A Palermo Puzzle

Just a short distance from Quattro Canti in the centre of Palermo is Piazza Pretoria, a name that conjures visions of grandeur (the Praetorian Guard were the elite Roman soldiers who were bodyguards to the emperors).  Here the name derives from the 15th century Palazzo Pretoria (also know as the Palace of Eagles) which forms one … Continue reading A Palermo Puzzle


Vocabulary (SOS 4)

If you're a regular visitor you won't be surprised that architectural imagery is going to feature heavily in my Barcelona posts, partly because I love to view interesting designs anyway, but also because this city has some very significant contributions to make, from the most visited monument in all of Spain (Gaudí's Sagrada) to the high-tech … Continue reading Vocabulary (SOS 4)

Another Look

I've gone coast to coast, just to contemplate Joni Mitchell - Blue Motel Room No sooner had I basked in the Sandsend sunshine than it was time for me to return to Bootle, where the nearest interesting stretch of sand is to be found at Crosby, the beach where Antony Gormley's work Another Place stands … Continue reading Another Look

USP (Venezia 272)

The upkeep of any historic building is an expensive outlay, and even with the vast wealth of the tourist euros that flood into the city everyday, you need to find a way to get a share of that cashflow.  The many churches in the city are testament to this; some rely upon frescos, sculptures and … Continue reading USP (Venezia 272)

How Do They Smell? (Venezia 259)

Just a few yards from La Partigiana, an artwork replacing a statue dynamited by fascist sympathisers, stands a bust of a composer who died in the city.  Nothing remarkable about his presence here then, though there is an irony in the juxtaposition of this work with the other, given his reputation for anti-semitism and adoption … Continue reading How Do They Smell? (Venezia 259)

In Sickness & In Health (Venezia 254)

Another of those little additions made to shop windows as part of the Visual Public Service art installation around Via Garibaldi in Castello, the closest thing you will find to a normal street, though it is in actual fact a canal that was filled in when Napoleon captured the city. Like so many of the others … Continue reading In Sickness & In Health (Venezia 254)

War and Pieces

Art and War may seem like strange bedfellows at first, but on consideration there are many great art works that have drawn their inspiration from war in virtually every artistic medium.  The Hindu god Vishnu is both creator and destroyer of worlds, and the ancient Greeks appointed Athena goddess of the arts and victory in … Continue reading War and Pieces