Alte Museum, Munich

Day 56, Sunday, October 20, 2019

We walk through lots of leaves on our way to the Alte Museum.
No idea what kind of tree has these huge seed pods.  Maybe someone can tell me?
We go past a street of shops with rather expensive merchandise, but I really wonder about these colour combinations! The Alte Museum admission is only 1euro on Sundays!  What a bargain.  This is one half of the double staircase that leads to the exhibition rooms.   We walk through the first door and I see these beautiful pastel paintings by Maurice Quentin La Tour, Jean-Étienne, Joseph Vivien and Rosalba Carriera!  I need to find some books about these artists and study their paintings.  Unfortunately there were lots of reflections in the glass covering these works.  You can even see me in two of them! One of the 46 rooms we visited today had lots of paintings of Venice, completed in the early 1700’s.  I marvelled that Venice looked just the same then as it did when we visited a couple years ago.  The only difference was the number of small boats in the canals and the clothing of the people in the paintings!  There were another 13 rooms that were closed due to the installation of new exhibits. This room was full of paintings by Rembrandt and Franz Hals…including this small self-portrait that Rembrandt painted in 1629 when he was only 23.  This is a special exhibit for 2019,  the 350th anniversary of the year of Rembrandt’s death.  The painting is only 15.5cm x12.7 cm.
I lost count of the number of rooms filled with work by Peter Paul Rubens…  which Included a room with the huge painting of The Great Last Judgement. and another with The Fall of the Damned, which is also very large.   Rubens was a very productive artist! Here is a close up of some of the damned souls.Looking through the doorway, you can see the many more rooms we have yet to explore.  There are ten large galleries in a row along the length of the museum, with many smaller galleries off of these.  I liked how I could stand in front of the study for this Rubens painting and then look into the adjoining gallery and see the finished painting.  There was a gallery full of studies, which I particularly liked.  It is possible to see the way Rubens thought about and worked out his compositions.
There were some Dürer, but no drawings…I do love his drawings.This is a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci when he was only 23.  I don’t remember seeing it before (in books). And then there is Hieronymus Bosch with his very strange creatures, in this fragment of the Last Judgement.  His works always has lots of details to examine closely. We saw paintings by so many other artists I am familiar with: Holbein, Raffael, Botticelli, Titian, Van Dyk, and Velázquez, as well as many new artists that I liked as well.

After a lunch break outside in the sunshine we visit the remaining galleries which contain works from the Neue Pinakothek, which is currently under renovation.  Here we see many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Van Gogh’s the Weaver,

and works by Cézanne, Gauguin, and several more Van Gogh’s. A large painting by Ferdinand Hodler, TheTired of Life, really drew my attention.  I will have to research this artist. There was a Klimt.  I am looking forward to visiting the Klimt Museum when we return to Vienna.

I decide to go back and do a bit of drawing and Bob goes off to check out the Egyptian Museum nearby. On the way home we passed this group of people dancing outside.  They looked like they were having a lot of fun.
Here are my metro drawing from today… and yesterdays drawings in the gardens we visited, which I forgot to post.

Life Drawing in Munich

Day 53, Thursday, October 17, 2019

I had a relaxing day at our Munich Airbnb and Bob spent the better part of the day sorting out the transit system and where to get tickets.   I went to life drawing in the evening.  The session was at an artist’s apartment, which was really more of a studio than an apartment.  Everyone was very nice and made me feel very welcome.

Here are some photos that were posted on the Meetup page for the session.  Maurice is the artist who hosted the event.  That is him in the centre of the photo.
Here is our model, Bettina, she is very pregnant.  How wonderful!  It has been ages since I have had the chance to draw a pregnant model so this was an unexpected bonus. The drawing on the left is mine. I did a couple sketches to warm up. Then spent about two hours working on this drawing. Bob came to pick me up after the session and on the metro ride home I did a bit more sketching.
This was interesting, the older man with the facial hair was sitting right across the aisle from me and he was only on the metro for one stop so I sketched quickly hoped he didn’t notice that I was sneaking peeks at him. The young man with glasses did notice I was drawing him and he smiled at me, I smiled back and he tried not to smile as I continued sketching.  As he got up to leave I showed him the sketch and he said something in German, then he smiled and said ciao, so I think he liked it.

 

Day 54, Friday, October 18, 2019

We both had a relaxing quiet day.  It is nice to have some down time after seven weeks of holidays.  The big event of the day was going for a little walk to get some groceries.

Salzburg Cathedral and Bio Fest

Day 49, Sunday, October 13, 2019

This morning we attend a service at the Salzburg Cathedral.  There is a choir at this service and we thought it would be a nice way to see the church, and hear the choir at the same time.  The inside of the church is magnificent.  No matter how many churches we visit, we still wonder at their ornate interiors.This short video gives you look at the church while listening to the choir. I draw while we listen to the service and choir.  Of course we can’t understand any of it! I was tempted to finish this drawing of the altar from a photo but in the end decided to leave it just as it was. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Second World War. But today is beautifully restored.  The ceilings are particularly ornate, this is the ceiling of one of the small side chapels. In the basement is a crypt with a small chapel, and its very own ghostly apparition that flies around the room!  Tough to catch its likeness in a photo but there it is on the back wall.

After the service we find a Bio Fair (Organic Fair) right around the corner.  There are people everywhere enjoying the sunshine, food and drinks.  Great people watching today! We have lunch here but are too full to have one of these giant donut-like pastries, which are served either with sauerkraut or sprinkled with sugar and filled with jam.We sit for awhile to listen to a band, which sang in English, and I did a quick sketch of the bass player.

There is an area for the kids to play…I think they must be scratchy after jumping in all that hay! Nearby is St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Cemeteries in Austria are very neat and beautifully kept.We learned that plots are rented in Austria and if the rent is not paid the bones are dug up and the plot is rented out to someone else.  The remains are either moved to a mass gravesite or dug up and buried deeper in the same plot and the headstone removed so that the plot can be reused!  The headstones are on the wall of the church for exactly this reason.  The rent on the plot was not paid so the grave was reused and the headstones were placed here.  This explains the many headstones we have seen on cemetery walls and other churches.

The von Trapp family (The Sound of Music) hid in this cemetery, in one of these vaults just before they escaped from Austria.
Bob insisted we needed a photo of me hiding in the cemetery!We almost miss seeing the catacombs dating from the 12th century.  Can you see the windows high up in the cliff above the cemetery?  Pay particular attention to the little door below the windows.  This is where Saint Maximus and 50 of his followers were thrown to their death in 477AD, because of their faith.This is one of the chapels carved out of the rock high in the cliff. A view of the graveyard through one of the windows as we climbed down from the stone chapels. Bob has a few more places for us to visit.  The Church of Our Lady dates from 1221 AD.  It was very dark everywhere except for right around the altar where there are soaring pillars and arched ceilings. Next is the Horse Fountain.  This fountain has a ramp (the white area on the right side of the photo) so that horses could walk right into the fountain to cool off. This fountain is just a bit smaller! Notice the dates on these buildings…1360 on the apricot coloured one and 1258 on the brown one.  I am amazed that these houses are this old. We see a very long line up… it is people lining up for ice cream!  Soft ice cream in a cup with a choice of fresh fruit and other toppings. I see this curious ‘wand’ and wonder where it is from.This is a view of the side of the Salzburg Cathedral.
We walk back through the Bio-Fest on our way home and now I know where the wand comes from.  These look like such fun to make.Walking past this house we notice a sign saying that this is where the creator of the song “Silent Night’ was born.One more church!.. with lots of paintings and a pretty green and white ceiling.  The skull was on a plaque near the door, and the little bronze plaques were in the square outside.  They mark the location where a person was arrested and taken to a concentration camp.  We looked for these in other cities but couldn’t find any.  It has the person’s name, date of birth, date of arrest, the name of the camp and their date of death.  

This sculpture is a popular destination for Mozart fans. The horse fountain in the square near the Salzburg Cathedral glows in the late afternoon sun. I thought tying them up was a clever way to deal with unruly tall grasses. In a yard near our Airbnb I spot these little rock gardens.  I might have to make one of these in our garden at home.  I am always collecting stones! The fall colours are brilliant in the late afternoon sun as we arrive home.

Prague to Vienna by Bus

Day 38, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

We take a Flixbus to Vienna today.  We were going to take the train but Bob read reviews and they all said to avoid the trains!  Service is terrible, the bathrooms are filthy, the seats you reserve are often not even on the train, and so on.

We have used Flixbus before and they are affordable, clean, comfortable and efficient.  We take our very first Uber ride ever to the bus station.  Our driver, who was originally from Azerbaijan, had a university education and spoke five languages!  Bob had thought we could walk, pulling our suitcases on the cobbled sidewalks…I am so glad we changed our minds on that.  We drive by the train station we first arrived at in Prague five weeks ago.The National Museum at the top end of Wenceslas Square.  I didn’t recognize it at first from this angle.  I drew one of the corner domes at the Urban Sketcher’s Meetup last week.
Not sure if I have a photo of the trams we used here in Prague so I snapped this one from the bus window.  They run every few minutes and are a fantastic way to get around the city.Soon we are in the countryside.  It always surprises me how quickly cities transition into rural areas in Europe. You are in the city and then suddenly you are not. The views here are quite similar to the countryside around home in Canada.  There are those big round hay bales, and… then something we do not see at home.  We see several huge haystacks of loose hay piled high.  They must have a machine that throws the hay up onto this haystack?
No idea what was planted here but it was the brightest green!

This big double decker bus drives through small villages on narrow roads.  I like being up high as I can see over fences into the yards of the houses we pass and sometimes into windows.  I am always curious and love these little glimpses into people’s lives.

I also do some sketching today, standing outside waiting for our bus and then later on the bus. I forgot to post this page from yesterday so here it is today.  Most of the museums charge a fee to take photos.  That is what the big yellow sticker is about.We pass several fields of pumpkins, all lined up ready for harvest.  Halloween is coming!

When we arrive in Vienna we take an Uber to our new Airbnb.