31 December, 2007

Our Lady of the Chapel Church Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

Bruxelles - Brussel
L' Eglise Notre Dame de la Chapelle
De Onze Lieve Vrouw ter Kapellekerk
The Our Lady of the Chapel Church
Die Unsere Frau zur Kapellekirche

Church of the Chapel Postcard
(PH Wish from Richard Young)

Even if the postcard said it's the Our Lady of the Chapel Church, I had hard time finding information about the painting, the artist nor the church itself. I used the Dutch name of the church for me to be able to gather information on the postcard.

The postcard shows the Church of the Chapel or Église de la Chapelle (French) or Kapellekerk (Dutch), a church situated in the Marollen/Marolles district of Brussels, Belgium. It was founded in 1134 by Godfrey I of Leuven near what were then the town ramparts, and the present structure dates from the 13th century. It has large pilasters, capitals and columns between the chapels. There are also the statues of 10 of the apostels and 2 statues of Our Lady.

Kapellekerk Wikipedia Entry

30 December, 2007

The Last Supper by da Vinci Postcard

The postcard is that of the The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena), a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d'Este. It represents the scene of The Last Supper from the final days of Jesus as narrated in the Gospel of John 13:21, when Jesus announces that one of his Twelve apostles would betray him.

The Last Supper Postcard

Leonardo began work on The Last Supper in 1495 and completed it in 1498—however, he did not work on the piece continuously throughout this period. The painting can be found in the back halls of the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.

Additional Information:
tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic
460 × 880 cm, 181 × 346 in

The Last Supper Wikipedia Entry

29 December, 2007

Mona Lisa by da Vinci Postcard

The postcard is that of the painting Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), a 16th century portrait painted in oil on a poplar panel by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance.

The painting is a half-length portrait and depicts a woman whose expression is often described as enigmatic. The ambiguity of the sitter's expression, the monumentality of the half-figure composition, and the subtle modeling of forms and atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the painting's continuing fascination.

Mona Lisa Postcard

Mona Lisa is named for Lisa del Giocondo, a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany and the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting was commissioned for their new home and to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea.

Additional Information:
Mona Lisa (Italian: La Gioconda, French:La Joconde)
Oil on poplar
77 × 53 cm, 30 × 21 in

The work is owned by the French government and hangs in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France with the title Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Mona Lisa Wikipedia Entry

28 December, 2007

King Island Drummers by James Adcox Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

King Island Drummers
Artist: James Adcox
48" x 39", Oil on Canvas, 2005

There are no information the painting on the postcard nor the artist on the net.

King Island Drummers Postcard
(PH Wish from Sarah Konichek)

27 December, 2007

Indian Miniature Painting Postcard

The postcard does not include the title and the artist of the painting, so I cannot give information regarding this postcard.

Indian Miniature Painting Postcard

However, I decided to add general information about Indian miniature painting. Miniatures paintings are intricate, colorful handmade illuminations or paintings, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The colors used in the miniature paintings were derived from minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver.

Miniatures paintings

26 December, 2007

Sistine Chapel, Ignudo 5 by Michelangelo Postcard

The postcards show the image of Ignudo 5, the head of the Ignudo at the upper right corner of the Drunkenness of Noah (above the Delphic Sibyl).

The Ignudi (singular: ignudo, from the Italian adjective nudo, meaning "naked") are the 20 athletic, nude male figures that Michelangelo painted at the four corners of the five smaller scenes of Creation. Because they were not relevant to the themes of the piece, Michelangelo's ignudi outraged several pontiffs.

Ignudo 5 Postcard

Most of the figures are surrounded by a huge garland of oak leaves, and clustered about them are thousands of acorns resembling the penis, or "prickhead", in Tuscan slang (testa di cazzo). The most likely reason for their abundance is that Pope Julius II, who commissioned the work, was of the della Rovere family: they function as, perhaps, Michelangelo's allusion to his patron.

Sistine Chapel, The Ignudi

25 December, 2007

Houses at Auvers by van Gogh Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

Houses at Auvers
Vincent van Gogh. Dutch, 1853-1890
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Houses at Auvers Postcard
(PH Wish from Teresa Ostrander)

Houses at Auvers was painted in 1890, shortly after Vincent van Gogh (a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist) arrived in Auvers-sur-Oise (northwest of Paris) and he seemed to be on the mend. Indeed, Vincent's first letters to his brother Theo from Auvers-sur-Oise were cautiously optimistic. His health was good, and he found his room comfortable. The village had a picturesque appeal; even the new homes were "radiant and sunny and covered with flowers."

Unlike the writhing rhythms that characterized his landscape work at Saint-Rémy, Vincent van Gogh's first paintings at Auvers, such as Houses at Auvers, exhibited a new stability, seen in the strongly interlocked strokes of heavy pigment. Houses at Auvers shows the landscape of early summer. The view creates a flattened tapestry of shapes in which the tiled and thatched roofs of the houses form a mesmerizing patchwork of color.

Additional Information:
75.6 x 61.9 cm (29 3/4 x 24 3/8 in.)
Oil on Canvas
On view in the: Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (European Art 1870–1900), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Vincent van Gogh Final Paintings

24 December, 2007

Grande Place Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

Bruxelles - Brussel
Grande Place
Grote Markt

Unfortunately the postcard also did not include the name of the artist. The Grote Markt (Dutch) or Grand Place (French) is the central market square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guild houses, the city's Town Hall and the Bread House (Dutch: Broodhuis, French: Maison du Roi).

Grande Place Painting Postcard
(PH Wish from Richard Young)

The Grand Place was named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Grand Place Wikipedia Entry

23 December, 2007

The Worms, Saltimbanco Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

Cirque Du Soleil
The Worms/Les Vers, Saltimbanco
Watercolor on Paper/Aquarelle Sur Papier

The Worms Postcard

Unfortunately, the card did not include who made the watercolored "The Worms." Saltimbanco comes from the Italian "saltare in banco", which literally means "to jump on a bench." Saltimbanco is the oldest major touring show of Cirque du Soleil (French for "Circus of the Sun"), an entertainment empire that is famous for its reinvented circus shows. The framework of Saltimbanco - the characters - are the Worms, at the very base of society.

The Urban Worms are the faceless multitude, the masses, the bureaucrats. They are the status quo: they watch and follow, but never act. The Multicoloured Worms are the simplest of all beings, the origin of all life. Following their primal urges, they are concerned only with survival.

Saltimbanco Wikipedia Entry

22 December, 2007

Branch of the Seine Near Giverny by Monet Postcard

The back of the postcard reads:

Oscar Claude Monet, French (1840-1926)
Branch of the Seine Near Giverny (1), 1896
Oil on Canvas
Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

Branch of the Seine Near Giverny Postcard
(PH Wish from Teresa Ostrander)

I had trouble identifying the real title of the painting because I found series of paintings by Monet. What I did is I visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website, which houses the Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection. I found the exact painting but with a different title. It's actually "Morning on the Seine, near Giverny."

Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 – December 5, 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.

Additional information:
Size: 73.7 x 93 cm (29 x 36 5/8 in.)
Inscriptions: Lower left: Claude Monet 96

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Claude Monet Wikipedia Entry

21 December, 2007

Beppe Nappa by Piero Fornasetti Postcard

First in my painting collection is the postcard"Beppe Nappa" by Piero Fornasetti. I was able to find information about Piero Fornasetti, but not on the painting itself nor "Maschere Italiane." All I know is that Beppe Nappa might be part of the "Maschere Italiane" series.

The back of the postcard reads:

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988)
Beppe Nappa, Maschere Italiane

Beppe Nappa Postcard

Piero Fornasetti was an Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver. He created more than 11,000 items, many featuring the face of a woman, operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri, as a motif. His style is reminiscent of Greek and Roman architecture, from which he was heavily influenced.

There was no information regarding Beppe Nappe, but I was able to find description on "Peppe Nappa." I don't actually know if they are one and the same. Peppe Nappa was born in Sicily in the 16th or 17th century. The name “Peppi”, in Sicilian dialect, comes from Giuseppe, while “nappa” denotes the darn in his socks. So the name in full means “John darn in his socks” or, in other words, a good for nothing. His light blue blouse and trousers are soft and wavy like the colour of the Mediterranean sea surrounding Sicily.

Piero Fornasetti Wikipedia Entry

20 December, 2007

Tubbataha Reef Postcards

Tubbataha Reef is an atoll coral reef located in the Sulu Sea, 98 nautical miles (181 km) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on December 1993. It is also nominated in the new 7 wonders of nature.

Tubbataha Reef Marine Life Postcard 1

The word “tubbataha” is a combination of two Samal words which means “a long reef exposed at low tide”. The reef is composed of two atolls, North and South Reefs. Each reef has a single small islet that protrudes from the water. The atolls are separated by a deep channel 8 km (5 miles) wide.

Tubbataha Reef Marine Life Postcard 2

Over one thousand species can be found in the reef; many are already endangered species. Animal species found include manta rays, lionfish, pawikan or tortoise, clownfish, and sharks. Vivid corals cover more than two-thirds of the area and the waters around the reef are places of refuge for numerous marine lives. The seemingly diverse ecosystem of this sanctuary rivals the Great Barrier Reef – having 300 coral species and 400 fish species.

Tubbataha Reef Wikipedia Entry

19 December, 2007

St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park Postcards

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It is also known as St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park. It was inscribed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999.

St. Paul's Subterranean River Postcard 1

It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences.

St. Paul's Subterranean River Postcard 2

Until the 2007 discovery of an underground river in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Puerto Princesa's underground river is reputed to be the world's longest.

St. Paul's Subterranean River Postcard 3

The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

St. Paul's Subterranean River Postcard 4

St. Paul's Subterranean River Postcard 5

18 December, 2007

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcards

The Banaue Rice Terraces (Tagalog: Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banaue) are 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines. Declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1995, the Rice Terraces are commonly referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 1

The terraces were carved out of the mountain range over 3000 years ago by the Ifugaos, the oldest mountain tribe in the area, using only the most primitive tools to provide level steps where the natives plant rice. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand.

Banaue Rice Terraces with the Ifugaos Postcard 1

The terraces are located approximately 1500 meters (5000 ft) above sea level and cover 10,360 square kilometers (about 4000 square miles) of mountainside. Measured from end to end, the terraces would stretch a total length of 22,400km (13,919 miles), enough to encircle half the globe. The Banaue Rice Terraces is composed of the Batad, Bangaan, Mayoyao and Hapao terraces.

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 2

The terraces are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. The irrigation system uses gravity to harness water from the forests 1800m (2185ft) above thus ensuring a continuous supply of crops.

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 3

Located at Barangay Batad in Banaue, these rice terraces are shaped like an amphitheater. The Batad rice terraces cluster is considered an engineering marvel and a rare man-made landscape because of its ampitheater-like form and almost vertical terrace ponds. The Batad rice terraces have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a Living Cultural Landscape.

Batad Rice Terraces Postcard 1

"All studies by anthropologists and researchers point to the conclusion that the building of the rice terraces was immediately started by the first occupants of Ifugao land. For lack of arable land, those first people were forced to eke out a living from the mountains by terracing rice paddies on the slopes. It is indeed a wonder how the early Ifugaos, with only the simplest and crudest hand tools, were able to build the rice terraces. They not only carved out the terraced paddies but also worked a unique irrigation system and way of maintaining them through constant repair, extention and reconstruction."

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 4

I was able to find an interesting article on the web entitled "The Secret of the Banaue Rice Terraces." It tells a story of who might have taught the Ifugaos how to do it.

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 5

The secret of the Banaue Rice Terraces is that it actually tells the story of Chinese interaction with the ethnic cultures of the Cordilleras way before the arrival of the Spanish. It is also a great example of acculturation, the seamless mix of two cultures taking on a new identity in a different environment.

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 6

From 2205 to 2106BCE, Emperor Yu the Great launched a campaign to annihilate the Miao tribe who rebelled against him. They fled southwards, until some were driven beyond the sea, and it is perhaps then that a few survivors made it to the Cordilleras. The Miao are also known for cultivating terraced paddy fields and thus it is this technology, along with several others, which they brought to the Cordilleras. But the influence of the Chinese does not end here. Trade during the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties brought introduced the carabao, cabbage, porcelain jars and plates, and even the Kalinga oranges or ponkan. Chinese features are also clearly seen in the natives of Northern Luzon, and the rituals and traditions of the Igorots, Ifugaos and Kalingas echo those of the Miao ethnic tribe.

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 7

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 8

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 9

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 10

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 12

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 13

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 14

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 15

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 16

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 17

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 18

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 19

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 20

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 21

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 22

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 23

Banaue Rice Terraces Postcard 24

17 December, 2007

Historic Town of Vigan Postcards

Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines, from China and from Europe, resulting in a culture and townscape that have no parallel anywhere in East and South-East Asia. Vigan was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 2, 1999.

Vigan Postcard 1

Justification for Inscription: Vigan represents a unique fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning. Vigan is an exceptionally intact and well preserved example of a European trading town in East and South-East Asia.

Vigan Postcard 2

Vigan City is the capital city of Ilocos Sur, The city is 408 kilometers northwest of Manila. The name Vigan came from the Ilocano word "kabiga-an" pertaining to the plant "biga" which is a tuberous plant that once grew along the banks of the Mestizo River. This river was central in the development of trade and community activities in Vigan during the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Vigan Postcard 3

Vigan is well-known for its cobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning. Vigan, earlier known as "Ciudad Fernandina" from 1758 to late 19th century, is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country. Vigan brings images of antiquated houses, cobbled narrow streets of the old Mestizo District, popularly known in the olden days as Kasanglayan (Chinese Quarters).

Vigan Postcard 4

Located at the heart of the Mestizo district, Calle Crisologo is lined on both sides by centuries-old Vigan Houses, it is made of cobblestones. Ground floors of the old house at Calle Crisologo have been turned into shops where souvenir items and Vigan furniture. I tried to gather more information about the houses on the Heritage Village, but couldn't find anything about their construction, etc.

Vigan Postcard 5

Vigan Postcard 6

Vigan Postcard 7

Vigan Postcard 8 (Heritage Village)
Calle Crisologo

Vigan Postcard 9 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 9 (Architectural Heritage)

Vigan Postcard 10 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 11 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 12 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 13 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 14 (Heritage Village)

Vigan Postcard 15 (Spiritual Heritage)

The St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral or Vigan Cathedral was built by the Augustinians in 1790-1800 in distinctive "Earthquake Baroque" architecture. It has three naves, twelve altars, and a choir loft. Chinese influence is evident in its baptistery altar, brass communion handrails, a pair of Fu Dogs, and moldings on the façade. Most of the original church interior features are still in place. The octagonal belfry is located 10 meters south of the cathedral.

Vigan Postcard 16 (Vigan Cathedral)
Vigan Postcard 17 (Vigan Cathedral)

Vigan Postcard 18 (Vigan Cathedral)

UNESCO World Heritage: Historic Town of Vigan
WOW Philippines: Vigan Heritage Village