Mundane Monday Challenge #131

Savijarvi Manor, Sipoo, Finland

I am sure this activity goes on all around the world almost every day. If you own a dairy farm, a cattle ranch, or a horse farm, you have to store and maintain enough food for the animals to last through the winter. In today’s modern era, most farmers have given up on storing square meals for their animals and have adopted the much larger round bales.

Of course, these bales are too heavy to lift without assistance from machinery, so now the farmer has to have a front end loader to lift, move, and store the bales.

IMG_6890a

Summerfield, NC Hayfield

You have to get the bales from your large fields where they have been dropped by your baling machine:

img_4486-2

When I was a young boy, my house was surrounded on three sides by a field that alternated being planted with corn and hay. During the hay cycle, the farmer baled the hay into smaller rectangular bales and then came back with a wagon and threw the bales up on the wagon and stacked them for transport back to the barn. No front end loader was required – just a great deal of manual labor.


Mundane Monday is a weekly challenge hosted by the blog Trablogger that helps photographers learn to focus on the beauty in mundane objects. Follow the link to see many other wonderful posts.

 

Sunday Trees – 309

Sailing out of Stockholm, Sweden, we passed by this wonderful outcrop of rock with a bench for viewing the harbor nestled among a few trees. Trees can grow almost anywhere, including small nooks and crannies in solid bedrock.

IMG_7047

Minutes later, we passed a small island covered with beautiful trees:

IMG_7055

Trees are one thing you will find in abundance when you travel on the north side of the Baltic Sea to Finland, Sweden, and Norway.


Follow the link to find other entries in Becca Givens’ Sunday Trees series on her blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’.

Cruise Day 7 – Part 6 – The Hermitage Period Dress

St. Petersburg, Russia

In the small throne room, there was a display of costumes worn at court in Russia during the 18th and 19th century. Each display was protected by huge plexiglass boxes to protect the material from being touched by the public. Our guide indicated that several of the dresses were so old that they were about to disintegrate into a pile of dust if not handled properly.

IMG_6695a

IMG_6693a

IMG_6699a

IMG_6700a

IMG_6702a

IMG_6703

The displays were placed all around the throne room floor you got the feeling of walking around a room filled with people from the past.

Thursday Doors – October 12, 2017 – Hermitage Museum

St. Petersburg, Russia.

The featured image shows a beautiful open door with an inviting room behind. The walls and the floors are rather exceptional as well.

IMG_6724a

There are so many rooms of treasure in this museum, that there are almost endless doors to photograph. I only snapped eight of these doors for this post.

IMG_6717a

Here we have a door just beyond the door.

IMG_6725a

IMG_6731a

IMG_6739a

IMG_6741a

IMG_6758a

If you look closely, you will see the door into the main reception hall at the head of the stairway. That door is almost 20 feet high, based in the size of the people in front of it.

IMG_6754a


Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge sponsored by Norm Frampton on his blog Norm 2.0. Follow the link to see many other doors from around the world.

 

Cruise Day 7 – Part 5 – The Hermitage Museum Sculptures

I want to start today’s post with two little known Italian marble statues that were tucked in a corner next to a small stand selling museum trinkets and small copies of the the paintings in the museum.

The first is called Venus and Cupid Removing a Thorn from Her Foot by Pietro Tenerani.

IMG_6753a

Right next to Venus is a sculpture name Roman Lady by Italian Italian Sculptor of the 18th Century:

IMG_6752a

These were basically cast aside from the main galleries. Imagine what was not.

Here is one such statue called Death of Adonis by Guiseppe Mazzoula took the artist almost 30 years to complete between 1680 and 1709. Notice the texture of the hair on the wild boar.

IMG_6750a

Next is a sculpture for which I cannot find any reference in the internet, but it is striking, nonetheless. If I could read Russian, I might be able to make out the sign on the pedestal.

IMG_6737a

Next we have Etienne Maurice Falconet’s sculpture of Cupid:

IMG_6761a

And finally, a sculpture of Voltaire by Jean-Antoine Houdon.

IMG_6762a

 

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sand

Artist in the Sand:

I captured this image back in 2007 in the US Virgin Islands. This painter/photographer was very busy with a watercolor of the lagoon on this quiet beach:

IMG_0839

Here is a view of what he was painting:

IMG_0840

I hate to think about what this looks like now, after two brutal hurricanes. I hope everyone there is okay and recovering.


Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly feature sponsored by photographer Frank Jansen on his ‘Dutch goes the Photo!’ blog. Follow the link to see more entries.

Cruise Day 7 – Part 4 – The Hermitage Museum Paintings

I want to start with the paintings from famous artists that I know about. There were two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. The first is called the Benois Madonna because it was sold to the Hermitage Museum by the Benois family in 1914.

IMG_6727a

The second is called the Madonna Litta because it was owned by the House of Litta in Milan, Italy during much of the 19th century.

IMG_6728a


The second artist that I recognized was Rembrandt. The first painting is called Danaë. It depicts Danaë, the mother of Perseus, beckoning to Zeus, who impregnates her with a shower of golden light.

IMG_6720a

The second painting is called The Descent from the Cross. As with the prior paintings, you can get more detailed descriptions by following the links associated with the painting’s name.

IMG_6721a

Here is a second photo from a different angle, trying to minimize the light reflection from the surface  of the painting.

IMG_6722a

With so much to see in just one afternoon, it was impossible to spend any time with an individual painting, so I have been studying the works with my internet searches and giving you the links where appropriate.


 

The following painting I thought was a Rembrandt because it was located in the same area in the museum, but I cannot find it listed. Any assistance would be wonderful:

IMG_6718a

There were many paintings of generals and other war heroes decorating the walls of the museum. Here are a few:

IMG_6686a

IMG_6687a

IMG_6688a

IMG_6692

IMG_6697a

IMG_6698

The following is a painting of Sir Thomas Wharton painted by Anthony van Dyke in the middle 1600’s.

IMG_6756a

I apologize for the blurriness of the image with my hand held camera in a low light environment where flash is not allowed. Here is an image from the web:

Anthony-van-Dyck-Portrait-of-Sir-Thomas-Wharton-1639

With appropriate equipment and plenty of time, I ‘might’ have been able to produce an image of this quality.


 

Next is a painting of Venice taken from two different angles that shows how perspective can impact what you see. The first photo is taken from the right hand side.

IMG_6748a

Now from the left hand side:

IMG_6749a

I have photos of about 20 more paintings, but you would probably just pass them over quickly, because the post would be too long. I hope you enjoyed this little tour.

Sculptures are next.

 

 

Mundane Monday Challenge #130

Today I want to display a few mundane pictures from our last cruise to the Baltic that highlight commercial activity using the color red:

Here is a picture from Helsinki Finland:

IMG_6869

Next is a picture taken in front of the Hermitage Museum, looking across the street toward the river.

IMG_6766

And finally, just outside of the Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg is the featured image of two kiosks:

IMG_6842

All three photos show the extent of marketing around the world from the Coca Cola brand.


Mundane Monday is a weekly challenge hosted by the blog Trablogger that helps photographers learn to focus on the beauty in mundane objects. Follow the link to see many other wonderful posts.

Cruise Day 7 – Part 3 – The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia – The Winter Palace

Overwhelming is the word of the day. I took about 90 photos during the afternoon visit to the Hermitage Museum, located in the Winter Palace. That is obviously way too many pictures to display in a single post. Therefore, I am going to split up the photos into four groups and post them on four different days.

Today, I want to give you a taste for the location and the building. Subsequent posts will cover paintings, statues, court dress, and doors (for my weekly Thursday Doors post).

We will start today’s post with some pictures of the Palace Square including the Baroque Winter Palace itself on the northern side.

IMG_6678a

On the eastern side you will see a building that housed the former Royal Guards:

IMG_6677a

And on the southern side you will see the General Staff building (like the Pentagon in Washington, DC) designed by the Italian Architect Carlo Rossi and built between 1819 and 1829.

IMG_6675a

IMG_6679a.jpg

In the center of the square is the famous Alexander Column, named after Emperor Alexander I, who defeated Napoleon in the winter of 1812 when the French army ran out of food for themselves and fodder for their horses.

IMG_6676a

Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

“The column is a single piece of red granite, 25.45 m (83 ft 6 in) long and about 3.5 m (11 ft 5 in) in diameter. The granite monolith was obtained from Virolahti, Finland and in 1832 transported by sea to Saint Petersburg, on a barge specially designed for this purpose, where it underwent further working. Without the aid of modern cranes and engineering machines, the column, weighing 600 tonnes (661 tons) on 30 August 1832[2] was erected by 3,000 men under the guidance of William Handyside in less than 2 hours. It is set so neatly that no attachment to the base is needed and it is fixed in position by its own weight alone”

Our travel guide said that for a long time, people of St. Petersburg were hesitant to be near the column, thinking it might topple over on them. It has stood through earth quakes without falling, so there really was no need to worry.

From the square, we moved to the main entrance on the north side of the palace. We saw a wonderful street entertainer on the sidewalk as we walked along the western side of the palace:

IMG_6680a

Here is a view of the western entrance:

IMG_6681a

And here is a view looking east from just outside of the front entrance:

IMG_6764a

Once inside, we were immediately treated with a view of the ornate Ambassador’s Staircase:

IMG_6684a

IMG_6685a

Next we have a very ornate chandelier in the center of a room filled with paintings of the great generals of the Russian Army.

IMG_6689a

I will slip in one painting ahead of my post on paintings, just for context:

IMG_6686a

I also loved the architectural details of the room:

IMG_6690a

From here we were led into the Emperor’s throne room that I used as the featured image for this post:

IMG_6691a

Here is a close up of the throne:

IMG_6701a.jpg

IMG_6704a

Notice the double headed eagle on the throne. This is usually associated with an empire, like the Roman/Byzantine empire. It was adopted in Russia with the marriage of Ivan III to the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor. It was the main element in the coat of arms of the Russian Empire from 1721 to 1917.

Finally, I will leave you with a few photos of hallways, and arches to give you a better flavor for the architecture of the building interior:

IMG_6705a

IMG_6738a

IMG_6740a

And here is a picture of my wife, Alice, standing in front of a giant urn in the middle of a beautiful gallery of paintings:

IMG_6743a

I will leave this post with a picture of the stairway used by special guests to be presented in the ballroom on the second floor:

IMG_6754a

Hopefully, this will give you some context for my posts about the paintings and sculptures, period costumes, and doors that will soon follow.