols and focal points. It is also one of the oldest parts of the building built between 1299 and the early 14th century, possibly to a design by Arnolfo di Cambio, as the seat of the city's government.” (The Tower of Palazzo Vecchio, Musei Civici Fiorentini)

Monday, August 7, 2017

El gat del Raval

El gat del Raval, Gato, Cat by Francesco Botero, Rambla del Raval, Barcelona
“Gato” (Cat) by Francesco Botero, 1990
Rambla del Raval
Barcelona, March 2017

“Fernando Botero's Cat was purchased by Barcelona City Council in 1987. From then until 2003 the cat wandered the city's streets in search of a permanent site. His first stop-off point was the Parc de la Ciutadella, near his fellow animals at Barcelona Zoo. Then he was taken to a site by the Olympic Stadium, and a few years later he was put in a little square behind Barcelona's medieval shipyards. Finally, in 2003, the decision was taken to move him to a permanent location at the end of the newly created Rambla del Raval. It is maybe because cats have nine lives, that he has made his presence so strongly felt. Everybody recognises the figure of the bronze cat, with his chubby, rounded form, childish features and long tail. The sculpture has become an integral part of one of Barcelona's most widely redeveloped areas and is a favourite meeting place. Some brave souls even clamber onto the cat's back to have their photos taken.” (Cat, Fernando Botero, Turisme de Barcelona)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Palazzo Molin a San Basegio

Palazzo Molin a San Basegio seen from the Giudecca Canal, Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Lungo, Dorsoduro, Venice
Palazzo Molin a San Basegio
Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Lungo
Seen from the Giudecca Canal
Venice, September 2013

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Kingly Court

Kingly Court, Beak Street, Soho, London
One of the Kingly Court entrances
Beak Street, Soho
London, September 2016

“In the past few years Kingly Court, a three-floored mini mall off Carnaby Street comprising 21 outlets arranged around a covered courtyard, has become known as the area's food quarter. Boutiques moved out and an exciting collection of bars, cafes and restaurants took their place, creating a concentrated hub of culinary choice not easily found elsewhere in central London. Many of these eateries are temporary pop-ups, where chefs and proprietors can test-run recipes and concepts, which means there's a new opening most months.” (What's happening in Kingly Court, central London's hottest food hub?, Evening Standard)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pentolaccia Players

Giocatori della pentolaccia, Pentolaccia Players by Giovanni Battista Capezzuoli, Giardino di Boboli, Boboli Gardens, Florence
“Giocatori della pentolaccia” (Pentolaccia Players), by Giovanni Battista Capezzuoli, 1775
Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens)
Florence, January 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Double Schinkel

Statue of Karl Friedrich Schinkel by Friedrich Drake, Schinkelplatz, Berlin
Statue of Karl Friedrich Schinkel by Friedrich Drake, 1869
Schinkelplatz
Berlin, September 2011

“Schinkel, however, is noted as much for his theoretical work and his architectural drafts as for the relatively few buildings that were actually executed to his designs. Some of his merits are best shown in his unexecuted plans for the transformation of the Athenian Acropolis into a royal palace for the new Kingdom of Greece and for the erection of the Orianda Palace in the Crimea. These and other designs may be studied in his Sammlung architektonischer Entwürfe (1820–1837) and his Werke der höheren Baukunst (1840–1842; 1845–1846). He also designed the famed Iron Cross medal of Prussia, and later Germany. It has been speculated, however, that due to the difficult political circumstances – French occupation and the dependency on the Prussian king – and his relatively early death, which prevented him from seeing the explosive German industrialization in the second half of the 19th century, he was not able to live up to the true potential exhibited by his sketches.” (Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Marble Well

Monumental marble well in the courtyard, Santuario di Santa Caterina (Shrine of Saint Catherine), Costa di Sant'Antonio, Siena
Monumental marble well in the courtyard
Santuario di Santa Caterina (Shrine of Saint Catherine)
Costa di Sant'Antonio
Siena, April 2017

“The Shrine of Saint Catherine occupies the site of Catherine's family home, where she was born in 1347 and where she lived her austere early life as a Dominican affiliate. The house has been much adapted; it is now a series of chapels dedicated to the beloved saint. The monumental marble well in the courtyard dates to the 15th or 16th century.” (Shrine of St. Catherine, Sacred Destinations)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bell Tower & Walkie-Talkie

The bell tower of All Hallows-by-the-Tower with the 20 Fenchurch Street in background, London
The bell tower of All Hallows-by-the-Tower
With 20 Fenchurch Street in background
London, September 2016

“The church was badly damaged by an explosion in 1650 caused when some barrels of gunpowder being stored in the churchyard exploded; its west tower and some 50 nearby houses were destroyed, and there were many fatalities. The tower was rebuilt in 1658, the only example of work carried out on a church during the Commonwealth era of 1649–1660. It only narrowly survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 and owes its survival to Admiral William Penn, father of William Penn of Pennsylvania fame, who had his men from a nearby naval yard demolish the surrounding buildings to create firebreaks. During the Great Fire, Samuel Pepys climbed the church's spire to watch the progress of the blaze and what he described as ‘the saddest sight of desolation’. Restored in the late 19th century, All Hallows was gutted by German bombers during the Blitz in World War II and required extensive reconstruction, only being rededicated in 1957.” (All Hallows-by-the-Tower, Wikipedia)