Architecture

Kilmartin Cross, Kilmartin Church, Scotland

Inside the parish church of Kilmartin, Scotland, which we visited in May 2016, there are three wonderful ancient stone crosses, this post is about the early Christian cross called ‘ The Kilmartin Cross’, which was created in about AD 900.  It has short cross-arms and is intricately carved with a diagonal key pattern.  At its centre is an unusual curled diagonal cross, with almond-shaped frames above and below.  The cross was found laying in the churchyard in 1860, with one of the arms snapped off.  The cross was re-erected near the entrance and was brought inside in 1977.  There is a black and white photo of the cross when it was standing near the entrance to the church.  Also there is a front and back to the cross, as according to the information board below, one side was later decorated to fit the broken shape, as you can see in the photo following the information board.   The next post will be about ‘The Large Cross’.

 

On The Streets of Florence, Italy

Just a few mono photos of the streets of  a very wet Florence, Italy, from last years visit of 2016, well that’s not counting the owl bag.  I really loved that bag, but not the price tag that went along with it, you could, buy a very small house for the price of that owl…….so I just took a photo…..a lot cheaper 🙂

The Jacobite & Glenfinnan, Scotland

 

Every year when we go to the west coast of Scotland, we travel from Fort William to Mallaig along the ‘Romantic Road to the Isles’ its a must if you are visiting the West Coast of Scotland.  Even better if you can travel on the West Highland Railway Line.  The last time we manage to travel on the train, was 2012, you have to book about a year in advance, even then its touch and go.  So early last year 2016 we booked, we got some of the last seats, even booking that early.  We are making the trip in about three weeks time and looking back at last years photos I found some of our visit to one of the stations on the line, a very famous one at Glenfinnan.  Glenfinnan is where, in 1745, the ‘Jacobite Rising’ started and there is now a 60ft tall monument, which was built to commemorate the occasion.  Unfortunately the monument was having a facelift, but you get the idea how tall it is.  While we were visiting the station the train came in, ‘ The Jacobite’  it was quite a long stop as you are allow to disembark and take photos.  Once the train left the station, we jumped in the car and gave chase.  I wanted to catch the train going over a particular bridge very near to Mallaig and having missed it so many times in the past, I got lucky this time and got my train.  So I thought I better post last years 2016 trip, before this years 2017 trip 🙂

 

 

 

 

Street Photos – Stamford, Lincolnshire

I love visiting Stamford in Lincolnshire, a beautiful little town, lovely small individual shops, plus a great second hand bookshop, nice eateries and the best bit…..five Medieval churches.  I can never pass by St John’s Church with its amazing roof angels, always hoping for the most spectacular angel photo ever 🙂   Stamford has now entered another category that I love to photograph ‘ Black & White Street Photographs’  On our last visit but one, Oct 2017, I thought I would try and get the churches in each view that I took, I got three churches, one brewery and a residential road, not bad.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday, even if is just a holiday for you…we have had rain, so what’s new 🙂

A Church in the South Tyrol, Italy

Another photo from the train window, while traveling from the UK to Venice, Italy 2016.  We saw a great many tall red spired churches, in fact in the end they all look the same and I have spent quite a while researching this one.  But every time I think I have found it, something is not quite right.  The church appeared after we had passed Reifenstein Castle, as per my previous post, but it was before Trento……my, thats narrowed it down a lot… anyway its the image of the church that counts 🙂

 

Hill Top Castle – Reifenstein Castle (Castel Tasso) South Tyrol, Italy

On a train trip to Italy from the UK in 2016, I saw some wonderful castles and churches from the train window.  I think my favourite castles, were the ones perched up high on a hill top.  This one I especially liked, as you can see the old stone castle walls surrounding the castle complex.  I think we were going through Austria, or it could have been Italy 🙂

Update – After a bit of research, which I should have carried out before I posted, I found the castle.  I also found another photo of the castle.

Reifenstein Castle (Castel Tasso) South Tyrol, Italy, there are apparently some wonderful frescoes inside the castle, so well worth a visit.

Church of Ognissanti, Florence, Italy

Last year, 2016, we visited Florence, Italy, it wasn’t a particularly nice day, but what amazed me was the amount of people there were, I actually thought that in October, it would have been quieter, got that wrong.  It didn’t help that we got lost once we left the train station, we walked for ages until we worked out that we were totally going in the wrong direction, we cut through some back streets to the river and then realised where we should be.  But if we hadn’t got lost we would have missed the beautiful church of Ognissanti (All Saints).  Not a large church, but it was open, it was free and the best thing of all……you could take photos, as long as you didn’t use a flash.  After all the closed and photo forbidden churches in Venice…. I was going to photograph every inch of it.  

The Church of Ognissanti is a Franciscan church and Sandro Botticelli is buried here, which I didn’t know until I got home and carried out some research.  

A little history…. I added the information boards at the bottom of the post….The original church was completed in 1257, but was almost completely rebuilt in the baroque style in 1627.  There is a beautiful blue terracotta glazed lunette, over the entrance, in the style of della Robbia, but the artist was actually Benedetto Buglioni. There are frescoes by Ghirlandiao and Botticelli in the church. 

Below is Giotto’s Crucifix which dates from the 1320’s, which has been carefully restored over eight years.   It was a lovey surprise to see it shine in the darkness, so very beautiful.  

Giotto’s Crucifix

Some information I found………….Formerly in the sacristy for 84 years, Giotto’s monumental Crucifix is back in the Florentine church for which it was painted in 1310-1315, after a careful 8-year long restoration by the Opificio delle Pierre Dure, which has restored the luminosity and brilliance of its colours and glazes, its volumes and its modelling.

The Ognissanti Crucifix was a neglected Italian treasure which a team of experts have now repaired and identified.  After long being attributed to a relative or school of the early Renaissance artist Giotto, the Ognissanti crucifix is now believed to be the work of the 14th-century Italian himself.  The painted cross, which hangs in the Ognissanti church in Florence, underwent extensive cleaning by the local restoration lab Opificio delle Pietre Dure.  The project was led by art historian Marco Ciatti, who has concluded that the crucifix is a Giotto masterpiece dating from the 1320s.

The majestic tempera on panel realised by Giotto and his workshop around 1310-1320 had been sadly neglected for centuries.  Kept in the sacristy of the church of Ognissanti, it was rarely seen and the vigorous modelling of the flesh tones of the figures, and the many precious details of the pictorial surface, were hidden by a severely altered layer due to a treatment of the past and century-old grime. The restoration of Giotto’s Ognissanti Crucifix was started by Paola Bracco in 2002.
The crucifix is situated in a chapel to the left of the transept. The crucifix was originally located above the rood screen in the transept of the Ognissanti church, but this no longer exists.

The church seems small inside, with no aisles, and compressed almost for being very densely decorated. Vertigo-inducing trompe l’oeil architectural ceiling painting by Giuseppe Benucci.  When you look at the ceiling at different angles, it seemed to move.  The ceiling seems a lot higher than it is, and it looks like the angel is about to fly from the balcony, which is really flat against the ceiling, so very clever.

St Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480.  Unfortunately I have no idea who painted the rest of the frescos, but I love the little round ceiling with the angels.  I will let the photos continue the tour of this amazing church that we were lucky to find.