Local Heart, Global Soul

February 14, 2020

Scrolls And Ribbons Run Rings Around Us…

Who doesn’t love a swag, a banner, a ribbon or a sweep of decorative paintwork? The designers of the Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) certainly did. And So do I. I also know that these things are harder to draw and paint well than they first appear. You could almost say that these artists run rings around us…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 13, 2020

A Monumental Owl…

The entrance hallway of the Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) throws up some brilliant details. Spied: One Owl.  This 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) visit is turning out to be even better than I imagined.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 12, 2020

Simple, Elegant, Beautiful.

Following on from yesterday’s post, it’s not just the laurel and grape leaf motifs in the decorative panels of the entranceway of the Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) that catches my eye. There are floral motifs there too. Simple, Elegant, Beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

February 11, 2020

Faces In The Hall…

The Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) in the Hague has a beautiful entrance hall, the walls filled with decorative motifs. The surrounding laurel leaves of the top image and the grape leaves of the second may or may not have symbolic significance, but even if not, they are an amazing example of design beauty. I was here during the summer of 2019 because of the Dutch event “‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites)and this is exactly the sort of place I would have missed seeing otherwise.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 10, 2020

Promises Of Beautiful…

The Netherland’s national event’Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) is where various organisations, historic places, churches and the like, open their doors to the public for one weekend per year.

During the summer of 2019 I visited some of these, among them the Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) in the Hague. As soon as I stepped into the entrance hall, I had a definite idea that this place promises to be beautiful…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 25, 2020

This Ceiling Is Not All That It Seems…

The chimneybreast of yesterdays post almost appears to flow down from the ornate decorative ceiling I’m featuring in todays post. There is a large panel in the centre of the ceiling with an oil painting of cherubs and swans. An ornate carved frame separates it from the other painted panels that surround it. The majority of the surrounding panels features stylised acanthus leaves and flowing foliage. However the eye is instantly drawn to the four “medallions” in the corners. The contrast not only in colour but also in style, and are pure illusion. Although they might first appear to be plaster scenes in the classical style of ancient Greece, they are in fact skilful paintings made to appear three dimensional.  The Freemason’s House in the Hague is proving to be an unexpected joy when it comes to architectural detail, so I’m a huge fan of the Netherland’s annual  ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) for making visits to places like this possible.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Corner “medallions” on ceiling…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Corner “medallions” on ceiling

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Ceiling view with two of the corner “medallions” in view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Third corner “medallions” …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Forth ceiling medallion… faux plaster.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This shows how the ceiling ties in so nicely with the fireplace and chimneybreast…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 23, 2020

Widest Door Sir? …Coming Up!

I’m visiting Freemason’s House in the Hague during the 2019  ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) when I see something that makes me do a double take. This set of doors has to literally be seen to be appreciated. They are probably the widest doors I have ever seen outside of a castle… and one thing is for sure , this is no “off the shelf” item, this was very much custom made.  What’s especially strange about this one, is all the other doors out of this room and around the entrance hall  are of normal proportions. I wonder if the order raised an eyebrow when the measurements came into the carpenter / joiners workshop?

Hmmm… “One set of massively wide, decoratively curved double doors, wide enough for four people to easily fit through at once please“. Or did they just take the money and wonder about rich people’s strange ways of living and eccentric requests? Both doors have amazing cut-out work at the top that fit neatly into the cut-out frame at the top of the door. Stunning workmanship. One thing is for sure, there was no need to tilt a table on it’s side when shifting it into this room.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 21, 2020

Logging Our Errors…

Visiting the Freemasons House on  the 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) ‘Freemason’s House’ I find one beautiful object after another. Being that this is the “display” section of the Freemasons building and the only section open to the public it stands to reason that their library is featured here. Some books,  probably all log books, ledgers and visitors books were written out by hand. Handwriting /penmanship was taught to a meticulous standard to boys and girls from a young age so little wonder that these books (maybe diaries??) are so beautifully written.  But… just to prove that in a medium where mistakes could not be erased, we also see that (maybe someone’s long sleeve?) smudged some of this beautiful work. No matter the amount of training, we are only human after all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 18, 2020

Stone Sentinels Close To The Fire…

Following on from yesterday’s post I took the opportunity to visit the Freemasons House in the Hague during the 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’. This is an Open day for National Historic Places sites, or private establishments who open their doors to the public on this weekend. Yesterday I was looking at a stunning fireplace that had beautiful carved wooden faces in it’s upper section, now, closer to the heat source, carved figures continue, but this time in stone.

Today I am looking at the male and female head and torso figures standing in matching (modest) poses, below them, cheribs and close to the floor, very small busts of a woman. All of these figures are idealised and show far less detail and character than the wooden figures above them. Who knows, maybe they are even “catalogue” pieces, bought off the rack and fitted below the personalised section? The cherubs and ladies at the bottom are pretty much identical so I only photographed one of each. These stone sentinels can definitely take the heat.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 17, 2020

Capturing Individuality Without Appearing Wooden…

There is a beautiful fireplace in one of the rooms of Freemason’s House in the Hague. I got to see this masterpiece in stone, tile, carved wood during an event called ‘Nationale Monumentendag’. This is a day / weekend where once a year these National Historic Places sites are open to the public. I had arrived here one hour too early by mistake, but they were kind and let me inside anyway, so for a brief time I could take uninterrupted photographs without having to wait for other people to move aside etc. (Yes, I told them about my blog and asked permission first). These carved wooden faces adorn the top area of the fireplace, the light was not optimal but it’s clear to see that these were probably carved with definite individuals in mind, and not just a “generic” Greek/historic figure as was sometimes the fashion. Each face has it’s own character and I can only attempt to capture their individuality as carefully as possible.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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