Tag Archives: blue

Portrait of a Young Woman.

15 Jul
Portrait of a Young Woman, ca. 1470, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Portrait of a Young Woman, ca. 1470, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

This ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ by Petrus Christus, who is considered as a successor to Jan van Eyck, belongs among the masterworks of Flemish painting in Renaissance time. For the first time a portrait does not show the sitter in front of a neutral background, but in a concrete space, here defined by the wall panels. The unknown woman, whose rich velvet clothing suggests that she might come from France, radiates an aura of discretion and of nobility. The identity of the woman stays however, an object of speculation and mystery.


Temple of colours.

25 Feb

paintings on Greek temple

For many of us, ancient Greece equals gleaming white marble temples and palaces. But in fact, temples and public buildings of the time exploded with colour. The finest of white marbles were whitewashed and painted. Three basic colours were used: white, blue and red, occasionally also black. Only the details or decorative elements were painted, while the columns were mostly kept white. Archaeologists and historians know about this tradition in ancient Greek architecture, yet little of this information makes its way to the public. One of the reasons is the public refusal to accept Greece (and Rome later on), as being abundantly colourful. The ‘pure white marble temple’ concept is so deeply ingrained in our minds, that when we hear about the colours, we soon tend to forget it.

Happy dolphins at Knossos Palace.

20 Feb

Dolphin Fresco in Knossos

This work might look quite contemporary, it actually is a fresco dating back to the Minoan culture, a Bronze Age civilization. Knossos was one of the largest cities for this civilization, dated back to 2000 BC, and the Palace of Knossos was one of the largest structures within that city-state until an earthquake wreaked the land. A second palace was rebuilt in 1700 BC and was decorated with lively frescoes, of which this Dolphin Fresco in the Queen’s Apartment.

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