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.

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.

The BMW Museum, Munich

Day 58, Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bob visited the BMW Museum today and I had a nice relaxing day at home.

The BMW Welt is a showroom for the new BMW models, including motorcycles, Minis, and Rolls Royces.  Customers can pick up their special order cars and drive them down the ramp you can see in this photo and out of the building! Next door is the BMW Museum.  A couple cars caught Bob’s attention.  The doors on this red sports car slide down to open…
and the1933 BMW has a unique paint job. A full size clay prototype is used for new designs.The BMW Museum is next door to the Munich Olympic Park that was built for the 1972 Olympics.

Bob was going to go up the tower for a city view, but…

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.

Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)

Day 50, Monday, October 14, 2019

On our way to the Salzburg Fortress we pass a Steiff Store with their famous stuffed animals.  They are expensive, the polar bear sitting in front of the big standing bear is ‘only’ 299 euros, about $440.00 Canadian! The funicular makes short work of the steep climb to the fortress. The Hohensalzburg Fortress (Salzburg Fortress) was built in the 11th century by Archbishop Gebhard and is the largest unconquered fortress in Europe. The castle is 150 meters wide and 250 meters long, and the oldest part is over 900 years old. First stop at the Fortress is the top of one of the guard towers for a great view towards the mountains… overlooking the fortress… and of the old town of Salzburg.  That big square is where the Bio Fest was held yesterday.  You can see the golden globe with the man standing on top.  Right behind the square is the Salzburg Cathedral with the big dome, where we went to hear the choir yesterday morning. There are lots of huge doors and interesting corridors in the fortress. This wheel was dropped on prisoners in order to break their bones and cause internal damage.  If it didn’t kill them they were tied to it until they died an agonizing death.
The Salzburg Steir, or Salzburg Bull is a giant mechanical organ built in 1502. It still plays twice a day and is the last example of a Gothic organ to survive. The Stier is the oldest daily played automated musical instrument in the world.  It plays melodies from Haydn and Mozart every day after the glockenspiel chimes.  St. George’s Chapel has reliefs of the Apostles, made from marble.  We find a bench and have our lunch in the courtyard by the chapel.The fortress served as a garrison for the Erzherzog Rainer Regiment in 1682.  Erzherzog Rainer had quite the moustache!
There were watercolour paintings of the regiment over the years which I quite liked, and I thought the paper twists which held a musket ball and gunpowder were interesting. War has always been brutal… Austrian painter Karl Reisenbichler painted his fellow soldiers and portrayed images of death and suffering in WWI. We have seen a lot about war and death and suffering on this trip.  I think that this cabinet is probably the best way to use rifles I have seen! This is a view of the fortress tower we climbed when we first arrived. These large fortress rooms with their huge timbered ceilings are now a museums for armour and other items used for fighting.
This kitchen was reserved for food preparation for the Archbishop.  Note the little round hole in the wall on the left that was used to throw out rubbish and drain water.Medieval furnishings and some arches uncovered during renovations in 1998.  The arches were originally in an outside wall. The fortress was renovated and added to many times over the centuries.
The Regency Rooms are spectacular.  This is the Golden Hall with its ceilings painted blue and studded with golden balls to represent the sky and stars.  It served as a ballroom and today is used for recitals.  The golden Chamber was a smaller sitting room with a small library behind the door in the corner. It has a magnificent medieval tiled stove that warmed this living space and reception room. Interestingly, the bedroom was not heated.  We also learned that during the Middle Ages people slept in a semi-sitting position with many pillows because they believed that if they lay down they could suffocate. This position allowed them to have their weapons ready and attack any nighttime intruders. The doors were also low so that anyone coming in had to bend down when entering. Behind this little door is the toilet, which was very modern for medieval times. As we leave the Fortress there is a small Marionette Museum.  I love this collection of  tiny feet and shoes, and thought that these two marionettes were the most beautiful, well crafted ones here. There is a wall of marionettes, and several dioramas… and of course, a Sound of Music scene.
I think this huge well was connected to the cistern that was built within the fortress walls.  Now it is a giant wishing well. This is the entrance to the oldest part of the fortress, adjacent to the newest addition, an elevator. As we exit the fortress beside the bell tower,  we have a view of the watch tower we climbed at the beginning of out visit.  From the top we could not look over the sides to see how high up we were. At the bottom of the funicular we take advantage of the Love Grotto to ensure our love is everlasting!We have seen these chalk markings on many houses, church doors, businesses and shops in Germany and Austria.  I wondered what they meant.  A quick search on my ‘magic library’ and I find this quote.

“On the evening before Three Kings, traditionally there were prayers, blessed dried herbs would be burnt and their aromatic smell would fill the house. Doorways would be sprinkled with holy water and the master of the house would write with chalk C + M + B and the year above the house and barn door and say: ‘Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, protect us again this year from the dangers of fire and water.’ C + M + B has traditionally been translated as Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, however, according to the Church it stands for “Christus Mansionem Benedictat” (Christ bless this home).”   Now I know! On the bus home we can see the old medieval town walls. The ivy on a wall on our walk home looks like a giant red creature. 

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

Day 45, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Time to move on to our next destination.  I took this picture because I know my mom will recognize the pot with blue designs beside the flowers.  She has one just like it.

Bob closes the door as we leave.  It is hard to see, but the picture on the wall is of the two old aunties who used to live here. I was going to take a close up of it and somehow forgot.
On the way to say goodbye to my friends the sheep I snapped a few more photos of the farm buildings.  There were certainly lots of interesting things to see here. Only the young fellow destined for the table came up to see me today.  The other two were playing shy. This shows how long the front of the house is.  The attic full of stuff ran almost the whole length of it.  On the far end was the smaller attic above the two bedrooms in the auntie’s house. Part of the route to St. Florian Monastery, which is our next stop, is a very narrow road through some woods.
The monastery is very large.  The stretch of red roof from the church to the front corner is 200 metres long.  It covers a corridor that runs its length. This is the fountain in the middle of the large courtyard. I am so excited…we actually get to go into a library.  This library has 150,000 books, 35,000 of which are in this one room. They are mainly books on Religion and History. You can see the bookcase door that opens to another room.  The spiral staircase to the second floor is in that room.  There are many more rooms full of books but we only get to visit this one.  We are told that this library is available for the public to use.  Wish I lived closer! I love the library ‘ladders’ used ot reach books on high shelves.  Heck, I pretty much love everything about this library! Later on during the tour we see this photo of Adolph Hiltler standing in the same place we had just stood.  It is a strange thought…that we were someplace that he was.Of course this library also has a magnificent ceiling.
Next we visit the Marble Ballroom which represents the colours of the Habsburg Monarchy, red, white and yellow. This is why I end up with a sore neck after sightseeing! Our guide pointed out some of the many fossils that are in the marble on the floors and walls.  I never thought of marble as being a stone the came from ancient oceans. The big ammonite was on the fireplace hearth, notice the toe of a shoe in the corner for scale. One of the many very ornate carved wooden doors in the monastery. The Monastery church is grand.  Lots of carved white stone and dark carved woodwork. The altar is decorated with bouquets of sunflowers. We have never seen drapery carved in stone in a church before.  Everything in this church looks so very well preserved, there are no broken or dirty bits.  In fact everywhere in this monastery is very well taken care of.  We wonder where the money to maintain a place this large comes from.  The church organ was built in 1774 and it is one of the largest working organs in Austria.  It is known as the Bruckner Organ as it was played by composer and organist Anton Bruckner. He had been a choir boy at the monastery, and he was the church organist, between 1848 and 1855. I do not know much about classical music so did not know anything about Anton Bruckner. He was a famous Austrian composer, organist, and music theorist best known for his symphonies and masses. On the floor directly below the organ is a memorial plaque and …in the crypt directly below this plaque is his sarcophagus.  His wish was to be buried here at St. Florian Monastery even though he lived and died in Vienna. Yes, those are bones behind the sarcophagus, the bones of over 6,000 people, dating back to the 4th century.  It is thought that the bones of St. Florian could possibly be in here.  A few more pictures of the 700 year old crypt which is still used today as a burial place for the monastery monks. The windows open to outside, there is no glass.  I wonder if this was so decomposing bodies were ventilated?We visit twelve guest rooms in the monastery.  These rooms have not been used since the mid 18th century and have been preserved as a museum.  These elaborately decorated rooms were reserved for royalty who might visit the monastery.  These doorways connect all the rooms. The red bedroom was reserved for Pope Pius VI, although he only spent one night here. The walls and chairs in this room are covered in matching tapestries.  There is a big masonry stove in each of these rooms.Each room is lavishly decorated.  The last two rooms are a shrine to Anton Bruckner. The photo shows him in his bed in his Vienna apartment.  He died in this bed, which is now on display here along with his other furniture.Remember those big masonry stoves in the royal apartments?  These metal doors in the hallway open to the inside of the stoves.  This is how the fires in the stoves were cared for by servants without bothering the apartment occupants. There are thirty monks at this monastery.  Only thirteen live here full time, the rest live in neighbouring parishes.  Over the last 950 years the monastery had 108 monks at its peak and only three at its lowest.  I am told that thirty monks is quite good ‘these days’.  There is one young monk, several in their fifties and sixties and the rest are older.  We see this monk as we are leaving and assume he is the one young one. The cemetery beside the church is the prettiest, most well cared for one we have ever visited. As we drive towards Salzburg we pass several huge piles of sugar beets in the fields.  Austria grows more than 3 million tonnes of sugar beets every year. Finally we find a safe place to pull off the road so I can get a photo of one of the fields of pumpkins we have seen along the way. We make a quick stop at Kremsmunster Monastery but it can only be visited by guided tours and we don’t have time.  The church is open and it is the only one we have seen that has tapestries wrapped around its pillars.Back on the road, from a distance, I thought this was another field of pumpkins or maybe squash, but they are sunflowers. Good thing the sun wasn’t shining or I would have wanted to stay much longer and take many more photos.  What a beautiful sight it was to see so many gorgeous sunflowers.