While wandering round St.Agnes' convent in Prague, where there is a most splendid collection of International Gothic art, I was struck by the number of most gruesome martyrdoms and the buckets of blood. Yesterday was Halloween.
Herewith a few samples...
Tears of blood...
An unfortunate way to go....in an Edward Gorey sort of way.
What do you expect if you kneel right underneath?
Looking rather stoical with a nail through the head.
We were enchanted by Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel - a wonderful, over the top extravaganza of a movie - a mishmash of Mitteleuropa, 20th century history and who knows what else. So we set out in search of somerthing somewhat similar...
Prague not Budapest - and not this building (the hotel in the movie was an artificial construct after all). Anyway it should have had a facade like this...
But it did have very tall windows.
though she graces another hotel of the period.
Such splendid Egyptianate tiles in the hall
not to mention in the dining room where the clock was, oddly, always right.
Ah, the woodwork and the lights
and the art deco stiatcase
and the servers in those nice extra-long white aprons
rushing hither and thither...
Photos taken in Hotel Pariz, Prague and Art Deco Imperial Hotel Prague.
The Czech National Gallery was an amazing treat because it contained so much that was unfamiliar to me - lots and lots of artists I'd never heard of before - particularly 19th century Czech ones. There are also a couple of outstanding Klimts. The whole place is huge. I started gathering a collection of dark gems.
Herewith a sampling:
All Soul's Day - I think she is on her way to lay a wreath at the cemetery.
She is tending to the battle-wounded, while Miss Ballgown presides over the chaos.
Oh no! A traffic accident...
Dead, you know...
Beware the water sprite
and the ghostly hand hovering over your desk.
A film poster from the 20's. A very small prize for anyone working out the exact iconography of this one...
A cops and robbers poster from the same period.
Last of all, a costume hanging to dry in a courtyard from the 1940's - possibly the most haunting of all the images.
Danielle of A Work in Progress has written very kindly about my work.
Hit the link at the bottom of the opening paragraph to see the whole post!
I have a book recommendation for you. Ruth & Gisela by Elizabeth Wix is a wonderful read. It's a mixture of domestic fiction and war story told from the viewpoints of two very different women--one British and one German whose lives will touch briefly and later intermingle in the most unexpected ways. I could imagine it the sort of novel that Virago would publish--particularly one of their older titles with those distinctive green covers that I very much miss seeing on their new releases. Or perhaps something along the lines of a novel that you'll find in the Persephone Books catalog. As for the story, think of something by Sue Gee or maybe Mary Wesley or even closer to Margaret Forster's work--all authors I have read and loved. It's domestic fiction of the cozy variety but the story has substance as well.
Ruth & Gisela is the sort of book I was sad to have finished and as much as the story played itself out just perfectly, I wanted to know more, to have the characters tell me more about their lives, to know how everything turned out after that last page was turned. Elizabeth Wix was kind enough to answer my questions, and so interesting did I find it all, that when I asked her if there was something more I could share about the story, she agreed to drop by here today and guest post. This is some of the story behind the story:
I got terribly bored of looking at the previous nasturtiums...
anyway, the roof garden and the tree pits are flourishing -unlike my writing or blogging...
I have been smashing pansies but the results are pretty much the same as last year's...
These are some bits and pieces from the roof.
Light through glass - rather fun.
Huge excitement - I bought two tiny vases - about the size they appear in the photos and have taken about a billion photos of them.
I am meant to be writing an essay about "Why I Write" hmm.....not very useful when one isn't writing much at all. I'm mostly copying my long essay about life in LA in the seventies. You can imagine what a huge audience there is for that little snippet.
The usual foray up to the green market at Union Square.
The bliss of nasturtiums and the similarly colored micro mesclun.
Ate it for supper and it tasted like spicy hedge clippings.
Really can't tell if these are anemones or poppies of some sort. Julia, where are you?
It was sunny yesterday. Almost warm enough to sit outside at a cafe.
Then it rained. This photo was taken squinting through the chainlink fence of the PennSouth Community garden. I am a complete sucker for Hipstamatic 99cent lenses. This one is called Monti. It makes things look misty and mildly historical.
How ridiculous to be wearing such garments in May.
Last Saturday was so cold and so depressing I was reduced to taking photos of anything bright that was lying around the place.
I had gone down to Chelsea Market very early in search of
a rutabaga. It is waxed and somewhat resembles a canon ball. It weighs a lot too.
I had been very taken with a recipe I read in the Times. The ingredients list included the said item. I include the recipe here because it turned out wonderfully well. I omitted the sage and thyme and substituted chopped up sun dried tomatoes.
Below find a photo of a discerning diner (not eating the recipe above!)
Herewith the very fierce cat who lives at the flower shop.
For some reason the light there is often very pink.
Winter is getting a bit old hat around here - but must be even more so for the inhabitants of North Dakota and Minnesota. So I have taken to meditating on mandarins - well - looking at them anyway.
I like the ones with leaves on best.
Robert is painting - as per usual. I always find the painting eqipment picturesque in itself.
the tape, the paper towels, the blotches, the blades etc etc.
even the gloves and the face mask.
This was once a very nice linen skirt from Eileen Fisher that I had had for at least eight years - even when we lived in Morocco. (Sob sob) - and R. says it isn't really absorbent. Lil assef (too bad) quelle domage (what a pity) che vergonia (what a shame). Weird that when you get really ancient you have all this stuff floating around in your head...
As you can tell the cold is getting to us.
This is a metal baking tray with tin foil in it - and paint too. At least it's nice bright color.