Category Archives: Arts & Literature

Poetic Views: London’s ‘Maida Vale’ Inspired Lord Byron & Robert Browning

The new crop of Italianate villas, iced white with stucco like giant cakes, and the rows of brick terraces and mansion blocks that followed them soon became home to publishers (Charles Ollier), artists (Sir John Tenniel) and poets: Robert Browning lived at 19, Warwick Crescent for more than 20 years and the pool where the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet is now called after him.

Watercolor Paintings by Liam O’Farrell

Although Browning has been credited with naming the canal area Little Venice, it was Byron that first (facetiously) compared the basin to the Italian lagoon.

Carla Passino – April 16, 2021

Story has it that the poet used to walk along the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal with his publisher, John Murray — helpfully pointing to the bridge where another publisher had once drowned himself — and was inspired to write that ‘there would be nothing to make the canal of Venice more poetical than that of Paddington, were it not for its artificial adjuncts’; a fair point, considering that, at the time, the London canals were lined with warehouses and wrapped in soot.

Even today, however, the elegant terraces halfway up Randolph Avenue, with their tripartite arched windows, are far more reminiscent of the Italian city than Little Venice itself, where the serene buildings and tree-lined banks have a rather more bucolic feel.

Read more at Country Life UK

Liam O’Farrell website

Cocktails With A Curator: Francesco da Sangallo’s ‘St. John Baptizing’ (Video)

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon focuses on Francesco da Sangallo’s “St. John Baptizing,” which can be found at the very center of the third floor of Frick Madison. Commissioned in the 16th century for a church in the Tuscan town of Prato, the bronze statuette has been installed atop a facsimile of the marble holy water font on which it was originally displayed, allowing visitors to see it as it was meant to be viewed. This week’s complementary cocktail is the White Negroni, a modern twist on a classic Florentine cocktail.

To view this painting in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/sangallobaptizing

Views: ‘2021 Sony World Photography Awards’

Presented by British art historian Jacky Klein and entertainer Nish Kumar, A Year in Photos from the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 celebrates the work of the top winners in one of the world’s biggest photography competitions. Including interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with distinguished photographers, rising talents, and industry-leading experts, this 60-minute feature takes viewers on a journey across the globe to explore powerful contemporary stories and artistic excellence. View our full digital programme by visiting our website at https://www.worldphoto.org/announceme…

Design: A Tour Of Top Artisans In Portugal

We unearth the country’s burgeoning design industry. From a ceramics studio in Lisbon to a nautical-inspired clothing brand in Porto, we meet the creatives putting the country on the map.

A walking tour

Gaia Lutz meets woodworker Ricardo Jerónimo of Rival at his Lisbon workshop, and the duo behind ceramic studio Sedimento. Plus: furniture-maker Miguel Saboya.

Hugo Passos

The designer reflects on how attitudes in manufacturing have shifted now that many international companies produce goods in Portugal.

La Paz

We catch up with Jose Miguel de Abreu, co-founder of Porto’s nautical-inspired fashion brand La Paz, to discuss the benefits of basing his business in the city.

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance

The founder of design studio Made In Situ discusses recent projects and how he is inspired by the landscape and the artisans he collaborates with.

Profiles: Dutch Painter Vincent Van Gogh (Video)

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life.

Cocktails With A Curator: ‘Saint-Porchaire Ware’

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he delves into the mystery of three rare Saint-Porchaire objects currently on view in a room featuring enamels and clocks on the third floor of Frick Madison. Much remains unknown about 16th-century Saint-Porchaire ware—exquisite pieces inlaid with colored clay and embellished with three-dimensional reliefs—but an ongoing Frick research project recently identified an exciting potential link between the great French ceramicist Bernard Palissy and a lizard on one of the ewers at the Frick. This week’s complementary cocktail is a classic French American drink, the Boulevardier.

To view this painting in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/stporchaireware

Interview: Writer Paul Theroux – ‘Under The Wave At Waimea’ (Podcast)

What can a travel writer learn from staying at home? Anne McElvoy asks the prolific travel author Paul Theroux about the virtues of being homebound during the pandemic. 

The author of “Under the Wave at Waimea” reveals that his friend and one-time foe V.S. Naipaul inspired a character in his new book about big-wave surfing in Hawaii. Also, verbal fencing with his sons Louis and Marcel and his ultimate travel destination.

Artistry: Making ‘Hikihaku Obi’ Textile In Japan (Video)

Nishijin-ori textiles are known for their exquisite detail, and have been made in the Nishijin area of Kyoto, Japan for over 1,200 years. Follow the intricate process involved in creating obi (the sash worn with traditional Japanese clothing), using a specialised technique called hikikaku – weaving with precious metallic thread. From the making of the thread itself, to the weaving on the loom, watch as three obis are made – one from 100-year-old silver foil, one from mother of pearl, and one from the semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli.

Processes: Silver foil obi: 1:26​ Mother of pearl obi: 4:17​ Lapis lazuli obi: 6:35

Nishijin-ori (西陣織, Nishijin fabric) is a traditional textile produced in the Nishijin (西陣) district of Kamigyō-ku in KyotoJapan.

Originating in Heian-kyōto over 1200 years ago, Nishijin weaving is known for its highly-decorative and finely-woven designs, created through the use of tedious and specialised production processes. It is well-regarded for the high quality and craftsmanship of the resulting fabrics, commonly used for high-quality obi and kimono.

Artistry: ‘The Lore Of Fabergé Eggs’ (Video)

In the era of the Russian tsars, Peter Carl Fabergé’s jewel-studded objets d’art were a royal riff on a much humbler Easter tradition of ordinary folk giving each other colored hens’ eggs. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports on the lore of Fabergé eggs, from opulent originals to sparkling counterfeits.

The celebrated series of 50 Imperial Easter eggs was created for the Russian Imperial family from 1885 to 1916 when the company was run by Peter Carl Fabergé. These creations are inextricably linked to the glory and tragic fate of the last Romanov family. They were the ultimate achievement of the renowned Russian jewellery house and must also be considered the last great commissions of objets d’art . Ten eggs were produced from 1885 to 1893, during the reign of Emperor Alexander III; 40 more were created during the rule of his dutiful son, Nicholas II, two each year, one for his mother, the dowager, the second for his wife.