When Bigger is Better

The Sphinx

The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

Nothing says power, superiority, importance, command like size. The bigger, the better when it comes to religion, government, or a combination of the two.  Ancient Egypt was one of the first civilizations to demonstration the power represented in size.

Join Weekly Prompt’s Photo Challenge: Size Matters

Delicate Elements

Patio of the Dolls


Patio of the maidens

Delicately carved plasterwork covers many of the architectural elements of the Real Alcázar of Seville (Reales Alcázares de Sevilla). The core of the Alcázar palace was built in the 1340s for the Christian king Peter of Castile and expanded by subsequent monarchies. A preeminent example of Mudéjar architecture, sections of the palace were built by Moorish (Mudéjar) craftsmen who remained on the Iberian Peninsula after the Christian Reconquest. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. In 1987, it was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The three photos highlight the plasterwork decorative motifs in the Patio of the Dolls and the Patio of the Maidens. For information on Nasrid plasterwork, read Nasrid plasterwork: symbolism, materials & techniques.

From Wikipedia: “In architecture Mudéjar style does not refer to a distinct architectural style but to the application of traditional Islamic ornamental and decorative elements to Christian Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural styles, mostly taking place in Spain in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, although it continued to appear in Spanish architecture well after this period. It also appeared in the architecture of other countries and regions, most notably Portugal, and later in the Spanish colonies in the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.”

Join Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46: Delicate

Of the Beaten Path: The Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California

If you are in Santa Ana, the Bowers Museum is well worth a visit. It’s original collection from the early 20th century focused on the early history of Southern California. Additional space has allowed for a broader scope.

The Gemstone Carvings: The Masterworks of Harold van Pelt exhibit was fascinating. Twenty carved gemstones spill out of a carved faceted quartz egg.

Izok is a hollow, life-sized human skull. The original quartz crystal weighed 250 pounds. The finished piece, which is in two parts with a hinged jaw, weighs 6.5 pounds.

Amethyst cup with 24 flutes.

Van Pelt and his wife are also well known mineral photographers.

Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola – Banana Mania

Banana Mania

Architectural Detail, Vienna, Austria


Join Jennifer’s Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola, a 4 month (January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018) blogging challenge event. Each day has a new color theme based on a past or current crayon color in Crayola’s box of 120 crayons.

K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: The Beauty of Wood

Beautiful Wood in Barcelona

Detail, Carved and Gilded Wooden Choir Screen, Cathedral, Barcelona, Spain

Detail from the carved and gilded wooden choir screen in the Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain

K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: The Beauty of Wood

Travel Theme: Four

Someone LOst His HEad

Sculptures, front facade, Notre Dame, Paris, France

Group of four sculptures next to the portal of The Virgin on the west front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.  From the left: Emperor Constantine, an angel, St Denis, the third century Bishop of Paris, holding his head, and another angel.  The statues are part of  an extensive (some say excessive) renovation in the 19th century (1845-1864) by the French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.

From the purging of idolatry by the French Huguenots in the 16th century through the French Revolution, Notre Dame treasures had been plundered, its stained glass windows modernized with clear glass, and many architectural elements and sculptures destroyed. Used for storage during the French Revolution, the Cathedral was left to deteriorate. After the 1831 publication of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a new interest was taken in the church.  In 1844, King Louis-Philippe I issued a decree for The Restoration of Notre Dame.  A program of  maintenance, renovation and preservation continues today. In 2016, approximately 14,000,000 people from around the world visited Notre Dame.

Join Ailsa’s Travel Theme Challenge: Four

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