Three Out of Four Ain’t Bad

In its original definition the word "quarter" refers to a fourth part of a whole, though I'm not sure of the origins of phrases such as "servants' quarters" where the term refers to rooms allocated to a specific group.  Surely this was never so rigidly allocated as to refer to 25% of the original property?…

Advertisements

Let’s Talk

When I was driving in Sicily I opted for listening to podcasts rather than music as I found them less distracting at those times when the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar vehicle, on the opposite side of the road to the UK and with handbrake and gears similarly on the right rather than the left.…

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…

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…

S.P.Q.R.

Four letters that bring to mind the Roman Empire and which are equally commonplace around the modern city, but how many of those familiar with the abbreviation know what it represents? Even forty years after my school years I remember Senatus Populus Que Romanus, which simply means The Senate and People of Rome, and for…