Friday, August 7, 2009

Mirabell Palace Wedding Hall Salzburg

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

The SchlossMirabell or Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria, contains the Marmorsaal (Marble Hall) also called Trauungs-Saal. People travel from great distances to be married inside these luxurious settings.

I really had not researched at all my trip to Salzburg and so was very fortunate that my friend Sylvia wanted to show me many things that are special in her area of Austria. She noticed as we entered the stairwell that the Trauungs-Saal was open and said that this is rare, encouraging me to hurry on up and take a peek inside the slightly open door.

PS I have recently published my art newsletter (sign-up via my Web site). check it out online at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tony Cragg and the Elliptical Nave

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Not too far from the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria, lies what I believe is called the Holy Trinity Church. There is a small piazza in front of the church that includes a tented seating area for eating, a green lawn, and a bizarre sculpture by Tony Cragg that reminded me of science fiction.

My friend Sylvia enjoys this artist’s work. I am still unsure of what I think, although I am leaning towards the view of . . . beh! At her suggestion I later saw Tony Cragg’s exhibit in the Museum der Moderne Salzburg that will continue until October 4, 2009. In general, I do not like it when the words about the art speak to me more than the actual art. That said, there were some drawings that I found intriguing in the artist’s exploration of showing the path of movement in objects.

As an artist whose style is more classical than not, you might think that style is the only kind of art that I like. Not true. And I think that the world is more interesting with a variety of expressions. That does not mean that I have to like them all and in all contexts. And thus, I had assumed that this sculpture I show you here was on temporary exhibit, although I suspect that assumption is wrong. I do like the color contrasts of the Cragg sculpture with the surrounding architecture and trees and the idea of old with new; I am just not convinced that this particular piece is the one that fits right in this space.

However, it is the church that I wanted to write about. She is lovely with a relatively simple elegance compared to many European churches that I have seen. I like the attention to details, such as in this hinge design. I never cease to be amazed at the charm and beauty in how we combine stone, metal, and wood.

Although the iron gate inside was locked, the outside wooden doors allowed us to enter and I took most of these images through the gate. The frescoes or paintings that grace the upper walls between the three altars are simple swashes of orange (essentially the robes of figures). Their simplicity seems right against the busy-ness of the altars.

What is unusual about this church, and something I had not noticed when viewing the dome outside, is that the nave and dome are elliptical, not circular. Maybe the twin towers in front of the dome outside help to hide her unexpected shape. In any event, I was grateful that we got to see inside a bit.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Construction in Austria

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I am not sure why I seem to be so fascinated by construction. Maybe it is just processes in general that are so intriguing. I first became conscious of this when I was photographing men arranging small stone squares in a sidewalk repair job in Prague, Czech Republic many years ago.

Today I wanted to share with you three of my favorite construction images from my recent trip to Austria. The first two were taken in Hallstatt and the last one is Salzburg.

I could have easily added an image of Florence, Italy, here. One of these tall cranes has graced the Uffizi Corridor for several months at least.