Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tintoretto at Musée du Luxembourg

When John and I heard there was a Tintoretto exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg we made our way over there tout de suite. We have long been aware of Tintoretto but only really discovered him for ourselves last September in Venice. So we now have a special fondness.
When we came up out of the Metro, we passed the Luxembourg Palace,
we entered the gorgeous park with its sculpted rows of trees.
Horse chestnut candles are one of my favourite flowers so I was thrilled to be surrounded by them in the spring air.
The entrance poster to the Tintoretto, Birth of a Genius exhibition features Tintoretto's intense Self-portrait of 1547. 
Tintorreto was a child prodigy and an independent master in his own studio before he was twenty years old.  He began Labyrinth of Love (Allegory of Human Life) in 1538 when he was 20 and finished it 14 years later.
Here is a detail from the centre of the canvas.

I couldn't photograph the whole painting of Cain and Abel, circa 1538-1539 -- the crowd of visitors around it was too great -- but I did get this frightening detail for you.
Tintoretto has an amazing sense of drama. Jesus amongst the Scholars, circa 1539
Jesus amongst the Scholars, detail.
Diana and Callisto, circa 1542, detail.
Tintorreto shared his studio with another painter Giovanni Galizzi and their early work was so similar that scholars are often confused as who painted what. This little gouache seems to be a Galizzi, 1551. 
The gregarious Tintorreto had friends who were theatrical set designers and he competed with them by creating spectacular architectural settings for his paintings. The Wise and the Foolish Virgins, c. 1555. 
John and I love this unfinished work -- The Sacred Family with the young Saint John the Baptist, circa 1550. It shows off his painting technique beautifully and also has a modern look. 
The Princess, Saint George and Saint Louis, 1551. Scholars think Tintoretto was inspired for Saint George's pose by a recently discovered Greek bronze of a youth raising his arms in prayer.
A closer look at the Princess.
Venetian private collectors were captivated by Tintoretto's nudes of the 1550s. Susanna and the Elders, circa 1554-1555, brings us drama again with the unwelcome touch on Susanna's breast and the looming standing figure bending in for his own closer look. This one is so creepy!
The Original Sin, circa 1551-1552. Hard to see, but on the right, about halfway up the canvas we see the next scene -- a fleeing Adam and Eve pursued by an angel.
 Here's a closer look at that detail.
John found some lovely details  in The Death of Adonis, circa 1552-1553.
The master's dog,
the swooning goddess,
 and Adonis himself. Exhibition runs until July 1st.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April in Paris

Yep, here we are again -- this is our third time renting this apartment in Paris!
Our hosts left this little greeting on their blackboard for us to find when we arrived. Very welcoming!
We left behind Toronto's ice fields to find that it is already Spring in Paris. The sun is shining, the air is warm. We went for a stroll in our neighbourhood to try and shake off some of our jet lag. That's me on the right in the picture,
and that's John (above) walking through the Place des Vosges
 and sure enough as the song says the chestnut candles are in full bloom.
The temperature reached 28 degrees today. The wisteria peeking over this hedge is rushing into flower.
On Rue Saint-Antoine the pink cherry blossoms
stand out against the elegant white buildings.
Tulips and classic spring flowers brighten curbsides
and parterre gardens.
All the trees along the Seine embankments are coming into leaf
and the Square Barye park on the Île Saint-Louis is lush with colour.
We stopped into our beloved Au Petit Fer à Cheval in the Marais for a vin rouge du mois (red wine of the month) and a bière biologique (organic beer) and they brought us complimentary cubes of quiche. Jet lag has never felt so good.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Vintage Facebook Clickbait

One morning in 2014 I was looking at Facebook and found myself wondering about the hand-drawn nostrils in this tiny advertisement. Looked like someone had used a magic marker.
I clicked on the ad for a closer look at the picture and of course I was taken somewhere I didn't want to be. But there was no larger version of the picture. I had taken the bait.
I started taking photographs of the ads that caught my attention rather than clicking on them.
in 2014 I wondered what they were up to with these Retirement Calculator images. I didn't connect them to my own 2014 retirement planning. 
"Weird food" ads are still popular. Also shocking cures -- sometimes based on a weird tip, sometimes on an ancient secret. Often from a local mom.
This tip is unusual in that it is not a weird tip -- just a plain old tip.
"Discover how to earn a CEO Salary"
I did click on this one or a similar one and I watched an infomercial. Never did learn about those 2 foods.
Queasy-making photo of a fat fighter. Do you wonder what the heck it is?
Here are two sexually exploitive ads. Something conventional from Maxim.
Something more aggressive from Tinychat. The you instead of your in "Katie went to you page" strikes a note as does the casually illiterate "12 new viewed on you". When I saw this on my Facebook page I was appalled.
Will the "what happened next" meme be with us for all time?
Vintage clickbait -- "What She Did Next..."
"What happens after it gets rescued..."
I liked these two grinning faces together, but I didn't join them with a click. I felt so warned off. When will we three click again?

Now the "what happened next" thing is used to attract custom to other online content like this nice YouTube video. I've included this so we could end with something pleasant.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Wedding in Vaughan

John and I were pleased yesterday to be invited to celebrate the wedding of my great-niece Heather to her long-time boyfriend, Jonathan.
We travelled up to Vaughan for the occasion on the new TTC line. We arrived just before the ceremony started. The bride's brother Eric read a short passage from the Gospels supported by his cousin, Julie, of the wedding party.
Bridesmaids in teal look on
as the Heather and Jonathan exchange vows.
Jonathan is in every way a gentleman.
Matron of Honour and Best Man witness the signing of the book. That's the Bride's Father in the foreground.
Bride's mother in blue with her brother, Brian Jr and his family. Cocktail hour for the grownups
and playtime for the kids.
The banquet hall was sumptuously decorated.
with lots of space in the centre for dancing. Great DJs!
As guests were seating themselves the official photographer arranged some small group portraits with the newlyweds. Here with the family of Heather's aunt and uncle, Jennifer and James.
Time for the bride and groom to have the First Dance.
Let the party begin!
John and I were seated next to my great-nephew who is also my namesake (William) and is well on his way to becoming an accomplished artist. Here he's trying John's technique of drawing a portrait without looking at the paper. Almost impossible not to glance down but the results always have an interesting energy.
Thus we amused ourselves until it was time for the speeches. Christine, Mother of the bride.
The groom dances with his lovely mother.
The bride and groom took turns reading a speech from her phone
then cut the cake.
After dinner a light dessert -- cake, ice cream and cheesecake. Nice!
My nephew Craig drove us to Highway 407, one of Vaughan's new TTC stations. We were home in an hour. So nice to connect once again with my family. Don't see enough of them!