Spot the difference

Michelangelo…

My cats…

Uncanny, right? 😉 Almost good enough for the “Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine” (“Between Art & Quarantine”) project over on Instagram. The project started during quarantine as a lark where this lady invited people to share images of art works re-created at home. Click on the above link, if you’re so inclined, it’s so very entertaining to look through all the fun entries.

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

Before I go into a whole “Armitage fan experience in London” post, I’m first posting about something else I was able to do there. I had arrived in London last Sunday morning and spent a lovely day just hanging out and chatting with my brother and some with my niece.

Then on Monday I had the day to myself and I decided to finally visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington. I had never been there and had always meant to go there one day. It was a good day to pick that, as it was a cold, dreary and very wet day. Picture taken from the bus I was on; the window was wet, it almost looks like an impressionist painting.

20200224_124333I got to the museum and somehow it seemed much larger than I had thought. I mean, I knew it housed a very diverse collection but this was much bigger than I had expected.

20200224_125127

I wandered around on the ground floor a bit, particularly liking the statues gallery…

… and then went in search of the café for something to eat. The old café was beautiful, but alas there was no space for me to sit there…

20200224_131447

So, I sat in the more modern section and really enjoyed my scone and cup of tea.

20200224_132040

Even going to a bathroom at the café was a museum experience with old tiles and fawcets bearing Georg Vth initials, which indicates they were somewhere from the beginning of the 20th century.

Speaking of royalty, on my way to the medieval section I passed the car Harry and Meghan had used at the end of their wedding day

20200224_134844

It was basically an ad for the vintage cars exhibition that was also on at the V&A but that I didn’t end up visiting.

In the medieval section I was struck by this early 16th century tapestry from Brussels depicting Queen Esther (she after whom I have been named):

20200224_135918

I also love looking at old books, like this early printed book from 1521, not long after the printing press had been invented.

20200224_141316

Some more nice vistas as you walk through the museum:

I have seen lots of medieval art and statues and the like in many museums over the years, so for me the high point of the museum was something I have not seen that much of: an exhibition on early photography. Even just looking at all those cameras before you enter the room was fascinating.

I was in awe seeing an early heliograph image of Christ carrying the cross from 1827. You can barely see the image but it’s there (click to enlarge)…

… and an 1840’s daguerreotype image of a collage of famous faces.

I liked this 1850s image. Imagine keeping that little dog still enough for long enough to create this image!

An early camera was on display…

And there were more fascinating 19th century images, with one image also of Alice Liddell, who was the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland.

Absolutely fascinating, including some early 3D imagery you could see through this viewer but that I couldn’t take pictures of.

The other section I was fascinated with was the theatre collection (with a little movie glam thrown in).  The horse for the War Horse production was there…

20200224_151632

And other theatre costumes…

There was the Henry V costume as worn by Richard Burton…

And a costume designed by Dior for Vivien Leigh in a movie…

Vivien Leigh seems to have bequeathed some of her memorabilia to the V&A. The Oscar she had won for A Streetcar Named Desire in the 1950s was on display…

… as was a telegram addressed to Laurence Olivier (Vivien Leigh’s husband at the time) from Lillian and Dorothy Gish, movie stars of mainly the silent movie era, congratulating Leigh on her brilliant acting performance in Streetcar.

20200224_152413

There were more awards on display from other actors for other performances:

20200224_152612

And some music related memorabilia of David Bowie…

and Madness…

20200224_153936

This is just a tiny impression of all there is to see at the V&A and I saw way more than I took pictures of. It’s a great museum, very diverse and I by far haven’t seen everything. I may have to return there again sometime.

By the time I finally emerged from the musem at the end of the afternoon, it had stopped raining. I again took a bus, this time to Piccadilly Circus, and the view was somewhat less impressionist:

20200224_165931

I was off to go and meet Hariclea for evening theatre shenanigans at the Harold Pinter Theatre. More on that in my next post. 🙂

TDH in the past few days

Luckily not everything has been doom and gloom of late – to cheer me up from depressing world news there have been some Tall Dark Handsome people to really enjoy looking at!

Starting off with Richard Armitage and a second short video interview about the Wolverine podcast (I mentioned the first one on blog here). I still haven’t listened to Wolverine because of reasons, but the behind the scenes still looks good.

In the other post, I put many images of Richard talking with his hands, which is fascinating to look at, here are a few more screencaps I made from this second interview. He doesn’t only talk with hands, he talks with fists as well!

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 (3)And he’s expressive when moving around (click on images to enlarge)…

The most evocative shot that I really fell for was this following one of him. In the first video we’d seen a close-up of him on the floor. This time we get the full body shot of him sitting on the floor, with legs pulled up, one crossed over the other. The other guy on the couch is watching him be the picture of focus and concentration, with Richard lost in his Wolverine world on the tablet; I just love that…

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 (6)

Here, a closer look…

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 cutout

I really like those boots too!

Moving from one tall, dark, handsome man to the next: Colin Firth and his wife Livia were at the recent Met Gala. They are embroiled in a legal battle with Livia’s ex-lover right now but they have been forming a united front lately and are going everywhere together, including the gala. They looked very handsome and very elegant!

colin-firth-livia-firth-met-gala-2018

I especially loved this profile shot of them, with Colin’s hand resting lightly on his wife’s back!

colin-firth-livia-firth-met-gala-2018-02I really hope they get through this difficult time well together…

Speaking of the Met Gala, I have seen pictures here and there of people all dressed up in the Catholic theme of the gala. I don’t intend to show all those images here, except for the dress of one person, that really struck me. Zendaya, who did such an awesome job in the part of Anne Wheeler in The Greatest Showman, came looking like Joan of Arc. I found it a stunning look!

She certainly looked tall dark and handsome and gorgeous and should there be a new Joan of Arc movie in the works somewhere, I recommend they look to Zendaya for the title role!

Speaking of tall dark handsome and The Greatest Showman: on his instagram Hugh Jackman posted a lovely pic of him and his wife Deb all dressed up, ready to go to the Met Gala…

Hugh Jackman & Deb Instagram

He’s also been promoting his ethical coffee company called ‘Laughing Man‘.

Yes, Hugh Jackman makes me smile!

And finally, nothing to do with the Met Gala, but all to do with tall dark and handsome and making me smile: Pierce Brosnan who shared some lovely images on his instagram in the past few days. First, he shared a picture of himself with full beard for a role he has been playing. The man ages so beautifully, he’s become even more interesting to look at over the past decade or so! Anyway, I find him drop dead gorgeous here…

Pierce Brosnan instagram 01

… and then he shared a picture of himself with his paintings. I have seen paintings of his in the past before and I really like his colourful style! He’s pretty good at it. He has painted since 1987 since his first wife started fighting ovarian cancer (she died a few years later). The painting has apparently been very therapeutic for him and he still loves doing it…

Pierce Brosnan instagram 02

Apparently he is running out of storage space for his paintings…

If he needs space, I wouldn’t mind a Pierce Brosnan painting donation for my living room! Interesting to look at and the colours can lift my spirits… 🙂

Esther-Daddy Day

This evening the Jewish festival of Purim starts, celebrating the Persian Queen Esther who saved the Jewish people from genocide some 2500 years ago. My parents gave my siblings and me names from the Hebrew bible (old testament). So, my brothers and sisters are called: Rachel, David, Daniel (in fairness, Daniel wasn’t named by my parents; he came to our family age 11 and fit right in, name and all!), Joel, Rebecca and Jonathan. And then there’s me, Esther, named after Queen Esther herself! Hence also the title of this blog – I am named after the biblical queen in The Book of Esther and books tells stories, which in a way I do here as well, sharing stories and experiences in my life.

My parents always enjoyed giving me Queen Esther themed gifts. Many of them I don’t have anymore, or are scattered throughout the house and I don’t know where they are, but I do have two paintings still hanging on my walls here. One of the them, called “The town of  Queen Esther” was painted/printed by an acquaintance my parents had many years ago…

Queen Esther 2

It’s not my fave painting ever, but I like it enough to keep on my staircase wall.

A second piece of art I own hangs in my living room and was once given to me by my parents. It’s an absolutely fascinating ink drawing they got me when we were all visiting the artistic town of Tzfat (Safed) once in the north of Israel…

Queen Esther 1

If you look closely you’ll see that the figure of Esther and the pillars next to her are made up of tiny Hebrew lettering. We were told that the whole text of the Book of Esther is worked into this ink drawing! I just love this. This drawing is not only connected to my name and that bible story, it is also forever connected to my parents who picked it out for me. I can still see myself standing outside this artist’s atelier together with my parents, deciding on this particular work of art.

Tomorrow is not only Purim, the festival of Esther, but is also the second anniversary of the passing of my father. I am happy to have such mementoes as this one that keep me connected to him. So, as this evening/tomorrow is the happy festival of Purim as well as a day during which I commemorate my dad, I am dubbing March 12th, 2017 “Esther-Daddy Day”!

According to Jewish custom you say “May his memory be for a blessing!” and I can honestly say that although I will miss him forever, my father’s memory truly is a blessing. For tomorrow I wish for my family and myself to be filled with not only sad but also many happy memories and in Yiddish I wish to those who celebrate (my Jewish brother and sister among them) “A freilichen Purim”!

A special gift

Fact #1: My mother paints as a hobby, these last few years she’s been doing watercolors (but never signs them – she thinks nothing she paints is good enough to sign).

Fact #2: Two months ago I took my mother to see The Crucible in the cinema and she loved it, she wanted to dedicate a painting to it.

Fact #3: Last week was my birthday…

… and this was the gift I received from her!

IMG_0651 w c

Done after this Richard Armitage / Anna Madeley image that I love so very much:

657000936

Thank you, mama!!