Oversimplifying over Sicily

As I'm about to add Sicily to the Italian posts that I share here I felt that I should begin with some historical context; though if I'm to do so without this becoming the longest post I've ever submitted I'll need to keep the brush strokes very broad; and so I welcome corrections and elaborations…

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Pennyman

When you visit a museum that incorporates items of military history such as Les Invalides in Paris, or less romantically the Royal Armouries in Leeds, then you're likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of weaponry and armour on display there, and picture huge forces of well prepared men whose equipment glinted in the…

Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place? (Musei Vaticani Pt II)

In my last post I hinted that the Sistine Chapel is the pot of gold at the rainbow's end for many of the Vatican Museums visitors, much as the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre, or the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. It is spectacular in composition, colour and scope, and I'd happily bypass…

Can’t see the wood for the trees? (Musei Vaticani Pt I)

In 1969 the BBC broadcast a six part series called Civilisation which celebrated the development of western art and culture. Though originally envisaged purely as a means to demonstrate the capabilities of newly introduced colour TV, the series had a major impact for many. I was only 10 years old at the time, but still…

Blots on the Landscape?

In my Italian travels I have encountered the exquisite work of many great architects; some of whom have featured here, whilst others preceded my camera and keyboard. Andrea Pisano, Fillipo Brunelleschi, Giovanni Pisano, Jacopo Sansovino, Borromino, Bernini, Michelangelo, Michelozzo... I could easily go on for I am only scratching the surface of Italian masters, many…

The Air on the Gare

Having written recently about the man-made extension to the mouth of the Tees behind Redcar steelworks (South Gare), I felt in the interests of balance that I should venture across the river to its northern counterpart. The area directly north of the Tees mouth features two nature reserves, and having been freshly inspired by my…

Voce del Popolo

In the current climate where #metoo and #blacklivesmatter seem to be heralding real change there are some interesting debates about historic artworks; either because they represent people or events that are now seen as offensive or because the behaviour of their creators has been equally unacceptable.  Consequently we have seen calls for Confederate statues to…