Sunday, March 18, 2018

Frozen rooftops

So far, 2018 has not really inspired me in terms of  taking photographs, but I quite like this winter scene shot a few weeks ago near our home. It depicts the roofs of the beautiful Kampen canal houses, reflected in the frozen Burgel, and flipped upside down.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.08 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 29.2 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Walasse Ting: the Amsterdam years

Earlier this week, we visited this outstanding exhibition in the Jan van der Togt Museum in Amstelveen (just south of Amsterdam). Walasse Ting (1929-1910) was a Chinese-American visual artist and poet, born in Shanghai. His colourful exotic works really stand out, and this exhibition (which last one more month) brings a lot of them together for the first time. We found it a marvelous experience, and I recommend it highly if you happen to live (or visit) in the Netherlands these weeks.

Copyright statement: low resolution promotion image, considered fair use.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nursery cryme

A prog rock classic, both for the album itself and the cover: Genesis' Nursery Cryme from 1971. This surrealistic beauty was designed by Paul Whitehead, who was responsible for many covers at the Charisma label.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Upside down or not?

Rather surprisingly, even museums can get it wrong - literally, by hanging a piece of art upside down. The most famous case is Matisse's The boat, shown above, which hung upside down in the New York Museum of Modern Art for 47 days in 1961 - until a visitor spotted the mistake. As the linked art-icle shows though, there are plenty of opportunities to go wrong if the artist did not leave clear instructions - and one can even wonder whether in some cases there is a wrong and a right way. An interesting read.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original art work depiction included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use..

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I'm not sure what I expected when I mixed my Shanghai Pudong shot Aurora and the painting The broad by Neo Rauch with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here) - but not this. Still, I think it's an intriguing image. The link leads to the original photograph.

Copyright statement: image created via the DeepArt site from one of my original images. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Deke Erh - Photographer with a Mission

End of March 2018, the nautical spectacle Sail Kampen will be held for the sixth time since 2002. Billed as the largest Easter event in the Netherlands, it is expected to draw over 200000 visitors to the beautiful old Hanseatic city at the borders of the IJssel. Among the ships that will sail in, is a century old wooden sailing ship Saeolöer, whose owner is one of the most special participants of the event. His name is Deke Erh (depicted above), famous freelance photographer and explorer from Shanghai. Galerie LuS is delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit a selection of Deke Erhs astonishing photography during this event. On our web site, I have posted a short article about Deke Erh, including his background and a few examples of his work (see link below).

Copyright statement: image used with explicit permission by the copyright holder, Deke Erh.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)

Time for another vintage song sheet cover under the heading Anything goes. Chicago (That Toddlin' Town) is a classic written by Fred Fisher in 1922, and best known in the Frank Sinatra version. No information about the illustrator.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


This Kate Bush classic is one of the most beautiful hits and also one of the most beautiful videos of the eighties. Scary to realize it was released over 30 years ago......  Art Rock score: 10/10, one of  200 best songs of all time.

Copyright statement: image screenshot from the video, considered fair use.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


With Easter just 3 weeks from now, it's time to get out the beautiful Saint Matthew's and Saint John's Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach. To get in the mood, perhaps the most beautiful painting ever created on this subject, this 1910 expressionist masterpiece by Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938). More about the artist in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public  domain.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Duchamp in a Cage fight

It sounds more violent than it was, but still, it must have been quite an occasion to attend. Fifty years ago father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and avant-garde composer John Cage played a game of musical chess. The moves on the electronic board automatically generated sounds, and a photographer (Shigeko Kubota) was present to document the happening, which was called Reunion. Full story in the linked art-icle.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original photograph included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


This 2016 futuristic dystopian Schwentke movie Allegiant (from the Divergent series) does not have a good reputation, but the poster is a beautiful design.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Classical music of the past 100 years [3] 1938-1947

Too many listeners of classical music think that over the past 100 years or so, nothing worthwhile has been composed. In this recurring series, I will be posting one composition per year from 1918 until 2017, with every selected composer featuring only once (and not necessarily with their imo best work). I'm aiming for composers who represent the more modern age, skipping many famous names from before 1918 who also composed in this time slot (such as Sibelius and Richard Strauss). Overall I wanted to get a reasonable mix of symphonies, concertos, other orchestral works, chamber music, solo instrumental compositions, and vocal creations, but excluding opera altogether. I have grouped the works per period of ten years, with one post per month for each subsequent decade. Youtube links are not included as they tend to disappear with time - they are easily googled anyway. If you like classical music, but are reluctant to explore the 20th and 21st century works, this series of posts might give you a bit of a nudge to start listening.

1938 Webern - String quartet
1939 Prokofiev - Alexander Nevsky cantata
1940 Lilburn - Aotearoa overture
1941 Messiaen - Quatuor pour la fin du temps
1942 Schoenberg - Piano concerto
1943 Martin - Der Cornet
1944 Moroi - Symphony 3
1945 Moeran - Cello concerto
1946 Villa-Lobos – String Quartet No. 10
1947 Barber - Knoxville: Summer of 1915

In this third helping, we once more find a mix of famous names, and almost unknowns. Schoenberg and Webern are key representatives of the second Viennese school. Prokofiev, listed here with my favourite work from his repertoire, also does not require introduction. France's Messiaen is widely acknowledged as one of the most important composers of the century - this quartet was composed while he was in a prisoner-of-war camp. Then we have Brazil's Villa-Lobos and the American Barber - both best known for a single composition, and both very rewarding composers to explore in depth (Knoxville is one of my all-time favourite compositions for voice and orchestra). The three others are really hidden treasures. Lilburn from New Zealand, Martin from Switzerland, and Britains Moeran - with the most beautiful cello concerto ever composed (imho).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Les Modes April 1912

Les Modes (Fashions) was a magazine, most likely issued in France given the language (even the French Wikipedia does not give any information). This cover is a beautiful piece of Art Nouveau.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, March 05, 2018

The grove - Monhegan

I love the Google Arts and Culture add-on, by which new tabs automatically show a piece of art. A fun way to discover new artists, such as recently George Bellows, an American realist painter best known for his depiction of urban life. This 1911 landscape of a Maine island is the one that made me check him out. More about Bellows in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, March 04, 2018


The album cover of New Zealand's sensation Lorde's sophomore album is usually included in lists of best album covers of 2017 - and quite rightly so. No text whatsoever, just the painting of the artist by Sam McKinniss, capturing the album's atmosphere perfectly.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Ripped in February

A selected overview of culture stars relevant to my own tastes who passed away this month. Rest in peace.

Dennis Edwards (74), American soul singer. He was the lead singer of the Temptations on many of their hits, including Papa was a rollin' stone, which is on our car MP3 USB stick.
John Mahoney (77), English-American actor. Best remembered for his role as Martin Crane, father of Frasier and Niles in the hit sitcom Frasier from 1993 to 2004.
Jóhann Jóhannsson (48), Icelandic composer of film scores and classical music. We have his recent CD Orphée.
Max Desfor (104), American photographer. Best known for jis Pulitzer Proze winning shot "Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea".
Emma Chambers (53), British actress. I'll always remember her as the goofy Alice Tinker in the BBC sitcom The vicar of Dibley.
Mies Bouwman (88), Dutch TV presenter. An icon of 60s and 70s Dutch TV.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Hungarian rhapsody

Another one from the archive. I stumbled upon this shot from 2008 and was surprised I had not posted it in the blog. This abstract reminds me of the works of Gerhard Richter.

Camera: Canon Powershot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 50.8 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 2.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Vogue March 1919

Ninety nine years ago this Vogue magazine slid through the mailboxes of thousands of houses, announcing the coming of spring. It would be nice if we could get some of that feeling here and now. The cover was designed by the famous Helen Dryden.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Unusual concertos 111-115: From serpent to electric bass guitar

The concerto for solo instrument(s) and orchestra is one of the most popular genres in classical music. However, I think 95+ % of all concertos have been composed for piano or violin. Previously I have run a series on concertos for less common instruments in this blog, reaching an amazing number of 100 in the end (all these posts were reset to draft end March 2017). I have been summarizing these in ten posts in the course of last year, each covering ten unusual concertos, keeping the sequences the same as in the past. I've completed this effort in December and followed up with another 10 last month. Here we have another five that I've come across recently, bringing the total so far to 115.

[111] Serpent. This ancestor of the tuba is another one of the ancient instruments that are going through a small revival in classical music. I came across a concerto for serpent and orchestra by Simon Proctor, played by Doug Yeo and the Boston Pops under John Williams, available on Youtube.

[112] Knifonium. A new instrument, a tube analogue synthesizer. Already one concerto has been composed and recorded, by Olli Virtaperko. I have it in a version by Jonte Knif and the Jyvaskyla Sinfonia under Ville Matvejeff on an Ondine CD.

[113] Turkish instruments and voices. An exotic combination of kemenche, zurnas, ney, and wordless voices - courtesy of a concerto by Kamran Ince. Available on Youtube.

[114] Txistu. An old basque fipple flute, rarely heard outside Basque folk music. I came across an interesting concerto for this rarity recently. It is composed by Tomas Arangues, and played by Jose Ansorena and the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra under Cristian Mandeal on an Elkar CD.

[115] Electric bass guitar. I recently came across a concerto for this instrument by Lauri Porra. A performance by the composer and the Sinfonia Lahti Orchestra under Kuusisto is available on Youtube.

Copyright statement: image sourced from here, explicitly stated to be in the public domain.