The Belvedere

The Belvedere was built by Prince Eugene of Savoy upon his arrival at the Habsburg court from Paris at the age of nineteen as a summer home. It consists of two palatial buildings, the Unteres Belvedere (Lower Belvedere) built in 1714 to 1716 and Oberes Belvedere (Upper Belvedere) built between 1721 and 1723. During the reign of Maria Theresa, the Upper Belvedere was used for the first time as a picture gallery to feature works from the imperial collection. Masterpieces by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele can be found in the Gallery.

AMS is Art

One will never run out of impressive art to appreciate in Amsterdam. From Rijksmuseum (where Rembrandt’s Night Watch resides), the Van Gogh Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam (outpost of the famous Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg), to the Stedelijk Museum. Currently on exhibit at the Hermitage is Portraitt Gallery of the Golden Age, featuring thirty colossal 17th century group paintings from Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Museum.                 The Stedelijk has a permanent installation of iconic works by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, Nola Hatterman, Barnett Newman, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, and Yayoi Kusama.    …

Museo Sorolla

I am glad I followed a friend’s suggestion to visit the Museo Sorolla in Madrid. Joaquin Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes and monumental works. Many of the famous pieces include the impressionist beach scenes. The museum occupies what was the Spanish artist’s family home from 1911. The house has been preserved, including his studio, together with a vast collection of his masterful works. The Museo Sorolla is considered one of the best preserved artist’s homes in Europe.                                        

Zurück nach Berlin

After four years, “Back to Berlin“! This trend-setting German capital knows how to show visitors a good time and that is the reason I have returned. Whether one comes here for the art, the Wall (or what’s left of it), the food or the nightlife, Berlin will excite and entertain!           The Alte Nationalgalerie is one of the galleries I was not able to visit the last time I was in this city. With a collection of 18th to early 20th century masters in a backdrop as magnificent as the works on display.            …

The Met & MoMA

It’s probably been more than twelve years since I last visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Regarded as one of the world’s largest and finest art museums with more than two million works of art, somehow I keep procrastinating a re-visit. I made it back last week and was glad to see again their wonderful collection.   On the other hand, my last visit to the Museum of Modern Art was last year. I always enjoy dropping by when I am in town.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

One of the reasons I spent a few days in Paris is to visit the recently opened Fondation Louis Vuitton. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this private cultural initiative’s mandate is to promote the contemporary arts. For those seeking to find leather products from this fashion house on display – you will be disappointed. Currently on exhibit until the end of August 2016 is a selection of works by famous contemporary Chinese artists from the Fondation’s collection. The restaurant located on the ground floor is called Le Frank and it serves wonderful French-inspired cuisine, with hints of dishes from other countries whose works are currently on exhibit….

Flemish Art, Food, Etc.

Two museums in Bruges that house some of the world’s finest collection of Medieval and Flemish art are the Groeningemuseum and the Sint-Janshospital. Both museums contain an impressive collection of Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck.     For food lovers, there are quite a number of excellent restaurants in Bruges. Many serving Flemish cuisine. There are also tea rooms that dot the city, serving tea, coffee, pastries, and of course, Belgian waffles.       I stayed at the Grand Hotel Casselberg Brugge, consisting of a 19th century building and a new wing, with rooms that face the canal. The hotel…

Art and Soul

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is housed in what was formerly the Kilmainham Hospital. Built in the 1680s as one of Ireland’s Classical-style buildings modelled after Les Invalides in Paris, it is considered the finest 17th century building in the country. The hospital was handed to the Free State in 1922 and served as headquarters for Garda from 1930 to 1950. It was beautifully renovated in 1991 and reopened as IMMA.                             Christ Church Cathedral as it stands, is a 19th century restoration of what…

New York Minute

Well, it was more than a minute – closer to 5,700 minutes or an extended long weekend – of food debauchery in the gastronomic capital of New York City. What brought me here this time (not that one needs an excuse to be in this city) was primarily a reunion with dear friends from the old University days. Stories were told, bottles of wine were consumed and laughter all around while we reminisce and remember how we have always enjoyed each other’s company. [The food debauchery will be detailed in the next post.] I tried out a different hotel for this trip,…