Oh! Will this infernal rain never end? I want Spring sun and warm breezes and flowers blooming - and no rain! What did I ever do to deserve this?
But, never fear, we're going to brighten the day by looking at some absolutely stunning art.
In the fourth decade of the 18th century a new form of entertainment emerged in a world hungry for novelty, cleverness, and beauty in the privacy of one's home.
About 1730, artist Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) created cards for miniature theatres, which when inserted into a display box showed religious scenes and pictures of daily life in a three dimensional perspective.
He devoted an entire series of these to the Italian theatre. It would see that Engelbrecht came up with the concept of home theatre long before it was appropriated by cable television and dvd's!
From holograph numbering to the rear of each card, we know that Engelbrecht created at least forty-one sets of miniature theater dioramas. Many if not most have yet to be accounted for. All are scarce, many extremely so: these miniature theater engraved cards were roughly handled and often. That any have survived is quite remarkable.
Obviously, this woman did not adhere to the admonishing of Coco Chanel when she instructed women to get dressed - then take off one thing before leaving the house.
ah. From the fabulous E-Deco Magazine, this enchanting dining room at Château de Christin in Gard, near Herault, France. Shall we sit out this rain shower having lunch?
Speaking of stunning restaurants ... how about this beauty in Italy. It is literally the smallest restaurant in Italy. It seats ... two! That's right ... when you reserve here, you have the entire restaurant to yourself and your companion. Now, is that luxurious or what?! The gardens are also just magnificent - and, again, will only accommodate two people!
Who, other than Carol Channing, would consider being presented to the Queen the ideal opportunity to try out her new Loretta Lynn look? And does anything say "country virgin" quite like wearing a chandelier around your neck?Speaking of crowns...this magnificent Ann Carrington piece, Pearly Crown and Jewels of England, is just one of a series she has created, using pearl buttons. Below is a close-up detail ...
More of Ms. Carrington's stunning work can be seen by clicking here.
And, when thinking of stunning, remember the old Wild Wild West ... when men were men ...
This charming little altered spoon is by Hels Sheridan of Ink on My Fingers. I found it a delightful little quicky artsy project. Hels does delightful work - and offers tutorials on techniques, and always has loads of her own artwork to show. Pay her a visit!
I received a lovely little silver demitasse spoon as a prize on October Farm, and I'm thinking I may do some altering of it and put it in a small shadowbox. Though I don't think I'll make mine purple ... the silver is too pretty. By the way, there is a weekly giveaway at October Farm, so, be sure to check it out!
I was delighted to discover this photo on Ulla's Moth Tales site. I used to visit this often when I lived in upstate New York and spent time trolling around the exhibits at the Corning Glass Museum.
This French 1th century mechanical glass theatre is constructed of multicolored glass, lampworked, assembled; wood, mirror, rock, crystal, fabric and shell. It is 60" high and 74"wide. It is the only one known with movable figures. They are operated with 14 levers and wire pulls that protrude from the lower right side of the box. The theatre shows the Wedding at Cana, as told in the Gospel of John (2:1-10).
As magnificent as the photo is, it simply does not do the piece justice. It is jaw-dropping out of this world in "real life."
While we're on a miniature theatre exhibit, check out these fascinating pieces by English artist, Alexander Korzer-Robinson.
From his artist's statement: I am an artist from Berlin now living in Bristol. Drawing from a background in psychology, my art practice focuses on the notion of the “inner landscape”.
Using generally discarded materials, I make objects as an invitation to the viewer to engage her/his own inner life in order to assign meaning to the artwork.
The cut book art has been made by working through the books, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in the place where they would appear in the complete book. As a final step the book is sealed around the cut, and can no longer be opened.
As we remember the books from our own past, certain fragments remain with us while others fade away over time – phrases and passages, mental images we created, the way the stories made us feel and the thoughts they inspired. In our memory we create a new narrative out of those fragments, sometimes moving far away from the original content.
This is, in fact, the same way we remember our life – an ever changing narrative formed out of fragments. This mostly subconscious process of value judgements and coincidence is what interests me as an artist and as a psychologist. Through the artistic work, these books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose. They are no longer tools to learn about the world, but rather a means to gain insight about oneself.
I am intrigued why Noël Coward has a half-empty bookshelf! I'm assuming this is home, as that is a very famous drawing of a youthful Sir Noël hanging over the bamboo sideboard. Curiouser and curiouser!
I never like to include political things on this blog ... I contribute on other websites for that! However, I found this photograph so poignant and sad. I am so happy that I have been able to tramp for hours over the rocks of the Athens Acropolis - and slept in a hotel overlooking it - before demonstrations and protests overpowered the breathtaking vista. Such a sad sight. I know their protests are valid - but I do wish they had found a place less relevant - and delicate! - as these ancient monuments and temples.
Did you know that Cotton Candy is called Barbe de Papa (Daddy's Beard) in French? This and other marvelous facts, tales and tidbits about life in France - along with lovely photos - are included at Tongue In Cheek: Stories Collected While Living in France. Anita, Trish, Marilyn - and all my other fellow Francophiles - will want to check out this charming blog!
It worked! I can't believe it! I have blogged the return of the sun to New Haven! I guess that makes me the Sun King!
I am going to take Dusty for a long leisurely walk around the square and enjoy this burst of sunshine! Thanks so much for helping me while away the gloomy hours this morning! I hope you've found some things that brightened your day ... and that now you'll
Go make something beautiful!