Friday, October 31, 2014

Rain Birds

Mabel and I took a long enjoyable walk in the rain on Halloween morning. She wore her new green padded raincoat printed with cheerful birds, a recent birthday present from Grandma.

Mabel's Pumpkins

I was lucky to see Mabel's jack-o-lantern while it was still in use on the dining room table with a candle inside and its smaller uncarved friend alongside.

Statue of Liberty

Mabel and I spent a rainy day together in San Francisco today. She told vivid happy stories about her trip to New York last weekend with Mamma and Grandma. The three of them went to a flagship Lego store in Manhattan. There Mabel obtained her first standard-issue Lego blocks. Up to now she has only had the bigger size blocks designed for small children, but now she is loving the intricacy of all these bright little pieces. Above is Mabel's Lego representation of the Statue of Liberty standing on its tall pedestal. She and Mamma and Grandma saw the real Statue of Liberty from the top deck of a ferry. The spectacle of the giant statue amazed Mabel, she told me. And you can go up inside it, and she will do that too some day.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yellow Motherwell

Steven Volpe commended  himself to my attention by arranging an entire room for clients in San Francisco around the large yellow Motherwell partially visible at far right above. More of his clean, controlled work below.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frédéric Méchiche

A small skylit dining room by Frédéric Méchiche caught my attention this past summer and appeared here then. When I recently came across other rooms by the same French designer I remembered the name and was glad to see more work.

The series of posts I did last July about decorator bookshelves and other interior arrangements (not a frequent subject here) turned up other names in addition to that of Frédéric Méchiche. Perhaps I will follow up on some of those other intriguing ones, now that an interval has passed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Martha & Mary

Martha & Mary Magdalene
c. 1598

Once I begin to reproduce paintings by Caravaggio in this space, as yesterday, it is not likely that I will be able to stop with only one day's worth. The body of this artist's surviving work is not large, yet when I start digging for the newest available images, there are always a couple (like the first two in this post) that strike me with complete freshness, and make a high claim to their own importance, as if the paintings truly were new to the world.

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
c. 1609

David with the Head of Goliath
c. 1600

c. 1609

Adoration of the Shepherds
c. 1609

Madonna del Rosario
c. 1607

Madonna del Palafrenieri
c. 1606

Christ at the Column
c. 1607

The Raising of Lazarus
c. 1608

The Burial of St. Lucy
c. 1608

Monday, October 27, 2014

Caravaggio Details

Detail of Boy with a Basket of Fruit, c. 1593

Detail of Bacchus, c. 1596

Detail of Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1596

Detail of Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1598

Detail of The Supper at Emmaus, c. 1601

Detail of The Taking of Christ, c. 1602

Detail of Madonna del Palafrenieri, c. 1606

Detail of Madonna del Rosario, c. 1607

Detail of The Seven Acts of Mercy, c. 1607

Detai of St. Jerome, c. 1607

I found a series of cropped details lifted from paintings made by Caravaggio, whose mature working life lasted only about fifteen years before troubles and illnesses ended everything.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Angel Musicians

Angel Musicians
c. 1350

 Madonna & Child
Antoniazzo Romano
c. 1480

By accident I came across a group of artifacts from one among the large number of American tycoon-museums created during the glory days of this nation's international dominance. From about 1890 to about 1990 American collectors had far more money than anybody else. Old Master works of art from Europe could be and were hoovered up by the shipload and transported to the New World, there to be displayed in purpose-built museums with the tycoons' names over the doors.

Saint Cecilia
Guido Reni

Liberation of Saint Peter
Hendrick van Steenwyck

Flower Bouquet
Jan Brueghel the Elder
c. 1620

Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Peter Paul Rubens
c. 1620

Anne of Austria
Peter Paul Rubens
c. 1622

Louis XIII
Peter Paul Rubens
c. 1622

David & Goliath
Peter Paul Rubens
c. 1630

Portrait of a Young Man
Jan Lievens
c. 1640

What I picked for posting here was determined, as usual, by the irresponsible promptings of personal taste, and not by any wish for balance or a fairly distributed representation. That explains why fully half my choices are from the 17th century (the place where I intend to move permanently after I retire from my job at the library). Work from other centuries is equally worthwhile, no doubt, but less resonant.  

Interior of Saint Peter's, Rome
Giovanni Paolo Pannini

Triumph of Virtue & Nobility over Ignorance
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
c. 1740

Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur
Claude Monet

Bouquet of Lilacs
Pierre August Renoir

Mulberry Tree
Vincent van Gogh

Paul Gauguin