Monday, December 31, 2018

Champagne time

Let's pop open a bottle, drink to all the good things that happened in 2018, and toast to an even better 2019. The poster is from 1902 by Italian-French designer Leonetto Cappiello (1875 - 1942).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

School house in Murnau

Gabriele M√ľnter (1877-1962) was at one time the partner of Wassily Kandinsky, but her own works are well worth exploring and she was a founding member of the group Der Blaue Reiter. This 1908 work is representative of her expressionist style.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Monet in his studio and garden

This is just one of many photographs of Claude Monet in the link. We see him at work in his studio, or relaxing in his beautiful garden in Giverny (which we visited about 15 years ago, when we lived in Normandy).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The seven biggest art lawsuits of 2018

A fascinating read: the seven most important art law suits of the year, including the outcome and why it matters. From Jeff Koons via Nazi-looted art to monkeys taking selfies. Highly recommended to read the whole article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Nanjing Usnisa palace

About halfway our Shanghai trip, we took a short organized three day excursion to Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhenjiang. The first stop was at the Nanjing Usnisa Palace, a formidable complex that houses relics of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. The architecture is incredible, and the visit was unforgettable. Here we have a detail of the roof of the entrance building - a stunning abstraction full of twists and turns. One of my favourite shots of the trip - well, of the whole year actually.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal length: 32.9 mm
Exposure time: 1/1000
ISO speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 To all the readers of this blog and their loved ones: I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Copyright statement: image is a Shanghai wall decoration shot by myself. Copyright unknown, presumed fair use.

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Redbook (August 1920)

Redbook is an American women's magazine first published in 1903 and apparently still in existence. The covers from the twenties stand out due to the work of painter and illustrator William Haskell Coffin (1878–1941).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Chinatown

I was surprised to see that I had not posted the poster of Polanski's famous 1974 movie Chinatown yet. The film itself is very much worthwhile, and the poster is surely one of the best of the seventies.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2018

China’s “Copycat” town switches to original art

Several years ago, the Chinese town Dafen (near Shenzhen) became world news when it was revealed that artists working there were responsible for 75% of the world’s oil painting reproductions. Due to the world-wide economy crisis, the reproduction business model collapsed, which leaves thousands of artists in Dafen now trying to make a living by creating their own works. An interesting article.

Copyright statement: image created by Mitch Altman, used with permission (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Friday, December 21, 2018

City walls in winter

Not my usual fare, but we saw this romantic painting last week in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and it was love at first sight - and it is fitting for the first day of winter. It was painted by Willem Schellinks (1627-1678) just before his death. He took cityscapes like he had seen on his travels to Italy and transposed them to the cold Dutch winter landscape.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Bloom

Bloom is the second studio album by Australian singer and songwriter Troye Sivan. The cover is a stunning photograph of the artist by French photographer Hedi Slimane, once creative director for Yves Saint Laurent. And in a funny twist, the backside of the CD shows the artist's face.

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Xinhua Bookstore

This is without a doubt the most beautiful bookstore I've ever visited: the Xinhua shop in the Aegean Place mall in Shanghai's Minhang district. The design is by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. What made it extra attractive from a photographer's point of view is that large parts are not used yet, making for stunning abstract shot opportunities. I've flipped this one upside down for an even more interesting effect. One of my favourite shots of the year.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal length: 4.5 mm
Exposure time: 1/20
ISO speed: 500
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

McCall's January 1923

McCall's was a monthly American women's magazine, that enjoyed great popularity through much of the 20th century. Its first appearance in the blog is with this beautifully illustrated cover by an artist named Aein, who was responsible for many of their covers in the twenties.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong

When people ask me for my favourite Christmas CD, I answer: Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong. If you don't know this gem, it is available in its entirety on YouTube. As it has been posted over a year ago, and has gathered over 100000 views, one may safely assume that the record company has no objection.

Copyright statement: screen shot from video deemed fair use.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The hurdy-gurdy man

Once more I used the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here), mixing a photograph I took myself of a medieval instrument player (link), and a painting by Lucian Freud (Man in a Blue Scarf). The result is nice.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Yu Garden Shanghai

This shot is taken from a fascinating collection of 42 photographs that were shot  by a French speaking person when he made a trip to China (Shanghai, Suzhou, and Beijing) in October 1921. This is the Tea House at the Yu Garden in Shanghai, which still exists in much the same form a century later (not that common in Shanghai where much of the older parts of the cities have been destroyed).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Flower girl in Holland

A painting from 1887 that I don't particularly like by an American artist (George Hitchcock, 1850-1913) whom I never had heard of - why is it in the blog? Well, we saw it at an exhibition in Shanghai and it made me wonder about how small the world has become. Here we have an American artist who moved to the Netherlands, created this painting there, which was after his death was shipped to the USA, acquired by the  Chicago Museum, and transported earlier this year from Chicago to Shanghai for an exhibition, where this Dutchman could see it because he had flown from the Netherlands to China...

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

As time goes by

Suitable abstract images are all around us, if you know what to look for. One of the most suitable opportunities is the wear and tear caused by time on metal surfaces. Here is an example from our recent Shanghai trip, a metal door that has objectively seen better days - but that now gives us a beautiful abstract image.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal length: 4.5 mm
Exposure time: 1/30
ISO speed: 250
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bad artworks by masters

The linked art-icle is an entertaining and often surprising overview of awful artworks by masters of the genre - and not the least of them, with the likes of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Manet, van Gogh and Munch included. The image above is from a still life by Abraham Mignon, where the beautiful details of the flowers are off-set by"a cat that more closely resembles a beastly hybrid animal with the ears of a bat, the nose of a human, and the mouth of a shrieking monkey".

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hutongs of Peking

The title of the linked symphonic poem might be Hutongs of Peking, its post is inspired by our recent trip to Shanghai. Russian-Jewish composer Aaron Avshalomov (1894-1964) moved to Shanghai in 1918, and became a pivotal member in the developing classical music scene there. He is one of the few non-Chinese composers/performers honoured by a plaque on the road where the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has their home. I love this piece, and push it whenever I can.

Copyright statement: screenshot of video, deemed fair use.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Vogue January 1919

A well-known winter-themed vintage Vogue cover that apparently has not appeared in the blog yet. It was created by the famous Georges Lepape.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Lucky turtle

Once more I used the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here), mixing a photograph I took myself of our lucky animal, the turtle, in a Shanghai pond (link), and a painting by Marc (Blue fox). The result matched my expectations.

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

Friday, December 07, 2018

How creative people find their best ideas

The linked art-icle presents some of the results of a survey under 10000 creative people, trying to determine what triggers or affects their creativity. Some surprising answers here, such as the need for silence and a neat environment, and the best ideas coming in the morning. An interesting read.

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