Category Archives: Museum

Manila Vice – Art Exhibition in France

Two years ago, an art exhibition of Filipino artists was held at the Musée International des Arts Modestes in Sète, southern France. I got to know the event when I saw it being promoted by Telematin, a French morning show I watch everyday. Naturally, I got excited seeing my countrymen’s artworks shown on European TV as well getting exhibited on European soil so I thought I should share it with my Filipino readers all over the world.

Here are the images I took from the TV screen:

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The Poster.

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The French tv reporter wearing a Manila Vice t-shirt.

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Works of 23 works of Filipino artists displayed were curated by Manuel Ocampo .

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Ocampo, who has extensively exhibited his works in major art capitals around the world including Europe, Asia, and the United States, is on a personal mission to bring the Philippine art community on a par with its global counterparts.

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Interview inside a jeepney which is part of the exhibition.

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It includes a figure of Ex-President Corazon Aquino sitting on a chair. Notice that her feet are suspended on air…she was a small woman.

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The Philippines is a country ruled by Politics and the Church

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But despite a lot of problems, the Filipino is renowned for being an easy going person.

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With poverty, crime and all the problems besetting them, all the Filipino can do is to pray that their life will someday get better.

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Artificially-dyed chicks make brisk business in the Philippines because kids love to have them as toys, instead of pets.

Painted lovers

It’s Valentines Day and what’s a fine way to celebrate this special day with your loved one than to go on a virtual museum trip featuring some paintings about love. Take time to observe each piece and feel yourselves transported to another dimension. I am, already….

P.S.  This post is inspired by the same title of the Exhibition currently ongoing at the National Gallery in London.

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Bacchus and Ariadne, circa 1682
~ by Luca Giordano (Italian, 1634-1705)
Oil on canvas
Kedleston Hall near Derby, UK

The god of wine with his exotic and noisy retinue comes to the rescue of King Minos’s daughter who’s been churlishly abandoned by Theseus on the Greek island of Naxos. Despite her crucial role in helping the Athenian prince kill the minotaur in the labyrinth of her father’s palace at Knossos on Crete, his ship can be seen sailing away. The coronet of stars floating above Ariadne’s head refers to her constellation in the sky which was to be her wedding gift from Bacchus who has fallen in love with her at first sight. (National Trust)

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Paolo and Francesca da Rimini,1867
~ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English, 1828 – 1882)
Watercolour, gouache and gum arabic over pencil on 2 sheets of paper
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Daughter of Guido I da Polenta of Ravenna, Francesca was wedded in or around 1275 to the brave, yet crippled Giovanni Malatesta (also called Gianciotto; “Giovanni the Lame”), son of Malatesta da Verucchio, lord of Rimini.[1] The marriage was a political one; Guido had been at war with the Malatesta family, and the marriage of his daughter to Giovanni was a way to solidify the peace that had been negotiated between the Malatesta and the Polenta families. While in Rimini, she fell in love with Giovanni’s younger (and still hale) brother, Paolo. Though Paolo too was married, they managed to carry on an affair for some ten years, until Giovanni ultimately surprised them in Francesca’s bedroom sometime between 1283 and 1286, killing them both. (wikipedia)

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El Beso (The Kiss), 1859
~ by Francesco Hayez (Italian, 1791-1882)
Oil on canvas
Pinacoteca de Brera, Milán

The painting represents a couple from the Middle Ages, embracing while they kiss each other. It is among the most passionate and intense representations of a kiss in the history of Western art. The girl leans backwards, while the man bends his left leg so as to support her, simultaneously placing a foot on the step next to him as though poised to go at any moment. The couple, though at the center of the painting, are not recognizable, as Hayez wanted the action of the kissing to be at the center of the composition. In the left part of the canvas shadowy forms lurk in the corner to give an impression of conspiracy and danger. (wikipedia)

John Everett Millais: The Black Brunswicker.

The Black Brunswicker, 1860
~ by John Everett Millais (English, 1829-1896)
Oil on canvas
National Gallery

The painting depicts a Brunswicker about to depart for battle. His sweetheart, wearing a ballgown, restrains him, trying to push the door closed, while he pulls it open.

Working Title/Artist: The Storm Department: European Paintings Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1880 scanned for collections

The Storm, 1880
~ by Pierre-Auguste Cot (French, 1837-1883)
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Probably referred to the novel “Paul et Virginie”, first published by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre in 1788. Evidence of this interpretation comes from the specific motif of the couple running from the rain and covered by a billowing drapery corresponding to a famous and often illustrated scene in Paul et Virginie:

One day, while descending from the mountaintop, I saw Virginie running from one end of the garden toward the house, her head covered by her overskirt, which she had lifted from behind her in order to gain shelter from a rainshower. From a distance I had thought she was alone; but upon coming closer to help her walk I saw that by the arm she held Paul who was almost entirely covered by the same blanket. Both were laughing together in the shelter of this umbrella of their own invention.” (wikipedia)

82Lovers in Green, 1914-1915
~ by Marc Chagall (Russian-French, 1887-1985)
Oil and gouache on paper, mounted on cardboard
Private collection

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Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs
~ by Frederic William Burton (Irish, 1816-1900)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
First exhibited in 1864

This richly coloured watercolour painting depicts the ill-fated lovers Hellelil and Hildebrand, meeting on the stone stairway of a medieval tower. The princess and her bodyguard had fallen in love but her father regarded the young soldier as an unsuitable match for his daughter and ordered his sons to kill him. The painting captures the couple’s poignant final embrace. Burton was inspired by the story of the ill-fated lovers told in an old Danish ballad. The poem had been translated into English in 1855 by Whitley Stokes, a lawyer and philologist, and friend of the artist. (National Gallery of Ireland)

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Aphrodite, Ares & Eros/ Venus, Mars & Cupid, 1st Century AD
(Mural found in the ruins of Pompeii)
Fresco, Imperial Roman IV Style

Venus (Aphrodite) reclines half-naked in the arms of Mars (Ares) the god of war. Their sons, the winged Cupid (Eros) and wingless Formido (Phobos) (?), play with the arms of the god.

 

 

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The Embrace, 1893
~ by Gaston la Touche (French, 1854 – 1913)
Pastel, 1893
Musée des Avelines, Saint-Cloud

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The Lock, 1777
~ by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732 – 1806)
Louvre Museum

The painting shows two lovers in a bedroom, with the man locking the door. (wikipedia)

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Le Baiser (The Kiss), 1969
~ by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Oil on Canvas
Musee National Picasso

The painting shows two heads joined by a single line occupying the entire pictorial space. Picasso does not hesitate to deform the faces in order to bring them closer together: “Of the two, he makes but one, to express the intimate fusion that takes place during the act of kissing.” The noses mould themselves into a mutual contour; the mouths bite each other; the woman’s eyes, both of which are visible even though she is shown in profile, have moved up her forehead, which is tilted back. (pablopicasso.org)

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A Huguenot on St Bartholomew’s Day, or simply “A Huguenot”, 1852
~ by John Everett Millais (English, 1829-1896)
Oil on canvas

It depicts a pair of young lovers in an embrace. The familiar subject is given a dramatic twist because the “embrace” is in fact an attempt by the girl to get her beloved to wear a white armband, declaring his allegiance to Roman Catholicism. The young man gently pulls thearmband off with the same hand with which he embraces the girl. The incident refers to the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 1572 when French Protestants (Huguenots) were massacred in Paris, leading to other massacres elsewhere in France. A small number of Protestants escaped from the city by wearing white armbands.

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The Kiss, 1908–1909
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918)
Oil and gold leaf on canvas
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance.

goodbye-alfred-guillouAdieu! (Goodbye!), 1892
~ by Alfred Guillou (French, 1844-1926)
Oil on canvas,
Musee des Beaux-Arts de Quimper

The last kiss given by a father to his drowned son

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, 1884
~ by Frank Bernard Dicksee (English, 1853-1928)
Oil on canvas
Southampton, City Art Gallery

“The romance portrayed in this painting is phenomenal. They have eyes closed as to be completely lost in the moment. Juliet’s arm on his neck pulls him in, even as his hand on her arm prevents this. The frustration and tragedy in the entire play is present in the painting. The passion is such, that romeo cannot even pass into the room before they embrace. To risk ALL for love. It is the ultimate expression of devotion. The desire to be loved is inherent in all humans whether or not one will (or can) admit this. The story that this painting eludes to, is a manifestation of these feelings.” -Robert Plank
(wikimedia commons)

Wrapping up New York with Anily

She is the travel buddy I’ve been looking for in my dreams.  Spirited.  Adventurous.   One who can walk miles.   Bubbly.   No whiner.   A culture buff.  A museum buff.

Yes, like me.  And one who can laugh at my jokes, because I easily laugh at someone else’s jokes, too!

Meet Anily, my friend from Upstate New York.  We met each other three years ago through my website.  We clicked straight away as we discovered that we talk  the same dialect, we both worked in the Middle East, we share the same passion in photography, the arts, music, and of course, travel.

We were net friends, never met eye to eye, until I went to the U.S. last month, particularly New York.  She insisted that we should meet.  And I adjusted my flight just so we could meet.  And boy, what a ball we had!  How awesome it is to explore a place with your alter ego!  Before we even met, I’ve already done  four days  in the Big Apple, experienced grandiose things with my family and friends,  but there are still things left uncrossed in my bucket list and I’m leaving the next day!  Thank goodness, with Anily, I got more than what I expected!

Here’s what we did:

We took the subway not only once but thrice, and I love it!

We walked the Brooklyn Bridge!

I remember our guide on the Big Bus Tour telling us that the Brooklyn Bridge Walk is a must-do when in New York so I told Anily that we just had to do it!  Luckily, she has this penchant for crossing bridges and the sound of 1,825-meter crossing did not bat her eyelid!  It was glorious seeing the view   of Manhattan, the Hudson river, the distant Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn side and bits of New Jersey from the bridge.

We had to put this Brooklyn Bridge crossing experience on a frame so here we are.

  Manhattan above, the car lanes below and the pedestrian walkway where I am standing.

Back on ground level, we started our exploration.  Here is one of the many street food kiosks scattered in the City.

She took me to the long and very interesting Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.
Lots of shops selling interesting things out here, this chess shop is one of them.

 They sell chess sets of every kind!

Archangels  pitting against each other

At the corner is a theatrical-looking fortune-telling shop

At the corner of Bleecker and Perry streets, I noticed a  tree-lined bucolic-feel block with elegant brownstone apartments with their iconic steps.  They call them “stoops”,  Anily whispered behind.  Those same steps reminded me of where Meg Ryan lived in the film, “You’ve Got Mail!”

Indeed, Perry Street has been the setting of many films and tv series.

A couple of tourists are posing infront of the stoops when I noticed a particular one that is chained.  This is blog-material, I thought.  The owner of this apartment must be so annoyed with all those people constantly going up their steps to take  photos hence, the chains.  It was only back home when I  started googling  that I discovered I actually photographed Carrie Bradshaw’s (of Sex and the City) famous apartment steps!  Well done to myself!

 

 

Moving on, this magazine shop caught my eye…

I have this itchy habit of peering through shop glass doors and it always pays!  Look at the enormous selection of magazines!

Time for lunch, I met a local lady at Bleecker park who recommended that we go to Whitehorse Tavern for a very New Yorkais dining atmosphere.  Glad I listened, and also glad that we had cash because they only accept dollars, not cards.

The lady in the park was right.  This place has a “New York 19th century” feel besides being legendary.  Writers and artists used to frequent the place including the Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas who, legend says,  drank so heavily that he fell ill and died a few days later.  Richard Farina,  Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan were among the famous patrons.

We initially ordered appetizers as we were not that hungry, deciding to eat a more substantial meal somewhere else later,  but lo and behold, the serving was more than we could take – but we enjoyed it!

 

After the meal, we went searching for another “very New Yorkais” Coffee Shop
for a fix of  caffeine and pastry and we kept seeing  cupcake shops. There’s a lot of them in the City!

But the most queued-up of them all is this one – The Magnolia Bakery – made famous by, again,  Sex and the City.

Gracing a corner of the shop is a framed photo of Carrie and Miranda sitting outside the bakery. On that scene, Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) was talking about her crush to Miranda while scoffing a pink-frosted cupcake. That SATC episode catapulted Magnolia to new cupcake heights and for a cupcake crazed America, their business shot up through the roof!  They now have several branches in and out of America.

And since we’re right on their doorstep, we had to try their signature dish : the buttercream-topped cupcake!

But it would be more civilized, Ithought, to munch a cupcake sitting down so I asked the bakery staff where are the tables and chairs and she directed us to a green park in the corner.  Holy cupcake!  Almost everyone in the park were munching  Magnolia!

The highlight of our day was the visit to the  Metropolitan Museum of Art commonly known as the MET.

The MET houses more than 2 million collections and antiquities from around the world.  It’s  the second most visited museum after the Louvre in Paris, France and with its vast size of 2 million sq.ft, one day is not enough to make a comprehensive tour and we had only two hours to spare.  Thanks to Anily who had been there a few times, she practically whizzed me through various rooms till we reached the European Galleries.

Having been to a lot of European museums myself, why the interest in European Galleries in America?  Because I want to see more of the works of the European masters that are now scattered around the world.  Luckily, photography is allowed hence, I am so happy to share them with you:

One of my favorite painters, Johann Vermeer!

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, 1662, Oil on Canvas,
Johann Vermeer, Dutch (1632 – 1675)

 

Self-Portrait, 1660, Oil on Canvas
The Toilet of Bathsheba, 1643, Oil on Wood
All by Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn), Dutch (1606 – 1669)

Anily delighting in the works of Rembrandt

The Thinker, 1910, Bronze sculpture, Auguste Rodin, French (1840 – 1917)

Numerous casts of The Thinker exist worldwide.  They came out of the mold that was designed by Rodin.
I’ve seen the colossal version in the gardens of Musèe Rodin and I’ve been hooked  ever since.

Cupid and Psyche, 1893, Marble, Auguste Rodin, French (1840 – 1917)

The Siesta, 1892-94, Oil on Canvas
Two Women, 1901/1902, Oil on Canvas
Three Tahitian Women, 1896, Oil on Canvas
Still Life with Teapot and Fruit, 1896, Oil on Canvas
All by Paul Gauguin, French (1848 – 1903)

Odalisque with Gray Trousers, 1927, Oil on Canvas
Nasturtiums with the Painting “Dance”, 1912, Oil on Canvas
All by Henry Matisse, French (1869 – 1954)

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899, Oil on Canvas
The MannePorte (Etretat), 1883, Oil on Canvas
Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun), 1894, Oil on Canvas
Rouen Cathedral, The Portal (Sunlight) , 1894, Oil on Canvas
All by Claude Monet, French (1840 – 1926)

The House with the Cracked Walls, 1892 – 1894
Dish of Apples, ca. 1875–77
Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902 – 6
Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist’s Uncle, as a Monk, 1866
All by Paul Cézanne, French (1839 – 1906)

 The Daughters of Catulle Mendès, Huguette (1871 – 1964, Claudine (1876 – 1937) and Helyonne (1879 – 1955), 1888, Oil on Canvas
By the Seashore, 1883, Oil on Canvas
In the Meadow, 1888 – 1992, Oil on Canvas
Eugène Murer (Hyacinthe-Eugène Meunier (1841-1906), 1877, Oil on Canvas
All by Auguste Renoir, French (1841 – 1919)

 La Coiffure, 1906, Oil on Canvas
The Actor, 1904 – 1905, Oil on Canvas
Woman in White, 1923, Oil on Canvas
All by Pablo Picasso, Spanish (1881 – 1973)


Dancer, ca. 1880
Pastel and charcoal on dark blue-gray wove paper, now faded to dark gray
Edgar Degas, French (1834 – 1917)

 

Sunflowers, 1887, Oil on Canvas
Oleanders, 1888, Oil on Canvas
Irises, 1890, Oil on Canvas
First steps, after Millet, 1890, Oil on Canvas
All by Vincent van Gogh, Dutch (1853 – 1890)

Three hats, two women and Van Gogh, 2015

And to cap off “my-last-day-in-the-Big Apple” adventure with Anily, we took a short rest in a quintessential New York icon that is the Central Park.  I’d love  to walk the entire expanse of this place but  it is so huge and time is not on our side so all we could do was to sit in one of its  9,000 benches, breathe deeply and luxuriate in this oasis of greenery and peace in the middle of a concrete jungle.

This is a park so immense that when I saw it earlier from the top of Rockefeller Center,  surrounded by skyscrapers, I thought it could well fit hundreds more of high rise buildings!  Luckily, this green lung of the city  is a protected space hence,  there won’t be any construction of high rises within it.

Time to leave New York.  Goodbye America.  And thank you, my friend, Anily, for this wonderful last day journey.  Hope we do a repeat of this adventure, next time, in Europe,  the continent of your dreams.

London: My museum fix at V & A

A visit to London is not complete without stopping by at one of her 240 museums and topping my list of favorites is the Victoria and Albert!

It’s actually my dream that if ever I had the chance to live in this vibrant city, I would like to scour the entire museum, not in a day as that is physically if not overwhelmingly impossible, but one section each week! There are just too many artworks to absorb and each one of them is worth a detailed scrutiny!

At the Auguste Rodin section of the museum, a number of sculptures
of the human body is what greets the visitor

Cupid kindling the Torch of Hymen
Marble, by George Rennie 1802 – 60
Cupid, the winged god of love, here blows on the torch held by Hymen, the god of marriage,
perhaps signifying the igniting of his passion.

 

Peasant Woman Nursing a Baby
Terracotta, by Aimé-Jules Dalou, 1838-1902

 

 

Eve listening to the Voice of Adam
Marble, by Edward Hodges Baily, 1788-1867
The artist illustrates a passage from Milton’s poem, Paradise Lost,
in which Eve sits beside a lake in the Garden of Eden and describes to Adam
‘a shape within the watery gleam’.
Adams warns her that this is her own reflection.

 

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
Glazed and painted terracotta
Workshop of Andrea della Robbia, 1435-1525

Even the floor is a museum piece!

To the Museum: Victoria and Albert

When H said ‘yes’ to my idea of a day trip to London while he attends to his business in the Southeast, the first thing that came to mind was a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

We have been going backwards and forwards to England (as normal for someone with an English husband) but never have I set foot in this museum that I have heard so much about.  It has been, for ages, in my “list-of-London-places-to-visit” and it’s about time I see it!

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The publicity poster at the South Kensington station

So off to the museum we went on that grey Thursday morning.  H (yes, he insisted that he must go, too!), SIL (sister in law) and myself arrived at the tunnel gate at about 11am.  A bit peckish after a train ride and 3 tube connections, we proceeded to the V&A café for some coffee and biscuit fix before starting the museum tour. 

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I must say that sitting in the elegant V&A café was the most pleasant moment of the entire visit!  Imagine sitting there like the nobility, enjoying your coffee and mouthwatering tea biscuits ….

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…while getting mesmerized at the stunning rooms, ornate decors, museum-like artworks from ceiling to floor!  And it doesn’t need digging deep into your pocket!  For the three of us, the 3 GBP per person is a give-away. 

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While ambling between sculptures, I can’t help but notice through the windows the impressive Renaissance style facade of the building that surrounds a vast square courtyard.

It is called the Terrcota facade because it was constructed in modern, industrially produced materials: red brick and terracotta.

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When I saw this spot (center of the photo) with the steel tables and chairs, I immediately recognized it as the location of a scene in “Last Chance Harvey” (2008), a light romantic film featuring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.  That was where the “still-getting-to-know-each-other-romantically” pair talked until dawn, exchanged a gentle kiss then agreed to meet at the same place that noon  but Harvey (Dustin) failed to show up because he was suddenly rushed to the hospital after a bout of heart palpitations and Kate (Emma) exasperatedly thought he jilted her.

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One of the lavishly tiled staircases.

—– o —— o ——- o ——- o ——– o ——–

Let’s start a quick museum tour from the Medieval Galleries.  The descriptive captions for each artwork shown here were taken from the museum’s online records.

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The Virgin and Child with Angels, About 1510 – 15
Lower Austria, painted and glided limewood

This group was probably part of an altarpiece.  The flowing drapery and the dynamic flying poses of the two small angels and the infant Jesus all contribute to its vitality.  Christ holds a pomegranate, a symbol of the resurrection.

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The Adoration of the Magi, About 1510 – 20
Austria, Tyrol, painted and gilded pine

The three wise men offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh to the infant Christ, who sits on the lap of the Virgin while St Joseph watches intently from behind her.

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The Entombment, About 1500, Northern France
Painted and gilded oak

The relief consists of nine pieces of wood joined together with several small wooden dowels and it shows Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea placing the body of Our Lord in the tomb, around which are gathered the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist and the three Maries.

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The Virgin with the Dead Christ, About 1370 – 1400, Probably England
Walnut wood

“…. The wound of Christ show traces of colour, the lower part of the figure is slightly worm-eaten.”

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The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, About 1510 – 15
Glazed and painted terracotta, Florence, Italy

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Sunna by John Michael Rysbrack, About 1728-1730
Portland stone

Sunna is from a unique series of Saxon gods that Lord Cobham commissioned for his gardens at Stowe. Each Saxon god is traditionally associated with a day of the week, and Sunna represents Sunday.

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Neptune and Triton by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, About 1622-1623

Carved pine
This work by the great Italian sculptor Bernini was one of the most celebrated sights in Rome.  It shows Neptune, god of the seas, with his son Triton who was a merman.  It was sold in 1786 and taken to England.

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Turban Ornament, enamelled gold, Jaipur, 1st half of the 19th century
This turban ornament from the Royal Treasury depicting a peacock shows how Jaipur was considered to be the supreme center of enamelling in India.  In Jaipur, the court remained the largest and most important purchaser of enamels in traditional form.

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Wish-Fulfilling cow (Kamadhenu), About 1900-50
Painted wood, Tamil Nadu
In Hindu mythology, a Kamadhenu is a miraculous cow who can give her owner whatever he desires.  This example is a hybrid creature, with the body of a cow and the head of a woman, the wings of an eagle and the tail of a peacock.  It is used in the great street processions performed during south Indian temple festivals

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The Hindu God Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance, 1100-1200, Chola Period
Copper alloy, South India (Tamil Nadu)

Holes in the base show that this image was carried in procession.  It depicts the great Hindu god Shiva performing a wild dance of creation and destruction.  In his hands are a drum as symbol of creation and a flame as the element by which the universe will be destroyed.  An aureole of flames represent the life of the universe.  Underfoot lies the dwarf of ignorance.

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Part of a relief of the Buddha’s death (Parinirvana), 100-200, Kushan Period
Schist, Gandhara, Northwest Pakistan
By the Buddha”s bedside four disciples are grieving.  One disciple comforts the Buddha’s companion and protector, Vajrapani, whose thunderbolt has fallen to the ground.  A fifth disciple, possibly the last convert, Subhadra, meditates.  A water bottle hangs on a tripod next to the bed.  Such overt expressions of emotions derive from the late Hellenistic tradition, which strongly influence Gandharan art

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Mantua or court dress, 1740 – 1745
Silk embroidered with coloured silk and silver thread

This mantua and petticoat represent the grandest style of court dress.  The skirt made it necessary for the wearer to go sideways through the door but had the advantage of displaying a large area of lavish decoration.  Botanically accurate flowers were a feature of Rococo embroidery patterned silks and printed textiles of the 1740s and 1750s in England

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George III, Prince of Wales in a Rococo frame, about 1751
This is one of the most elaborate English carved Rococo frames to survive.  The exceptionally bold carving features animals, scrolls and foliage typical of the Rococo style as well as military trophies. 

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The 11-metre high, blown glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly at the V&A’s grand entrance.

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….each separate glass element of the V&A Rotunda Chandelier was either free-blown, or was mould-blown into ribbed moulds. Each element is coated inside with polyurethane adhesive and was tied on individually with stainless steel wire to an armature welded from steel rod. A team of six started wiring on from bottom to top and took over five days to complete the work.

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Netsuke, Octopus,  between 1700 – 1870
(about 1 inch in height) 

Traditional Japanese costume had no pockets so everyday objects such as seals, tobacco and medicine were carried in pouches or boxes.  These were hung from a cord which passed behind the wide belt (obi).  The netsuke was tied to the other end to prevent it from slipping down and allowing the pouch or box to fall.  Netsuke were often worn with the miniature medicine containers called inro.

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Eve listening to the voice, 1842

Marble, by Baily, Edward Hodges, born 1788 – died 1867 (sculptor)
This figure depicts Eve listening to the voice of Satan in the Garden of Eden, a subject probably inspired by John Milton’s religious epic poem Paradise Lost (1667 )

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Peasant woman nursing a baby, Aimé Jules-Dalou, 1873

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The Prodigal Son, Auguste Rodin, About 1885 – 1887

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Two plaques located on a wall in the garden commemorating Henry Cole’s* dog Jim and another ‘faithful dog’ Tycho.
* Sir Henry Cole (1808–­82) was the first Director of the South Kensington Museum, renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1899.

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Above are just few of the tens of thousand pieces displayed over four floors, in 11 kilometres of galleries, which include paintings, photography, furniture, fashion, jewellery, ceramics, glass, silverware and architecture.  A day tour is simply not enough and I shall return and spend an entire day to see more of it…and another entire day for some more…

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Some facts about the V&A:

– entrance is free except for the special exhibits
– photography is allowed except in the Jewellery Galleries and those rooms that specifically prohibits it
-cloakroom facility is free
– there’s a canteen especially reserved for eating your home-prepared food, free access

Next in “A Pinay in Europe”:  The Natural History Museum