Thursday, December 24, 2015
From a guidebook by Francesco Valcanover; "In an open scenic illusionism, the shepherds below present their gifts with impassioned and joyous gestures. They are counterpointed by the light and shadow created by the brightness from outside; above, main and secondary figures taking part in the divine event take on attitudes of conscious, almost solemn participation and are dazzled by the light which streams through the cracks between the wooden beams of the humble barn. The two different spiritual moments are underlined also by the different colour quality; without breaking the continuity the lower part is continuously struck by reverberations and reflections and at the same time carefully and realistically evokes the animals in the stall, the brightly-colored peacock, the humble tools; the upper part is calmer and more relaxed although the wide chromatic background painting is strengthened by sudden, flashing rays of light."
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Eighty years ago today the Downtown Athletic Club awarded its first Heisman Trophy to Jay Berwanger as college football’s most outstanding player. He was the star halfback of the University of Chicago Maroons, in the team’s waning years as a Big Ten powerhouse. That alone is a great trivia question.
His Heisman Trophy is on display at the University of Chicago. I clipped a photo of it from the UChicago website; I don’t think they’ll mind.
Speaking of the Heisman, at a school charity auction a few years ago I had the good fortune to win a football signed by 20 Heisman Trophy winners, donated by Johnny Lattner, the 1953 Heisman winner and star at Notre Dame and Fenwick High School in suburban Chicago Oak Park. Lattner's signature is just to the left of the figure of the player.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
|Hitchcock Hall |
(Snell Hall in more traditional Gothic design is adjacent to the right)
Hutchinson Commons was the grandest place on campus to eat a mediocre meal, though when a student it was a bit pricey for me. Always an interesting experience to chow down in the wood-filled, heavy-beamed, high-ceilinged hall, watched over by past university greats whose huge portraits hang on the walls all about you. The building, modeled after Oxford’s Christ Hall Church, is, writes Pridmore, a “classic example of the late-Gothic English Perpendicular.” How about that? Hutch Commons is part of a multi-building complex that includes Mitchell Tower, Mandel Hall auditorium, and the Reynolds Club, a hodgepodge of spaces and offices built as a student center.
|Hutchinson Commons; Portraits Fill the Walls Now|
|Cobb Gate |
(Incorrectly named on the postcard)
Sunday, December 6, 2015
|Desubleo: Saint Nicholas|
Most art work on St Nicholas seems to be in the Orthodox tradition, two-dimensional and unrealistic, but I came across an appealing painting on the subject by the 17th Century Flemish painter Michele Desubleo, who spent his career in Italy: “Saint Nicholas with the three school children and a Carthusian monk.”
|Church of San Nicolò al Lido, Venetian Lagoon|