We saw this painting during a recent sojourn to the National Gallery (London) during a special Caravaggio painting exhibition and influence to other artists. It is about how he applied light to his work, thereby focusing your eyes to the real subject of his work. His technique was emulated by other artists after him.
The above painting is about the betrayal of Jesus. Judas was giving Jesus a kiss, (which has became infamously popular as an idiom, meaning betrayal) to let it be known that the person the authorities/soldiers were after was the one he was kissing.
At the periphery, a man can be seen holding a lamp. That man is the painter himself, Caravaggio. Isn’t he clever. He made it very personal but to the viewers of the painting as well.
We thought, we should highlight this painting being a Maundy Thursday.
These masks can be currently and readily admired at the V&A Museum, East Asian gallery.
Masks are used for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment.
The above masks were Japanese and were sculpted from wood. They were based from the 14th century classical Japanese theatre called Noh which was much loved and patronised by the Shogun, supreme military leader.
Death of St Scholastica by Johann Baptist Wenzel Bergl
Saint Scholastica (Santa Scholastica) is said to be the twin sister of St Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism. She is a saint recognised by the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
The twins came from a very affluent family of Norcia (Nursia), in the province of Perugia, southwestern of Umbria, Italy.
The twins were quite religious from an early age. They were inseparable until St Benedict had to leave for Rome for further studies.
Later on after St Benedict founded his first monastery in Monte Cassino, St Scholastica also headed a female version (nuns) of the Benedictine monastery just a few miles from Monte Cassino.
St Scholastica Reliquary, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton
The above is a reliquary, a container of holy relics. The hand is shown holding a bird, which is reminiscent of how St Benedict saw the soul/spirit of his dead sister as she ascended into heaven in the form of a dove.
The above St Scholastica reliquary was made from silver and originated in Spain and now proudly displayed at the Victroria and Albert Museum. It is quite spectacular. The little glass hole was once used to view the relic from St Scholastica’s left arm.
St Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, convulsive children, schools, tests, books, reading (there are many schools and colleges named after St Scholastica). She is also the saint to invoke against storms and rain.
There was a mystical story regarding St Scholastica and St Benedict. Apparently the twins met up once a year in an inn inbetween their respective monasteries.
St Scholastica begged her brother to stay with her for the evening so they can continue praying and discussing religious matters. But St Benedict refused; he was adamant, he had a rule of spending the nights in his cell in his monastery.
With clasped hands, St Scholastica prayed in earnest, there was suddenly heavy rain and storm, making it impossible for St Benedict to leave.
St Benedict was not very pleased! Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion.[
Three days later, St Scholastica passed away; St Benedict saw the dove flying into the heavenly blue yonder instinctively knowing that it was his sister.
St Benedict ordered for his sister’s body to be brought into his monastery for burial in the space he allotted for himself. In the end they were buried together as St Benedict also passed away not too long after.
Peter was originally called Simon (Simeon). Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, the Greek translation of the Aramaic, ‘rock’ in anticipation of Peter’s major role as the leader of the disciples and the first church of Jerusalem.
Before Peter became a disciple, he was a fisherman together with his brother, Andrew. He was also married.
Peter was a very interesting disciple. He was the first disciple chosen by Jesus. Though he was a willing one, he often questioned his faith.
He admitted his unworthiness and guilt when he had to deny knowing Christ three times as the cock crowed and when he was being examined by the Jewish council.
A mitre or miter is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of Popes, bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity; continuing the priestly practice of Temple Judaism. Mitres are worn in the Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration. (Wikipedia).
One Bishop of Edmonton explained that a mitre and its shape symbolised one of the tongues of flame that descended from heaven onto the heads of Jesus’s Disciples (Pentecost) to inspire and equip them to spread The Words of Jesus throughout the land.
The mitre always reminds me of a rather funny (hilarious I thought) incident during the 80’s involving the late Bishop of Edmonton later to become Bishop of Peterborough, Bill Westwood, the father of rap DJ Tim Westwood.
The Bishop came to visit All Saints’ for a Confirmation. .
Peter at that time was an acolyte – a server in the church.
Just before the service began, the Bishop was having a bit of trouble adjusting and re-adjusting his mitre to get is straight on his head. Quick-witted Peter, told the Bishop that perhaps he needed a Spirit level. (a builder’s tool used for ensuring level surfaces). Double ententre there. Hahaha
I was laughing so hard when Peter told me what he said but apparently the Bishop glared at him.
The above photo and note were taken at the V&A Museum.
It was the penultimate day of our holiday in the Philippines and we thought we should treat the younger members of our family to a fun activity. Marilou, my sister, suggested going to Art in Island, a 3D museum located in Cubao, Quezon City.
At first, Peter was not sure about going to an art museum, when we could be doing last minute shopping (yes, he is a shopoholic!) 🙂 . But with my power of persuasion, lol, I managed to cajole him into joining us.
Because of traffic, it was a long trek going to Cubao. Thank God for Uber taxis. They were a life saver during our holiday in the Philippines.
When we got to the Art In Island, everyone was excited except for Peter, who thought the museum was rather nuff.
The entrance fee was P500 per adult and P400 for children, around $8-$11 US dollars. ID was required for proof of age for the children.
As works of art were painted on the floor as well, visitors were required to remove their shoes or if rather uncomfortable without shoes, a special soft covering for shoes can be bought for P5.00.
Peter was still moaning about removing his shoes when we saw the first 3D painting. It was all so exciting, vibrant and magical that Peter’s inner child suddenly came to the fore. Before I knew it, he was giggling and posing and shoving like the other kids. He wanted to get his photo taken – ALL THE TIME,
He actually enjoyed himself so much and wanted to leave a bit of himself in the museum that he graffitied the wall (legally) with all our names.
The Art In Island museum was fun, a work of art in its truest sense. 😉 It was entertaining and makes one appreciates art even more.
After having lunch at the museum restaurant, we were filled with good food, humour and high spirit. We wanted to spend and purchase memorabilia for this visit.
Unfortunately there was no gift shop. We were very disappointed. A bit of anit-climax, I thought. A museum should have a gift shop to showcase what was seen in the museum.
Therefore, that is my one negative comment about our happy time at the Art in Island museum, its lack of gift shop. I would have wanted to buy t-shirt with a grinning Mona Lisa, a mug, a pen/pencil, postcards, etc.
Peter and I visited the Freud museum in Finchley. The museum used to be the house of Sigmund and his family; it was the house where he died. I must admit it was a real revelation. The house/museum itself was large and airy. I particlarly love the landing, it was where Mrs Freud used to sit and do her needlework.
Sigmund’s study/consulting room was the same in every way as his consulting room in Vienna.
I love his book cases. But what really surprised and impressed me was his huge collection of Egyptian artefacts which were/are lovingly and prominently displayed in his study. There is something really comforting about the room. Just the right atmosphere to let the words flow and Freud would help to put you through psychoanalysis. It could be about snakes and your libido or a fight between your Id, ego and superego. All very interesting. 🙂
The study was a long through-room. The back end was were the famous ‘couch’ was situated. Apparently Sigmund himself used it a great deal towards the end of his life. He would sit/lie on it to gaze at the back garden and see the roses in bloom, which were/are planted in a circular island in the middle of the garden, which he designed.
At the back of the museum overlooking the garden is a conservatory, which has been turned into a little shop where you can get presents, knick-knacks and books.
There were also rooms dedicated to the works of Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna Freud, who specialised in the well-being of children.
The museum is worth the visit. There was something rather surreal about it as I have studied Freud in a university at the other side of the world. It was really something to actually be in his house. Magic.
By the way, you are not allowed to take photos inside, only in the garden.
It was my birthday last 31st of January. Peter wanted to take me out for the day and I asked him if we could see some dolls. I know! I was feeling rather nostalgic for my fast disappearing childhood.
Peter researched about a doll museum and he came up with the Victoria & Albert museum of Childhood, in Bethnal Green, East London.
It was a very good choice too. We were able to indulge in pure nostalgia; a pleasant trip to memory lane.
We saw toys, games and other forms of childhood wonderment at the museum.
Peter can’t believe that he can get up close and personal with Robby the Robot. His long time hero/friend from one of his all time favourite sci-fi classic movies, Forbidden Planet. I had to practically prise him away from Robby. Suddenly I saw a glimpse of Peter the child! 😉 He was obviously remembering some childhood fantasy; Peter even muttered “why are children allowed in the museum!!!”, when a little girl tried to get to know Robby the Robot as well. LOL
The museum also houses a vast, large, gigantic, huge collection of doll house 😉 😉 ;). I love doll houses but the museum had a wing that is solely for doll houses. There were really old ones and there were very modern ones. There were even doll houses in apartment/flat styles. It made me think that these miniature dolls have better clothes, better furnitures, better food and yes, better houses, ergo better life than real people. 🙁
There are also toys from around the world.
I saw a couple of toys which are now popular worldwide but originated from my home country, the Philippines. The toys of course are the yoyo and the mancala, which we call sunka in Ilocano.
There were some exquisite dolls from China, Japan and Persia.
Of course a British toy museum would not be complete without everybody’s seaside entertainment puppetry icon, Punch and Judy.
I love this photo taken by Peter at Fort Santiago in Manila, Philippines. Peter was able to superimpose the lovely red bloom that reminds me of poppies, which are now used to commemorate the two world wars.