Architecture · Mind The Gap!

A Visit To The Bathtub.

Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/SMA.jpg/640px-SMA.jpg
The new wing is the grey, um, thing and the old museum is the stripey brick building. [Source: Wikipedia].
In the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam there is the unimaginatively named ‘Museum Plein’ – the Museum Place. No surprises that you’ll find museums here. Well, that’s what it’s all about: the Dutch are straightforward people. Well, that is when they’re aware that is; when they are, things are made very easy. Unfortunately, the kind of architects this breeds are unimaginative – something that is the direct result of a lack of awareness. They’re not alone in this, most of the worlds architects are the kind of people the world would be happier without.

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Art · Mind The Gap!

Auguste Rodin: Le Penseur; The Thinker, 1903.

Indeed, the original name for the work was 'The Poet' but was later changed to the thinker.
Le Penseur, by Auguste Rodin. This plaster cast was made in 1903.
It depicts Dante sitting on a stone and looking down on the lower levels of hell.
Musée Rodin, Paris.

This is, without question, Rodin’s best known work. Originally conceived in the early 1880s as part of his portal ‘The Gates Of Hell’ which depict the horrors that the poet Dante Alighieri described in his ‘Inferno’. Indeed, the original name for the work was ‘The Poet’ but was later changed to the thinker. This sculpture, made in 1903 is made of plaster and is around five feet high. It was an immense undertaking, a challenge that Rodin was equal to. Continue reading “Auguste Rodin: Le Penseur; The Thinker, 1903.”

Mind The Gap! · Modern Times

MiG 25: Codename Foxbat.

Towards the end of the display, four jets flew across the airfield.  Nobody knew what they were! What's more, the Russians weren't telling.
Grainy footage from Domodyedovo military display in 1967.

It is 9 July 1967, the international air display at Domodyedovo military airfield near Moscow. Partly to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1917 revolution, it was also there to show off what Moscow allowed the public to see. Not that this was ever much. Towards the end of the display, four jets flew across the airfield.

Nobody knew what they were! What’s more, the Russians weren’t telling. Even Russian enthusiasts only had the American magazines for information. Nobody knew what was going on. Some experts thought it an upgraded MiG 23, others something else. Speculation was rife.

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Art · Mind The Gap! · Reality

Pieter Breughel The Younger, Calvary (1605)

The Breughels, father and son, were painters in the modern style. It is said of the younger Breughel that he copied a lot of his father’s works; this isn’t the point. The younger Breughel depicted them in the way he could as an individual.

The composition of the painting is important: there are three trees, and the meaning of these would have been immediate for the mediaeval soul
Pieter Breughel the Younger: Calvary.
Painted in 1605 it is a very different from his father’s more chaotic depiction.
Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht.

Whilst this is a religious painting that has a traditional theme, the manner of its depiction is very new. Instead of the formed ranks of poe faced onlookers and an unhappy but very staid Christ Jesus, we have here a gathering of real people and a still unhappy but far more mobile image of Jesus as he trudged his way up that hill. Now, Breughel’s father had painted this scene in 1564 but the two paintings are quite different. Perhaps I’ll have to take a few piccies when I’m next in Vienna, where it is held. This is its picture from Wikipedia.

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Mind The Gap! · The Secret Of Systems

Folding Bikes and Bent Rules.

The Secret Of Systems, Part 12

I wheel my folding bicycle onto a Dutch train. This is strictly against the regulations, but it is tolerated as it makes boarding much faster.

So here is my folding bicycle, on the local train that will take me home. Bicycles that fold up travel free on the Dutch railways, if you have an ordinary bicycle, you have to buy a day ticket that costs €7. Now, according to the rule book, a bicycle has to be folded before you enter the train. As you can see, my bike is still unfolded – and will only be ‘broken’ in the middle for the swift journey home.

Continue reading “Folding Bikes and Bent Rules.”