“Beguines” were single or widowed women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world. Many Belgian and Dutch cities set up “beguinages” where these women could live and practice their religion. Today these Beguinages are no longer used by beguines. The Beguinage in Bruges, for example, has been a convent for Benedictine nuns since 1927. The grounds are absolutely beautiful with tall trees and beautiful daffodils all around them. Since we could not visit the houses, I went around photographing doors! All the doors in the beguinage are green, and most are very simple, with a few exceptions shown here.
While in Amsterdam last April, I saw an installation by French artist Christian Boltanski at the Oude Kerk (“old church”), Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church which also functions as a venue for art events. I confess I was bit divided between admiring the message and somber beauty of the exhibition and feeling a bit creeped out by the dark setting, the whispers, and the “statues” that would ask questions when you walked by them. The first time I passed by one it asked me: “Tell me, what is death like?” Scared the hell out of me! So, what do you think?
For this week’s Thursday Doors, here are the green doors of Rembrandt’s house, in Amsterdam. The most famous Dutch painter lived and worked in this house between 1639 and 1656, when he apparently ran out of money to pay his mortgage… The green and red combination of doors and windows is very pretty. The windows are green on the outside and red on the inside.
The Doors of the Hermitage — The Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam and is an exhibition space and cultural education center with a focus on Russian history and culture. The art there is very beautiful but that didn’t keep me from noticing some interesting doors around the building. I thought I’d use some on Norm’s Thursday Doors.
Last Saturday I saw a musical about young Marc Chagall and his first wife Bella Rosenfeld. A love story that ended with her premature death. “Flying Lovers of Vitebsk” is a small and unpretentious British production, that didn’t quite live up to my expectations –I was hoping for something more visually stimulating because…Chagall!– but it was still quite enchanting. It made me think of a couple of his paintings among the many I’ve photographed: “I and the Village,” 1911 (MoMA) and “Cow with Parasol,” 1946 (NY Met). Chagall’s paintings are so full of details and stories, I like to break them into several scenes.
And here’s a glimpse at “Flying Lovers.” https://youtu.be/VJ4K3mIP9dA.
For the last Photo Challenge of 2017, Ben Huberman asks us to share one or more favorites. Mine will be a gallery of photos from my wonderful trips this year to: Milan (IT) Barcelona (SP), Aix-en-Provence and Nice (FR), San Francisco (US), Fortaleza (BZ), and Washington, D.C. (US).
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan.
The Last Supper, Milan.
Gaudi’s La Pedrera, Barcelona.
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia, interior. Barcelona
Pont du Gard, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France
Nice, Cote D’Azur, France
Mucuripe Beach, Fortaleza, Brazil
San Francisco, Embarcadero.
San Francisco (Bay Bridge, Coit Tower).
Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.
reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.