Saturday, 12 October 2013

From Croatia, from Sweden, from the USA.....

954 – from Danielle in Nebraska another bookish card for my collection.  I wonder why there are so many postcards of books and reading (not that I’m complaining – far from it!)?  This is not a photo, as it might appear first glance.  It’s a rather superb oil on canvas by John Frederick Peto (1854-1907).


Peto was an American trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") painter who was long forgotten until his paintings were rediscovered.  In his day they were considered mere novelty and trickery and ignored by the artistic community.  Peto was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at the same time as fellow trompe l'oeil artist William Harnett. Until he was in his mid-thirties, he submitted paintings regularly to the annual exhibitions at the Philadelphia Academy. In 1889, he moved to the resort town of Island Heights, New Jersey, where he worked in obscurity for the rest of his life. He and his wife took in seasonal boarders, he found work playing cornet at the town's camp revival meetings, and he supplemented his income by selling his paintings to tourists. He never had a gallery exhibition in his lifetime.

Trompe l'oeil is a genre of still life that aims to deceive the viewer into mistaking painted objects for reality. Exploiting the fallibility of human perception, the trompe l'oeil painter depicts objects in accordance with a set of rules unique to the genre. For example, Peto and Harnett both represented the objects in their paintings at their actual size, and the objects rarely were cut off by the edge of the painting, as this would allow a visual cue to the viewer that the depiction was not real. But the main technical device was to arrange the subject matter in a shallow space, using the shadow of the objects to suggest depth without the eye seeing actual depth. Thus the term trompe l'oeil—"fool the eye". 

A couple more ‘Forever’ stamps from 2013.

955 – It’s autumn and apple-picking season, says Monica, who sent me this lovely, gentle Jan Bergerlind painting from Sweden.

956 – from Gerrit in the Netherlands (NL-2090475).  Alkmaar is noted for its cheese market, every Friday during Summer.  

957 – from Veronica in Russia (RU-1968385) came this lovely Russian Folk Arts card. 

The stamp depicts a woollen shawl woven in Pavlovsky Posad in Moscow Oblast.

 958 – This is the second postcard I have had from Malaysian postcrosser Khor (MY-169659).  It shows the traditional Indian festival of Thaipusam.  It looks rather painful to me!!

Aren’t these the most beautiful stamps?

959 – And another wonderful Inge Look card – this one from Seija (FI-1880985).  They are coming in thick and fast!

This is the first time I’ve had one duplicated but since it’s my favourite I don’t mind at all – one of them can stay on my notice board.

960 – I thought this is my first Croatian card, thanks to Nikola (HR-46344), but I've discovered I have had a Croatian postcard previously but it was actually sent from Belarus so it didn't count.

Betina is a village located on the Croatian island of Murter, seven km from Tisno, where a drawbridge connects the island and the mainland. The largest of the Šibenik archipelago islands, and the closest to the mainland, it has been populated since the time of the Illyrians (tribe of Liburns). Remains of the Roman settlement of Colentum as well as many ruins of Roman villas, murals, and mosaic testify to its occupation during the period of the Roman Empire.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

October - a new start

October is only 2 days old and already it has brought me nine cards.  How wonderful is that?

945 – Eva in Morocco - La Llotja de la Seda, Valencia, Spain – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Built between 1482 and 1533, this group of buildings was originally used for trading in silk (hence its name, the Silk Exchange) and it has always been a centre for commerce. It is a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The grandiose Sala de Contratación (Contract or Trading Hall), in particular, illustrates the power and wealth of a major Mediterranean mercantile city in the 15th and 16th centuries.

946 – Eva in Morocco – The Alhambra Palace and Fortress, Granada, Spain – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albaycín, situated on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.

947 – Eva in Morocco – The Medina of Tétouan, Morocco – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tétouan was of particular importance in the Islamic period, from the 8th century onwards, since it served as the main point of contact between Morocco and Andalusia. After the Reconquest, the town was rebuilt by Andalusian refugees who had been expelled by the Spanish. This is well illustrated by its art and architecture, which reveal clear Andalusian influence. Although one of the smallest of the Moroccan medinas, Tétouan is unquestionably the most complete and it has been largely untouched by subsequent outside influences.

948 – Eva in Morocco – The Tower of Babel by Otto Munch in Zurich Cathedral’s door.
The back of these four cards from Eva in Morocco formed a letter.  One of the nicest I have had in a long time!

949 – Carol from Washington but in England – St. Albans, England.
A pictorial plan of the medieval monastery.  Carol (from Washington) sent this while she and her husband Rob toured England.  Rob is English and visiting St Albans allowed him to explore some of his old haunts.   

I don't often get the chance to show a British stamp.  This one is part of a series of six Merchant Navy stamps recently issued by the Royal Mail.

950 – Susanne in Germany – Detail from Fray Jeronimo Perez by Francisco Zurbaran (1598-1664).  As you will know by now I love pictures of writing implements and hands writing.  This is one of the best I have received.

The back of this postcard had four stamps on it of historic postal uniforms from 1850 from different parts of Germany.  Aren’t they grand!!  I shall have to put a colour photocopy of these into my postal scrapbook.

951 – Santa in Latvia (LV-119434) – Treasures of Latvia
Men’s jewellery and weapons from the 5th to the 14th centuries.

952 – Amit in India – Mahabalipuram - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.

Amit and I are swapping directly and this is my first postcard from India.  

I love these stamps.

953 – Riitta in Finland (FI-1879091) – Another super Inge Löök painting.