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 Water! Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.
The Zytglogge clock tower and a sculptural fountain in the historic center of Bern, Switzerland
So you already know that Bern is a beautiful city. The well-preserved, historic center definitely earns this capital its UNESCO World Heritage designation. But what I didn’t describe in detail last time were the incredible fountains. These 16th century works of art add to the charm and atmosphere of the old town and are an integral part of the experience.
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. Something must be in the air this month because we’re discussing LOVE in art. Check out all the stories below!
The Tomb of Maria Theresa & Francis I, Kaisergruft, Vienna. Despite his infidelity, Empress Maria Theresia of Austro-Hungary was deeply devoted to her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She designed their dual tomb with portrait busts that would forever gaze at each other. (Photo: Gregg, flickr)
Romantic pursuit, courtship, and love in general whether between Gods and Goddesses, royals, or peasants, is a common theme in art history. Universally appealing and understood, it crosses cultures and time periods. While it’s interesting to infer attitudes from the images used, we have to extrapolate from these ideal pictures to see what “love” was like for everyday people. Studying mortuary monuments are one little glimpse into these romantic relationships. Some memorials are so personal and meaningful, we can’t help but feel the love these couples shared.
In the heart of ancient Corinth, between the extensive market and the main road to the sea, there was an Imperial Roman monument that was designed to be unforgettable. The Prisoner’s Facade was constructed by Septimius Severus (145-211 CE) to celebrate his victory over the Parthians. The elaborate two-story tapestry in marble depicted vanquished, captured soldiers and the victorious Roman army. Perhaps the boldest element of the prisoner facade were four sculptural columns that each included a statue of a docile, captured youth in oriental costumes.
An enigmatic Parthian slave from the ancient Roman “Prisoner’s Facade” in Corinth
This exotic sculpture and fantastic architecture was typical of Corinth – the Roman capital of the Greek province. Lively, international, and wealthy, ancient Corinth figures into Greek, Roman, and early Christian history. While today there are only neglected embers of its former glory, you can still picture the excitement of ancient Corinth in the expansive but slumbering ruins and in the unique museum pieces like this beautiful column of a captured man.
Nothing says importance like being carved into a mountainside – Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota (Photo: Wikicommons)
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are focusing on Sculpture. We’ve got picks from all over the world and different time periods. Be sure to check out all the posts below!
Statues always remind me of monuments and I am fascinated by how cultures remember their heroes. Living in Washington DC, I am surrounded by monuments to great American men. A lot of artistic thought goes into these sculptures because subtle, and not so subtle, visual choices shape how we view and remember these famous people. I think no other figure is wrapped in as much symbolic meaning and myth as Abraham Lincoln. Whether in books, art, or movies, we continue to struggle with who this president was and how we remember him. Two statues in DC epitomize this debate for me.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the festive decorations. From wreaths to bows, snowflakes to candy canes, I love how city streets, shop windows and public buildings are transformed. Riga, the capitol of Latvia, has taken this one step further and is sponsoring a public art exhibition called the Christmas Tree Trail. Artists and students have constructed modern interpretations of the classic Christmas tree. These fantastic sculptures are on display throughout the city from December 6 – January 12. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites!
ATMINAS PAR SNIEGU (Memories of Snow) – Māra Maižele Uģis Bērziņš