Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Favorite Artworks at Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut, Graz


DSCN8658 _ Katholische Kirche Graz-Sanktdtpfarre zum Hl. Blut, 8 October DSCN8641 _ Katholische Kirche Graz-Sanktdtpfarre zum Hl. Blut, 8 October
 
The Graz parish church, Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut (Parish Church of Holy Blood), nestling quietly in the the busiest street of the city, Herrengasse, had a wonderful baroque façade containing my favorite sculpture of the church, a scholar or a clergyman in a distinctive long robe and cornered hat, holding a large folio and a paper roll. Face serene and intelligent, pose determined and a bit defiant, the figure was shrouded in a slight mystery.  The outline and the coloration of the figure and the background were so cleanly delineated that the sculpture was worthy of a drawing by the incomparable John Flexman

DSCN8659 _ Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 8 October

My second favorite art in the church was two large panels of stained glasses behind a large crucifixion.  These two panels were noteworthy, mostly for depicting the heinous Hitler and Mussolini watching the Taunting of Christ (left panel, right column, fourth pane from bottom).

DSCN9249 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9252 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9251 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

A rightful posture of apology from Austrian people.


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 95: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 93: My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz


DSCN8692 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October DSCN8705 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

DSCN8704 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

DSCN8710 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

There are many interesting churches in Graz and one of them I visited in 2012, Mariahilferkirche and cloister, impressed me very much with its startling altar pieces.

DSCN8693 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The most striking one was an altar of Pietà, whose particularity was that there was a sword piercing into Maria's breast.  It was a very disturbing and moving image and hard to forget.

DSCN8700 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

I happened to have seen quite a few similar images during that trip; in the very same church, on the side wall, I also saw this standing alone Maria pierced by a sword.  In other church, I even saw a Maria pierced by seven swords!

DSCN8701 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The second favorite altar in Mariahilferkirche featured a dead scene of a saint, perhaps, Maria. 

DSCN8696 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The strong contrast between the splendidly colorful angel and the bleached dying Maria were very striking, and their postures echoed each other, and formed a broad and comforting embrace.  Very moving.

DSCN8696m _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October (detail)


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 94: My Favorite Artworks at Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 92: My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Paintings at Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris
- My Favorite Art Works at Santa Maria Novella, Firenze
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Friday, September 5, 2014

My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz


DSCN9102 _ Universität Graz, 9 October

As I reported shortly after my trip to Graz in 2012, I was delighted by my visit to Institut für Klassische Archäologie at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, for its collections of many classical Roman and Greek marble sculptures and reliefs.  According to the university, "the Institute is home to significant archaeological collections of ancient vases of Greece, objects from local sites as well as casts of ancient sculptures."

There were many beautiful sculptures to admire, many of the had incredible ethereal beauty in their wonderfully proportioned forms and polished details, such as these works below:

DSCN9113 _ Universität Graz, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9137 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

DSCN9149 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

Yet, pressed, I had to name the Niobe below as my favorite - it was not the most polished piece to behold and the deliberately clumsy posture of the grief-stricken queen was rather ungainly, yet more moving for that.  What moved me most were her stunned facial expression and the terrified face of her little daughter clinging to her, trying desperately to avoid the fury of the gods, who had just killed all her eleven siblings, provoked by the boasting, now belatedly repenting Niobe, a moving subject also propelled me to make an abstract installation last year.

DSCN9209 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

My second favorite was a huge head of a noble horse, with its lean bones, fiery eyes and flaring nostrils, looked supremely eloquent and elegant:

DSCN9152 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 93: My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 91: My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Texas State Capitol in Austin

One of the hard to miss landmarks in Austin was the domed neoclassical structure of the Texas State Capitol, which can be seen as far as from the Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas.  The Texas Capitol site informed us that
The Texas Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th century public architecture and is widely recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished state capitols. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 for its "significant contribution to American history.

The 1888 Texas Capitol is the largest in gross square footage of all state capitols and is second in total size only to the National Capitol in Washington, D.C. Like several other state capitols, the 1888 Texas Capitol surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising almost 15 feet above its Washington counterpart.
DSCN1025 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN1070 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN1026 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN1027 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

One evening, after a wonderful dinner at Driskill Café, I chanced by the huge compound and learned that I would visit it even at that late hour so I zipped through the ground, stopped by some sculptures briefly, then entered the building, which was guarded only by two policemen each at the front and back entrances.

DSCN0440 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0442 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

The exterior of the building was classical, elegant and full of details to admire.

DSCN0446 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0453 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0451 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

When it grew darker, the brightly lit pale structure glowed against the deep blue night sky.

DSCN0556 - Texas Capitol, Austin Texas - 500

DSCN0550 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0544 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0539 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014
DSCN0545 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0544 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014
DSCN0443 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0448 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014
DSCN0552 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0553 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

Due to the relative late hour, there were only a handful of visitors and I was able to roam around for most of the time leisurely and had some wonderful sights, such as the dome seen through a translucent ceiling in a long corridor, which led to a delightful little courtyard.

DSCN0517 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0514 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0513 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

Back to the main part of the building, under the dome, where I saw chambers of Texas State Supreme Court, Appeal Court, Governor's Office, Senate and House Chambers; due to time, security or renovation issues, however, I was only able to tour the quite grandiose House Chamber.

DSCN0487 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0465 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0466 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0474 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0469 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0478 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

Naturally, one would encounter many important politicians in Texas history or with roots/connections to the state, such as the busts of Lyndon Johnson and George H. W. Bush and the official portrait of former governor Ann Richards:

DSCN0520 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0519 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0463 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

In the center of the circular space directly below the dome, there was the state seal, above which there were several levels of circular galleries, adorned with official portraits of politicians, including that of Ann Richards, leading all the way up to the soaring yet rather restrained dome.

DSCN0493 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0459 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014 DSCN0480 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0492 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0481 - Texas State Capitol - 500

DSCN0460 _ Texas State Capitol, Austin, June 2014

DSCN0502 - Texas State Capitol - 500 DSCN0454 - Texas State Capitol - 500

DSCN0457 - Texas State Capitol - 500



More on Austin, Texas Trip, June 2014

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