Sunday, 30 June 2013
Saturday, 29 June 2013
A curious plant in flower in my London garden...Paul, who looks after my house, says: "It has a delicate scent of rotting flesh and attracts every fly in the area. When I first caught a whiff of it I started looking for a decomposing corpse".
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Monday, 24 June 2013
Luis Baragan was first brought to my attention in 1967 by Bruce Chatwin. I immediately fell in love with his architecture. He has been a less renowned influence than Corbusier but his taste and sparseness and elegance have continued to be highly inspirational.
Saturday, 22 June 2013
Of all the wonders of Venice, none has surpassed the pleasure given to me by this frieze of paintings by Carpaccio - and especially St Jerome and the Lion. They evoke Venice at the height of its glory. Orientalism is depicted in an imaginary fashion based on the reality of Venetian trade with the Levant, India and the Orient. The animals are particularly appealing, the buildings are architectural follies, the turbaned figures in brocade robes the epitome of elegance.
Friday, 21 June 2013
Thursday, 20 June 2013
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Sunday, 16 June 2013
An explosion of talent in Brazil
in the 1950's and '60's, encapsulated in
The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts
published by The Wolfson Foundation on a yearly basis.
|Left: Marc Ferrez: A Master of Brazilian Photography - 'Broom Peddler', Rio de Janeiro 1895|
Right: Film still from Patria brasileira, 1917. Renowned poet Olavo Bilac directed one of the film's heroic scenes.
|Public market in Belem, Made in France, 1901. The gothic towers are purely decorative.|
|Left: Facade seen from the inner court of the theatre in Fortaleza.|
Right: Bandstand in Caxambu, Minas Gerais
|Left: J. Carlos, vignette of bathing beauty|
Right: Roberto Burle Marx, mosaic paving, Atlantic Avenue, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro 
|Roberto Burle Marx working at his office in Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro, 1991|
|Roberto Burle Marx, aquatic garden at the Ministry of the Army, Brasilia 1970, Architect Oscar Niemeyer [see my blog post of January 23, 2013]. The white concrete sculptures were inspired by rock crystal formations|
|Roberto Burle-Marx, plan for the terrace garden, Ministry of Education and Public Health, Rio de Janeiro |
|Amazon Theatre, Manaus, walkway. Portuguese-style stone mosaic|
Friday, 14 June 2013
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
|Portrait of Anna Akhmatova|
by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin 
Then the king learnt that Sophocles was dead (LEGEND)
To Sophocles' house that night an eagle flew down
from the sky
And sombrely rang from the garden cicadas' choir.
At that hour the genius was passing into immortality,
Skirting, at the walls of his native town, the night-fires
Of the enemy. And this was when the king had a
Dionysus himself ordered the raising of the siege,
That no noise disturb the Athenians in burying him
With fitting ceremony and with elegies.
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Monday, 10 June 2013
Sir Robert Walpole - a Norfolk boy made good - built the handsomest of all Palladian houses in England to house his remarkable collection of pictures - these were sold by his grandson, to pay off considerable debts, to Catherine the Great.
The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg have loaned the pictures which now hang in splendour according to the original plans [also on loan are pictures and silver from other museums in Russia and the USA). A unique exhibition that lasts five months - until September 29, 2013.
Saturday, 8 June 2013
Thursday, 6 June 2013
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Asmara represents perhaps one of the most concentrated and intact assemblage of Modernist architecture anywhere in the world.
|Shell Service Station |
|Cinema Impero |
|The design on this former Fiat service station clearly imitates the streamlined and dynamic form of an aeroplane [1938, Architect Giuseppe Pettazzi]|
Above: From my personal photographs, rural Eritrea in the 1940's