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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Salvador Dalí and the Cauliflower-stuffed Rolls Royce

by Leticia Marie Sanchez                                                                                                                                                                 Salvador Dalí mastered the art of creating his own image. Dalí shocked audiences everywhere with his flamboyant persona. A limousine or taxi was just too dull for the outrageous surrealist. So Mr. Dali drove a Rolls Royce stuffed to the brim with…. cauliflower.   The veggie-mobile was the automobile of choice for Mr. Dali as he drove to La Sorbonne University

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Picasso: Quote of the Day

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and I became Picasso”

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Meet the Duke of Osuna

Goya’s Portrait of Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna, at the Norton Simon By Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark Cultural Cocktail Hour had the pleasure of meeting the Duke of Osuna at the Norton Simon last week. The Duke is currently wintering in sun-drenched Pasadena, on a vacation from his Upper East Side pied-à-terre, New York’s Frick Collection. Accompanied by his entourage, Senior Frick Curator Grace Galassi and Norton Simon Chief Curator Carol Tognieri, the Duke met members of the press on Thursday evening. Allow me now to introduce you, fair readers, to the Duke. Here are some tidibits to help you get to know this bigwig.(His literal perruque is quite subtle and ever-so-tasteful.) 3 Fun Facts about Goya’s Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna #1 Check out the Letter When you are standing in front of the portrait,

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Stendhal Syndrome in Florence

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Visiting Florence in 1817, the French novelist Stendhal found himself overwhelmed inside Santa Croce. The proximity to Giotto frescoes and Michelangelo’s tomb drove him to a state of delicious delirium. “I was in a sort of ecstasy…Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul… I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves.’” Florentine psychiatrist Dr. Graziella Magherini coined the term Stendhal Syndrome in 1989. Through her work at the Santa Maria Nuova hospital, she has recorded more than 106 cases of patients exhibiting an intense reaction to art with symptoms ranging from rapid heartbeat and dizziness to extreme cases of hallucinations. Stendhal was not alone. Dr. Iain Bamforth claims that Marcel Proust suffered from the

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Seek and You Shall Find..at the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Photography and text © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark Photo, Left: Giorgio Vasari, The battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Inside the Palazzo Vecchio, one can stroll through the Salone dei Cinquecento. This imposing hall for the five hundred members of Florence’s Grand Council can inspire Stendhal-like syndrome in those who view the daunting, dazing Vasari frescoes lining its walls. One can only imagine the moment a visiting ambassador stepped into the hall for the first time. The look in the ambassador’s eyes as he absorbed the massive, vivid scenes of Siena being conquered, of Pisa attacked by Florentine troops, bodies trampled by muscular horses. Do not cross us, the images seem to warn.  Surrounded by such immense intensity, the ambassador suddenly feels very small. Perhaps, he wishes that his boots were an inch taller, or

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Moonwalking at the Piccolomini Library, Siena

Photography and text © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark Scruffy tennis shoes tread on crescents more than five centuries old. Half-moons fade under the weight of so many soles. Has no one thought of plexiglass? The 16th century ceramic crescents on which tourists so casually trample represent the emblem of a powerful Sienese family, the Piccolomini. The Piccolomini Library honors 15th century humanist and scholar, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, also known as Pope Pius II. The ceiling and walls, with their luscious scarlets and blues, remain vibrant as ever, shockingly, when one discovers that they have neither been cleaned nor retouched. Bernardino di Betto, more commonly known as Pinturicchio, created the glorious frescoes depicting the life of Pope Pius II. If you walk closely enough, you will observe glittering textures of gold emanating from the robes, collars, and belts of

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San Francisco Part II- A Stroll through the Permanent Collections at the De Young and Legion of Honor

                   

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Cultural Cocktail Hour heads to San Francisco

A splash of ballet and a dash of Marie Antoinette. Shaken, not stirred. Your pre-Christmas Cultural Cocktail  by Leticia Marie Sanchez SAN FRANCISCO EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance. de Young Museum Closes February 17, “You live as long as you dance,” declared Rudolf Nureyev. The exhibition at the De Young Museum is a testament to the vivacious spirit of one of ballet’s most blazing stars. The exhibit showcases intimate photographs of Nureyev rehearsing, video clips of him soaring, and even ballet slippers donned by the dancer and his legendary partner, Margot Fonteyn. A close look behind the glass case reveals slipper toes well worn, naturally. One can only imagine how many times Nureyev rehearsed in his zealous quest for perfection. This fearless dancer was no stranger to conflict, including having a KGB hit placed on his life. The world of

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Exhibit Review: Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait,” 1889, at the Norton Simon, on Loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Review: Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait,” 1889 at the Norton Simon © 2012 Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark A cool, distant gaze contrasts with the vibrating electric halo of blue brushstrokes surrounding the head of the artist. Van Gogh’s “Self Portrait, 1889” on loan from the National Gallery of Art and currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum of Art, contains a rare visual image in the lower left hand corner. Namely, the artist’s palette and paint brushes. During his lifetime, Van Gogh only depicted himself three times as an artist, including in the self-portrait now exhibited at the Norton Simon. At left: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 – 1890) Self-Portrait, 1889 Oil on canvas Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, National Gallery of Art, Washington      Van Gogh endured an existence of crushing blows, both romantically

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Rare Van Gogh Self Portrait coming to Pasadena this December

  “I wish they would only take me as I am”- Vincent Van Gogh by Leticia Marie Sanchez A rare self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, on loan from the National Gallery of Art, will grace the Norton Simon on December 7. Van Gogh created this intense portrait during a creative and prolific period of self-confinement at the mental asylum Saint-Paul-de-Mausole at Saint-Rémy.He painted the introspective self portrait only one year before his tragic and mysterious death*. Although Van Gogh painted thirty six self-portraits during his lifetime, the one to be seen at the Norton Simon is unique: only three self-portraits depict him as an artist, holding his palette and brush. For more on the upcoming exhibit, please see:  http://www.nortonsimon.org/van-gogh-s-self-portrait-1889-on-loan-from-the-national-gallery-of-art-washington-2# —– *A past Cultural Cocktail Hour article explored the mysterious circumstances surrounding Van Gogh’s death. A CBS News report discussed a ground-breaking biography by two Pulitzer-Prize winning

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