Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ferris wheel

This huge ferris wheel can be seen at the end of the Tuilleries, next to the Place de la Concorde. I love it both in black and white and in colour. I was lucky the even blue sky made a beautiful background for the white ferris-wheel.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Porto impressions

Last week a colleague and I were in Porto with 22 students, for an exchange. (the students from Porto will come to Amsterdam next week).
Porto is a beautiful city with very steep little streets, loads of character and very friendly people.
I will write more about Porto in the following weeks, but here are a few impressions.
Porto in the evening sun

Carmelite Church with characteristic tiles 

Near the Atlantic Ocean

A view from the Torre dos Clérigos

A ship with portwine on the river Douro

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Gilmore girls (2000-2007)

The complete collection
It is very weird with tv series, I am usually far behind the crowd, or very far ahead.

Now it may seem that in this case, I am very, very far behind. But the opposite is the case. I think I watched Gilmore Girls from the very first moment it aired on Dutch television and I fell in love with it.

And then something happened that often happens in these cases, more and more people began watching it and gushing about it and that is usually the moment I stop watching. And I did.

I saw the occassional episode every now and then, but I never really got into it anymore.

But somehow, last month, I wanted to watch Gilmore Girls again. So I bought the whole series on DVD. (Yes I know there is something called Netflix, but I do not have that. I am oldfashioned in that way.)

And in the past weeks I have been falling in love all over again, with Lorelei and Rory, Emily and Richard, Luke, Sookie and Jackson, Paris, Max Medina, and all the other people who made this series such a joy to watch.

I have been thinking about the reasons why it is such a heartwarming series. And I have come up with a few things (in no particular order).

- It is set in a small town, where everybody knows eachother and cares about eachother. Stars Hollow is the kind of place you want to live.
- Being eccentric is not a problem in this town, since everybody is pretty eccentric. Being different is embraced.
- The series has characters who are likeable, but also make mistakes.
- You can relate to the situations, since the characters deal with everyday things, we all have to deal with. They just talk much faster than we do while solving these things!

I understand there is a new series that picks up the story 10 years after the last episode of season 7, but I am not sure yet if I will watch that. I have read some very mixed reviews about it and I am not sure it would not ruin the magic of Stars Hollow for me.
But who knows? I might watch it in fifteen years or so.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The finds from Varna

When we were in Dordrecht a couple of weeks ago, they also had an exhibition about Varna.
Varna is a city in Bulgary, but people were already living here around 5000 BC. These people found out how to work with the copper and the gold and made jewelry and amulets from gold. They were the first known people to work with gold.

They also made beautiful ceramic pots and even a little statue of a panter was found, and everything dates from around 4500 BC.
Imagine, these things were already old when the piramids were built!

I loved the little panter, and imagined somebody wanted this in their home. And the pots are so beautiful,  I would but it from a shop and put it in my house in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The art of rivalry, Sebastian Smee

An artists never works alone, he is always influenced by other artists before him and in his own time. The importance of friends for an artist must not be underestimated, as this wonderful books demonstrates.

The art of rivalry by journalist and art-critic Sebastian Smee, describes four friendships amongst artists. Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

These artists help eachother along, to see new things and to grown in their art.

Freud would not have dared to paint in the way he did without meeting Bacon, Degas was copying old masters when he met Manet and began to see the modern world, Picasso would not have painted his Demoiselles d'Avignon without the rolemodel Matisse was to him and although Willem de Kooning was a brilliant artist, he was also stuck before he met Jackson Pollock.

The friendships do not all last a life-time, and the breakups are sometimes very hard. Although, when the frienship is over, there is often also a sense of loss and grief.

Often, the rivalry between two artists is also fuelled by the other friends, who make more of the rivalry then there really is.

The art of rivalry is very interesting. It focusses on the friendships of course, but also gives a lot of background about the artists and the time they lived. It is well written and often very funny and almost gossipy, packed with amazing details and anecdotes.

If you are interested in (modern) art, I really recommend this book, because after reading it, you will want to read more about these fascinating artists.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Exhibition 1917, Romanovs and Revolution

In the Hermitage in Amsterdam there is a beautiful exhibition at the moment, about the Romanov family and the revoltion: 1917, Romanovs and Revolution. 
This year is has been one hundred years ago the Russian Revolution took place, ending the Romanic dynasty and replacing it with a communist totalitarian regime.

The exhibition is amazing. The Hermitage always has beautiful exhibitions, but this time I think they outdid themselves. It begins with a large hall, made to look like a shopping mall in Saint Petersburg in 1900, the different shopwindows showing us elements of life in Russia in those days.

After that you get the chronological story of the tragic reign of tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the road to revolution and the fate of the Romanov family.

I especially loved how divers the exhibition was, there were many photos and letters, but also dresses, items they used, the diary of the tsarina, toys the children played with and furniture. Absolutely amazing!

One of tsarina Alexandra's dresses

Toys and drawings made by the children

A uniform jacket, worn by Alexei

Beautiful desk

The last diary entry of tsarina Alexandra. That night the family would be killed. 

This is me before the beautiful portrait of tsar Nicolas by Ilya Repin

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Along the Canal St. Martin

These colourful sights could be seen along the Canal St, Martin in Paris, one of my favorite parts of this beautiful city.
I always love how people are so creative! And it shows that just a pop of colour goes a long way.
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