pseydtonne: Behold the Operator, speaking into a 1930s headset with its large mouthpiece. (bright-blessings)
  1. Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
  2. Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
  3. Include these instructions, and share the love.
Here is a picture that you have never seen unless you've been to Rotterdam or Vienna (the large European cities, not the locations of Coleco and Wolf Trap, respectively):
close-up of the Tower of Babel, showing the red and white teams working on sections

Above is a close-up of Breughel's Tower of Babel, a painting that has fascinated me since college. I got to see the real thing at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam on the second day of my trip to Europe. They let visitors take photographs as long as they don't use flash. I took a lot of photos, a third of which are the title cards for the art work.

Seeing the Tower of Babel up close blew my mind almost as much as it blew my aunt's mind when she saw it forty years ago. There is an immense amount of detail and my camera didn't really have a good enough lens to show it. Now that my camera is dead, I'm tempted to get a proper DSLR and a macro lens with as good an f-stop as possible.

BvB is free, which blew my mind almost as much as its content. They go to a lot of effort to put paintings and sculpture into context, then explain the context. I hadn't realized the invention of paint tubes was the technology that led to Impressionism; I had always assumed it was just a reaction to photography and not a positive statement about light in the outdoors. I have a full set of photos I'd love you to peruse (some of which are not really in focus and none of which have titles yet but hey...). This is just the Netherlands set -- more to come!

If you ever go to the Netherlands, block out an entire morning or afternoon for this museum and the other half of the day for the National Architecture Institute across the street. You'll see so much -- and then you can leave Rotterdam in time to go somewhere else for dinner because there isn't much for night life in Rotterdam. Dinner in The Hague, perhaps? Or you can grab another sandwich and get stoned in Utrecht.

I'm off to do something unmentionable in this post but rest assured, it's civic. By the way, let me know if you'd like full-resolution (7 megapixel) versions of the art, as the Photobucket is only using 1024x768.

August 2016

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