Tuesday, May 29, 2012

national gallery of art, washington d.c

the always lovely mall area on a clear but hot day

the rotonda of the national gallery - looking just like the pantheon

the start of the tour in the rotonda with the copy of the giambologna  mercury. Only object in the gallery which is a copy and that was discovered many, many years after it was purchased.

lovely madonna and child by fra filippo lippi showing the beginning of the renaissance style. rounder eyes, softer features than the prior byzantine style, a hint of perspective in the shell

great single point perspective in this annunciation by fra castagno. painting here is really all about the architecture

the only leonardo da vinci painting in the western hemisphere, only 20 Da Vinci paintings exist.  This is a portrait of Ginevra de Benci. Da vinci uses the sfumatora and chiaroscura techinques, no hard linear features. THis painting easily stands out from all the others by its beauty. 

raphael's madonna and our wonderful guide Bela Demeter


kennedy center and roosevelt bridge on such a hot day but the river was choppy

fun fountain along the riverfront with some kids having a great time cooling off
we had the pleasure of attending a mini-tour of Italian Renaissance art in the national gallery today. Our tour guide, who was a friend of our friends, was wonderful. He is a retired zoologist, having worked at the national zoo for 35 years. He is doing a great job as a docent at the gallery and gives very livery and informative tours. Don't miss him!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

random photos of istanbul, april 2012

one of the buildings on the hippodrome

the turks planted over a million tulip bulbs (100 different varieties) in istanbul.

we were lucky enough to be there during their tulip festival

the real thing (turkish coffee)

an apple tea

the turkish coffee master at work, shop was very tiny. you could be served inside or standing outside

lots of choices if one wants pickled veggies

a big bucket of grape leaves ready for making dolmas 


chocolate baklava

another roasted quince (paste) with a chocolate baklava, our snack

cute street near galata tower

galata tower, an istanbul landmark

people fish night and day from the galata bridge

some of their catch

nice view of the topkapi towers

we wandered into the rope making part of bazaar section 

selection of seeds

outside of lokum store, has been a family business for 4 generations

a selection of the home-made lokum, no artificial anything added to their lokum (turkish delight)

same store (hard candy)

spice bazaar

dried peppers and eggplants

The Armine store. Their head scarves and very pretty raincoats  are the hot item for muslim women and are gorgeous.

 water gate of dolmabahce palace. palace was right on edge of  water, fabulous spot

Palace grounds. Sultans moved here in late 1800's after they decided the Topkapi palace wasn't modern enough for them. They do a nice tour of the palace reception  and harem rooms. Rooms  were all done in a European style, frescoed ceilings and walls done by the Italians and French. Tons of gold leaf gilding, way over the top, glittering crystal huge chandeliers, glass items, paintings etc. Only things Turkish were the carpets and fabrics on the furniture. They wanted to display to the European world at that time that they had what it took to keep up and impress. 

palace grounds

more of grounds

such a deep gorgeous color

hagia sofia hiding behind here.
Great week long trip!