Friday, November 16, 2007

Fellini of Rimini #91

Rimini is the native town of Federico Fellini. This town has been a major influence in the director's work. Fellini's films are impregnated with his nostalgic souvenirs of Rimini. He even expressed it in one of his many masterpieces, "Amarcord".

Visiting Rimini, you stumble into the maestro's tracks at every street turn.

Here is the Malatesta temple, the beautiful building designed by Alberti to the glory of Sigismond Malatesta. Inside is one of the most beautiful frescoes from Piero dela Francesca.
Fellini described the temple as a cuttle-bone.

Here is the Fulgor Cinema which fascinated the young Fellini, there is now a permanent exhibit of his drawings in the windows of the theatre.

The Grand Hotel is also one of the haunted places of Fellini's, facing the sea it is a witness of what the Italians call Liberty style. Fellini died in this very hotel.

His grave is an allegory of his film "E la nave va..".

People in Rimini remember the man with the red scarf and the town has opened a museum.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Art_4 : the wise aristocrat #90

This painting is from 1694, one century younger than the portrait depicted in Art_1. I found it in an Antique fair and was immediately stuck by the blue eyes of the character. He must be a noble man as his coat of arms is painted in the upper left corner of the painting. I have tried to identify the family which owned that coat of arms, without success for the moment, the French armorial is so huge that only luck would lead me to the right name. The man seems wise, looks calm and thinking. But his eyes are bright and look around for ever...

Some garden in Normandy #89

Near Granville, by the sea, is the house and garden of Christian Dior, fashion designer of what used to be called "New Style".

The young Christian who spent his youth in this house was always remembering the pinkish colour of the building as well as the grey nuance of the loose gravel of the alleys.
This influenced him to the point that it became the trademark of his logo, pink and grey.

The gardens are exquisite, worked out with perfect taste. Here a small pond is surrounded by hedges and is a small garden in the main one.

Flowers are everywhere dispatched with some small desks on which one can smell one of the fragrances of Dior's perfumes. They are all there, from opium to Poison and Miss Dior.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Villa Barbarigo Gardens #88

England is famous for its landscape gardens, France has classical gardens and Italy developped philosophical gardens. Symbolic meaning and thinking are some of the keys to the Barbarigo gardens set in Venetia between Padova and Venezia.

Along the river, the boats used to reach the place there..

Behind the large arch, the gardens are spread up to the villa. The visitor cannot help thinking about life while drifting along the alleys and the fountains which are declining the different ages of human beings.

The maze is there to remind how entangled and intricated human life ways can be.

The statue of Times which holds on its taking off symbolizes transcendency as well as human elevation to ecstatic revelation. The statue is looking over the main path to Rabbit Island..

Obviously, Times can see with all these rabbits on the island that he is defeated there by the never ending continuity of generations

And I did not even write that the Barbarigo Gardens are a beauty and that one can stay thinking and dreaming there for hours ... because Times really stops to keep going in an enchanted place like this one.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Art_3 : Surrealism is about dreams #87

This painting by Chamar caught my eye at an auction sale one year ago. Its title "Reve surrealiste" sounded redundant. I was fascinated by the weird balance of the egg caught between rocks, the impossibility of going there in the first place as the two rocks are narrower above. The blue sky had a Magritte taste.. I was lucky as most people bidding were not interested at all in this work, they had in mind more abstract paintings and I had no difficulty to get this one. It is endlessly taht I can look at it, the egg reminds me of a similar curious egg which hangs in some Piero della Francesca painting.

Lucca in Tuscany #86

A beautiful town full of surprises as this tower where oak trees grow..

Towers used to be this way, and the shade on the top is some enjoyable pleasure after a long climbing up the stairs.

Those towers are everywhere over Tuscany .. they were some evidence of wealth .

Or this place built on the remains of a roman amphitheatre. The structure of the old building is still visible.

I will tell more about towers and pits soon and gardens as there are gardens as beautiful as English ones though totally different. Here philosophy is at work when English gardeners wished to create the ultimate landscape.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Art_2 : Hokusaisan #85

The second piece of my personal collection is a woodblock print from Hokusai depicting a Japanese landscape in Winter. The usual features of the master's works are present like the little arched bridge, fishermen in their boats, hills and trees, the specific element here being snow covering everything in a very soft way like a fur. The small variety of colours used here enhances Winter grey light which reflects on the white carpet.

I was lucky enough to purchase this print at the London Liberty store. Nearby Carnaby street, William Morris and his friends from the Arts and Craft movement, in the Pre-raphaelite following became the designers of objects and ornaments one could find in this elegant store dedicated to new art, fashion and tendencies at the very end of the XIXth century. Soon the "Liberty style" would be famous all over the world.

This store had from the beginning a section dedicated to art pieces coming from Japan. But everything changed during the 90's... A revamped shop was designed to enter year 2000 and all what was the uniqueness of the place was washed away, the Japan section after one century was shut down. Huge sales were going on and that is when I could choose and buy my Hokusai print at a ridiculously low sales price.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Art_1: an intriguing portrait #84 -

When I bought this painting some twenty years ago in an antique shop, it was sold to me as the portrait of a 16th century gentleman. In fact there was written on the top right the date 1593

followed underneath by AET. XXVI, meaning that the character painted there was 26 years old when his portrait was done

On the back of the wooden piece, as it was painted on wood, were attached two small written papers. The first one was dated from 1920 and mentwas signed by a then known art critic. It said that the picture was probably the work of Dumonstier and that the other old paper was describing the paintings. In fact the old paper was written in black ink in a rather old fashioned style. It mentions the date on the top right of the painting and also another piece of writing in the bottom right which is impossible to read as being too dark.

I went through different art encyclopedias finding that there was a dynasty of painters in the 16th and 17th centuries by the name of Dumonstier, there are at least four of them. I could not decide which one did actually this painting.
Then I looked at the undecipherable writing. It was difficult to read though I could make out the beginning as "Mr. le...". Using a strong light and projecting it on the painting at very low angle to enhance the contrast I manage eventually to read the title which was "Mr le docteur".
I have tried to find out who that doctor could be at the time of Catherine de Medicis but without success for the moment.

The painting itself is beautiful to my taste, the eyes of the character seem alive, the beard is very delicately painted and I can spend one hour looking at this face and admiring its delicacy. It is easily more fascinating than whatever you can watch on a tv set.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sadness #83

The REAL KIDS must be the symbolic band of Boston in the same way as the Ramones for NYC. Their story is not as successsful as the New Yorker musicians'; in fact it is full of dismay, disappointment and lost virtues.

Live @ CBGB's -2004- All kindsa girls, the definite teenage anthem

John Felice the charismatic frontman and guitar player of the band is nevertheless such a perfect rock icon. His look with long hair and rebel attitude, his cleverness in writing beautiful songs, all these assets are washed away once in a while by the stupid behaviour some musicians imagine could be the one of a rock star. During the last three years the Real Kids missed three times their appointment with Europe, having to cancel their tours at the last moment.

Common at noon, a nostalgic ballad about the Boston park

Why is it that talent is always falling against the hands of ruffian dealers, unresponsible tasteless thieves who sacrifice generous bands by addicting them to substances and blankening the minds of the musicians. They are erasing true rock in the same way as fanatics would burn libraries. John Felice is another casualty and I feel so sorry for him that it makes me infinitely sad.
Bad to worse
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