The Magic of the Cities.

Zen promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity. It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings. When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. ~John Greer

You don't take a photograph, you make it. ~Ansel Adams

The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen.

August 31, 2010

Rural Church


Laïcité
In French, laïcité (pronounced [la.isiˈte]) is a concept of a secular society, connoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. During the twentieth century, it evolved to mean equal treatment of all religions, although a more restrictive interpretation of the term has developed since 2004. Dictionaries ordinarily translate laïcité as secularity or secularism (the latter being the political system), although it is sometimes rendered in English as "laicity" or "laicism".
In its strict and official acceptance, it is the principle of separation of church (or religion) and state. Etymologically, laïcité comes from the Greek λαϊκός (laïkós "of the people", "layman"). [Wiki]

Laicismo
Laicismo es la corriente de pensamiento, ideología, movimiento político, legislación o política de gobierno que defiende, favorece o impone la existencia de una sociedad organizada aconfesionalmente, es decir, de forma independiente, o en su caso ajena a las confesiones religiosas. Su ejemplo más representativo es el "Estado laico" o "no confesional". El término "laico" (del griego λαϊκός, laikós - "alguien del pueblo", de la raíz λαός, laós - "pueblo") aparece primeramente en un contexto cristiano.
El concepto de "Estado laico", opuesto al de "Estado confesional", surgió históricamente de la Separación Iglesia-Estado que tuvo lugar en Francia a finales del siglo XIX, aunque la separación entre las instituciones del estado y las iglesias u organizaciones religiosas se ha producido, en mayor o menor medida, en otros momentos y lugares, normalmente vinculada a la Ilustración y a la Revolución liberal.
Los laicistas consideran que su postura garantiza la libertad de conciencia además de la no imposición de las normas y valores morales particulares de ninguna religión o de la irreligión. El laicismo es distinto del anticlericalismo en cuanto no condena la existencia de dichos valores religiosos. [Wiki]

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August 30, 2010

Sunday Dancers


Ver. 2

Dance performers in the Rio de Janeiro Park
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August 25, 2010

Shades of Grey

Street Sweeper at Chapultepec Park

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August 24, 2010

Heroes

Heroes of the past crying for the present.

El Ángel de la Independencia ("The Angel of Independence"), most commonly known by the shortened name El Ángel and officially known as Columna de la Independencia, is a victory column located on a roundabout over Paseo de la Reforma in downtownMexico City.
El Ángel was built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence, celebrated in 1910. In later years it was made into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City, and it has become a focal point for both celebration or protest. It bears a resemblance to the July Column in Paris and the Victory Column in Berlin.
Construction of El Ángel was ordered in 1902 by President Porfirio Díaz. Architect Antonio Rivas Mercado was in charge of the design of the monument, while the actual construction was supervised by Mexican engineers Gonzalo Garita and Manuel Gorozpe. All the sculptures were made byItalian artist Enrique Alciati. The monument was ready for the festivities to commemorate the first hundred years of Mexican Independence in 1910. The opening ceremony was attended by President Díaz and several foreign dignitaries. The main speaker at the event was Mexican poet Salvador Díaz Mirón.

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August 20, 2010

Helix

Effigy of a winged woman standing and holding in her left hand a small bouquet of flowers and in her right a propeller, the Anahuac Helix, invented by Juan Guillermo Villasana. Citadel Square. Historic Center Mexico City.
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August 18, 2010

Silence Valley

Silence Valley
(near Mexico City)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

   Tonight in Sketches of Cities: Approaching Vienna

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Vienna, Eisenstadt, Venice, Firenze, Rome, New York, Washington and a bit more of Paris series try to continue in Sketches of Cities. 
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August 14, 2010

Farewell Paris

Snack
Wrong lens
Artemis with a Doe
Roman Imperial copy (first-second century AD) after a Greek original.
This work was a gift from Pope Paul IV to the French king Henri II, and one of the first ancient statues to arrive in France. The goddess - Diana to the Romans, Artemis to the Greeks -was Apollo's twin sister. The goddess of chastity, and a tireless hunter whose arrows could punish the misdeeds of men, she is depicted here accompanied by a deer. The statue is based on a fourth-century BC Greek bronze attributed to Leochares. 
Gallery
The Sleep of Endymion1791. Anne Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson
Endymion the shepherd, a man of ideal beauty, is being visited at night by the goddess Diana in the form of a moonbeam. Her passage through the foliage is facilitated by Zephyr. In this early work, painted in Rome in 1791, Girodet, a pupil of David, demarcated himself from his master and foreshadowed romanticism. The idealized nude is antique in inspiration but the moonlight and the mysterious, dreamlike atmosphere are hallmarks of an emerging sensibility.

The Intervention of the Sabine Women By Jacques-Louis David. 1799. Oil on canvas
After the abduction of the Sabine women by the neighboring Romans, the Sabines attempted to get them back - David depicts this episode here. The Sabine women are intervening to stop the bloodshed. Hersilia is throwing herself between her husband, the king of Rome, and her father, the king of the Sabines. David is using the subject to advocate the reconciliation of the French people after the Revolution. His increasingly simple style is inspired by Ancient Greece.

Art Class (about Les Noces de Cana by Véronèse - 1562-1563)
 

Inner patio
Alessandro FILIPEPI, known as BOTTICELLIVenus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman
c. 1483-85. This fresco is from the Villa Lemmi, a property near Florence that belonged to the Tornabuoni family, allies of the Medici. This decorative work may have been commissioned from Botticelli to mark the marriage of a member of this influential Florentine Dynasty - could the young woman of the title be Nanna di Niccolò Tornabuoni? Escorted by the Three Graces, Venus is shown placing a gift in the cloth container held out to her by the bride-to-be.
Cinq Maitres de la Renaissance Florentine. 1450. By Paolo Uccello
(L to R: Giotto, P. Uccelllo, Donatello, Manetti & Filipo Brunelleschi) 

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, known as LEONARDO DA VINCI (Vinci, 1452−Amboise, 1519)
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus – three generations, two the fruit of immaculate conception – are portrayed in a landscape. The picture was very probably commissioned as an ex-voto to Saint Anne in gratitude for the birth of Louis XII’s daughter, but Leonardo worked too long on the picture to deliver it. The composition is a fine example of his experimentation with figure composition and greatly inspired artists of the following generation.
Leonardo da Vinci. Portrait da Femme, La Belle Ferronniere (1495-99)
Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Between 1503 and 1506. Leonardo di ser Pietro DA VINCI, known as Leonardo da Vinci.
This portrait was doubtless painted in Florence between 1503 and 1506. It is thought to be of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine cloth merchant named Francesco del Giocondo.
We know nothing about the commissioning of the portrait, its painting and payment. One of the first biographies of Leonardo states that it was painted for Francesco del Giocondo and is the portrait of his wife, Mona Lisa, whose maiden name was Gherardini. The birth of their third child in 1502 and the acquisition of a house would have been ideal pretexts for commissioning the portrait. 
 Paradoxically, little of Leonardo da Vinci's prolific and many-faceted output was devoted to painting, the medium he rated above all the others. Four works stand as landmarks in his career and, in a single painting, the Mona Lisa, he combined his research into the landscape, the portrait, and facial expression. 


"Leonardo undertook to paint for Francesco del Giocondo the portrait of Mona Lisa his wife, but having spent four years on it left it unfinished. This work is now the property of King Francis of France in Fontainebleau. In this head, whoever wished to see how closely art could imitate nature, was able to comprehend it with ease; for in it were counterfeited all the minutenesses that with subtlety are able to be painted, seeing that the eyes had that luster and watery sheen which are always seen in life, and around them were all those rosy and pearly tints, as well as the lashes, which cannot be represented without the greatest subtlety. The eyebrows, through his having shown the manner in which the hairs spring from the flesh, here more close and here more scanty, and curve according to the pores of the skin, could not be more natural. The nose, with its beautiful nostrils, rosy and tender, appeared to be alive. The mouth, with its opening, and with its ends united by the red of the lips to the flesh-tints of the face, seemed, in truth, to be not colors but flesh. In the pit of the throat, if one gazed upon it.

Stoned Lady

Thank you Paris and Parisians for your endless Culture, Art, Beauty and Joie de Vivre (Joy of Living).
I leave a part of my heart here and forever. 

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August 12, 2010

The Dreamers

Musée du Louvre
The Winged Victory of Samothrace C. 190 BC Provenance: Island of Samothrace (northern Aegean)
Grey Lartos marble (boat); Parian marble (statue)
H. 3.28 m
The ancient Greeks had the delightful idea of representing Victory as a young woman with wings, an image given particularly awe-inspring form in the “Winged Victory of Samothrace”.
 

Aphrodite, known as the "Venus de Milo"This graceful statue of a goddess has intrigued and fascinated since its discovery on the island of Melos in 1820. Is it Aphrodite, who was often portrayed half-naked, or the sea goddess Amphitrite, who was venerated on Milo? The statue reflects sculptural research during the late Hellenistic Period: classical in essence, with innovatory features such as the spiral composition, the positioning in space, and the fall of the drapery over the hips.
Hermaphroditos Asleep
The ambivalence and voluptuous curves of this figure of Hermaphroditos, who lies asleep on a mattress sculpted by Bernini, are still a source of fascination today. His body merged with that of the nymph Salmacis, whose advances he had rejected, Hermaphroditos, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, is represented as a bisexed figure. The original that inspired this figure would have dated from the second century BC, reflecting the late Hellenistic taste for the theatrical.
Bacchus
Roman, Imperial.  2nd Century AD
Portrait d'Antinoüs en Osiris
130 ap. .J.-C.
Potrait of man from the time of Emperor Claude
40-44 ap. J.-C.

Sorry,  just a few more of the Louvre and I'll continue with posts from Mexico City, although I have more than 60 days not to touch a camera for lack of time. And thanks a lot for your kind visits.
Vienna, Eisenstadt, Venice, Firenze and Rome series try to continue in Sketches of Cities. 
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August 10, 2010

Hermes

Hermès tying his sandal. Roman II Century BC
















Musée du Louvre
The work of the bronze sculptor Lysippus, a contemporary of Praxiteles and official portraitist to Alexander the Great, focused above all on the male body. A very large number of works are attributed to his workshop.
The image of Hermes tying his sandal while listening to the orders of his father, Zeus, is characteristic of Lysippus's artistic endeavors. It should be remembered, however, that the head, which comes from another copy of the same work, is too small here, and that the incongruous supporting tree trunk under the thigh was added by the Roman copyist when he transposed the bronze original into marble.
Lysippus reworked Polyclitus's canon by lengthening it. The proportions are freer, the head now an eighth of the total height of the body and the muscle structure more slender - except, of course, in the statue of Heracles to your right. The artist sought in addition to situate the figure in a space that was also that of the observer, with a play of light and shade.
















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August 6, 2010

Bacchante

Bacchante shadow
(a priestess or female votary of Bacchus)









Musée du Louvre
Bacchante ou Ariane 
Rome 2nd Century BC














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August 5, 2010

Curiosites Desirables

1969
curiosites desirables
- shop window sign:
Le Rabbit un ami qui vous veut du bien.
(The Rabbit a friend who loves you well)
Out of the blue
- refreshing in one of the Louvre pools-
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August 3, 2010

The Surrounds of Louvre

The Cellist

L'Arc du Carrousel
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is at the eastern end of the so-called Axe historique ("grand historic axis") of Paris, a nine-kilometre-long linear route which dominates much of the northwestern quadrant of the city. It is, in effect, the backbone of the Right Bank.
Looking west, the arch is perfectly aligned with the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, the centerline of the grand boulevard Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe at the Place de l'Étoile, and, although it is not directly visible from the Place du Carrousel, the Grande Arche de la Défense. Thus, the axis begins and ends with an arch. When the Arc du Carrousel was built, however, an observer in the Place du Carrousel was impeded from any view westward. The central block of the Palais des Tuileries intervened to block the line of sight to the west. When the Tuileries was burned down during the Paris Commune (1871) and its ruins were swept away, the great axis, as it presently exists, was opened all the way to the Place du Carrousel and the Louvre.


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August 2, 2010

Pont des Arts





The Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the Seine River. It links the Institut de France and the central square (cour carrée) of the palais du Louvre, (which had been termed the "Palais des Arts" under the First Empire).
Between 1802 and 1804, a nine-arch metallic bridge for pedestrians was constructed at the location of the present day Pont des Arts: this was the first metal bridge in Paris. This innovation was due to Napoléon I, following a design of English manufacture. The engineers Louis-Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Dillon initially conceived of a bridge which would resemble a suspended garden, with trees, banks of flowers, and benches.
In 1976, the Inspector of Bridges and Causeways (Ponts et Chaussées) reported several deficiencies on the bridge. More specifically, he noted the damage that had been caused by two aerial bombardments sustained during World War I and World War II and the harm done from the multiple collisions caused by boats. The bridge would be closed to circulation in 1977 and, in 1979, suffered a 60 meter collapse after a barge rammed into it.
The present bridge was built between 1981 and 1984 "identically" according to the plans of Louis Arretche, who had decided to reduce the number of arches from nine to seven, allowing the look of the old bridge to be preserved while realigning the new structure with the Pont Neuf. On 27 June 1984, the newly reconstructed bridge was inaugurated by Jacques Chirac – then the mayor of Paris.
The bridge has sometimes served as a place for art exhibitions, and is today a studio en plein air for painters, artists and photographers who are drawn to its unique point of view. The Pont des Arts is also frequently a spot for picnics during the summer.
The argentinian writer, Julio Cortázar, talks about this bridge in his book "Rayuela". When Horacio Oliveira goes with the pythia and this tells him that the bridge for La Maga is the "Ponts des Arts". This is a great allusion of Cortázar for one of his greatest novels, even one of the best novels ever written.
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