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Artwork of the month: March. Murillo's Flower Girl

The Flower Girl by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1665–70)

Murillo (1617–82) was an artist from Seville who became especially known for his genre scenes featuring children, often street urchins. This work, which belongs to the collection of the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, is an excellent example of the type. A pretty young girl offers freshly-picked roses to passers by (and to the viewer too, whom she fixes with a smiling, forthright gaze). The palette of browns, ochres and dusty pinks is very typical of the artist. This seems an appropriate palette for the month of March, too, when the trees are bare of leaves and the soil is still brown, but dustings of blossom have appeared and the first flowers are bursting forth, offering a promise of spring. Some critics have seen this offer of promise as suggestive of the young flower-seller’s character: she has tucked one of the roses into her headcloth. The roses are for sale and so is she. This interpretation possibly traduces both the sitter and the artist. Murillo painted the work for his friend and patron Justino de Neve, a canon at Seville cathedral, and it has been suggested that the sitter was his own daughter, Francisca, who would have been between 10 and 15 years old when this was painted. In 1671 she renounced worldly things and became a nun, taking the name of Francisca María de Santa Rosa, after St Rose of Lima, who had been canonised that same year. The embroidered shawl that the flower-seller wears, interestingly, has been identified as of a Peruvian type, which would have come to Seville from Lima. Murillo’s influence on later painters of the 18th century is well known. In Britain he was greatly admired by Gainsborough, who, according to the forthcoming Blue Guide London (18th edition), ‘did not enjoy being, as he put it, a ‘phizmonger’ (portrait-painter). Perhaps as a reaction to this, out of his landscapes he developed his so-called ‘fancy pictures’, rustic genre paintings of peasant children and the deserving poor, which sought to evoke emotion and sympathy in the viewer. In this he was much influenced by Murillo.’

Blue Guide London (18th ed.), with extensive coverage of Dulwich Picture Gallery and its excellent collection, will be published this summer.

Copyrighting Heritage

I enjoyed David Miles’ article on Stonehenge in this month’s Minerva magazine. I remember visiting Stonehenge in the autumn of 1978. I was almost the only person there. I don’t remember any fences. I walked right up to it. I touched the stones. I took pictures of it. I have never been since, though I have glimpsed it from the A303. Noticing that all the photographs in the Minerva article were copyrighted to English Heritage, I thought I had better look again at EH’s statement about copyright, since it has been in the news lately. If I were to dig out one of my old 1978 photographs and then print it in a forthcoming Blue Guide, would I have committed a felony?

This is what they say, on their website:

Well, it’s generous of them not to have a problem with photographers sharing images on not-for-profit websites. Not that Flickr is quite the sharing experience it used to be, since now you have to sign up before you can see anything. But woe betide anyone who enters English Heritage land ‘with the intention of taking a photograph for financial gain…’ Filthy financial gain! Could any photographer have such dastardly intent? But what if I took a photograph of Stonehenge, not with loathsome lucre on my mind but with the intention of illustrating a Blue Guide? Would I still have to pay to use my photo, even though no one is paying me to reproduce it and the book is a costly-to-produce printed guide aimed at encouraging people to visit the site?

I don't think the demonising of ‘profit’ is helpful. Without it, there is no culture or civilisation. Even not-for-profit organisations are reliant on profit. The funding they get comes from profit that someone else has made somewhere else on something else at some other time. For now, I’ll avoid reproducing images of English Heritage sites, because I don’t want any hassle. But I do want to help photographers to make a living. Yes, financial gain. For talented, creative people. Sharing stuff around the campfire is fine, but it doesn’t lead very far. And anyway, how can you fairly and squarely copyright HERITAGE?

Stonehenge at the solstice. For copyright reasons, this image cannot be displayed.
17.01.2014
14:56

A Grumpy Visit to Westminster Abbey

One of the things about London that always delights and impresses visitors from overseas is the fact that the great national museums are free. It delights and impresses me, too. Just think of the British Museum. Think of all that responsibility. The duty of the curators to all those works of art is immense. The cost of conserving them, keeping them proof from theft, must be prodigious. Not to mention the salaries for all the other staff, the cleaning, the heating. Yet as visitors, we are not burdened with any of that. It’s free. And they maintain an impeccable website too. How do they manage it?

Westminster Abbey, on the other hand, the great Collegiate Church of St Peter, costs £18 per adult per visit. Of course, it is a similarly rich repository of history and heritage. And it faces similarly enormous costs of upkeep. The fabric of the building, its delicate monuments, ancient woodwork, paintwork, stonework, stained glass. Heating bills, cleaning bills, feather dusters. It is also a place of worship. Lest anyone forget this, every hour, on the hour, a disembodied recorded voice rings out across the fan vaulting enjoining us to bow our heads and pray. And it has cost us all £18 to get in.

Perhaps I wouldn’t mention this twice in a single paragraph, though, if I felt amply compensated by the experience of having been there. But I don’t. Despite the steep ticket price, large sections of the Abbey are roped off and you soon find yourself herded along a demarcated one-way route a bit like shuffling up a RyanAir check-in line. And the vergers are intransigent. ‘I’m sorry!’ A uniformed arm is politely but firmly held out across my scurrying person, ‘That part of the Abbey is closed!’ I had wanted to see one thing in particular. I knew it was somewhere in the south aisle. Access was barred. But I had paid £18! That is an expensive way to be told to shove off.

Of course, I am not in charge of maintaining the Abbey and I don’t know the ins and outs of it. I know the vergers are only doing their job. One of them, in the Lady Chapel, was charming and helpful. The others, even as they said ‘No’, mostly said it with a smile. But still, I was a visitor and I had a sub-par ‘visitor experience’. Wouldn’t it be more logical to do one of the following: Either let the Abbey be free, but because it is a functioning church, reserve the right to close parts of it off and boot sightseers out when services begin. This is what they do in St Peter’s in Rome, and if you haven’t paid you can’t with all conscience object if sections are out of bounds. Or, charge a hefty admission fee, but then admit that it’s a museum, as they do in the major churches of Venice and Florence. And for goodness sake allow visitors to see what they’ve paid for. Where exactly in the south aisle IS the monument to Sir Godfrey Kneller? I’m not going to pay another £18 on the off chance that it might not be roped off next time. But unlike the British Museum, Westminster Abbey does not maintain an impeccable website. It lacks a properly marked-up floorplan showing who is buried and commemorated where. Is this because it is assumed that no one really wants to know? Or is it because the chances, for a visitor, of being able to see the monuments of his or her choice are so slim that it honestly isn’t worth it?

The Abbey also operates a no-photo policy, which is galling. I would have loved to take a few pictures. I’m not talking about setting up a tripod or blinding other visitors with my flash. I’m talking about snapping epitaphs with my telephone. In St Peter’s (Rome), photography is allowed and it gives visitors enormous pleasure. In Westminster Abbey it is rigorously prohibited, and instead, visitors are informed glibly that there is a wide selection of postcards in the Abbey shop. Postcards?! I didn’t want a postcard. I had hoped to be able to take a close-up shot of the extraordinary Nightingale memorial, by Roubiliac (1761), so I could study it at home. Or perhaps illustrate a short comparison in this blog with Bernini’s Alexander VII monument (1678) in St Peter’s (Rome). In both monuments, the draped skeleton of Death emerges from below to threaten the commemorated mortal with an intimation of their end (in the Bernini monument, Death’s instrument is an hour glass; in the Roubiliac, it is a spear). But while Pope Alexander sits tight, unmoved by the premonition, Mrs Nightingale faints into the arms of her appalled husband. These descriptions all a bit meaningless without a picture, aren’t they? But in Westminster Abbey there is strictly no photography; and the ruling is stubbornly policed. Oh well, there is a wonderful archive image of the Nightingale tomb here, on this excellent Spitalfields blog. And here (below) is the Bernini (photo © Jean-Pol Grandmont). Roubiliac had certainly seen the Bernini work. Nine years before he designed the Nightingale, in 1752, he had achieved a long-cherished ambition to visit Rome. By all accounts he didn’t stay very long, but it was enough. Presumably the authorities at St Peter’s permitted him to use a sketch book.

20.11.2013
15:09

Smoothly off the buffers

Author Chris Moss with Southern Railway driver Andrew Cook.

Last night was the launch party of Blue Guides' Smoothly from Harrow: A Compendium for the London Commuter. About 70 people squeezed themselves into the book-lined basement at Stanfords to raise a glass to our latest publication—the hot crush seemed oddly appropriate for the subject matter, as was the fact that one of the planned readers missed her moment because of leaves on the line outside Pinner (or some other London Transport meltdown).

The author, Chris Moss, had promised us no speeches, but in a few words he still managed to name-check Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Betjeman, Ray Davies and Waterloo Station. The book is rather like that, although special mention should also go to the superb photography and London Transport Museum's wondrous posters.

Brian Daughton and Bob Greig then read their 'Commuter Confessions' (extracted from the book) to a clearly sympathetic audience of fellow-travellers, and we all briefly contemplated following Bob back to Devon where he now lives—or maybe strangling him.

But, no, as Chris writes in the book, the commuter is the 'low-key hero of our times' and 'the key witness of all that passes in the capital and its environs'. And so we left Stanfords with the book well launchedand headed heroically for the Northern Line.

Under Another Sky

Charlotte Higgins, Under Another Sky: Travels in Roman Britain. Jonathan Cape, London, 2013. Reviewed by Charles Freeman.

If I am heading westwards from my home in central Suffolk I go along a stretch of Roman road and eventually reach the village of Stonham Aspal. To the far side there is a ridge overlooking open countryside and it is here that a Roman bathhouse was discovered in 1962, when building work was being done for some bungalows. It was my first dig, with a tolerant Ipswich Museum team interpreting laws against child labour generously enough to allow a fourteen-year-old to shovel out ashes from a Roman hypocaust. The main part of the villa is assumed to have been on the other side of the road and remains unexcavated, but I still tell the story to anyone I am driving that way.

The pottery from the site is of the 3rd and 4th centuries, the greatest period of the British Roman villa. This was the time of prosperity before the collapse of Roman rule in the early 5th century brought a devastating fall in living standards (apparently as a dramatic as anywhere else in the western empire). Looking back, I wonder what the ashes I scraped out could have told of the final fires lit to heat the baths. There was no one on hand to record the last days of the empire in Britain but gradually the cities, already faltering in the 4th century, were abandoned and the great buildings fell in or were buried. One of the most evocative finds has been a luxurious Roman villa on the London waterfront that enjoyed a heyday in the 3rd century but then began to crumble, although 200 coins dated as late as ad 388 talk of a late burst of occupation.

Charlotte Higgins’s delightful book is an account of her searches for Roman Britain in the company of her boyfriend Matthew and a venerable and resilient camper van. Higgins read Classics at Oxford so she knows her sources—predominantly those of the finest Roman historian—Tacitus, and she weaves them gently into her itineraries. She has also absorbed those who have been before her: William Camden, the author of Britannia (1586), the first quasi- scientific study of British antiquities, and the polymath William Stukeley (1687–1765), who recorded what stood of Silchester, Hadrian’s Wall and other sites. Stukeley, a fan of the Druids, was sadly taken in by a fake history of Roman Britain purporting to have been written by one Richard of Westminster in the 14th century. Stukeley’s enthusiastic support for it meant that it was treated as authentic and Roman history distorted until well into the 19th century. The Pennine chain of hills take their name from the pseudo-Richard’s description of them.

Gradually out of these forays into a misty past, archaeologists took over. So here is Mortimer Wheeler and his much put-upon wife Tessa, bringing military precision to excavations of St. Albans and later, and most famously, of the Iron Age fort of Maiden Castle. Wheeler revelled in describing the last stand of the British against Roman onslaughts and the mass grave into which the defeated British were thrown. Unfortunately, more recent work queries whether the cemetery was ever a mass grave at all; but the story gripped me as a teenager. By the 1970s, we arrive at more delicate work, especially with the writing ‘tablets’, actually slivers of wood, from the Roman fort at Vindolanda, miraculously preserved in waterlogged ground. Excavated by Robin Birley and deciphered by Alan Bowman, they provide an astonishingly graphic account of everyday life on the frontiers at the end of the 1st century ad, as invites go out for birthday parties and details of which men are available for outside work are painstakingly extracted from the intricate lettering.

Higgins also ventures further north to discover reminders of the short-lived invasion of Scotland by Agricola in ad 79 or 80 (we know of it because the historian Tacitus was Agricola’s son-in-law and left a vivid account) and the little-known Antonine Wall, held only briefly before the frontier was pulled back again to the better-known barrier built by Hadrian. She takes in Bath and York, the latter achieving an empire-wide status when the emperor Septimius Severus established his court here between 208 and 211 and when, a century later Constantine, the first Christian emperor, was proclaimed emperor by his father’s troops. In Bath the Romans adopted the local Celtic god Sulis, associated her with their own Minerva, and the temple dedicated to both presided over the hot springs that were to set Bath up as a watering place in later centuries. In Colchester and London, dark layers record the burning of the nascent Roman settlements by the furious Boudica, in a devastating but ultimately crushed campaign (ad 60 or 61) that also survives in Tacitus’ account.

I am sorry that the camper van, with ‘its many and varied complaints’, did not merit an entry in the index. I would have liked to have retraced its valiant hill climbs even if it did collapse in York and thus not quite make it to Hardknott Castle (a 2nd-century fort guarding Hardknott Pass), perhaps the most spectacular of all the Roman sites in Britain. It added character to what is an engaging survey of our Roman past. While Higgins records exhaustive studies of Roman Britain (Roger Wilson’s A Guide to the Roman Remains in Britain and the mammoth four-volume compilation of every known Roman mosaic by David Neal and Stephen Cosh), she provides a more light-hearted account, a valuable reminder of how the Roman past lies not too far beneath our feet. Indeed a metal detector unearthed a worn Roman coin from our own fields just a year ago, and, this being Suffolk, perhaps another Mildenhall treasure, the hoard of astonishing silver plate unearthed in 1942, is just waiting to be discovered close by.

Under Another Sky was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award.

To see more details about this book, check the Amazon links below.

'Art under Attack' at Tate Britain

Reviewers of this exhibition (Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm, running at Tate Britain until 5th January) have fretted about whether what it presents is or isn’t true ‘iconoclasm’. I don’t think it matters. The curators make it clear from the outset, on the wall caption that greets you before you even enter the first room: they know full well what true iconoclasm is: it was the fuss that began in 8th-century Constantinople when Leo III ordered the destruction of the icon of Christ which hung over the Bronze Gate. That is one thing. But today we use the word much more loosely, to mean simply ‘breaking the mould’. Of course this can be approached with a responsible intellectual purpose, to question and to elicit answers. Or it can be approached frivolously, for the sheer mischievous hell-raising fun of it, to give the poor old bourgeoisie a fit of the vapours. Iconoclasm can equally be used to mean just ‘not doing things the way they’ve always been done’. Refusing to serve Yorkshire pudding with roast beef might be enough to qualify a chef as an ‘iconoclast’. All these things form part of the exhibition's trail through the history of how works of art in Britain have been attacked, mutilated or otherwise tampered with, and the variety of motives behind it.

'The Risen Christ' panel from Binham Priory. Figure of Christ painted c.1500; overlaid text c.1539.

 

The first rooms deal with iconoclasm in the original sense of the word: the destruction of religious images deemed idolatrous. The scope of the exhibition does not reach beyond Britain, so we begin with Henry VIII. Whatever one thinks about it—is it sacrilege? Is it unpardonable destruction of lovely works of human hand?—it is tempting to conclude from this display that the reformers carried out a principled operation. They wanted to make it impossible to adore the painted or graven visage, so they scratched out the faces and chopped off the heads. They wanted to replace the visual pictogram of God-as-icon with the appeal to the intellect of God-as-the-Word, newly available in English translation for all to understand. A panel from the famous rood screen from Binham Priory, Norfolk, illustrates this superbly: an image of the Risen Christ was whitewashed over and replaced with text from Cranmer’s Bible. Now the whitewash is flaking away and we can see the coloured icon underneath. But the reformers didn’t indulge in wanton destruction. By the time Cromwell comes on the scene, though, a thuggish element has emerged. We read stories of stained-glass windows being taken down for zealous prelates to trample to smithereens in public acts of toeing the new line. Politics have surged on stage and personal agendas are coming to the fore: the prelates want preferment; they want to curry favour with the new ruling elite. Not only is there a kind of glee behind the smashing and hacking, but a feeling of calculation.

 

This is one face of political iconoclasm. But in the next room we see another: iconoclasm as a form of mass protest. An equestrian statue of the monarch is daubed in spots to make it ridiculous and impossible to respect; a pillar with Nelson on top of it is blown to smithereens in Ireland. We’ve not seen this before. Up until now, icon-smashing has taken place by official diktat (as the iconoclasm of Communism was later to do); it has been iconoclasm as political repression, the smashing of other people’s totems as a form of intimidation and a symbol of who calls the shots. Now we see icon-smashing as a vehicle for the people’s voice.

 

What comes next is what the curators have termed ‘aesthetic iconoclasm’: tampering with works of art (or craftsmanship) in order to make a ‘statement’. Artists traditionally have striven to make coherence out of chaos: the avant garde practitioners whose (often paltry) efforts we are shown here seem to be doing their best to make chaos out of what had once been order: the burst-apart chair; the disembowelled piano. What does this say about the psyche of the 20th century? One thing it says is that these are personal affirmations. This kind of icon-breaking is carried out neither by governments nor by the masses but by individuals, who in some cases are simply mutilating things that they don’t happen to like. The display throws up plenty of questions for our pluralistic age. How are we to tolerate each other with no central control of what we believe in or approve of? Do we even have universally recognised icons any more? Is it OK to throw a can of paint over the result of someone else’s freedom of expression because personally we find it ‘offensive’? Do artists have a responsibility to society? And if so, what is it?

The exhibition doesn’t answer these questions. But they are valid questions to have asked. The best thing in the last part of the show is Douglas Gordon’s burned poster of Warhol’s screen prints of Queen Elizabeth II. For this is destruction of a twofold icon: a Warhol work of art and Her Majesty the Queen, a beautiful young monarch. And here the exhibition comes full circle. We are back to the Virgin Mary, to an image of a reverend figure insulted and abused. Gordon himself described his work as ‘homage to Warhol and an act of desecration’.

 

The exhibition itself, in a way, leads us from order into chaos. It functions as a microcosm of what iconoclasm does when it takes a hammer to a work of art. The clarity of the narrative begins to waver after the first rooms, with their impeccable presentation of historical iconoclasm, through the turmoil of the political rooms to the utter muddle of the aesthetic rooms—but we live in a muddled age, so the progression works. It mirrors humanity’s own progression from a world of centrally-imposed certainties to one of democratically enhanced confusion. In the room that deals with the suffragettes’ attacks on works of art, we learn all about Mary Richardson and her butchery of the Rokeby Venus: she swung her knife at a beautiful painted woman in protest at the way Emmeline Pankhurst, ‘a beautiful living woman’, was being treated in prison. There is a lovely irony in this. Because of course the Rokeby Venus presents us with the ultimate iconodule or worshipper of icons: Venus gazes at herself in a looking glass: this is a goddess adoring her own image. Mary Richardson may not have thought of that. Wyndham Lewis’s response in Blast, which the exhibition is careful to remind us of, was patronising, perhaps, but apt: ‘Leave art alone, brave Comrades! In destruction, as in other things, stick to what you understand.’

The Rokeby Venus: iconodule.

Comments on Smoothly from Harrow

The 21st century commuter is a tragic hero. Long-suffering, long-journeying and subject to lengthy delays, he survives through an iron will and by burying his head in a freesheet.
Chris Moss's Smoothly from Harrow brings the world of the London commuter up to date with facts and fictions, poems and propaganda, statistics and self-help advice.

View the book’s contents, index and some sample pages, and buy securely from blueguides.com here»

 

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25.09.2013
11:51

Hepworth's "Winged Figure": 50th anniversary

“Sculpture to me is primitive, religious, passionate and magical—always affirmative.”

So wrote Barbara Hepworth (1903–75), perhaps the finest female sculptor the world has ever seen. There are certain areas in the arts where women feel naturally at home. Some where they take over and feminize. In fiction and on the radio, for example, it is getting difficult to hear the male voice. But not in sculpture. Hepworth is a lone wolf.

Her life was in some ways typical of a person of her era, temperament and milieu: birth into a respectable family, the unelashing of an uncontrollable artistic spirit, revelatory trips to Italy and Paris, meeting with Picasso, Braque, Brancusi and Moholy-Nagy, the heady politics of 1930s left-wing Hampstead, strong views on the Spanish Civil War, marriages made and marriages broken. And children. Four of them, including a set of triplets. It is no surprise that such a driven, work-obsessed, cerebral woman should have struggled. She was not a militant feminist: the maternal interested her. But still, it must have been abominably tough. Husbands in those days were not much help on the domestic front. Indomitable, ambitious and never mellowing, she ended her life alone and ill, and died in an accidental fire at her home, very probably ignited by her own cigarette.

Hepworth seems to have felt herself to be permanently mantled in the shadow of Henry Moore, her contemporary, friend and for many years a fellow apostle of Abstraction. Moore, however, found his ultimate inspiration in the human figure, which may well explain his wide appeal. Hepworth, once she had abandoned figurative forms in the 1930s, never went back—except once, in her Madonna and Child in St Ives church, a mourning piece for her eldest son, killed in a plane crash at the age of twenty-three.

This month, and until November, the John Lewis department store on Oxford Street, West London, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of Hepworth’s Winged Figure, which is attached to the building’s exterior wall and is passed by hundreds of people every day. “I think one of our universal dreams,” Hepworth said, “is to move in air and water without the resistance of our human legs. I wanted to evoke this sense of freedom. If the Winged Figure in Oxford Street gives people a sense of being airborne I will be very happy.” I am not sure that it really does. It reminds me more of a scoliosis brace or a corset, something redolent of restriction and struggle, filled with the tension between the desired and the achievable. Perhaps that is entirely appropriate.

For more information about the pop-up exhibits at John Lewis, organized in conjunction with the Hepworth Wakefield, see here.

For more about Barbara Hepworth and her art, the visit the Artsy.net Hepworth page.

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Leonardo’s “Adoration of the Magi” in restoration
Cathedral picks: Exeter
The real Patrick Leigh Fermor?
The joy of Giambattista Tiepolo
Leonardo’s “Battle of Anghiari”
In praise of Venice’s water transport system
The Red Rooms at the Uffizi
The Blue Rooms at the Uffizi
A trip to the Port of Trajan, outside Rome
Pour l’honneur de la France
An early-morning visit to Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, Rome
Church of SS Luca e Martina reopens above Roman Forum
How the tide turned at the Milvian Bridge
A compelling reason to visit Trapani province
St Augustine and his mother at Ostia
Visiting St Paul’s in London
Hadrian, Antinoüs and the Christian Fathers
Earliest-known image of a martyrdom
Can’t face the Vatican crowds? Try San Lorenzo
Turin, Pisa and mathematics
Ideal cities are all around us. It’s simply a matter of...
On Canaletto and Guardi and Venetian Light
Mithraism: a Roman Mystery Religion
Random Musings on Pontormo and Vermeer
The Amphitheatre of Londinium
Edward Lear and Crete
A handful of favourite things to see in Sicily
The mystery of the veiled virgins
Venice without the crowds
Cividale del Friuli and the Lombards
The Trouble with Snake Goddesses
The tragedy of Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico
Oranges, lemons and relic cults: an escape from the queues...
City Picks: Verona
Hitherto unknown language discovered in east Anatolia
Painting of the Day
Museo Barracco: a little-visited gem
Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome
Staten Island: Upcoming Exhibition …
International Gothic at the Uffizi
Celebrating Santa Rosalia, patron of Palermo
Delhi Ghost Trail
Comments on Pilgrim's Rome: A Blue Guide Travel Monograph
The Roman Villa at Balácapuszta (Baláca, Nemesvámos,...
The Bard of….Messina? Was Shakespeare Sicilian?
Rereading Ruskin
Sicily’s emblem: the Trinacria
Luca Signorelli on exhibition in Umbria
The Tribuna of the Uffizi reopens
The Venice equivalent of the anonymous Tweet?
Comments on Blue Guide Sicily
Sicilian Holiday Reading
Attila the Hun and the Foundation of Venice
Death in Venice cocktail a hit
The Gentry: Stories of the English
381 years ago this June
Brooklyn Bridge: a New York landmark
A Venetian Update
Sixth-century church to reopen
Roman Aquileia
Springtime in Friuli
Northern Italy dining and accommodation recommendations
Al Dente: Madness, Beauty & the Food of Rome
A celebration of Lucca
Romantic music in a Baroque setting
Blue Guide India Delhi Launch
Nikolaus Pevsner: The Life
The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution
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The Roman Forum
Whispering City: Rome and its Histories
The 15th-century Health Museum at Edirne
City of Fortune, How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire
Books about Istanbul
Comments on Blue Guide Istanbul
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Constantine: Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor
Comments on The Venice Lido: a Blue Guide Travel Monograph
Comments on Blue Guide Literary Companions: Rome, London,...
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The 54th Venice Biennale stars Tintoretto
Holy Bones, Holy Dust
RECOMMENDED PLACES TO STAY AND EAT ON CRETE
Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity
Full Circle: How the Classical World Came Back to Us
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Comments on Sites of Antiquity: from Ancient Egypt to the...
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Familiar face
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Blue Guide Northern Italy
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A day trip to Ostia Antica from Rome - highly recommended
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A day trip from Venice up the Brenta Canal
A day trip to Murano from Venice
Pietrasanta, Pisa: in search of Stagi
Reading list for Venice
Reading list for Florence and Tuscany
The Best Credit / Debit Card for Travel
Ruskin on Venice
Reading list for Rome
Comments on Blue Guide Greece the Mainland

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