The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing Concepts in Art! Take a look at all the creative interpretations of his topic at the bottom of the page.
Art museums are sometimes criticized for being stale and distant. Mill about, look at the pieces, and under no circumstances do you touch the art! Paintings haven’t always received this degree of reverence. While today we analyze the artist’s intent and interpret the underlying meaning of the work, for centuries paintings we just decorations. Owners could change something as easily as we repaint a bookcase or substitute a bathroom light fixture. So today I want to think about the concept of “finished” art and what it means when paintings are changed by people other than the original artist.
(left) “A Dominican, with the Attributes of Saint Peter Martyr” by Giovanni Bellini and (right) a digitally created image based on scientific data illustrating what the original Bellini painting would have looked like. Later alterations transformed the naturalistic portrait into a devotional religious painting. National Gallery, UK (Images)
I’m usually a much better planner than this. I arrived in Basel with a vague idea to explore the old city center because, as I’d already discovered, old Swiss city centers are amazing. Basel’s old town is dominated by the bright red Rathaus, or town hall. Already impressed by the Rathaus’ exterior decorations, I jumped at the chance to take a guided tour of what I thought was a museum inside or minimally a preserved historic interior. Even though the tour was in German (which I don’t speak), I completely enjoyed this insider’s look at the art, history, and, surprisingly, the contemporary life of the city housed inside this Basel landmark.
My lunch time view of the magnificent Basel Town Hall, or Rathaus, and Marktplatz square.
It’s nice to tour gorgeous, historic music venues, but it’s even more enjoyable to appreciate the interior while taking in a concert! The Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest is a Neo-Renaissance masterpiece from the late 19th century (like many other architectural wonders in the city). With nearly nightly performances and very reasonable ticket prices, the Opera is a great way to spend an evening. Just make sure you leave plenty of time before and after the show to wander the elegant lobbies and corridors.
Empty seats and dimmed house lights in the Hungarian State Opera House after the concert.
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing Fashion! Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.
A Monument to Peter the Great in Taganrog, Russia (Photo)
Peter the Great (1672 – 1725) is a legitimate candidate for the the Most Interesting Man in the World. Physically impressive at 6 foot 8 inches tall, he disregarded his royal status and sought out hands-on experience with the military, international trade, and sailing technology. Realizing this country needed an Atlantic shipping port, he planned and constructed St. Petersburg from absolutely nothing. Peter I’s reign was a revolutionary time for Russia; he brought the nation from medieval neglect to the Age of Enlightenment. Emblematic of the massive political and technological changes he made, Peter’s reforms included forcing Russians to completely update their wardrobe – which was not nearly as easy as it sounds.
I’ve had such a busy summer that I totally forgot to tell you about my “visit” to Peru. Instead of flying to South America, the art, music, and culture of Peru came to me as part of the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife festival on the National Mall in Washington DC.
Beautiful textile in progress on this back-strap loom.