Juma Mosque and Toshkhovli Palace, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Juma Mosque, Khiva, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Toshkhovli Palace, Travel, Uzbekistan

We’ve just left the Kukhna Ark (previous two posts), and here is a most impressive door handle and knocker nearby.

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… also a cheerful dromedary camel, lying in sand.

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Wedding party on the road, as we walk towards Juma Mosque.  Probably Tura Murad minaret in the near background.

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We are now inside Juma (or Djuma or Friday) Mosque which has a single hall interior and was built in the late eighteenth century over the remains of the previous mosque, so that many of the pillars here are much older.  There are 213 pillars, each different.  The oldest four were salvaged in the tenth century from the declining city of Kath, which had been the capital of the Khwarezmian Empire.  Another seventeen were added a century later.  Other pillars date from the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries but most of them are from the eighteenth.  The acoustics of the hall are also impressive.

Kath (modern town: Beruniy) was the capital of Khwarazm under the Afrighids (a Persian dynasty) from 305 to 995AD.  They were Zoroastrian until the 8th century when there was a violent forced Moslem conversion.  The Ma’munids took over in 995.  The Ghaznavids (a Persian dynasty of Turkic Mamluk origin) then took over a couple of years later.

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I took quite a few macro shots of carvings on the pillars.  Unfortunately most failed but here are two.  (Technical note: I think I switched to manual for focus-bracketing the image of the hall above, and forgot to switch back to Auto ISO).

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Outside, a young bride-to-be on the street.

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… and we walked towards our next destination the Toshkhovli Palace.

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A ceiling detail from the palace.

Toshkhovli (or Tosh Hauli or Stone Courtyard) Palace was built from 1830 to 1838 by Allakuli-Khan as an updated dwelling from the Kukhna Ark.  Apparently some architects who refused to build it in two years were executed and it took eight years to build.  These days it also houses a Khorezm Handicrafts Museum.

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This is in the Harem area and the iwan we see (the recessed courtyard decorated with majolica tiles) is one of the four for each of the Khan’s wives.  Behind this exterior was her living quarters and a lounge room for her attendants.  Even courtiers were refused access here.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan at the left or right.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan in the middle.

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They’re clearly not wagon wheels.  Perhaps they were used for cattle to grind grain.

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This is the iwan of the Khan, and in front of it on the round platform is the framework of a yurt that would have been his summer residence.  Behind the iwan are corridors connecting to the iwans of the wives that only the Khan could use.

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An impressive door, possibly of greater antiquity than the palace.

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There are two sections to see of the palace, and you have to go outside and re-enter to see the second one.  That is the exterior of the palace behind the wall.

There is an old well in the Palace, which we did not see.  However there is a more important ancient well (which we also did not see) near the north wall of the old city, which is central to the story of Khiva.  It was the original reason for merchants stopping here along their Silk Road journeys.  It is said that on tasting the clear water they would exclaim “Khey Vakh!” (“How Wonderful”) so the locals named the well Kheyvak, which led in turn to Khiva getting its name.

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Another ceiling section.

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This is the Khan’s bedroom.

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Opposite the iwans of the Khan and the wives, this is the residence for the concubines and the household staff.

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Back outside the palace again.

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An array of textiles on an open courtyard.

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Shown from a different angle, this shows where we are.  Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum on the left and the base of Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Nearby, a selection of handicrafts.

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Remarkable wood carving.  Maybe a door, not sure.

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We are back near we were staying, cruising the markets for handicrafts.  Tura Murad Minaret is in the background.  The man sitting in the chair was waiting for prospective customers to don his coat and a hat and pose for a photograph.  The locals passing by don’t look that impressed.

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Markets and Kalta Minor in the background.  I did buy a hat like one of those on the right.

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The camel is still there a couple of hours later.  That must be the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah in the background.  Perhaps that door is solely for camels from the madrassah.

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A young couple having wedding or engagement photos in the old city.

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Looking back at the top of the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum and the Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Not sure exactly which buildings the last two images are from.

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That is Tura Murad Minaret again in the background though.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

After the last post, I was expecting to move on to the Juma Mosque and views of Khiva at night.  However, I was using two cameras and it turned out that the date time settings for one of the cameras was eleven hours different to the other one.  So when I finished selecting images from the Kukhna Ark, these were just from the camera with the correct date time setting and the images from the same time with the second camera were mixed up with later and night images from the first camera.

Had I realised this, there still would have been two posts but I would have divided them up differently.  Still, it’s not so bad because the lenses on each camera were quite different so the images between each post are quite different.  The first six images here are street photography with a wide angle lens and the rest are long telephotos, many very long telephotos.

For the more technically focused, both cameras were Fujifilm X-T2s.  In the first post I used six different lenses but 40% of the images were from a 10-24mm f4 lens (15mm to 36mm full frame equivalent) and another 40% from an 80mm f2.8 macro (120mm equivalent), sometimes with a 1.4x teleconverter.  In this post, the first six images are with a 23mm f2 lens (35mm equivalent) and the rest were with a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens (150mm to 600mm equivalent) and about half of those were with a 1.4x teleconverter.  Most of those were at the longer end of the zoom range so could be up to 840mm full frame equivalent.

There are brief comments on many of the images below but for more information on Khiva and its history, go back and view the previous post if you have not already done so.
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Street markets in the old city.  They must be somewhere near where we were staying but I can’t work out exactly where for the first two images.

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The car in the distance puzzles me because the map shows only three gates into the Old City and it’s not one of them.

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This is the Tura Murad Minaret.

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We are now further in the distance from the previous image.

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Now we have turned around and are heading back towards the Kalta Minor.  The young boy is riding a modern contraption that I believe is called a bicycle.  An early traveller in the nineteenth century rode through Uzbekistan en route from England to India.  Locals who saw this strange unnatural apparition were either convulsed with laughter or recoiled in fear.

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We are now on the roof of the Kukhna Ark.  See previous post for more info.  From left to right, Tura Murad Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.  (I mislabelled an image of this in the previous post, since corrected).

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Ceramic tiles near the top of the Kalta Minor.

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The wooden structure is the Terrassa Restaurant, where we have dinner that night and I produce night images from there in the next post.

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Detail of Amin Khan Madrassah.

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A corner of the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah, next door to the Tura Murad Minaret.

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No idea of the name of this minaret.

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I think we are looking south at the west wall of the Amin Khan Madrassah and the old city walls.

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Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah and the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Many of these images are not possible to place.

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However, this must be the dome of the Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Down below me, a workman was sawing away at something in a reconstruction area.

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I turned away to photograph this old madrassah (?).  You can see how many of the tiles have fallen off.  Then I heard a loud crash.

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The workman had sawn away a supporting beam and demolished a wall.

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With these long telephoto shots, I can’t identify exactly where it is….

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Two young women below, maybe walking home after shopping, one wearing a dress with a wonderful traditional design.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here we are arriving at the city walls of Khiva.

Khiva was built close to the Amu Darya River though the river now flows elsewhere.  It is also close to the border with Turkmenistan and on the other side of the border there is desert.  It is part of the Khorezm, a fertile area surrounded by deserts that has been a centre of civilisations for about four thousand years.  From 1077 until 1231 (when the Mongols turned up after their emissaries were executed) the Khorezm was the centre of the Kwarazmian Empire, including Persia, Afghanistan and much of central Asia.  The Amu Darya was known as the Oxus to the Greeks and Romans, for example in the time of Alexander the Great.

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There has been a settlement at Khiva, a depot on the silk road, for two thousand years or more and parts of the city walls are thought to date from the fifth century, but it has only been a significant city since the sixteenth century.  That century saw the foundation of the Khanate of Khorezm and the shift of the capital from Kunya Urgench (now in Turkmenistan) to Khiva.  For some centuries it was a regional powerhouse.
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The Russians first turned up in 1717 with 4,000 troops who were welcomed, ushered to quarters and then slaughtered.  In 1839-40, another army of 5,000 (with 10,000 camels) set out to achieve revenge but perished in the desert.  The Russians finally turned up in 1873.  After the Revolution in 1920 there was briefly the Khorezm People’s Republic until it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1924 and divided between the Uzbek and Turkmen SSRs.  Uzbekistan became independent in 1991.
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Street markets, on the other side of the West Gate.

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Some goods in the street.

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A map of the old city.  We entered from the gate at the bottom.

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This is the door to our accommodation, the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (or the Orient Star Khiva Hotel).

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… and here is the interior courtyard.

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This is the top of the Kalta Minor (or Short Minaret).

It was commissioned by Mohammed Amin Khan (or Medamin) in 1852 and was intended to be 70 meters high but was abandoned at 26 metres after his death in 1856.
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A couple of partly corrected views using a fisheye lens which remain distorted but show something of the sense of scale.

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Across an open courtyard with the Kalta Minor in the distance.  The open doorway in the middle distance is I think the Information Centre, the small rectangular building at the right is the Zindan or jail and we are heading through the doorway at the right, into the Kuhkna Ark, or the Museum of Ancient Khorezm.
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… and in we go,,,

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This is not the main door to the Ark, it must be another one just inside.

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The Khans of Khiva had several residences but this is the original one and since it is fortified, it was a place of refuge in times of uncertainty.

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This is the Summer Mosque (1838) with tiles by Ibadullah and Abdullah Jin.

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Here is a closeup of some of the tiles.  My partner Jools who graduated in ceramics, tells me the glazing shows a high level of proficiency.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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A section of the ceiling.

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Opportunity missed.  These caps look more interesting than some of the ones I purchased in Bukhara and Samarkand.

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From the Summer Mosque, we move on through the doorway at the right.

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On the other side are a few guards or policemen.  Three different uniforms and the ones one the right say “Milliy Gvardia” on the back meaning Uzbekistan National Guard so they are soldiers.  Probably all of them are.

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This is the Khurinish Khana or Throne room. There used to be a wooden throne gilded in silver but that was carried off to St Petersberg by the Russians and never returned.  Receptions were either in the (open three-sided) iwan in summer or in a warm yurt in winter, erected where the circular stonework is.

Uzbekistan these days is very safe and friendly but in the nineteenth century Khiva wasn’t a democracy and there could be savage penalties for minor infractions of religious rules.
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The top of a section of the walls.

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People from nearby areas come to the historic sites for wedding photos.  In this case a conjuring trick – the bride floating in the air.

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Behind them we see the crenulated outer wall of Khiva, potentially giving covering fire from a variety of angles.

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A view to the south west.

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.

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Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah (where we were staying).

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The Chinese New Silk Road is arriving in Uzbekistan, it seems.

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Crenulated city walls again.

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Tower and walls in the Ark.

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Part of an ancient door inside the Ark.

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… which we have now left.

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Looking back at the entrance to the Ark.

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(More on Khiva in the next post).

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(Technical note:  I processed these images in both Lightroom and Capture One.  About half are from each and three were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Capture One has an advantage over Lightroom with selections and masks (so for processing regions), where colour is an issue, or with clarity.  Most of these images just received overall processing though.  If anyone wants to see whether they can detect any difference, images 1, 5, 8, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29,32, 33 36 and 37 were processed in Capture One, while images 10, 11 and 30 were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.)

Salton Sea Monochromes

1 to 5 October 2016, Salton Sea, California, USA.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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This car may be going cheap, though also not going at all.

Salton Sea (IR).

 

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North shore palms.

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Dead fish by an endangered sea.

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Bombay Beach.

Salton Sea

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Slab City.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Slab City.

Salton Sea (IR).

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Salton Sea.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Mud Volcano.

Birds and Mud Volcanoes.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Hummingbird.

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L.A. and Salton Sea Monochromes

1 to 5 October 2016, Los Angeles and Salton Sea, USA.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Colombian Mammoth (Mammathus Columbi)

La Brea Tar Pits.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Chest of drawers from the 18th century Japan.

Netsuke Gallery, LACMA.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Netsuke.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Buddha Shakyamuni, Sukothai, Thailand, 14th-15th century.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Eagle-headed demon (Assyria).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Borrego Palm Canyon.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Desert cacti, perhaps clavellina cholla.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Gomphothere.

Encounters with Megafauna.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

A locust or grasshopper and a scorpion.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Ground sloths.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Chinese dragon.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Humans in vehicle.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Salton Sea.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Dead fish on the salt.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

The end, but of what?

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Near Salton City.

Salton Sea (IR).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Probably at Desert Shores.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Trees in the desert.

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Slab City

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul ..

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

You may recall from the previous post that Leonard Knight, the creator of Salvation Mountain initially came to the nearby Slab City.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

Currently we are in the desert between Salvation Mountain and Slab City but the sculptures belong more to Slab City than Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The more observant amongst you may notice some artistic differences in the style of the sculptures here as compared to Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The materials used can be somewhat different too.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It appears that cycling around in the desert may sometimes have been uncomfortable.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There’s a conundrum here.  Is it a political statement, a sculpture or a theme park?

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

We are now in Slab City and the rows of bottles indicate boundaries for vehicles.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

Before there was Slab City, there was Camp Dunlap.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

This was a World War II military base, chosen for suitability for desert warfare training and proximity to San Diego.  It opened in 1942 and ran for three years.  By 1956 all the buildings had been removed but the concrete slabs they were built on remained.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It’s reasonable to assume the array of sculptures wasn’t created by the Army in the 1940s to give a sense of normalcy to their soldiers.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

From the 1980s, people came to stay here.  Originally there were “snowbirds”, seasonal refugees from the cold northern winter, taking advantage of the concrete slabs as a place to park a mobile home.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It has expanded to include artists, squatters, survivalists, people trying to escape and homeless people.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The population is around 4,000 during winter months and 150 during the summer.  It is a harsh place to spend a summer.  In the hottest four months June to September, maximum monthly temperature is likely to be around 50ºC (122ºF) and maximum daily temperatures are likely to be around 40ºC to 42ºC (103ºF to 107ºF).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There is no electricity, running water, sewers or rubbish services provided by government.  There is also an absence of law enforcement, taxation or administration.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

So it might sound like a libertarian paradise and it is self-styled as “the last free place”.  Life must be hard for most of the people here though.  In recent years there has been an increase in drug use (particularly chrystal meth), theft and rubbish build-up.  Currently they are hiding out, closed to outsiders and trying to avoid COVID-19.  Many or most of them will have no health insurance and be unable to afford a doctor or even transport to see one.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There are times when the light changes and an eerie glow descends over the area.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

This might be the Earth trying to fight back and defend itself from commercial exploitation and Climate Change.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

One might mistake it for the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.  But it is due to permeation by future ghosts of the wealthy political figures who are currently striving to overwhelm Democracy by propaganda and legal manœuvres and end up here, despised by other residents and bereft of personal resources.

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Salvation Mountain

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Next we visited Salvation Mountain, near the south west corner of the Salton Sea.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Leonard Knight created Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He came to this area in 1984 with a massive 230-foot high hot air balloon he had sewn together over a six year period.  It had ten-foot high letters on the side; “God is Love”.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He came to Camp Dunlop or Slab City, near the south west corner of the Salton Sea but more on that in the next post.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He had help from the locals at Slab City to launch the balloon but when it came time for the launch, he discovered that the material had rotted so the launch never took place.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Inside the Hogan.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

So, instead of the balloon, he decided to display his God is Love message on the face of a small nearby mesa.  However, concrete was expensive and he used too much sand.  So after three years of hard work, when he must have thought he was making progress, his creation slithered down the face of the mesa into a gloopy mess.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Undeterred, in 1989 he started again, using a small donated front-end loader to cut more deeply onto the hill and using metal scrap to anchor his new façade into the hill.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He proceeded without needing regular income, scavenging materials and receiving donations of paint, money and food.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Inside “The Museum”.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

In 1994 there was some controversy about the presence of a private monument on public land and the local government threatened to bulldoze the mountain due to the claimed presence of lead in the paint.  This produced public support, including a documentary from a Los Angeles film maker and the local authority relented.  An independent assay also showed no lead in the soil.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

It was declared “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection” by the Folk Art Society of America in 2000.  In 2002, Senator Barbara Boxer of California entered Salvation Mountain into the Congressional Record as a national treasure.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Leonard Knight aimed to repaint the mountain every year to ensure the paint remains thick but he died in 2014.  In his absence, volunteers continue this maintenance.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

This is his truck.  He initially used it to transport scavenged materials and at least later, lived on the back of it.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

“He lived in the funky camper on the back of his old flatbed”.  I presume this is it (or perhaps, was it).

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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The previous post was at the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA; this is from our viewing of the rest of the Art Museum.  (Click images for larger size).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Royal Peacock Barge, West Bengal, India, late 19th century.

Miniature ivory depiction of pleasure boat of the Nawab of Bengal.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

This is a very modern installation, dated to just before the time we were visiting.  It is perhaps somewhere between pop art, dada and surrealism.  The artist is not credited.

The assemblage is somewhat anachronistic amongst historical exhibits but does include some references to 19th century Indian works.  It is perhaps intended to depict the sense of wonder at the extent to which modern art styles can sometimes diverge from the traditional.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Panel, Gururat, India, early 18th century.

Wood applique with bone; brass roundels.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Altar cabinet, Kham region, eastern Tibet, 19th – 20th century.

Wood with mineral pigments and gilding; brass fittings.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Hindu God Vishnu, Angkor, Cambodia. c. 950AD (sandstone).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Folio from a Buddhist manuscript illustrated with Buddha’s birth stories (Thailand c. 1860-80), atop Sutra Box (Thailand 1920-40, wood laquer and gold leaf).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Buddha Shakyamuni, Sukothai, Thailand, 14th-15th century (copper alloy).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Maharishi (Great Sage) Agastya, Lakhi Sarai, Bihar, India, 12th century (chloritoid phyllite).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Dancer’s headpiece in the form of Hindu Godess Kali, Kerala, India, late 15th century (wood with paint).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Goddess Sarasvati, Gujurat, India, 1153 by Jagadeva.

Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, embodies the mediæval Indian concept of feminine beauty.  Jagadeva was commisioned to create this sculpture to replace an earlier sculpture of Sarasvati that was dedicated in a Jain temple in 1069 but damaged in 1152.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Hindu Goddess Kali, Kerala, India, 17th century (wood with traces of paint).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Athena, 2nd century Roman copy of Greek original from the late 5th century BC School of Pheidas.

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and of war waged for just causes.  She wears a breastplate decorated with the heads of gorgons, the monsters whose piercing gaze turned people who met their eyes to stone.  The hollow eye sockets indicate that eyes were originally inlaid and of course, as with all ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, she would originally have been painted in bright colours.  The statue was excavated at Ostia, the port of Rome, in 1797.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), c. 1572 by Giovanni Bandini (also called Giovanni dell’Opera) (marble).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Madonna and child in a landscape c. 1496-1499 by Cima de Conegliano (Oil on panel).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Saint Crispin (France, c. 1500 (limestone with traces of polychromy).

Saint Crispan is the patron saint of shoe makers.  He and his brother Saint Crispian were tortured for their Christian beliefs and beheaded in 285AD.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The Swineherd, 1888, by Paul Gauguin (oi; on canvas).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

La Place du Théâtre Français, 1898, by Camille Pissaro (oil on canvas).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Le Havre, bâteaux de peche sortant du port (fishing boats leaving the port), 1874, Claude Monet.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Cabinet, c. 1650-75, from Grand Ducal Workshops (Galleria dei Lavori), (ebony, marble, jasper, lapis lazuli and various hard stones, and bronze with gilding).

The birds and flowers that appear to be painted are actually hundreds of pieces of richly hued pietre dure or hard stones, so the designs are laboriously painted in stone.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Eagle-headed demon ritually expelling sickness and evil spirits from the house, possible purifying anyone entering the King’s living room.

This and following reliefs once adorned the interior walls of the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC).  They are from ancient Kalhu (now called Nimrud).  He was the first Assyrian king to use stone panels on the interior wall of his palace which was built in mud brick on a stone foundation.  The reliefs were originally painted in black, white, red and blue.

In 879 BC Ashurnasirpal held a large festival to celebrate the construction of his new capital which remained the centre of the Assyrian Empire for 150 years.  It was surrounded by a massive city wall forty-two feet high (thirteen metres) and five miles long (eight kilometres).  At that time it bordered on the Tigris River.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

A winged human-headed genie wearing a double bull horn mitre that may be a supernatural projection of the king.

He holds a conical fruit that he has presumably dipped in the bucket of pollen held in preparation for fertilisation of the Tree of Life, an important symbol in Assyrian religious belief.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The king holds a libation bowl and a bow, and he is accompanied by a human-headed genie carrying a bucket.  Both are engaged in ritual ceremony.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Fragment of a painted Assyrian relief, Neo-Assyrian dynasty, Northern Iraq, 7th century BC (limestone).

It probably depicts King Sargon (reigned 722-705 BC) and still shows traces of the colourful paint that once adorned all Assyrian reliefs.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Head of a Royal Guard from Persepolis, Achæmenid period, Southern Iran, 5th century BC (limestone).

This fragment once belonged to the inner decorated panel of the eastern staircase of the Apadana, the sumptuous audience hall of the Achæmenid kings at Persepolis.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

20th century sculpture but I missed the label.  Giacometti maybe?

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Netsuke Gallery, LACMA

Netsuke Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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Close by La Brea Tar Pits, we next visited the Pavillion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (ACMNA).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Haniwa Horse from 6th century.

Haniwa are terracotta clay figures buried with the dead as funerary objects.  They are from the Kofun period of 3rd to 6th century AD, when horses were first domesticated in Japan and this would have been from the grave of an important person, probably in Southern Honshu.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Chest of drawers from the 18th century.  Lacquer over wood with gold and silver flakes.

It is decorated with several views around Lake Biwa and was made for the lord of Hikone Castle.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Jar from Kamakura period, c. 1200-1400AD.

Tokoname ware; coil-built stoneware with ash glaze.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Female Shinto deity, 14th century.

Due to a close association of Shinto with the Imperial Court, such figures were shown in court robes as real people and were kept in close shrines, not viewable by devotees.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Sake bottles, 17th to 19th centuries.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Contemporary vessel by Shimizu Ichiji, 2012.

Stoneware with sprayed slip decoration.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Daruma by Torei Enji, hanging scroll, ink on silk, 18th century.

Daruma was the semi-legendary Zen Master who brought Zen from China to Japan in the early 6th century.  Torei Enji was himself an eminent Zen Master who wrote a description of Zen practice, still read today, entitled “The undying Lamp of Zen”.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Kanzan and Jittoku by Shunso Shoju, ink on paper, late 18th or early 19th century.

Kanzan and Jittoku were enlightened people who lived on Cold Mountain (Hanshan) in China in about the 9th century and they are symbolically represented in this drawing.  Here is a poem by Kanzan (or Hanshan to the Chinese):

Men ask the way through the clouds,

The cloud’s way dark, without a sign.

High summits are of naked rock.

In deep valleys sun never shines.

Behind you green peaks, and in front,

To east the white clouds, and to west –

Want to know where the cloud way lies?

It’s there, in the centre of the Void!

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

This is the first of the netsuke.  Three others follow.  They are unique to Japan and because kimono had no pockets.  Instead, the Japanese used inro or segmented hanging boxes.  They were on a cord which went through the netsuke and attached to the obi or kimono sash.  The netsuke prevented the inro and cord slipping out from beneath the obi.

They needed to be light and small yet strong and support a hole through them so they are masterpieces of miniature design.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

European archer, 18th century.

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Santo Domingo Monochromes

12-14 September 2016, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Art vendor in the centre of the old city.

Catedral Primada de America.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Around the block from the Cathedral.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Inside the Cathedral.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Museo Casa de Tostado.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

A statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés in front of the Tower of Homage.

Fortaleza Ozama.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This vehicle was parked in the street right outside where we were staying, in the centre of the old city.

Wandering in Santo Domingo.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes or the Church of Our Lady of the Mercedes.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Calle Hostos.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Monasterio de San Francisco.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Alcázar de Colón.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Museo de las Casas Reales.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Edges of the Old City.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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