The book centers on the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911, and Scotti uses her crime-writer skills to build a past, present, and future for perhaps the most famous smile in the world. Pretty much everyone in the art world got involved, including an attempt to pin the theft on Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, who were both considered anti-establishment artists and possibly revolutionaries in pre-war Paris.
In our book club, people sometimes bewail the contemporary practice of skipping around from time period to time period and from character to character without a lot of notice. This book, however, is not one of those. Scotti tells the story of the theft and the attempts to recover the painting in a pretty linear fashion, but also includes the history of the painting and its artist, Leonardo da Vinci. It’s a fascinating read by a master storyteller.
Reading this book brought back our visit to The Louvre in 2010. Of course, we had to see the Mona Lisa on our first trip to Paris. We had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this. Continue reading →
No, this is not the inspiration, although I absolutely love the centerpiece with the amaryllis blossoms.
This is my inspiration — statuary with natural elements, back-grounded by wintry snow and recreated on my table as the Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape.
Photo of statuary decorated for Christmas from Veranda magazine, November-December 2013.
When I first saw this photo, I knew that I had elements of this look to create a beautiful tablescape for Kathleen’s challenge. The inspiration photo screamed Art Nouveau, and I had just the pieces to bring the naturalistic style to life. Art Nouveau is an international philosophy of design that was very popular from 1890 to 1910. It was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines. Designers created art that was intended to harmonize with the natural environment. Continue reading →
I’ve been sitting with a friend in the hospital, providing moral support and acting as another pair of eyes and ears for the family when they can’t be there.
Our group of friends sent this beautiful orchid plant to the hospital. Absolutely gorgeous all on its own, but you know I can’t resist playing with the image.
First I took the photo with the built in camera on my iPhone 4 with no applications. It’s interesting how the hospital green background — why are hospitals always green?– turned into blue. I didn’t do anything to the photo.
Then I was demonstrating to my friend how the different photo apps work on the iPhone. For this one, I used Instagram and just took a photo against her hospital tray. I showed her how I can blur out an ugly background very easily. It’s not quite in focus, but I could have gotten it in focus if I took a little more time. I was just playing to keep my friend occupied. 🙂
I’ve taken the blue background photo and applied some saturation, which makes the color even more amazing in this photo. Which do you like better?
Since I was intrigued by the dilemma presented by Leanne Cole on her photography blog, I thought I’d play with these images a little bit. I encourage you to visit Leanne and her beautiful images; is the amount of processing we can easily do with digital images cheating or is it just another form of art?
While not precisely based on the book, Cezanne in Provence is a wonderful background documentary to start my study of Cezanne’s work. Stemming from the National Gallery of Art’s 2006 exhibition of Cezanne’s paintings, the documentary film gives a lot of background information about Cezanne’s life in Paris and Provence and about his painting style.
The catalog from the exhibit has also been published in a 350 page coffee table book and shows Cezanne’s paintings in more detail. I’ve been slogging through it during cooking down time — you know those times when you are stirring something or waiting for something to come out of the microwave. I have to admit that I kind of skimmed all the really good stories and text in the beginning to get to some of the art and I’m feeling a little guilty about it. It’s really a gorgeous book and I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with it this week!