Spanish Riding School and the State Hall National Library, Vienna

Day 73, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

This morning we went to see the Lipizzaner stallions, but not a performance.  We went to the morning training session instead. We got to sit in the 96 euro seats for two hours and watch the horses train and it only cost us 9.5 euros each!   It was great and we both enjoyed it. We found out that to get those 96 euro seats we should have reserved months in advance!  We sat about half way down the side of the arena.No photos are allowed and I was very good and didn’t try to sneak any!  It would have been so nice to have a few photos though.  These two photos were taken from posters advertising the performances.  The stallions are gorgeous!  I did a bit of sketching during the training and that was OK but it was hard to draw and watch what was going on a the same time.  After a bit I decided to just enjoy watching the training session and forget about drawing.

It is unusual to see any of the jumps that are performed in the performances during a training session.  We were very lucky, we saw two different horses perform the capriole!  The first stallion was experienced and he did three caprioles.  This is where the horse jumps straight up into the air, kicks out with the hind legs, and lands more or less on all four legs at the same time. It is a very difficult jump. The second stallion was young and still in training. He managed to get his forelegs up in the jump but the hind legs didn’t quite make it, but he tried three times as well.  We also saw the piaffe, the dance like trotting on the spot and several other of the special dressage movements.

The training session was two hours long.  Four half hour sessions with different horses for each session.  It went by very quickly and Bob said he enjoyed it too, even though he doesn’t love horses near as much as I do! Next stop is the State Hall of the National Library.  It is so amazing!  It is hard to describe such a magnificent place.  The pictures probably do a better job, so here they are.  This is our view when we enter the library.  We both just stop and stare!  This library is nearly 60 metres long and 20 metres high and contains over 200,000 books! One of the first things we see are these ‘secret’ doors the open into rooms with even more books. The cases Bob is standing by held illuminated manuscripts.  I would have loved to be able to climb one of these ladders and pull a book or two off the shelves.
These are from 1400 and 1260!The globes have been in this spot since the mid 1700’s. This statue is in the central oval of the library beneath a painted domed ceiling.

Here is a view looking up at the ceiling…and a wide angled view of the central area.
We sit for a while just absorbing the atmosphere. Looking towards the entrance from where I was sitting… and towards the back of the library. The second level is just as ornately decorated as the first.  I wish we could have gone there as well, but it was not to be. One last photo before we leave.  Here is a short video I made of the inside of the library. When we leave the library we pass the Lipizzaner stables.I zoom in on these two beauties.
We stop at the Minoritenkirche because Bob says it has a mosaic life size replica of The Last Supper.It appears to be painted on tiled panels rather than being a mosaic made with many small tiles.
We didn’t get to see The Last Supper when we were in Italy.  We didn’t know we had to get tickets far in advance, so I guess this is the next best thing.We walk towards the metro through a bit of a park…
where there are lots of people sitting enjoying the sunshine. I was surprised there were so many yellow roses in bloom so late in the year.  Do you notice all the little white signs in the background?  This is a memorial garden and each rose is planted in memory of a person who has passed away. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon.  Warm for November, but we still need our coats. We stop at the Naschmarkt for something to eat.  This roast pig is for sale by the piece, starting at the back end.  Interesting but we decide on something a bit less exotic.I love this huge art nouveau pot supported by four turtles.  Wish I had one like this at home!

We have a bit of time at home before I go to for another life drawing session at a pub called The Roo Bar.  Here are a 5 minute, two 10 minute and a 20 minute drawing. A ten and twenty minute pose. I think I liked these two 5 minute drawings the best.  It was a good night. 

Dürer Exhibit at the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Day 72, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I have been looking forward to visiting this Dürer Exhibit.  I only found out about it in Munich at a drawing Meetup.  This exhibition is the most comprehensive Dürer exhibition  in decades.  It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

It is raining today so it is a good day to spend inside. We purchased our tickets online so no waiting in the lineup!Before we see the Dürer exhibit we visit the other parts of the museum.  There are 20 decorated and restored Habsburg State Rooms with precious wall coverings, chandeliers, fireplaces and stoves, inlaid floors, and exquisite furniture. We pass through these fairly quickly, we have seen quite a few of these kinds of rooms on this trip and I am more interested in the Dürer exhibit.  The floors are beautiful with inlaid wood designs.  We notice that the floors we walk on are actually reproductions placed over the original floors in order to preserve them.  If you look closely you can just make out the seam lines of these rectangular reproduction tiles.

The chandeliers in this room were very beautiful. The most interesting thing in these rooms was the art exhibit on the walls.  We have a print of this Hieronymus Bosch drawing at home.  Unfortunately the drawings and prints are facsimiles.  Very good ones, but facsimiles non-the-less.  This is necessary as works on paper are fragile and can not be displayed for long periods of time. 

There are so many works that I am familiar with and some, like the Munch woodcut that are new to me.  These are: Munch’s The Kiss IV, two Schiele watercolours, Rembrandt’s Elephant, and Rubens’ drawing of his son Nicolas.
Now on to the main event!

It has been decades since so many works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) have been seen in one place.  There are more than 200 examples of Dürer’s drawings, printed graphics, and paintings on display at the Albertina.

This ‘Self Portrait at the Age of Thirteen’ from 1484 is the first work that I see when we enter the exhibition rooms. I took so many photos but have chosen just a few of my favourite ones for today’s post. Here is ‘Three Studies of Dürer’s Left Hand’ 1493/94.  I like drawing hands and feet and there is much to learn from Dürer. This page of studies was so interesting.   Here is another drawing I have seen so often in books.
‘The Woman’s Bath’ is a pen and ink drawing… and this ‘Illustration for the Apocalypse’ is a woodcut.  Dürer was a master of all mediums. Dürer’s watercolours are exquisite.  This painting is simply titled ‘Iris’. A watercolour study of a ‘Blue Rolle’r from 1500.We enter another room and there on the far wall are three famous works.  Dürer’s ‘Young Hare’ is only exhibited once every five years for a period of no more than three months.  It is just luck that it is on exhibit while we are here.  This is another print that we have at home.  Bob wishes it was the original!! ‘The Great Piece of Turf’ was painted on the largest piece of paper available at the time to portray the plants life sized. ‘The Wing of a Blue Roller’ is quite amazing.  This work is watercolour and body colour on parchment with fine gold lines on the breast plumage to enhance the iridescence of the feathers.  There is no one telling visitors to keep a certain distance from the works, so my nose gets up very close! I liked the study of a bull’s nose too… and this ‘Columbine”… and this page of studies.   OK. I love pretty much everything I see here!  This head of an angel and head of twelve year old Jesus are studies for a larger painting … as is this hand study.  It is fascinating to see the studies and then the finished painting. ‘The Praying Hands’ is a well known Dürer image. I really didn’t know much about Dürer’s oil paintings.  I particularly loved this one.  The Madonna’s face is so beautiful.
Dürer drawing and woodcut of a rhino were made without his ever having seen a rhinoceros!  He drew from a written description of the animal and his imagination. I have always loved this ‘Portrait of a 93 Year Old Man’.  I didn’t know it was done with a brush!   As we are leaving the museum I see this Modigliani painting ‘Prostitute’.  I have always liked Modigliani’s work but haven’t really see very many in person.   One last photo at the Albertina.  Seems I want to sprout wings this trip! We spent four hours here today and I could easily have spent much more time here but this will have to do.  I bought the catalogue for the exhibit.  It is huge, and weighs 6.6 pounds!  Good thing we are near the end of our trip!

I have a Life Drawing Meetup session at 7:00 pm and want to have a bit of a rest before that.  I just realized that I posted tonight’s life drawing photos in yesterday’s blog by mistake!  After being on holidays for so long it is easy to mix up the days.

Belvedere Museum and St. Charles Church, Vienna

Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019

I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum.  The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace.  This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings.  It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display.  It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters.  I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large.  Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving.  The Embrace and….  the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either.  I am so glad I was able to visit this museum.  This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894.  It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church.  There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church.  Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us.  We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny.  “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin.  The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go!  We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower.  Nope!  We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings.  It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings.  We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo.  Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside.  If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome.  That is the window we were standing in!  What an amazing experience.  There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while.  The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet.  They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup.   This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.

It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room.  I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session.  Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study.  I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself.  The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.

The Hundertwasser House and the Prater Amusement Park, Vienna

Day 70, Sunday, November 3, 2019

I loved the sign on this shop we passed on our way to the Hundertwasser House.   The Hundterwasser House attracts a lot of attention.  More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city.Here are some views of this unique building which was built between 1983 -1985.  
I wonder what the inside of this tower is? The Hundertwasserhaus can only be viewed from outside but opposite the Hundertwasserhaus is the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors. It was created out of a tire workshop in 1990-1991. The artist created his own shopping center here with a “village square”, a bar and numerous stores in the typical Hundertwasser style. Every window in this building is different from every other window! Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste.   This fountain is nestled into the undulating ground around the building. There are is many interesting buildings in Vienna.  I don’t know what this building is but it has huge golden globes on the roof. We walk along this canal and find a bench on its banks for our afternoon tea. On our walk to the Prater we pass this interesting building mural. The Prater Amusement Park has been in the same location since 1766!  It is free to enter the grounds. This is the first ride we see and it looks crazy enough, but…take a look at how high the swings go!  We could not believe what we were seeing!  It didn’t even look like this tower should stay upright, it was so tall and narrow.  Absolutely insane!! This roller coaster turned people upside down… and this ride not only goes upside down, but spins around on the end at the same time!  Yikes!!Then there is this ride…do you see those legs dangling on each end of the long arm that spins around high above the ground?

This tower shoots people to the top and then drops them very quickly towards the ground.
If you like rollercoasters you might want to try this one,,,it flips you upside down as you ride…
and this swing also turns upside down periodically as it flies through the air.  Do you detect   a theme here?
The grounds are huge, with an area for children rides that we don’t even get to, and lots of fun houses and scary ghost houses.
I’m not sure who would buy tickets from this fellow!
 There is a Ferris wheel, among some of the ‘tamer’ rides… which I try out!

The Giant Ferris Wheel was erected in 1897.  It has been in several Hollywood films, such as “The Third Man” with Orson Wells and in the James Bond movie “The Living Daylights”.             The diameter of the wheel is almost 61 meters, and the entire iron structure weighs 430 metric tons.  Its cabins offer a wonderful view of the city and the Prater. Here is one of hte cabins going over the top of the wheel.The wheel turns slowly and our ride consists of one revolution which takes almost fifteen minutes.  

it starts to rain after our ride so it is time to head home. We get home at 7:00 and realize that I forgot about a life drawing session at 7:30.  I am tired and It is too late to make it there in time.  Too bad, I was looking forward to going, especially after Thursday’s session was cancelled because of Halloween.

Walking Tour of Vienna

Hi, as you may have noticed, I have fallen behind on my blog posts.  We have had several busy days and I just haven’t had the energy to work on a post late in the evening. We are actually in Budapest right now, and it is raining for a day or two so I am going to try to get at least a little bit caught up.

Day 69, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bob found another walking tour online so we are off to check out Vienna this morning.  First stop is the Naschmarkt, a local outdoor market that has been operating on this same site since the 1500’s!  There are colourful stand with fruits and vegetables, olives and antipasto appetizers…as well as all sorts of candies, dried fruits and some rather exotic looking products in the fish market section.Near the Naschmarkt we find this interesting tribute to the Orson Wells movie, The Third Man.  It is possible to tour the sewers, right under our feet, where part of the movie was filmed, but we pass on that today.

I take a photo of some wedding dresses in a shop window and a short time later we see a bride and groom.  The bride seemed annoyed and her pretty dress was getting all dirty as it dragged along the street. I wanted to tell her attendants to pick up the back of her dress!  Not my idea of a nice way to spend part of your wedding day, hiking along the streets towards a place for your photo shoot. There is a statue of Mozart, right beside a Hop On Hop Off bus station.  We sit and have our picnic lunch and watch tourists jump off the bus, snap a photo from quite a distance, and then jump back on the bus to get to the next destination.  This sure isn’t the way we do it!  We sight-see very slowly and leisurely, stopping often to look at the sights, people watch and just enjoy where we are and what we are seeing. We are very slow tourists!
This equestrian statue of Emperor Joseph II, erected in 1795  is the oldest equestrian statue in Vienna.

It stands in front of the Neue Burg (New Castle) Wing  of the Hofburg Palace.  Notice that part of the palace is still in need of cleaning.     We make our way to the Albertina Museum, which we will visit another day.  There is a Durer Exhibit I am looking forward to seeing.  This is a street view from a corner of the Albertina.

The Gates of Violence remembers victims of all wars and violence. The statues are a montage of wartime images: clubs and WWI gas masks, a dying woman birthing a future soldier, victims of cruel medical experimentation, and chained slave laborers.  It is on the site of an apartment block that was destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War.  Hundreds of people had sheltered in the apartment basement and their bodies were never recovered from the rubble of the destroyed building. Of course there are several churches on our walk, and we visit all of them! This broad pedestrian Kärntner Strasse is packed with people and lined with shops and places to eat.  This road dates to 97AD when it was a Roman road that went from Vienna to the border of Italy and Slovenia, and eventually all the way to St. Petersberg, Russia! I thought that the Zen-Doodle like designs on the clothing in this shop were interesting.  The modern Haas House offers interesting reflections of St. Stephen’s church. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral is huge, and ornately decorated, outside…  and inside. Just behind the cathedral we see a group of people taking part in a drinking game.  The guy in the blue jeans drank his big can of beer twice as quickly as the guy dressed in brown! The Stock im Eisen is part of a tree that has hundreds of iron nails pounded into it and dates from 1440.  No one is sure why the nails were pounded in but it is thought that is was for good luck. It is located on the corner of a building and is protected behind plexiglass. The Holy Trinity Column, located on a street in the inner city of Vienna, was erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679.  It is one of the most well-known sculptural pieces of art in the city.
St. Peter’s Church has an oval dome and its open layout makes it feel bigger than it actually is. I thought it interesting the way the paintings on the dome extended over the sculptural trim around the round windows.The end of each pew is beautifully carved with different finials of three children’s heads.  We sat for quite a while listening to the choir practicing.  Back outside, there are interesting details everywhere I look, like these sculptures holding up balconies.I loved this building. It looks like a castle.  I wouldn’t mind living here! Back out on the Kärntner Strasse, there are lots of famous brand name shops, like Jimmy Choo…
where the customers are served champagne as they shop!  Sigh…an experience I am sure I will never have!
There are Roman ruins…  and beautiful statues on the corners of buildings.  This is the building that houses the Austrian National Library, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, as well as the Spanish Riding School with the world famous Lipizzaner stallions.  We will visit both of these on another day,  It gets dark earlier now, at about 5;30.  The buildings look pretty all lit up. This is the other side of the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg Palace.  We saw the backside earlier in the day. Time to head home.  This subway station has colourful murals.  Our apartment is very well located on the U6 subway line, so it takes less than a half hour to get home.  Somehow even our ‘easy’ days end up being quite long. We left before noon and it will be after 7:00 by the time we get home.

Residence Museum, Munich

Day 65, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Residence Museum is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach Monarchs of Bavaria. The Residence is the largest city palace in Germany.  This Residence has 144 rooms open for viewing!

The first room we visit is the Shell Grotto, which is decorated with sea shells in intricate patterns.  It is rather bizarre and not what we expected to see in a royal palace. The next room is the Antiquarium which was built in 1568 as an exhibition room for Duke Albrecht V’s collection of antiquities.  The room is 66 metres long and the ceiling is decorated with paintings of 102 views of towns, markets and palaces in Bavaria.  It is truly a remarkable room.
The faux painted ceiling in this room is an optical illusion.  In this photo you can see that the ceiling is not very high. But when I stand right under the chandelier in the centre of the ceiling this is what I see… a high domed ceiling! We see many furnished rooms, including this throne room, and lavish bedrooms. One of the Electoral rooms was decorated with lots of paintings…including these two of the summer residence of Nymphenburg painted in 1761, which we just visited last Thursday! The Court Church of All Saints was destroyed during the Second World War and was only opened again to the public in 2003.  It was left undecorated and it is now used for concerts and other functions. This small room, or Cabinet, was decorated with 18th century pastel portraits which I am particularly interested in. Here is a model of the palace.  It really is huge and sprawling so it wasn’t the easiest to navigate,  The Trier rooms were built as guest apartments.
Here is a close up of one of the tapestries.  They are amazingly well preserved.All the rooms in the palace are connected by a series of doorways lined up in a row.  I think this must have made it difficult to have any privacy as people would have to walk through the rooms to get from one to another.   This is one of the Ornate Rooms that were used for diplomatic meetings and court ceremonies. The Green Rooms are an art gallery.  Here is our reflection in one of the tall mirrors. The chandeliers are reflected in the mirror on the end wall of the room.  We were surprised when a door was opened in this end wall and a tour group disappeared into what seems to be a secret room. The walls in the Cabinet of Mirrors have many blue and white vases sitting on little shelves.The Cabinet of Miniatures has red lacquered walls inset with many miniature paintings from floor to ceiling.. I think this was called the Queen’s staircase.  In any case, it is very grand. Yet another Throne Room, this is the Queen’s Throne Room…
and some more rooms in the Queen and King’s apartments. The floors in these apartments are inlaid wood, each room has a different ornate pattern.  It must have taken a very long time to build these floors.  The seams between the pieces of inlaid wood are perfect. There are rooms full of table settings that were used in the palace.  The table with the gilded plates on the top right is set for fifty guests! The small chapel was the private place of worship of Duke Maximilian I and his wife.  It was here that the Duke kept his collection of precious relics, which are the bodily remains of saints. We thought we were finished, but realized we missed a whole wing of rooms but we couldn’t figure out how to get to the.   A very helpful guard escorted us back into the palace and directed us to the rooms.   We also saw these paintings which were painted on enamel panels. They are copies of famous paintings, and we have seen the originals of many of these on this trip. It was a surprise to see the copy of the Mona Lisa.This Hall of Ancestors was being cleaned and restored. This woman was using a tiny paintbrush to touch up the gold gilded frames. It is painstaking slow work. Here is the museum, and it is drizzling when we emerge. On the way to the metro we walked past some of those high end shops we saw yesterday.  The stores are still open so the widow displays are complete.  Notice the prices on these two watches, 160,480 euros and 239,450 euros!! 

Bavarian National Museum, Munich

Day 63, Sunday, October 27, 2019

It was a beautiful sunny day and as we walked to the museum we passed the back of this church.  I don’t know its name but found the ‘composition’ of all these shapes interesting.  These old churches have been rebuilt and renovated repeatedly which results in a variety of styles.  It is only one euro admission to the Bavarian National Museum on Sundays.  The first rooms we enter have incredibly beautiful wooden sculptures, many of which still have their original painted colouring.  The sculpture of Christ is from 1200, the Apostles are from 1505, and the woman with children is from1300.  All the pieces are in amazing condition…it is hard to believe that they can be this old. These were two of my favourite pieces.  The Mary on the left is from1300 and is larger than life size, while the second Virgin Mary is from 1500.  Notice how her finger marks her place in the book she was reading when she is surprised by the angel.  She is much smaller, probably about 30 ” tall.  They were both exquisite. This dancing fellow from 1490, is exceptionally animated for such an early carving.  The detail of the hands and drapery in the group of figures was so beautifully done.  I have a heck of a time drawing drapery, and I can’t imagine how anyone can carve it so well.We don’t know what this skeleton astride the lion is about but it was interesting.  Unfortunately most of the signage is only in German,  There is a room full of armour… and another room with models of many towns.  This is Munich in 1580 and we are able to recognize some of the buildings that are still present in modern day Munich! There are enormous detailed tapestries on the wall.  We are amazed at the excellent condition of these tapestries. This small panel from the mid 1500’s is only about 6″ tall and is made with intricately inlaid wood.  It is incredibly detailed. The child’s outfit is from 1547 and the dress from 1630.  I wonder how these have survived all these years.  Their tiny hand sewn stitches are visible and there is some wear and tear but they are really very well preserved. The next room is filled with amazing cabinets.  I love boxes and cabinets with lots of drawers, and I have never seen anything like these.  The coin cabinet of Maximillian I was made for his collection of gold coins.  Each of the rows is a shallow drawer with fitted spaces for the coins.  It is made of ivory, lapis lazuli, silver and enamel, so of course it must have its own storage case!  The case on the right hinges open in the middle so the cabinet can be inserted for safe keeping.

This cabinet was built for the Electress Maria Ana. The ivory cabinet is gorgeous with lapis lazuli panels, but then I walk around to the other side and it is even more beautiful, with silver and enamelling.  This cabinet has 176 drawers and secret compartments for storing precious objects!  Wow! These huge globes were interesting..
and then we walked into the next room with these monumental wooden figures! Don’t you love the faces on these sandals? Downstairs there are several rooms that appear to be taverns.  We aren’t sure, because all the signage here is German.  I think the domed object in the corner is a stove to heat the room.Back upstairs, there is gallery of about 1,000 ivory objects and I wonder how many elephants died so these could be created?  This ivory carving was one of fifty or so.  The background sky is so thin that the light shines through it. The Rape of Proserpina on the left is carved in ivory, and the porcelain centrepiece on the right depicts Neptune being drawn by seahorse and tritons.  They were both completed in the mid 1700’s.We visit a gallery with elaborate table settings.
I thought this tapestry was particularly colourful and beautiful.  Notice the details in the close up of the pelican. Some of the musical instruments on display are rather strange.  Bob is wondering how to play the double layer of 19 strings on this one…  and check out the crazy wind instruments. There is a wonderful display of clothing from the mid 18th century.  Even the pet monkey had stylish togs. But take a look at the undergarments women wore!   I love doors and this museum has many.  The front door opens automatically when we approach.  Seems weird for such an ancient door. We walk along the river on our way to Maximillianstrasse, where all the fancy expensive shops are located. On the way, a firetruck pulls up and the firemen check behind bushes and in garbage cans, then drive away.  We wonder what they are looking for. We window shop where the wealthy people shop! The two outfits on the left are only 42,400.00 euros!   The red outfit is only 26,300 euros!  At today’s exchange rate that is over $100,00!  

The stores are closed so they only leave the ‘cheaper’ watches in the windows.  Notice the empty stands for the more expensive ones. We pass more very loud, very energetic Chilean protesters on our way home.

The Nymphenburg Palace, Munich and Life Drawing

Day 60, Thursday, October 24, 2019

Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe.  It sits on 490 acres of gardens and park land.  This arial view was found online.  The façade of the palace is almost 700 metres long!This central four-storey building was the beginning of the palace and was built in 1644.  Over the years numerous additions were built until it reached its present configuration in 1776. The Nymphenburg Palace was originally a summer residence for the Bavarian rulers.  This is the Great Hall.  Musicians would entertain guests from the gallery.
One of the many rooms with original furnishings. Many of the rooms are not that big and seem to serve as connecting passages to other larger rooms.The south apartment bedroom of the Electress, who was the consort of the king. Our reflection in the bedroom mirror. Every palace has to have a Chinese inspired room. The audience room of Queen Caroline… and her bedroom have their original furnishings.  This room is where King Ludwig II was born in 1845.  The bed is hidden by a cover on a high frame which was spread over the bed during the daytime. The official Hall of Beauties is under restoration but the paintings are on display in a corridor. From 1826 to 1850 King Ludwig I had a series of 36 portraits painted of what he considered to be the most beautiful women.  Beauty was considered to be an outward sign of moral perfection! We finish our tour of the palace rooms, and go explore the grounds.  Unfortunately we realize that the park pavilions closed for the season a week ago.  I do manage a peek inside the Magdalene Hermitage, which was a pavilion used for contemplation. Much of the grounds are in the style of an English park, with paths… and little bridges over water features. This creek was so covered with fallen leaves that the water was barely visible.This shows just how long the canal water feature is…looking towards and away from the palace on a bridge that crosses the canal.  At one time gondolas sailedd these waters.  Neat reflections too.
Walking back towards the palace along a tree lined path. I liked the reflection of the palace in the water. Looking out towards the garden from the Palace steps. It is almost closing time, but we manage a quick peek inside the Carriage museum, which is one of the most important museums of court carriages, travel and equestrian culture in the world. The Coronation coach of Emperor Karl VII is here…

along with numerous over-the-top elaborate coaches built for King Ludwig II. We can only begin to imagine how much these coaches cost! Besides dozens of coaches there are numerous sleighs on display. Parades and competitive games with these carousel sleighs were a popular winter amusement at court.  Women would sit in front of a male driver and try to hit rings or paper maché figures with a lance or sword.  Notice the rear view of the sleigh in the mirror. Just a few of the many coaches on display in one of the halls. One last selfie before we leave. and one last look back towards the front of the Palace…
with a photo stop at the swans. I have life drawing tonight, so we head toward the metro and after checking out my route, Bob heads for home and I head towards my drawing session.  I have a bit of time so I sit at the Sheraton Hotel having a cup of tea and doing a bit of sketching.

My sketches from the bus this morning weren’t terribly successful; I was having difficulty getting proportions down accurately.  That happens some days… These were a bit better. Sketches from the Sheraton Hotel. My first drawing at the Meetup session.  Still having some issues with proportions and the head placement in relation to the body. I started again after our break and did this portrait which was better.  Bettina, our model, really liked it and said that it looked like her.    

I managed to make two wrong turns on the way home, but retraced my steps and finally got back home near 11:00.  Bob met me at the bus stop which was really nice.  It was a good but very long day.

The Deutsches Museum, Munich

Day 59, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany is on the agenda for today.

This poster outside our metro station catches my eye every time I pass it.  Intriguingly, it is an advertisement for Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’

The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology.  It is an enormous museum.  This is the Marine Navigation Hall. We remember this exhibit room from our first visit to this museum almost 40 years ago although I am sure some of the exhibits have changed. The hull on this sailing ship has been cut away so that it is possible to see the construction and the inside of the ship. There is also a basement level to the Marine Navigation Hall where there is a reconstruction of life between decks aboard an emigrant sailing ship in the 1870’s. It could take up to four months to cross the Atlantic!  Emigrants had to provide all their own food, cooking utensils and bedding for the voyage. Lack of care and terrible hygiene conditions led to the death of 1 of every ten emigrants in 1853.  It must have been a nightmarish voyage.  Just think, we crossed the Atlantic in only a few hours! The Challenger left England in 1872 on a 3 1/2 year voyage that marked the beginning of modern oceanography.  There were laboratories, like the one depicted in this diorama, for studying flora and fauna.  It was the first time cameras were used on a research expedition. The Challenger covered almost 69,000 nautical miles, the equivalent of travelling three times around the globe, and collected 10,000 pant and animal specimens.  4,717 previously unknown life forms were discovered and documented.  Bob really liked this submarine exhibit with the cut out sides so we could see inside.  I couldn’t imagine being underwater, inside this confined space…and I don’t suffer from claustrophobia! This view from the second floor of the Marine Navigation Hall is from the same spot we stood in during our visit here years ago.  Our guide at the time was this lovely old German woman who spoke five languages and conducted the tour in all five languages.  We still remember her well, she was a treasure. The Electric Power display has devices I have seen in the movies. It would be easy to miss the entrance to the Mining display in the basement level, but once inside we were amazed at all the exhibits.  The Rack was a hydraulic wheel used to both lift and lower loads.
This device was an ‘elevator’ to get in and out of the mine.  Can you imagine?  Not for me!!
Three types of mines were represented: ore, coal and salt mining.Working conditions in the mines were very difficult.  Being a miner must have been a dangerous, hard life.Back above ground we walk through many more exhibit halls.  Some of the exhibits are so technical that they would only be of interest to people in that particular field.  We pass through these quite quickly.  There was an interesting display of weights and measures… and astronomical devices… and all sorts of clocks and watches, dating back to antiquity.  I thought this 24 hour clock face was interesting. The Musical Instruments Hall had some interesting pieces.  The Phonoliszt-Violina, a player piano with violins was used in silent movie theatres from 1904 to1926, and the other piece is the very first Juke Box, displayed at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, complete with classical music selections.An interesting toy exhibit has building block and construction toys that date back to the 1907, including early Lego and Meccano sets.The museum has a reproduction of the Altamira caves in Northern Spain.  This reminded us of a similar exhibit we visited in Spain.  Visitors are no longer allowed inside the actual Altamira Cave in order to preserve the cave paintings.  The changes in humidity and temperature caused by visitors to the cave were causing damage to the paintings. I always enjoy pottery exhibits. This diorama demonstrates early pottery production with an interesting wood fired kiln that is itself made of clay. I thought this miniature brick producing plant was brilliant.  It had a fully functioning brick extruder, drying ovens, and kilns. 
When the tiny bricks come out of the kiln they are stacked and available for purchase.  I bought one as a little souvenir, only 1euro. I knew how early sheets of glass were made, and this life size display illustrated that process.  It is hard to imagine blowing a piece of glass this large!  We see many panes of glass in old buildings in Europe that were made just this way.  This video shows the process On our way out of the museum I met Alvin.  It was a bit bizarre talking to a machine, that looks and acts like a little person.  I think he only understood German though, as we had problems communicating. The museum is on an island on the Isar River.  There are two views from the bridge back to the mainland.  One to the west… and one to the East.  You can see how big the museum is. Walking back to the metro we pass through the food market again and I take photo of these beautiful garlics and peppers. We stop at this cheese store and sample some of the delicious cheese for sale. The metro station is beside the Glockenspiel tower and there is a group of Kurdish protestors.  We have seen several protest groups and there is always a large police presence at these events.

Walking Tour of Munich

Day 57, Monday, October 21, 2019

Bob found a walking tour of Munich at bigboytravel.com that we use today.  On our way to the start of this walking tour we find a sculpture by Mauro Staccioli.  The Ring is 12 meters in diameter and weighs 14 tons. The Ring is right next to the entrance to the Old Botanical Garden where we have our lunch.  We see lots of interesting people on our travels.  The man below was ‘communing’ with a tree…he walked circles around it, with his hands out, making gestures towards the tree.  Some police driving through the park stopped to talk to him but they let him be, guess they figured he was harmless.  Nearby I spotted this lady dressed all in white.  She looks like she belongs to a different place and time. There was a small gallery in the Botanical Gardens but they were changing exhibitions and not open.  I liked both the door handle and the interesting poster, which reads, The Long Night of Munich Museums.
First stop on our tour, why don’t you come along with us?  The   Fountain Boy depicts a satyr spitting water at a young boy who shields his face.  It originally caused a problem because there was no leaf over his private parts, but it is now a favourite Munich fountain. 

Citizen’s Hall Church was heavily damaged during WWII but it has been rebuilt and looks exactly like it did in the 1700’s.  The basement contains the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a famous Jesuit priest who stood up to the Nazis occupation and died in a concentration camp.. Our walk continues down a broad pedestrian street with large trees. St Michael’s Church.  I liked the huge elaborate candle holders. The church contains The Royal Crypt which holds 40 tombs.  The most famous of these is the tomb of “Mad” King Ludwig II.  Ludwig was a big spender and built many lavish castles and palaces.  We visited the Neuschwanstein Castle on our first trip to Europe almost 40 years ago.  It is the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Snow White castle. No photos are allowed in the crypt so I did a quick sketch of King Ludwig’s tomb. No one ever seems to mind if I draw.There are a few churches on this tour!  Each of them has its own distinctive feature.  Saint Anna’s Church has had a chapel on this site since 1440.  I thought I saw people inside, behind the locked gates, but when I zoomed in with my camera, I realized it was a life size sculpture of the Last Supper.We pass this tree sculpture on the corner of a building on our way to The Asamhof Passage. Asamhof Passage is a little pedestrian street lined with restaurants, lots of flowers, and this poor fellow who needed my change more than I did! Asamkirche was built by the Asam brothers as a showpiece for their church building skills.  It is only 30 feet wide but it is so packed with over-the-top-Rococo decoration that we don’t know where to look! The entire focus of the interior leads the eye to a bright golden window meant to feel like the eye of God staring down at us. This is the exterior of the church and the brother’s house next door, which had bedroom windows looking onto the high altar in the church.There are lots of modern shops below the traditional apartments. I think I look OK with wings! The town gate, built in 1318 has two towers and is the oldest of the three city gates still standing in Munich. A view down the street from the town gate. Walking back towards Marienplatz we walk through the Victuals Market (Viktualiemarkt). This is a tough place to be when you can’t eat gluten, dairy or eggs!There are lots of flower stalls.  I particularly liked the little dog that seemed to belong to this one. This is the tallest May Pole we have ever seen! We can see the Glockenspiel Tower down a side street between two buildings.

The Frauenkirche has beautiful chandeliers illuminating its interior.

I’ve mentioned the beautiful window boxes before.  This is a department store and just look at its gorgeous window boxes! The New Town Hall’s main attraction is the Glockenspiel. This chiming clock was added to the tower in 1907.  At 11am, midday, and 5pm the Munich Glockenspiel recounts a royal wedding, a jousting tournament and a traditional dance with  32 life-sized animated figures in its 260 foot tower.     The show lasts about ten minutes, followed by the ringing of church bells. Bob remembered the Beck Department store from our first visit to Munich almost 40 years ago!  He said it was right next to the Glockenspiel and sure enough it was! Metro drawings from today.  People kept getting off the metro before I was finished!