Tag Archives: art

Following Van Gogh to Arles

A fun read over coffee. It starts like this

I rested my hands against the windowsill of van Gogh’s bedroom in the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul, an asylum in Saint-Rémy, and peered out at the painter’s Provence: rolling wheat fields bordered by olive trees, a purple-tinged mountain silhouette sweeping the horizon, a golden sun illuminating it all. I was mesmerized by this view, all the more knowing that Vincent van Gogh stood in this very spot, his easel at his side, and painted.

I was amazed to find out that Van Gogh created 300 paintings in just 15 months in Arles.  Amazing!

On the Market REKA Luna Eclipse

A very limited edition of this rather colorful print goes on sale November 26

Here is the background

… REKA first started as a graffiti artist in the 1990s, moving to street art including large murals later. He has already exhibited his work in many countries, in Denmark, France or the United States, and created many murals across the world, from Australia to Canada through London, New York, Berlin or Milan. His work is inspired by cubism, art deco, modern art, but also the aesthetics of ancient Greece.

Who Was Paul Durand-Ruel?

He is not as famous as Monet, but perhaps he should be. Ruel was the art dealer who supported the impressionists in Paris when few others did. Monet called him a life saver. And he wrote letters like this

Dear Monsieur Renoir, I am sending you 500 francs for your painting which we have sold, and I invite you to join my next exhibition with Monet and Pissarro. Cordially yours, Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1895.”

Here he is

Well, it is a romantic story – you know, helping to create modern art. And the National Gallery in London is offering a glimpse of Ruel’s collection. Nice excuse to visit London! If you can’t make it, perhaps an imaginary stroll around the left bank of Paris, stopping off at places that evoke the spirit of those times. Enjoy! Here is a snippet

… the Alléno Paris Carré des Champs-Elysées is one of the grandest restaurants in France, awarded three Michelin stars just last month. As I climb the marble stairs I begin to understand why. The dining room sits at treetop level, like a belle époque birdcage, its gold-framed windows overlooking the park. The elegance of the interior is matched by the extraordinary food: exquisite plates of oysters with pistachio, caviar ravioli, and chicken with black truffle create the most astonishing meal I’ve ever eaten.

And after that? One staggers out for more!


Musashi in the Bath

This sounds a bit suspicious. But contrary to what you might think, Musashi was a  feared warrior, invincible in combat. He was also a great artist who did amazingly delicate pen and ink drawings. He said “when you have attained the way of strategy there will be not one thing that you cannot understand.” Here he is in full warrior mode escaping from the bath house where his enemies had planned to boil him alive! Yikes! Don’t worry, he got out ok.

Borges: Paradise in a Library

One of my favorite books is called “Seven Nights” and it is a collection of lectures given by Jorge Luis Borges. I highly recommend it as summer reading. But why is this so special? Borges speaks to entice and calm the spirit. And his love of exploration is infectious. One of my favorite quotes from from the book is the start of his lecture about “The Thousand and One Nights”

A major event in the history of the west was the discovery of the east.

How about this image for a genie?