Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chasing Judith ~ Finding Caravaggio

I didn't know her name so I thought of her as "The Woman in Orange".  With her striking attire & direct gaze, she seemed familiar; someone I really should have recognized.  Nevertheless Judith lead me on a delightful chase before revealing her secrets.

I first glimpsed her in a photo of the hallway of the Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome 2015.  I thought she was stunning.  Imagine having a home where she is one of the first things you see coming through the door.

Unlikely to happen for me in real life but more than feasible in Second Life!

Through the magic of 3D Architecture, I too could (virtually) enjoy this fabulous Living/Dining Room as designed by Brian Gluckstein.

First order of business, track down that inspirational piece of art.

I thought it would be easy but then I saw it described as "Stock Photo" in the Source Guide. "Stock Photo" my eye!  Apparently my search was going to be a bit more challenging.

Time to use some Google-fu.

My initial search for "woman orange classic painting" turned up a number of likely candidates including The Lute Player by Orazio Gentileschi.  I'm no art expert but it seemed to me that I was going in the right direction as far as style & colour were concerned.

I also remembered Orazio was one of the Italian painters influenced by Caravaggio and I had been fortunate enough to actually see some of his work displayed at the National Gallery of Canada in the exhibit Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome.

The works of Caravaggio & Orazio were stunning, but it was the story of Artemisia Gentileschi that I found most interesting.  Daughter of Orazio, Artemisia
was an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation following that of Caravaggio. In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community or patrons, she was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.[1] 
She painted many pictures of strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible – victims, suicides, warriors.[2]
 Artemisia strikes me as a strong woman definitely not to be trifled with.  I also think of her as the "head in the basket" painter as her most famous works include Judith Slaying Holofernes

and Judith and her Maid Servant (take a good look in the basket, that's no kitten she's carrying).

My up-close-and-personal viewing of this painting had left quite an impression and I began to wonder if the mysterious "Woman in Orange" had any connection.  Could she perhaps be Judith?

With one further search for Judith beheading Holofernes I hit pay dirt

Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Cristofano Allori.  There she was in all her glory holding a severed head!

No wonder they went with the caption "Stock Photo".  I might find her background fascinating but I can imagine that some might find it a bit off-putting knowing who was actually gracing their dining room wall.

And so Judith took me on a marvelous journey, from Orazio to Caravaggio to  Artemisia to Allori (with a side trip to Picasso but more about that later).  

Along with Brian Gluckstein she also inspired me to tackle my very first attempt at building a contemporary home in Second Life.  I'm calling this one Maison Margaux in honour of Princess Margaret of course.

I intend to fill this brand-new abode with some of the fabulous art I've found along the way, not only Judith but The Lute Player and Picasso's Seated Woman which looks to me like Picasso riffing on Orazio.

I never would have discovered any of this without Judith.  Thanks for the chase!

Exploring History, Art, and Architecture via a Virtual World indeed.
Chasing Judith ~ Finding Caravaggio by  on 2015-11-04 I really should have recognized her but Judith led me on a delightful chase before revealing her secrets!

Images & Graphics not denoted in text: Tatiana Dokuchic (click to enlarge)

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Dance ... with Dragons

Great Balls of Fire!!  It started out as another beautiful day at the Petit Trianon; sun shining, birds singing, absolutely perfect for the All Hallows' Costume Dance.

The guests started to arrive; some on broomsticks, others just appearing out of nowhere.  This being Second Life their chosen means of transportation didn't raise much of fuss (well except maybe for that HUGE spider that scurried in ... not sure where that creature was hiding her invitation and I certainly wasn't about to approach her to ask!).  The costumes were fabulous ...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Painting Pumpkin Lanterns at the Petit Trianon

While Marie Antoinette had a gaggle of gardeners to prepare the grounds of the Petit Trianon for her elaborate parties, I'm very content to be working away on my own in SL.  After all, where else can you get away with wearing an elaborate ball gown while hauling fresh bales of hay!

My latest adventure in decorating coincides with the All Hallows' Costume Dance which is being hosted by the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina on October 25th.  Having decided that the French Garden Parterre would be an excellent spot for a party, I waded in and got to work clearing the summer gardens to start with a fresh canvas.

Monday, August 17, 2015

BEEing Rocca Sorrentina

Rocca Sorrentina is one of those wonderful Second Life estates that always has something splendid going on.  Seeing as they are my southern neighbours I'm rather spoiled with views of their shores & news of their activities.

When I heard they were hosting the To Bee or Not to Bee Hunt I thought it was the perfect opportunity to snoop  er ... explore some of the less traveled routes through their fair land so I put on my best exploration outfit and set off on a summer adventure.

A helpful hint card gave me clues as to the whereabouts of the twelve hidden bees and warned me that my prey was going to be rather small, as bees tend to be.  Just as well as I really didn't fancy running for my life from an over sized bumble!  You just never know in Second life.

Now I have to admit that my hunting skills really aren't the sharpest as I tend to drift .....

Apparently the citizens of Rocca could sense this as everyone was eager to distract me from my search: the printer wanted to show me his latest work; the baker needed kneading help; the florist wanted her garden weeded (as though I don't do enough of this at home).

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Enjoying Work in Progress

It took just over two years to construct the Eiffel Tower (January 28, 1887 to March 15, 1889). Given that the conception, planning, politics & design commenced around 1884, this cultural icon in the making was actually a "work in progress" for at least five years.

I'd like to think that Gustave Eiffel enjoyed at least part of this journey.

Its comforting to imagine that as he watched the tower reaching for the sky the niggling day-to-day problems and the ever-present criticism receded enough to allow him some joy in the moment.

While the media was proclaiming "Gustave Eiffel has gone mad: he has been confined in an Asylum" let's hope he was actually relishing his work as he got on with the job at hand.  Given the final outcome, I believe this hope is more than justified.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Chateau Reno

Though I've had abundant experience with real-life home renovations, my Second Life renovation record is rather spotty.  When it comes to virtual homes I'd generally rather build them myself than buy them, especially because I know I just can't stop myself from remodeling my new purchase.

It was the same way back in my days of TheSims2.  I'd download a brand-new abode and spend the next week (or two or three) ripping it apart and putting it back together.  On the bright side, that destruction/construction cycle taught me a lot about architecture & 3D construction.  I'd actually recommend it to anyone interested in honing their own skills.

This year with spring just around the corner, I was anxious to add a few new rentals to my Duché de Coeur regions. Being long on ambition but short on time, I decided that a purchase was in order and after much consideration selected a chateau from Never Totally Dead.