Jun 272017

OK, I admit I’m stupid. It’s not ebooks, it’s apps. I have just checked the websites of two of the most important museums in Europe, the Louvre in Paris and the Prado in Madrid, and both of them offer apps.

I’ve also installed the Prado app. Basically it’s a shell app that only allows for in-app purchase of the official guide in a number of major languages. What you buy is essentially an ebook. Cool.

For our own “Kunsthistorisches Museum” in Vienna, a museum also in the top league, I found an app with “Stories”, but nothing complete. There is an ebook guide from the series “Rick Steves Tour” for €1.99 at Amazon though. At 30 pages it’s not comprehensive at all, but it has floor plans, some images of the most prominent works, and it might be enough to help along one’s memory a few months later.

Prague does not seem to have anything like that yet. That’s unfortunate, but I think in general we’re going in the right direction.

Jun 262017

I’m pretty sure the Image of the Day is a Caspar David Friedrich, but I can’t find it online. If so, it’s certainly not one of his most prominent works.

The others I don’t know. I could have documented them by taking images of the labels, but that would have taken me out of “Seeing Mode”. I don’t do that any more. I also used to buy museum catalogs. The problem is, that they are heavy and I don’t want to haul them around. As always, the solution would be an ebook. Hmm … actually I didn’t even ask. Maybe I should have? How else would they know there is demand?

Jun 252017

I like to take photographs of paintings. Surprisingly it’s possible in quite a few of the big museums.

When I do it, I don’t strive to reproduce what I saw while being there. Instead I try to correct the images, much like I do with my own photographs.

Over the centuries the varnish of paintings tends to get yellow, even brownish. The effect is very similar to a color temperature that’s set too high. It turns out that you can very effectively remove the color cast of paintings in Lightroom. Of course I can’t be sure that this is how the paintings were originally intended, but normally the results look extremely balanced.

Jun 242017

The National Gallery in Prague is spread over a a few buildings, one or two down in the center, the rest up in front of the castle.

We already had Schwarzenberg Palace, which houses part of the collections.

As always I’ve not tried to “catalog” what I’ve seen. I’ve just taken a few pictures of sculptures and paintings that I found impressive or appealing for any reason.

One of today’s images is of course a Rembrand, the other – I don’t know. I like it though. It’s a beautiful rural scene with an abundance of details.

Jun 232017

I hate those long-perspective shots in crowded places. You have to wait one or two eternities until the view is clear, and when you have finally verified your composition, someone walks in from the side again.


In this case I’ve accepted the half-hidden person at the far side. And the crouching child wearing an aggressively yellow coat? Cloned out, what else 😀

Jun 152017

Soldiers in a church? Certainly! This church was built after the victory of the emperor’s troops in the Battle of White Mountain, one of the most important battles in the Thirty Years’ War. Around 5000 soldiers died in that battle, and the outcome meant that the Emperor could reclaim Prague.

Jun 142017

Originally a cloister was meant as a silent place of meditation, but clearly, as we see so often, this is a demonstration of wealth and power, meant to impress the visitor.

Again, for an unexpected church, this is amazing. Loreta alone would have been be worth the trip from Vienna.

By the way, having just read the German version of the Wikipedia page that I’v linked to in yesterday’s post, I can now say that the Italian church was in Loreto in the province of Ancona.

Jun 132017

I had no idea that this church even exists. It’s called Loreta. That’s a kind of church dedicated to the house of the Virgin Mary.

Well, what I’ve called a “temple” here, symbolizes the “Santa Casa”, in German often called the “Holy Hut”. Certainly kind of a nice hut, I’m sure you agree 🙂

Here in Prague it is in the center of a cloister. I don’t know if it’s always in a monastery, but I suppose it is. I’ve only seen one such church before, in a small city in Italy. It may have been in Perugia, and if not, it was at least not far from there.