Sunday, July 31, 2016

A silent prayer

The visit of Pope Francis to Auschwitz (Poland) was one of the most moving news stories of the week, not least because we've been there ourselves a few years ago. His walk on the premises, alone and in silence, fitted the occasion, and this photograph is a good capture of those moments. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Observatore Romano/AFP).

Saturday, July 30, 2016


The new Agnes Obel single (Familiar) comes with a classy cover, as I have come to expect of this highly talented Danish singer/songwriter. More about Agnes Obel on the linked Wikipedia page.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dances with the winds (RIP Einojuhani Rautavaara)

Two days ago, Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara passed away at age 87. He was to my taste one of the best composers of contemporary classical music. For the occasion, I have selected his gorgeous 1974 flute concerto Dances with the winds. Rest in peace, maestro.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha

This amazing complex covering an abandoned quarry pit is currently under construction in Changsa, China. The huge resort will include a hotel, a water park, indoor ski slope and an outdoor swimming pool. It was designed by Austrian architectural firm Coophimmelb(l)au. More about this building in the link.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Details in The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder from 1563 is one of my favourite pieces of art from before 1800. However, I never realized the wealth of details hidden in this masterpiece. The linked article highlights 22 detailed scenes, each accounting for less than 1% of the total painting surface - and each worthy to be a painting on its own - an example is included above. A fascinating read.

web site

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


This is the type of abstract shot that I love to take. It is actually part of a big light installation in a clothes shop. A personal favourite, and also so far my most faved shot of the year on Flickr (although Explore keeps on snubbing me this year).

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 13 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, July 25, 2016

The Chicagoan July 1926

Another awesome vintage cover of the Chicagoan magazine, which was first mentioned in the blog early this year. The design is by Dean Patty.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rhone Glacier

No, this is not an art work by Christo. The photograph shows the Rhone Glacier above Gletsch near the Furkapass in Switzerland, the oldest in the Alps, being protected by special white blankets to prevent it from melting. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Urs Flueeler/EPA).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Agfa film

This 1930 poster is a prime example of why vintage posters is a category in this art blog. A beautiful design and execution, the work of Marcello Dudovich.

Vintage Posters

Friday, July 22, 2016

Otto Dyar

Otto Dyar (1892-1988) was an American photographer who is widely regarded as one of the most important glamour photographers of the golden age of Hollywood. I have selected this beautiful and original portrait of Carole Lombard as an illustration of his work. More about Dyar on the linked site.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Potpourri: Smile of recognition

From time to time I will be highlighting some of my own favourite posts in my parallel blog, Art's Potpourri. These can be recent or from some time ago. This one was originally posted 19 July 2014.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

River deep – Mountain high

Difficult to imagine that this power hit by Ike and Tina Turner is half a century old. It has aged very well indeed! Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Best and most beautiful things

Quirky and beautiful were the first two words that came to mind when I saw the poster for this year's Zevgetis movie.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cottages at Auvers

It's been far too long since Danish-French impressionist grandmaster Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) last featured in this blog. Few painters have been more successful in capturing the French countryside on canvas, as in this work from 1879. More about Pissarro in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A bit of line play

An unusual abstract shot, constructed from lines on a ship moored at the IJssel near our home. Black and white conversion makes the lines stand out even more. I like it, and it got decent reactions at Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/7.0
Focal Length: 54 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Crimes of the art

Crimes of the art is a weekly feature on the excellent Hyperallergic site. It gives an overview of various recent art-related crimes, some shocking, some funny, always interesting.

web site

Friday, July 15, 2016

Para Todos March 1927

A beautiful upbeat cover for the Brazilian magazine Para Todos, which has featured once before in this blog. No information on the designer.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Celebration in Rouen

For the French national holiday, I picked this painting by my wife from around 2001, and which is displayed in our shop window these days. It depicts the tricolore flying from the walls of the old city of Rouen, where we lived at the time.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Past meets Present by Giles Clement

In this stunning art project, French photographer Giles Clement first takes pictures of his models with the ancient techniques of tintype/ambrotype. He then prints these photographs, with a striking vintage appearance, on large glass plates. Finally, he takes regular photographs of his models holding these glass plates. The result is both beautiful and haunting. More examples in the link. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Monday, July 11, 2016

My princess

Another example of digital art made possible with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here). I submitted a photograph of my beautiful wife and one of Rembrandt's self portraits (link here). The link leads to the original photograph.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hong Kong garden

Punk rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees would not be the first one to associate with beautiful single covers, but this one for their 1978 debut single is excellent. More about Siouxsie and the Banshees on the linked Wikipedia page.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Vogue July 1916

Let's go back one hundred years... this vintage Vogue cover was designed by the famous Helen Dryden.


Friday, July 08, 2016

Clock tower

The rainy weather of recent days did offer some special photo opportunities. It is not often that our main street has puddles large enough to reflect most of the clock tower near our home. Not a personal favourite, but one of my more popular shots of recent weeks.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 28.5 mm
ISO Speed: 160
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Thursday, July 07, 2016

Unusual concertos [98]: Toy piano

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 90+ this time.

The ninety-eighth concerto deals with the toy piano (image credit). Composers of name such as Cage, Crumb and Kagel, have composed for this unlikely instrument. I came across a concerto for toy piano and orchestra recently. It is by Matthew McConnel, and an excerpt can be seen on YouTube here.

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