photography

Italy Day Seven: Montalcino and Sant’Antimo


 
Our last visit to Montalcino and Sant’Antimo was in April 2000. At that time we took the bus from Siena to Montalcino and then walked the final 10 kilometers to the Abbey. We returned again this year the day after our visit to Volterra and San Gimignano, and seventeen years later the journey and destination were as memorable as ever.
 

 

 
In March 2016 I posted Tuscan Reverie for the Daily Post’s inaugural Discover Challenge: Blogging the Senses in which I included a video of photos taken from our walk to Sant’Antimo in 2000. I thought I would re-post the video today so that you can enjoy once again the Gregorian chant “Haec Dies” from “Mysterium” a recording made in the Abbey in April 1995 by the five fathers of the Communita die Canonici Regolari di Sant’Antimo.

Tuscany on my mind


 

Definitely an experimental afternoon first day back in the studio today.

 

Italy Day Five: Siena

Piazza del Campo in Siena, home of the Palio and one of the great public spaces of the world.

Those of you who follow The Changing Palette will know that there was a gap in the posting of our Italian travels due to poor internet connection but now back at home I’ll catch up over the next few days beginning with Day Five in my favourite Italian City, Siena, a city that I have featured a number of times before.

     

We began the day by climbing the over four hundred steps of the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico to enjoy, somewhat out of breath, the spectacular 360 degree view of the city.

Then it was time to explore the rooms of  the Palazzo Publico with its magnificent frescoes by so many great Renaissance Sienese artists.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of the Good Government.

A naval battle scene by Spinello Aretino

     

After gelato in the Campo, an experience not to be missed, it was on to the Duomo…

…and a visit to the Libreria Piccolomini and its breathtaking frescos by Pinturicchio.

 

From the Duomo we crossed the plaza to the 13th century hospital Santa Maria della Scala to see the moving frescoes in Pilgrims Hall by Domenico di Bartolo.  Visit the Web Gallery of Art to see all of these remarkable frescoes and read the history of the hospital in this excellent paper by J H Baron published in the British Medical Journal in 1990.

  

Finally one of the highlights of the day seen in the Cathedral’s Museum, the magnificent Maesta by Duccio de Buoninsegna.  

The painting was installed in the cathedral on 9 June 1311 and one person who witnessed the event wrote:

And on that day when it was brought into the cathedral, all workshops remained closed, and the bishop commanded a great host of devoted priests and monks to file past in solemn procession. This was accompanied by all the high officers of the Commune and by all the people; all honorable citizens of Siena surrounded said panel with candles held in their hands, and women and children followed humbly behind. They accompanied the panel amidst the glorious pealing of bells after a solemn procession on the Piazza del Campo into the very cathedral…

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I have to admit I ❤️ Siena

P.S. Where’s Waldo is somewhere in the post – can you find him?

Remembrance Day 2017

Victory Square, Vancouver

Whitehall, London

Vimy iii

Vimy, France

Lest we forget

WPC: Peek


 
The tower of the Duomo in Siena peeking through on Day Five of our Italian holiday. More of Siena and Day Five to come.

a cornucopia of glorious paintings


 
At the end of our Italian travels and before returning home to Vancouver from London what could be a better way to spend a day than by visiting three of my favourite galleries and being re-aquanted with some of my favourite paintings. My love for Impressionism and the Impressionists began as a fifteen year old schoolboy on a school outing to the Courtauld Gallery, so naturally our first stop was to Somerset House where the Gallery now resides.
 
Since this week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post asks us to “…share a peek of something — a photo that reveals just enough of your subject to get us interested. A tantalizing detail. An unusual perspective. Compel us to click through to your post to find out more!” I thought I would tantalize you with a selective peek at some of the Courtault’s finest that I photographed that day…
 

…before revealing the paintings in all their glory.


 
Here are their titles with links to some of them for those of you who would like to “find out more”.
 
LA LOGE – Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1874,   THE PASSERS-BY – Raoul Dufy 1906, SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BANDAGED EAR – Vincent van Gogh 1889, LANDSCAPE WITH DEAD WOOD – Maurice de Vlaminck 1906, A BAR AT THE FOLIES-BERGERE – Edouard Manet 1881, ADAM AND EVE – Lucas Cranach the Elder 1526, ROUTE TOURNANTE – Paul Cézanne 1904, THE WHITE BOAT, ANTWERP – Georges Braque 1906, HORSES IN THE WATER – Georges Seurat 1883.
 
Then it was off to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Cézanne Portraits exhibition and a visit with Richard the Third, Queen Elizabeth the First and even the Bard himself, William Shakespeare.
 

Finally, it was time for the highlights of the day at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square:
 

 
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, 1491, with my favourite sublime portrait of the accompanying angel.
 

Isn’t she beautiful?

And in the same room, Raphael’s magnificent The Ansidei Madonna, 1505…
 

 
…together with Michelangelo’s unfinished The Madonna and Child with St John and Angels, 1497
 

It was quite a day as you can see, and after our Italian holiday what better way to finish than by visiting Room 38 to see Canaletto’s Venice: The Upper Reaches of the Grand Canal with S. Simeone Piccolo
 

 

I hope you have enjoyed peeking over my shoulder on our memorable day London.

Liberty weeps again

Another day of infamy to add to the list of so many. With sympathy and condolences to all those affected by the evil act of terror perpetrated in New York yesterday.