Monday, October 29, 2012

Buenos Aires - the Monuments

Buenos Aires is a sophisticated city of grand classical buildings and monuments. The monuments are often patriotic, and generals or statesmen on horses adorn many of them. Grateful scantly clad or nude women surrounding the hero(s) are usually a prominent part of the ensemble.

Piramide de Mayo, on Plaza de Mayo, is the oldest monument in Buenos Aires, Its construction started in 1811 in commemoration of the May Revolution.  The female figure on top of the pyramid represents Liberty.

The exuberant Monumento a los dos Congressos is located in the center of Plaza del Congresso. It was erected to commemorate the 1813 Assembly and the 1816 Declaration of Independence. Designed by two Belgians -  architect Eugenio D'Huicque and sculptor Jules Lagae, and made in Brussels, the monument was finally assembled in Congress Square, drawing some criticism for obscuring the Congresso building.
     The central female figure symbolizes the Republic of Argentina. The snake is,
of course, the enemy. The lady on the left is a symbol of abundance,
and definitely  deserves a closer look.

 Broken chains...
Power to the people of Argentina

This angel comes from the roof of the Congresso


Plaza Francia is famous for it's weekend arts and crafts market. And it helps to have such a beautiful monument in the midst of it - a gift by France to the nation of Argentina in commemoration of it's 100 years of independence in 1910. Created by French architect Peynot and sculptor Nanot.


Monument to the Constitution and the Four Argentina Regions, better known as the "Spanish Monument" ("Monumento De los EspaƱoles") is an enormous body of work, with money raised by Spanish community to commemorate the 1910 Centennial of the Revolution of May. It was created in marble and brass by the Spanish sculptor Augusti Subirats, and is linked to a tragic 1916 accident in which 450 people died when the ocean liner Principe de Asturias, with a load of marble ornaments and bronze sculptures for the monument, wrecked not far from Rio de Janeiro. Replicas were made and delivered 11 years later.
At the top - the statue of the Republica

At the base 

La Pampa, one of the Regions

A lot of female nudes at the bottom in the waters

It all has a deep meaning


The statue of General Carlos Maria De Alvear by the French sculptor Emile Antonine Bourdelle commemorates the great "Battle of Ituzaingo" in which Argentinians defeated a much larger Brazilian army. It's mostly unknown in our parts of the world, but 19th century Latin America was at its births, and in addition to wars of independence, the newly minted countries continued to settle scores with each other for decades.


The monument to Bartolomeo Mitre is created by Italian sculptors Luis Calandra, David and Eduardo Rubino. A statesmen, military figure, journalist, and  a poet, Bartolomeo Mitre was the President of Argenine in the-nineteen century, later forced to exile. The bronze equestrian figure of Mitre is surrounded by allegoric groups made of Carrara marble.

 Winged Victory
 The Family
 The Harmony(?)


The monument to General San Martin, the leader of the struggle for independence of South America, is created by Louis-Joseph Daumas, and is located in the Plaza San Martin

A plaque on the monument to San Martin

Click photo for high resolution

Sunday, October 7, 2012

California Wine Country - Napa Valley

Legendary Napa Valley is home to hundreds of wineries,  and many of them are naturally accompanied by beautiful art. There is no better way to appreciate a nice garden sculpture then  having a couple of wine tasting flights on a sunny autumn day.  

di Rosa Gardens with it's significant collection art, is, for some reason, a well kept secret. It hosts about 2000 pieces of art in its Main Gallery, Historic Residence, Courtyard and Sculpture Meadow. The collection would not be complete without some examples of nude human body.

A little shed with reclining nudes
Inside the shed

A kinetic angel rotating around broken copies of classical statues

 Painted female nude

Painted male nude

Looks like a female torso


Paoletti Winery  is an beautiful Italian mansion located in Calistoga. Its animated owner, Gianni Paoletti, enjoys telling family stories while attending to his tasting room. He proudly shows his cellars full of marble sculptures made for him in Italy. Among the sculptures - busts of famous people ( Einstein, for example), with the owner's image mixed in. And, of course, plenty of replicas of Roman, Greek and Renaissance statues.
The Cellar


 A beauty


Peju Province Winery  is located in  Rutherford on Hwy 29. It's stylish main building is surrounded by a lawn full of  original art.
Celebration of a very good harvest, by Welton Rotz

Eternal Cycle, Welton Rotz

 Eternal Cycle fragment

Repose, by Phillip Dizick, 1972

"True beauty is shown in the quietness of sleep" (Phillip Dizick)

Other Wineries

Welcoming Muse, by Henry Waddell. Robert Mondavi Winery

Hess Collection Winery

Mother Earth, by Henry Moor. Clos Pegas Winery

Alberge de Soleil Garden

"Three drunken girls" (my own title) in Calistoga

Click photos to enlarge