Monday, October 31, 2016

The raven that refused to sing

A far more subtle song for Halloween than most candidates. The title song of Steven Wilson's 2013 album is one of the most beautiful of recent years, and the video (animated by Jessica Cope) is a piece of art as well. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant song, one of the 200 best of all time).


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Canadian Home Journal June 1931

The Canadian Home Journal magazine has not featured yet in the blog - it was published from 1905 to 1958. This is one of their best covers, setting off the flapper girl pilot against a stunning colour combination. Excellent art work by Rex Woods.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Unusual concertos [100]: Banhu

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 100 this time.

The one hundredth (and probably last) concerto deals with the banhu (image credit). This is a Chinese instrument akin to the better known erhu, but with a coconut shell as soundbox. I have one concerto for this unlikely instrument, by Kwan Nai-Chung. It is available on a Hugo CD, played by Ding Lu-Feng and the Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra under the composer.

Go here

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pastel beauties

This may be 'just' a fashion magazine illustration of around 1930, but it is seriously beautiful. It was created by James Vaughan.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sculpture by the sea after the storm

The annual Sydney Sculpture by the sea exhibition, the largest free outdoor sculpture show in the world, has featured a number of times in the blog. This year was special, as unusual high waves damaged a number of the art pieces. This shot shows one that could be rescued in time. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (William West/AFP).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The night has a thousand eyes

Earlier this week, sixties' heartthrob Bobby Vee passed away from Alzheimer's disease. In his memory, his best song in my opinion, The night has a thousand eyes from 1962. Fun original video as well. RIP. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The kiss

It's been a while since Polish Art Deco star Tamara de Lempicka last featured in the blog. This one I had never seen before until I came across it yesterday. It was painted around 1922. More on de Lempicka in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Lady's lips

The poster for this 1925 James Hogan movie is not perfect - the male lead is depicted very woodenly. But the lovely Clara Bow is drawn perfectly, the colour scheme is unusual and effective and the jazz age atmosphere is exhilarating.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Vogue February 1921

Even before the Art Deco age, Vogue covers were beautiful. This is one of the best of that period (no artist mentioned).


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bob Dylan and the Nobel prize

The recent awarding of the Nobel prize for literature to singer/song writer Bob Dylan has sparked lots of discussions on the internet. Perhaps the best case for this choice that I encountered is the linked art-icle by Gordon Ball (visiting Associate Professor of English at Washington and Lee University).

web site

Friday, October 21, 2016

Audi R8

Creative advertising with a twist. This Audi A8 commercial shot is good, but not particularly creative. Until you read the background story and learn that it was actually shot (by Felix Hernandez) with a miniature model instead of the real thing. Full story in the link.

Creative Ads

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hanseatic day

One of my wife's paintings made earlier this year, and a personal favourite of mine. It is an impression of our beautiful Kampen, with tall ships moored at the banks of the IJssel. A view that can be today or centuries ago.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Diane of the green van

Once more a piece of nostalgic sheet music under Anything goes. I've never heard of the song, but the design puts in firmly in the jazz age.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Potpourri: Starry starry night

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 20 December 2012.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Going in

This is a close-up of a horn-like sculpture on display in the garden of the museum castle in nearby Heino. Not a personal favourite, but it received more faves on Flickr than most of my uploads the past months.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture: f/23.9
Focal Length: 5.6 mm
ISO Speed: 500
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Sunday, October 16, 2016

A movie poster a day

The linked web site is an ongoing project by an unnamed but highly talented designer, who has set himself/herself the task to post a newly designed poster for a famous movie every day in 2016 - and often in better quality than the original posters. I have selected their take on Chaplin's The great dictator as an example. Well worth exploring.

web site

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Celestial dome by Miguel Chevalier

Celestial dome is a stunning art work by Miguel Chevalier. He projects various night skies on the ceiling of the Paris Saint-Eustache church to a beautiful if almost surreal effect. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Last Sunday we went to a vintage car show near Groningen. For the occasion, a Mercedes poster which shows just the type of car that we saw dozens of (of different brands). I'd place this one around 1930.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Send in the clowns

This post was triggered by a funny topical news tweet that was shared at the MissCellania site yesterday: GOD: They scared enough? ANGEL: Not yet. GOD: You got Trump running? ANGEL: Yup. GOD: Hurricane? ANGEL: Yup. GOD: Send in the clowns! Anyway, American singer/song writer Judy Collins' 1975 cover of the Stephen Sondheim classic Send in the clowns is an excellent regretful ballad, that has not aged one bit. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

George Hoyningen-Huene

Baron George Hoyningen-Huene (1900-1968) was born in Russia with a mixed German-Baltic and American family background. He is best remembered for his fashion photography for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. I selected this photograph from 1930 showing his lover, photographer Horst P. Horst, and an unidentified female model. More about Hoyningen-Huene on the linked Wikipedia site.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Shepherd moons

As part of my project to catalogue all our CD's (whilst playing them at the same time), focus outside classical music is currently on new age. Enya's output is almost done, and I was surprised to see I had not featured even one of her beautiful album covers in the blog. To make amends, my favourite cover, Shepherd moons from 1991. Photography, presumably including the cover, is credited to David Scheinmann.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Kraftwerk at the Guggenheim

German electronic pop giants Kraftwerk were captured during their concert in the gorgeous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Vincent West/Reuters).

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Saturday, October 08, 2016


The first in a series of shots of large coils in a transport ship moored at the banks of the IJssel, not far from our home. This one turned out to be the most popular of the series, a nice abstraction with a good diagonal composition. The conversion to black and white is almost mandatory in this type of shot.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/24.6
Focal Length: 4.5 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, October 07, 2016


This 2015 Bond movie was disappointing after the stunning Skyfall, but the minimalist poster is one of the best in the franchise.