The French Surrender. Again.

The French surrender with a white flag over the Louvre.

At last. The Louvre Museum in Paris has hauled up the white flag (photo above), and is now publishing its website in English, and a couple of other World minority languages.

thumbnail of Louvre Front Page
(Please click on this thumbnail to enlarge it)

Meanwhile, the French are still suffering from the economic recession and one of their leading car manufacturers has launched a range of leaner, slimmer vehicles that run on much less fuel. Please click on the image below to reveal the exciting new design trend.

thumbnail of New Improved Citroen DS

The press release reveals that it was American money that enabled the new searchable database to be developed.

The Musée du Louvre today announced that it will launch an English version of its online collections database, Atlas, on July 30, 2009. This interactive research tool will allow visitors to access information on 22,000 artworks from the Louvre, view high-resolution images of masterpieces, and locate exhibited works and galleries throughout the Museum. Currently available only in French, Atlas is accessible free-of-charge via the Louvre´s website, www.louvre.fr, which receives more than 10 millions visitors a year.

The launch of the English version of Atlas was initiated by and funded with a €300,000 ($380,000) grant in 2004 from American Friends of the Louvre (AFL), which was founded in 2002 to strengthen ties between the Museum and its American public. The new version of the site will provide the Museum´s two million English-speaking visitors as well as educators, students, researchers, and scholars with in-depth information on the Louvre´s extensive collection.

Here’s the (English) link.

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Colin Stimpson’s Panoramic Header Picture

thumbnail of Colin Stimpson's Charge of The Germs

I’m really happy that my friend and (near) neighbour Colin Stimpson, has kindly sent a panoramic picture from his forthcoming book, Germs!, and it’s now joined the randomised collection of pictures in the header of this blog.

If you were a patient sort of person, you could repeatedly press [Ctrl] 1 + F5 to force the page to refresh, and serve you a new header image each time. But because the selection of sixty pictures is truly randomised, you might have to wait a long time.

So, to make it a bit easier for you, either click on the thumbnail picture above, or scroll down the right hand side of this page till you reach the bottom of the Header Images Thumbnail Gallery, and click number 061.

I’d always be happy to show other artists’ work in the header, with a linked credit, if you have something you think would be suitable for the panning background style stretched letterbox format.
The actual dimensions are 1000 x 175. Send ‘em in!

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Footnotes for this post:____________________________________
  1. Or Apple, natch []
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A Hundred and One Water Lilies

It’s my daughter Lola’s leaving ball next week, and she decided to make a hundred origami water lilies to hold sweets and goodies at the school tables.

She finished making the hundred tiny folded cups (plus one spare) this morning, and put them on the ironing board, which happens to have a Friesian cow hide pattern.

The result was pure art.

thumbnail of 101 Water Lilies

Move in close on these one inch cups….

thumbnail of 101 Water Lilies

And click the thumbnail images to enlarge them…

thumbnail of 101 Water Lilies

Wow.

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I Spied a Spider…

This tiny fellow had made a web on one of the panes of the back door.
What you see below is an extreme close up of the spider, who is very very tiny indeed. It was a really tricky shot because the camera’s auto-focus was easily confused by the foliage beyond the hammer pattern glass.

thumbnail of Spider's P.O.V.

If you click this small image, you’ll see a big version that shows more of the spider’s point of view.

Imagine looking at that background with four pairs of eyes! It’s like some LSD hallucination.

It reminded me of Doctor Peter Witt’s experiments in the 1960’s, when he administered tiny doses of drugs to spiders. His research has been updated recently, as you will see in the video below.

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Godless Castors

While scouting around for some wheels to fit a media trolley I’m building, I came upon this unmissable offer:
thumbnail of Godless castors
Needless to say, I ordered a pack of four forthwith.

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A Research Goldmine at the National Portrait Gallery

A couple of years back, I was having a good old moan about The National Portrait Gallery website, and its pathetically small images.

The good news is that The NPG site has had a complete makeover recently, and you can find large versions of just about all their stock of images. That’s only a part of the changes, however. There are several new sections in the sidebar, and one of the most intriguing developments is the Research section that contains three real gems for keen picture researchers: – Artists Suppliers (1650 – 1950), Frame Makers, and Restorers.

I dived into the Artist Suppliers section to see if I could find any more information about William Orpen‘s brother in law, Jack Knewstub, one of the co-founders of the Chenil Gallery in Chelsea. The gallery also had an artists materials shop that made canvases for painters. The stretchers were marked with a sort of trade mark insignia, in the shape of an artist’s palette.

At the end of the entry for the Chenil Gallery, there’s a link to a website devoted to William Roberts.

thumbnail of The Giddy Social Whirl of Vorticism

It’s a memorial put together by the William Roberts Society, and it covers just about everything you’d want to know about the vorticist painter. Roberts had once had a one man show at the Chenil. Here’s a link to William Roberts’ entry in Artcyclopedia.

thumbnail of Chenil Gallery Foundation Stone
This photo shows the laying of the foundation stone of the gallery. The bearded bloke holding what looks like a shield is the painter Augustus John, posing with an enormous palette. I would hazard a guess that Jack Knewstub would be in that crowd. He might even be the bare headed chap with his hat under his arm, just to the right of the central pole. I’m wondering if the dapper cove just to his right might possibly be Orpen himself. It wouldn’t be totally illogical. (Click the image to enlarge it, please)
The maquette is a scale model of the completed gallery.

The next digression was provided by a mention of the topographic painter and etcher, Henry Rushbury, on one of the William Roberts pages. Using the ever trusty Artcyclopedia, I was directed to The Arts Museums of San Francisco, and instead of finding works created by Rushbury, I found two etchings of him.
Peering through the horrible Zoomify interface, I was struck by the work of yet another amazing painter (OK:amazing printer) that I had never heard of.

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst 1890 – 1978

Click on this one to get the big picture…
thumbnail of Portrait of Henry Rushbury
Henry Rushbury Etching by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

I suspect that there will soon be an in-depth look at the life and work of Gerald Leslie Brockhurst here on A&T. Until then, I shall be meditating on all the subtle relationships between artists that do not fit the normal patterns of association. Sorry if that sounds poncey, but I’m probing around trying to identify the non structured, day to day random ties that bond artists together, regardless of their other relationships that are defined by place, school, or style.

The National Portrait Gallery’s new informational sections certainly make it easier to discover these surprising artistic relationships, even though they seem on the surface at least, to deal with the tradesmen, craftsmen, and suppliers.

A treasure chest indeed.

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