Artist : After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Title : Ancient Rome, engraved by A. Willmore
Date : Published 1859–61
Medium : Engraving on paper
Collection : Tate
Acquisition: Transferred from the British Museum 1988
Its a good while since I posted here about some of my most loved artists and art work, I want to start again to share some of my most liked works of art over the next weeks.
I last visited Rome in December 2015 and took a few landscape images along the banks of the river Tiber, this river is a great location for photographers and artists alike.
Some years back while I was studying art history, I took a close look at the art work created by many artist who lived in Rome or who had visited this great city and done their best to capture its atmosphere.
Art work such as this great engraving by A. Willmore in the style of J._M._W._Turner, this is a fantastic etching as it captures the river and it location perfectly, live along the river banks.
it is not to hard to imaging this work as a great black and white print in modern terms.
Today the river Tiber is still used in many of the same ways as you can see in this drawing, it is now even the home to many people who live in house boats. the banks are today acting as walking routes and cycle paths.
A few months back I visited Rome for a few days, I love this great city with its amazing history and people. My favourite place during this trip was the Pantheon, at some point very soon I want to post about this building in more detail, here however I want to strip this post down to the basic feelings I had on walking into this amazing space for the very first time in my life.
I am a big fan of word lists to describe personal experiences, so here goes !
The Pantheon in single words
Hight, awe, time, history, wonder, stone, granite, amazing, structure, art, architecture, human, achievement, skill, maths, space, understanding, power, time, mankind, Greek, Roman, temple, dome, circular, movement, light, time, space, years, moments, minutes, seconds, months, people, tourists, floor, roof, Walls, shapes, colour, openings, doors, markers, movement, sun, light, periods, soul, spirit, gods, existence,art, achievement, understanding, civilisation, Pantheon, Rome, Italy, life, death, memories, people, remembered, empires, lost, evolution, movement, time, love, life, people, seasons, legacy, alive, yesterday, today.
The Pantheon, Rome, a visit in space and time.
A Sense of Place –
The Basilica – Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Piazza della Repubblica, in Roma just has to be one of the most beautiful Basilica’s in the city.
Located on the Piazza della Repubblica outside of the Vatican, it is only one of the cities many churches but it holds a level of peace and normality that you cannot find in the likes of St Peters.
Here is just a handful of the many images I enjoyed capturing on a recent visit ….
Ten million stones recall
Ten thousand Souls whose anguished cries
Of victory arose from this arena.
For such contempt that man had shown
He trod the path of pain
surmounting human weakness yet again.
He led the way through just such vales
And with two thousand years now gone
We dwell upon such Grace.
Believe… – Poem by Steven Piz.
I believe in a lot
I believe in music
I believe in writing
I believe in listing
I believe in mankind
I believe in work
I believe in love
I believe in laughing
I believe in paradise
I believe in safety
I believe in light
I believe in entertainment
I believe in history
I believe in time
I believe in survival
I believe in change
I believe in luck
What do you believe in?
To tell the truth…
Are any of us promised tomorrow
Live your life as if the last.
During the Christmas and New year holidays we visited Rome, taking time to revisit some of this great cities history.
The Circus Maximus is just one of these many locations, today it has become one of Romes many city parks as much as a sports Stadium. However talking a walk around it’s still existing race track you can clearly imagine what it was like here some two thousand years ago with all the spectators, horse and chariot racers.
Circus Maximus, Rome
The Circus Maximus (Latin for greatest or largest circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.
I have often wondered what life would be like living on a house boat ?
This House boat is located on the river Tiber in Rome and just by taking a quick look at the image, you can see exactly the life style that its owner much have.
For example you can see the way they get to work by bicycle using the cycle path that runs the full length of the river as it winds its way through the city.
St Peters Rome
The Light of the Sun
Over the Christmas Holiday 2015/16 we visited Rome a city I love very much for among many things its amazing buildings.
On visiting St Peters Basilica, a must do ! , the weather was just amazing for the time of year. Along with the stunning architecture and art, the one thing I could not help but notice was the light from the low December Sun flooding through the many windows located high on the walls around the many domes and chapels.
I spent a lot of time doing my best to capture the effects that this Sun light was creating and here just wanted to share a few of my attempts.
Rome is a city of outstanding churches, none however can hold a candle to St Peter’s (Basilica di San Pietro), Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. It is Built atop an earlier 4th-century church, it was completed in 1626 after 120 years’ construction.
Its lavish interior contains many spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.
Light of the Universe – A Gallery
Happy New year everyone 🙂
I spend sometime and a great time over Christmas and New year in Rome, the weather was amazing and I just love Rome !!
I will share many more images in the coming days but for now I just wanted to share a few images from this wonderful city …..
Four images taken during a visit to the old city of Ancient Rome.
I was completely captivated by the old city of Rome, The scale of the temples and city building is just amazing.
As I walked around with a camera I wanted to capture as much as I could of the atmosphere, after I had a good look from the street level I took a higher view as I wanted to capture the many visitors as they themselves discovered this amazing place.
The old city of Rome
It has been a couple of years now since I last visited Rome and I am starting to think of a return visit at some point, on my last stay with my brother we visited the Vatican Museum.
One of the most amazing thing about this museum is that it holds much of the worlds fine arts along with artifacts from per-christian time, including the classical Greek period and the time of the pyramid building in Egypt.
I captured this image of “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” by Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) as its just a wonderful work of art as with all his sculptures.
Below I have included a description of the Greek Myth “Perseus and Medusa” and then a description of the sculpture itself.
Perseus and Medusa
Medusa was one of three sisters, the gorgons, but she was the only mortal one. Some versions say all three were born as monsters, but the predominant myths had them as gorgeous maidens. Medusa was so beautiful that Poseidon was crazy about her, but she didn’t care about him; Poseidon turned her and her sisters into monsters with live snakes covering their heads. Medusa kept her beautiful face but everything else was so monstrous. And whoever dared to look into her face ended up being turned into stone.
Perseus thus had a hard task. He asked Athena and Hermes for help and two of them, together with the nymphs, provided winged sandals to fly him to the end of the world where gorgons lived, a cap that made him invisible, a sword and a mirrored shield. The latter was the most important tool Perseus had, since it allowed him to see a reflection of Medusa’s face and to avoid being turned into stone.
medusa-headWhen he cut Medusa’s head off, from the drops of her blood suddenly appeared two offspring: Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant or a winged boar. It’s believed that those two were Medusa’s children with Poseidon.
In any case, once he accomplished his task Perseus flew back and escaped Medusa’s sisters who tried to reach him. Later, Perseus used Medusa’s head as a weapon in many occasions until he gave the head to Athena to place it on her shield.
The myth of Perseus and Medusa was one the most powerful inspiration for many artists in the ancient times, but it hasn’t lost its artistic significance to the present day either. Paintings and sculptures of the moment of beheading or Medusa’s portrait itself are famous all over the world. One of the most known art work is the Medusa shield by Caravaggio, painted at the end of the 16th century. It is exposed in the Uffizi museum in Florence. Close by the museum, in the main plaza of Firenze (Florence) there is a sculpture of Perseus.
Perseus with the Head of Medusa , By: Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822)
This exquisite marble statue of Perseus is being restored thanks to the Generosity of the Northwest Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts.
Antonio Canova is one of the most important Italian sculptors of all time. His marble statues are characterized by classical beauty and they are now on display in the most important museums in the world.
Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) was born in Possagno, a village near Venice. He spent most of his youth studying, with a strong bias towards the art of sculpture, and was greatly rewarded by the benefit of his grandfather’s stonecutting. His move to Rome as a young man gave him the opportunity to examine the splendid relics of antiquity, and put his abilities to the test.
Canova’s Perseus had not been commissioned by anyone, thus he put it up for sale. Giuseppe Bossi, secretary of the Academy of Brera, and personal friend of the sculptor wanted to place the Perseus in the Foro Bonaparte and he had already begun the payments when a letter came from Cardinal Doria informing Canova that Pope Pius VII wanted to buy the sculpture for 3,000 gold coins in order to place it in the Vatican Museum. Thus, the Perseus was moved to the Vatican and was placed on the empty pedestal of the famous Apollo Belvedere which had previously been moved to Paris by the French, following the Treaty of Tolentino. Pope Pius VII also appointed Canova with the prestigious award received by Raphael under Leo X: the Inspector General of Fine Arts. The location of the statue on the pedestal of the famous Apollo together with the nomination of the sculptor as Inspector, consecrated Canova’s success.
The imposing statue depicts the hero of Greek mythology Perseus, son of Zeus and Danaë, with the helmet of Pluto (which had the power of invisibility), the winged sandals of Mercury and the diamond sword given to him by Vulcan.
These gifts were granted to Perseus in order to allow the hero to defeat Medusa, against whom he was sent by Polykleitos, king of the island of Serifos.
Canova represented the Perseus triumphantly raising his left arm with the head of Medusa. The excitement of the action is frozen as is customary of the classical style. The Argive hero has similar proportions and positioning to the Apollo Belvedere.
By following the classical theme of the heroic male nude in action, Canova seems to have been able to achieve results as advised by Winckelmann and the Neoclassical age, according to which the only way to become great is to be inspired by ancient models. Stendhal said that Canova imitated the Greeks, but like them, his genius invented a new beauty.
These images are taken on an evening walk into the city of Rome along the Via Dei Fori Imperiali.
The lights had just been turned on and the day light was just finally fading, I love the mixed light so just had to get these images.
Two shopping days to Christmas day and traditionally these are the busiest shopping days of the year, a little time back this very weekend just pasted I was in Room with my brother for a long weekend.
As you can see from the images below the streets were very busy and the town was flooded with Christmas shoppers from all over the world.
Rome at Christmas, Black and white Gallery
A Fellow Man
A Humanist Poem : Tom White
I have no prayers or charms of faith
If God there be, He’ll know my weight
If God be nought, I’ll still do good
And practice justice as I should
We should not seek reward to do
What decency expects us to
Should Heaven be a kingly court
I’ll go elsewhere to prove my worth
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve sought belief
But lust for faith brought no relief
Mere logic leaves me where I stand
I am not blest, nor am I damned
I seek to do what good I can
I am your friend, a fellow man.
A Roman sunset
These images where taken on the last evening of a trip to Rome two years ago, its was one of the best city holidays I have ever been on and the last days weather was just amazing. My brother had already left on a train from Rome’s Termini train Station and my own bus to the airport was only about an hour away but the sunset was just wonderful so of I went in a mad rush to get some images and here they are.
They cost me €80 to get, as this was the cost of the taxi, by the time I got to the bus – well I only got a view of the back of it as it speeded away minus myself.
Sunset over Rome – a Gallery
Kilkenny based Photographer : Nigel Borrington
Kilkenny Photographer, Nigel Borrington
Staircase at the Vatican Museum
Kilkenny Photographer : Nigel Borrington