The Guggenheim

October 21, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

21 October, 1959: The Guggenheim Museum opened to the public. Frank Lloyd Wright’s rather cramped exhibit spaces, commissioned by Solomon R. Guggenheim, certainly had ‘monumental dignity and great beauty,’ but were also as confining as the orchestra pit at the Sydney Opera House. In other words, a wonderful piece of art in itself, but of less than perfect utility. The art on the curving walls takes third or fourth place to the zany spaces created by the architect, thus breaking a principle canon of architecture: a public structure should be a servant, not a master. But it is still an inspiration that…

Continue Reading →

Italy – The Grand Tour

October 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Lecture by Robert Reason, Curator, Roche Museum, 19 October 2017 The Varnished Culture having among its burgeoning numbers a life member of the Dante Alighieri Society, we attended this lecture by Mr Reason, who had attended Rome and Naples under the auspices of the prestigious Attingham Trust Italian Art History Programme. It was an interesting, wide-ranging affair that provided a taste of the kind of Italianate antiquity that appealed to David Roche, presented in a manner akin to a whirlwind Women’s Weekly world discovery tour. Even the serene visage of the Capitoline Venus would be deranged: From Palazzos Nuovo of…

Continue Reading →

The Travelling Egyptologists

September 22, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, TRAVEL |
1717 map of White Nile and environs by Claude Sicard

1717 map of White Nile and environs by Claude Sicard

Lecture at Adelaide, 21 September 2017 Think Egyptology and the enthusiastic amateur thinks Champollion, Sir Henry Rawlinson, David Roberts, James Breasted, Flinders Petrie, or Howard Carter; possibly Boris Karloff, Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest. But The Varnished Culture was ignorant of the seminal work of Karl Richard Lepsius (1810-1884). Drawing on the work of Champollion, Lepsius virtually established the discipline of Egyptology, paving the way for the more vaunted discoveries of the early 20th century. The Lepsius expeditions to Egypt and Nubia (Sudan) 1842 – 1845 (sponsored by the King of Prussia, to catalogue, and in some instances loot, the ancient monuments),…

Continue Reading →

National War Memorial

August 29, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY, TRAVEL, WW2 |
WMwalk

Canberra, August 2017         Big planes, subs, tanks…dioramas of the most prodigious quality…enough military paraphernalia to convert the most conscientious objector into a club bore…the Australian War Memorial, a short cab ride up the hill on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin, directly aligned with the walk up the hill to Parliament on the other side of that lake, is well worth a visit, and it is free (gold coin donation encouraged).  An eternal flame flickers (see main image) in order to remind us that our forebears died for us, whether we appreciate it or not….

Continue Reading →

Raffles in the Midday Sun

February 6, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, TRAVEL |
Raffles_hotel

6 February 1819 – Thomas Stamford Raffles founded Singapore, continuing a long tradition of the English craze for islands.             His short and fairly honourable life is commemorated in the form of that wonderful colonial edifice, Raffles Hotel. The grand relic is a welcome piece of high colonial style amid the relentless humidity, the pungent aroma of durians, the post-modern Singapore of Orchard Road, ‘Planet Hollywood’, ‘Starbucks,’ a Marriott done-up as a thirty-storey pagoda, the clean and un-cerebral Sentosa Island, the welcoming hands of merchants just waiting to grab you and drag you into their shop…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.