Archive for the 'Museum' Category

Great Britain, London: Ravens Guarding the Tower of London

Monday, January 14th, 2019

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When you visit the Tower of London, you learn the superstition about why there always are ravens guarding it. Look for the raven master near the line to go in to the Crown Jewels. He’s happy to chat with you.

 

mov #2391

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France, Paris: Crowning of Napoleon

Monday, January 14th, 2019

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In the Louvre, one of the largest paintings at 33 ft. x 22 ft. was unsurprisingly commissioned by Napoleon himself of his 1804 coronation. His official court painter Jacques-Louis David, created a Facebook of French politicians, Napoleon’s family and, of course a selfie of the painter himself.

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Great Britain, London: Victorian Dancing

Monday, January 14th, 2019

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Here you can imagine dancing at a ball in a palace in Queen Victoria’s days. Her gown appears at the end of the video.
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Austria, Innsbruck: Cinderella Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

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Aha, so that’s where the prince had Cinderella’s glass slipper made! (at Swarovksi)

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Austria, Innsbruck: Star Crooner’s Crown Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

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Elton John’s crown made by Swarovski crystal.

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Austria, Innsbruck: Crystal Skull Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

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Death becomes her when she’s made out of crystal.

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France, Paris: The Throne in the Palace of the Louvre

Monday, January 7th, 2019

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France is celebrating 160th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and Japan. Japonismes 2018: Les Ames en Resonance, will run through February 2019 involving exhibitions and events promoting Japanese art and design. Visual artist Kohei Nawa’s monumental sculpture “Throne” has one of the most prestigious spots in Paris: the Louvre. “I see the location as a connecting portal of modern lifestyles and the past, says Nawa, the Kyoto-based artist whose 10.4-meter-tall work is installed under I.M. Pei’s 1989 glass pyramid in the Louvre’s main courtyard.

The making of the throne itself involved both the past and the present. It was designed using state-of-the-art 3D modeling software and carved by robotic arms, however its gleaming gold leaf exterior was hand-applied by Japanese traditional craftspeople.

“The maximum capacity the pyramid can hold is 3 tons, so I told the museum I would ship a sculpture weighing exactly 3 tons,” says Nawa about the work’s creation. “I think they were bit worried, but after it went up, the Louvre’s curator, Martin Kiefer, told me the sculpture looks like it’s been at the pyramid all along.”

It’s not Nawa’s first “Throne” and it is different in that in previous iterations there was usually a small child seated within Nawa’s unique abstract shapes and geometric forms. For the Louvre, the seat is strikingly empty.

“Thrones are for kings. Here, the seat is for the authority that will eventually take over the control in the future. I left the seat empty to emphasize the invisibility,” says Nawa.

It sounds ominous, but Nawa goes on to explain that he foresees the type of power we see controlling today’s politics, economy and lifestyles as disappearing in the future, and in its place will be a very different form of authority. It could be artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology that will “take the throne,” he suggests, while we blindly follow, something that history has shown us that humans have had the tendency to do.

To us it is interesting that he chose a throne to be placed in this, the Palace of the Louvre, where French Kings sat on their thrones. Francis I chose this edifice as the residence for French kings and where it remained thus until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

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France, Paris: Liberty Leading the People in the Louvre

Monday, January 7th, 2019

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Though foreigners flock to see the Mona Lisa, to the French, the most important painting in the Louvre – the unofficial national painting of France is this one, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix. The bare-breasted female figure, who is called Marianne became a symbol of Liberty for the French Republic. Though Delacroix painted the July Revolution of 1830, the broken bodies beneath the flag depict the 40 years of civil war, political and social upheavals necessary to conquer the monarchy in order to win a representative government. The huge 8′ by 10′ scale adds to the dramatic patriotism.

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France, Paris: Hotel des Invalides

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

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Les Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides is a vast complex of buildings in Paris including museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. As per its name it was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Pictured here is the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris which contains the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon.

The complex had 15 courtyards for military parades. At the church, attendance was mandatory. Louis XIV also commissioned his architect Mansart to construct a separate royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (pictured). By combining a royal chapel with a veterans’ chapel, the King and his soldiers could attend mass at the same time while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by court etiquette at that time.

I’d like to think the gentleman sitting there (in the wheelchair and on the bench) are two of our veteran heros..

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France, Paris: The Unnerving Raft of the Medusa at the Louvre

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

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If you think life is tough, think of all the sailors that went out into the unknown seas. The shipwrecked Madusa, was left with 115 out of the original 400 sailors on board. There was very little food and water but lots of wine which led to heavy drinking, murder, mutiny and cannibalism. When rescued, only 15 were left alive. This work by Theodore Gericault’s was a seismic shift in art from the stiff neo-classicism of the past to the dramatic and emotional Romanticism in art. It is more of the most macabre painting in the Louvre.

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