Monday, January 16, 2017

On the banks of the Loire

Another name that has not featured in the blog before: Danish painter Gerda Wegener (1886-1940). Perhaps best remembered for her erotic works, she also created beautiful Art Deco scenes and portraits, such as this one depicting the artists community of Beaugency having fun on the banks of the Loire. Her work will be featured frequently here in the future. More about Wegener in the linked Wikipedia article.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Aeolus / De chirico

With so many of my Flickr friends having left the site in recent years, it gives me great pleasure to see one of the very best returning recently. Formerly known as caeciliametella, Lorraine Kerr has featured more than a dozen times in this blog in the past. Here she is once more with one of her trademark abstractions in square format. A beautiful study on shades of grey. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Clear shower gel

OK, this is cheating a bit, as this was not an official advertisement by Clear - it is a brilliant effort by Solomon Tsitsuashvili, part of his ambition to create one print ad every day. I really love this one. More examples in the link.

Creative Ads

Friday, January 13, 2017


It has been far too long since Audrey Hepburn last featured in the blog. The 1954 Billy Wilder movie Sabrina is one of her most famous efforts, and this Italian poster for it is lovely, reminding me of Vogue covers of decades earlier.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ten unrealized art works

The linked art-icle gives an overview of ten art works that would have been stunning, but that have never been realized. They vary from the predictable (Christo wrapping the Museum of Modern Art), to the quirky (the depicted bridge by Claes Oldenburg), to the ridiculous (Mona Hatoum's live video coverage of a gallery's public toilets).

web site

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Canadian Pacific

A beautiful travel poster from 1933, recommending travel to East Asia by the White Empress liner. The design is by Kenneth Denton Shoesmith.

Vintage Posters

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fingal's cave

This romantic style painting is not my usual style, but when it came up in the Google art project a few weeks ago, I was impressed. The painter is American Thomas Moran (1837-1926), best known for his American landscapes. His take on the Scottish scenery known as Fingal's cave (1884) is far better than any of his American work in my opinion. More about Moran in the linked Wikipedia article.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Where do you go to my lovely (RIP Peter Sarstedt)

The Grim Reaper strikes again: yesterday Peter Sarstedt passed away. He will always be remembered for ballads like You're a lady and the amazing Where do you go to my lovely. Rest in peace. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Floral dreams

Earlier this week I revisited my CoolArt project: taking photographs of my wife's colourful paintings reflected in the aluminium foil exterior of a cooling back. It did not get many reactions on Flickr, but my wife was very positive about it, and I like it very much myself.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal Length: 4.5 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Before the dawn

Kate Bush' stunning 3 CD live album, a registration of her 2014 stage comeback, comes with a beautiful cover as well. For some reason it reminds me of the atmosphere of the later Harry Potter movies. The cover is credited to Tim Walker.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Corner stories

This is the first shot in the Flickr "one shot a day" challenge for my long-time Flickr friend Rodolfo Anzaldua. And what a fabulous start it is. The background story to this abstraction is just as fascinating: what we see here is an 18th century "Quijote" book, passed on in the family from one generation to another. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

City Hall

Another example of digital art made possible with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here). I submitted a photograph of our old city hall in the morning fog, and one of Richter's blurry grey-scale paintings (link here). The dream-like result is quite convincing, and looks like a real Richter to me. The link leads to the original photograph.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Harper's Bazaar February 1959

This Harper's Bazaar cover is a bit later than most in this category - I selected it not just for its look (which is excellent), but also for the background story. The photographer is the famous Richard Avedon, the model is Shanghai born (and recently departed) China Machado. This was the very first Harper's Bazaar cover to feature a non-white model, and that was not an easy decision in those days. From Wikipedia: the publishers were saying, ‘We can't put this girl in the magazine. Everyone in the South will quit subscriptions and no one will want to advertise with us!’ In the end, Avedon threatened to quit the magazine if they did not go with this cover and they yielded.


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Ripped in December

A selected overview of culture stars relevant to my own tastes who passed away this month. It looks like the Grim Reaper decided to end with a bang rather than a (careless) whisper - in tune with the start of the year. Rest in peace. Image by myself.

Gisela May (92), German actress and singer. Her recordings of works by Weill, Brecht and Eisler are legendary.
Rodney Smith (68), American photographer. Best remembered for his minimal fashion and portrait photography.
Peter Vaughan (93), British actor. I will remember him mainly for his role of Maester Aemon in the TV series Game of Thrones.
Greg Lake (67), British guitarist, singer and songwriter. Member of prog legends King Crimson and ELP. Writer and singer of ELP's best song, Lucky man.
Peter van Straaten (81). Dutch cartoonist. One of my personal favourites.
Karel Husa (95), Czech-American classical music composer, We have two CD's of his work.
Howard Bingham (77), American photographer. His work was published in many magazines, but he is best remembered for his many photographs of Cassius Clay, later Muhammad Ali.
China Machado (86), Chinese fashion model and editor. One of the supermodels of the fifties, she was the first non-white model to feature on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.
Heinrich Schiff (65), Austrian cellist. One of the greatest cellists of his generation. We have many CD's of his performances.
Rick Parfitt (68), British guitarist and song writer in the band Status Quo. Seen as a one-hit wonder in the USA, they had dozens of hits in the UK and the rest of Europe.
Richard Adams (96), British author. His Watership Down impressed me a lot.
Liz Smith (95), British actress. For me she will always be the dopey Letitia Cropley in the sitcom The vicar of Dibley.
George Michael (53), British singer/songwriter. He created some of the most beautiful pop ballads of all time, including Careless whisper and You have been loved.
Carrie Fisher (60), American actress. Immortal because of her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars movies series.
Debbie Reynolds (84), American actress and Carrie Fisher's mother. Famous for her movies from the 50s to the 70s, including Singing in the rain.
Tyrus Wong (106), Chinese-born American artist. Best remembered for his work as lead artist for the Disney animated classic Bambi
Allan Williams (86), British promoter. He was the first manager of the Beatles.
William Christopher (84), American actor. He will be remembered for his role of  Father Mulcahy in the sitcom MASH.

Monday, January 02, 2017


A few weeks ago, in the Old Paint blog, I came across an artist I had never heard of Vilmos Aba-Novák (1894-1941). This Hungarian master painted frescoes and church murals, but also masterpieces like this 1929 portrait of a flapper girl. More about Aba-Novák in the linked Wikipedia article.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

A beautiful image (which I think is retro rather than original Art Deco) to wish you all a happy, healthy and great 2017!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bye bye 2016

As 2016 is finally drawing to a close, the song line "things can only get better" (generally, not personally) comes to mind. Image sourced from here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

My monthly favourites of 2016

In the course of this year, I have started selecting my own monthly favourite posts to the blog. Here is an overview for the year:

January: The miraculous.
February: Portrait of Dagny Juel Przybyszewska.
March: Vogue June 1935.
April: Paris, windows to the past by Julien Knez.
May: McCafe.
June: Bill Cunningham.
July: Past meets Present by Giles Clement.
August: La Rinascente.
September: Architectural desserts.
October: Hanseatic day.
November: Jugend December 1929.
December: French flapper.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Graphics by Ebrain Art

This image is a particularly striking example of the graphic artwork of a local Kampen artist, who goes by the name of Ebrain Art. Check out his linked Facebook page for more of his creations. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.