Gothic Churches: All The Celestial Light We Can See

A fire nearly destroyed the iconic Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris—arguably the most famous cathedral in the world. Current efforts to restore it have been hampered, like most of life nowadays, by a deadly virus. Now that we all have to stop and take many deep—hopefully cleansing—breaths, we have the luxury to wonder about its…

Bodega Bay Days

The light in Bodega Bay amazes. While it can display its full intense spectrum, casting a rainbow of shadows on everything it floods, it’s never harsh. It caresses the ocean with shimmering silver or imbues it with dark impenetrable blue. In the brilliant days of fall and the elongating days of spring, the sun shines…

For the Holiday Season: Pieter Brueghel, the Elder

True, you may not know him. His surviving œuvre numbers less than fifty, most of it at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. He did father other artistic, probably better-recognized Brueghels. And years ago, he had another five minutes of fame in a film called ‘The Mill and the Cross.” The film is an imaginative romp…

Austria—Harmonious, Rich, Aristocratic

We like Austria which we’ve visited twice. But language is a problem although certain German words seem to have obvious equivalents in English. Food was sometimes a problem for us as well. Austria is a meat-eating country. It tends to serve everything in large portions. And that flower-shaped mound of whipped cream seems to top…

Bohemian Paris: Myth or Fact?

How do you imagine Paris? For the artist in many of us, it is a Bohemian Paris we conjure up and even yearn for. But is Bohemian Paris merely an illusion? What is a Bohemian, anyway? In the popular view, she is someone unconventional, carefree, and usually involved in the arts. A free spirit who…

Art Against War: Echoes From Guernica

Today is the anniversary of the massacre of civilians in the small town of Guernica. On this day, April 26, 1937, Spanish cubist Pablo Picasso, who was living in Paris, worked on a painting with a familiar theme, the autobiographic subject of a painter and his model. The painting was commissioned by Spain’s Republican government…