Guernica by Dora Maar

1937. Civil war is raging in Spain. Volunteers from all over the world run to Spain to enlist in the International brigades. War is sinister. Civil war is “sinisterer”. Friends against friends. Neihbours against neighbours. Brothers against brothers. On April 26, 1937, the little town of Guernica in Spain, between Bilbao and San Sebastian, is…

Lakshmi

  “Garnier, have you seen Lakshmi?” “No, Doudart,” I said. “I haven’t. Who is Lakshmi?” “How can you possibly not have seen her?” Doudart asked. “She walks the compound all night. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen!” “Doudart, my friend, Lakshmi is an Indian name. We’re in China, in Yunnan. Don’t you remember? This…

Kahlo and Rivera part 2

A portrait of Frida Kahlo at Diego Rivera’s house in San Angel, Mexico city. Study in yellow, Diego’s house. Sculpture by Alberto de la Vega, 1966. Hmm. Rivera died in 1957, so what is that doing there? Portrait of Dolores Olmedo by Diego Rivera. 1955. Dolores Olmedo (1908-2002) was a Mexican entrepreneur and patron of…

My virtual museum

I could start with a small Renoir. Emil Bührle collection at the Maillol museum. 2019. Claude Monet in his workshop at Giverny. The workshop has remained very much the same. The paintings have been replaced by – very good – copies. Most of the originals are at Orsay I believe. “Love your world”. Latin quarter,…

A morning walk, Angkor

Angkor Vat means, in Khmer: “the capital that became a Buddhist monastery”. The temples of Angkor are a blend between Hinduism and Buddhism. The faces carved out everywhere? I am not sure whether they represent Brahma or Buddha. Or one then the other. A good example of Asian capacity of “Fusion”. The jungle reclaims the…

Dora Maar. Paris’ best in the 30’s

Dora Maar by Dora Maar. Paris. Mid 30’s. Amazing expo at Pompidou, July 2019. Dora Maar, born Henriette Dora Markowitch in Paris in 1907, was a French photographer and artist who rose to fame in the 30’s. She knew only the best players of the time. Unfairly “catalogued” as “just one” of Picasso’s many lovers,…

An Italian holiday, cont’d…

Andiamo. Let’s go. “Andiamo” is possibly the first Italian word I ever learnt… Italian is a bit of a mystery to me. Never took a single class. Never lived in Italy. My parents had a few Italian friends in West Africa. I remember Ambassador Sciascia. Who spoke perfect French. Did I pick Italian in the…

Trotsky. The museum

Lev Davidovitch Bronstein (1879-1940), “nom de guerre” Trotsky, was a Soviet revolutionary, the founder of the Red Army, assassinated by orders of Stalin in 1940. His museum in Mexico city is privately run by his descendants, grandson and great-granddaughters. (Photo: (c)ourtesy the Trostky museum, Mexico city. The back of Trostky’s last house is, strangely enough,…

A morning walk, Singapore

Sir Stamford Raffles (1786-1821). National Singapore Museum. Raffles founded the city and harbour of Singapore in the early 1800’s, negotiating a deal with the local Sultan. The strategy was to create a British stronghold to balance the Dutch domination of Indonesia. Raffles was born on a ship off the coast of Jamaica. A “colonial” of…