From Russia, with Love

During our recent visit to Sydney we went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see the exhibition of Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage – a huge collection of masterpieces from the past hundred odd years. The French Impressionists were represented, including Poppy Field (1890/91) by Claude Monet.

And The Banks of the River Marne (1888) by Paul Cezanne.

The Winter Palace (1992, below) by Bernard Buffet shows part of the Hermitage Museum. It’s a great exhibition – don’t miss it if you happen to be in Sydney.

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Trick Perspective

As well as the Neapolitan crib scene in the previous blog entry, the church of Sant’Ignazio in Rome has plenty of other interior details to enjoy – including the trompe l’oeil (optical illusion) ceiling. The dramatic views of blue sky, clouds, saints and angels through towering arches are actually painted on.

French Connections 2 – Art

More interesting displays from the French Explorers in Western Australia exhibition. Cameras hadn’t been invented yet, so the naturalists had to sketch the plants, animals and coastline that they saw. They also took seeds back to France, where they were grown into plants and then included in books depicting Australian wildflowers.

French Connections 1 – Science

A few days back we visited the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle to see the exhibition French Explorers in WA. It covers the voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Louis de Freycinet.

Baudin set off from France in 1800, with 22 scientists on board. The displays show some of their equipment and findings. We liked this beautifully crafted chronometer, which was used for navigation on the voyage.