Category: Miscellaneous

Broadway Tower – Iconic Folly, Worcestershire

Broadway Tower is a beautiful folly which sits atop Beacon Hill, the second highest hill in the Costwolds, after Cleeve Hill. This tower was the brainchild of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and built by James Wyatt for Lady Godiva between 1798-1799. Lady Godiva wondered whether she could see a beacon from her house in Worcester, some 22 miles away. She must have been chuffed that she could in fact see the beacon clearly. We visited this wonderful monument following another Walking Englishman Walk. Walking outside was at the time one of the view government sanctioned ways to meet up to...

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John Wick – Guns, Cars and Explosions, the Perfect Isolation Flick

Have you ever asked yourself the question; is there such a thing as artful violence? John Wick answers this violently in the affirmative. Perhaps I am late to the party reviewing this film, but I was so astounded by John Wick that I could not but extol its virtues. Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (the former being Reeves’ stunt double in the Matrix), this film offers excitement, excellent acting and explosive beautifully co-ordinated fight scenes. There are, broadly speaking, two ways to go when it comes to fight sequences. The first is to bust a few moves...

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Jean-Étienne Liotard – Lavergne Family Breakfast, Delicious Pastel Painting

Jean-Etienne Liotard was one of the most accomplished portrait artists of his time. Born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1702 he went on to have a very successful career, completing most of it in stays in Rome, Istanbul, Paris, Vienna, London and other cities. At the height of his career he was commissioned to represent members of royal families in his respective residences. The masterpiece came to my attention through a recent Guardian article, exploring how the painting was donated to the National Gallery through the UK’s AIL Acceptance in Lieu scheme. This painting was given in exchange for a...

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Kiyochika Kobayashi – Cat and Lantern, Japanese Fine Art

Have I mentioned I’ve been to Japan? Of course, when I went I was what can only be described as a chippy oik (definition here). I neglected to visit any of the sensational art galleries throughout Japan, despite extensive travel throughout the country.  Perhaps I shall make up for this glut with the following post. Kiyochika Kobayashi (1857-1915) was a Ukiyo e painter, a school of Japanese art dedicated to depicting subjects from everyday life, on wood blocks or paintings. Cat and Lantern was a wood block piece. [Kobayashi was] also referred to as Hoensha, Shinseiro, and others as...

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Guido Reni – Portrait of Cardinal Bernardino Spada, Ecclesiastic Classicism

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was a Baroque painter whose main body of work consisted of religious figures. Reni also painted mythological and allegorical works. While living in Rome some time ago, I would often walk past the Palazzo Spada on my way to some extraordinary restaurant or other and wonder in awe at it. Cardinal Spada bought this building in 1632 and commissioned Fransesco Borromini to create the masterful forced perspective optical illusion in the arcaded courtyard. Borromini used a rising floor and diminishing rows of columns to create an illusion of a 37...

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