Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Design Error - Pagsanjan Falls US Postage Stamp

PD Image: 18 Centavos postage stamp design error on a 1932 Philippines stamp. Although the stamp indicates that it depicts the Pagsanjan Falls in Luzon Islands in the Philippines, in fact it shows the Vernal Fall, Yosemite National Park, California, USA.

The Pagsanjan Falls postage stamp, part of a set of seven stamps showing places of interest and landmarks in the Philippines, issued on 3 May 1932 is highly priced due to an error. In 1932 Philippines was treated as its own territory by the United States.

The United States postal department wanted to print an image of Pagsanjan Falls, a tourist attraction in Laguna province in the Philippines on the above stamp. But due to a callous design error, the image of the Vernal Fall was used. The error has made the stamp the most sought after in the set.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Claude Monet: the biggest exhibition of the father of French impressionism opens in Paris

This is a video report of the biggest ever exhibition of the father of French impressionism, Claude Monet's, paintings is on in Paris. The organizers expect half a million visitors.

The French Impressionist master Claude Monet (14 Nov 1840 - 5 Dec 1926), who has long been ignored in what is described as ‘Gallic snobbishness’ in France, is getting a new recognition there with the opening of a new exhibition at the ‘Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais’ (Grand Palais National Galleries), which serve as home to major art exhibits and cultural events programmed by the Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN).

The French attitude to Monet is better expressed in the words of Art Curator Guy Cogeval, who reportedly said, "Claude Monet - the most complete Monet exhibit in France since 1980, with paintings on loan from dozens of museums and collections from Cleveland, Ohio, to Canberra, Australia - is a bid to repatriate one of the great geniuses of French art… We (the French) have always said, 'Monet's for an exhibit in Japan, an exhibit in the United States, but not for one in France.' But why? He's one of our greatest painters."

According to Guy Cogeval, who also heads Paris' Musée d'Orsay, a museum dedicated largely to the Impressionists, the French largely dismissed Impressionism as ‘something for tourists’ and preferred Realism or Symbolism. He added that the lion's share of recent scholarship on the Monet was done by academics in USA and UK.

The term Impressionism is derived from the title of Monet’s painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (Impression, soleil levant), and with this Monet changed the whole concept of art with his short brush strokes, vibrant magical colors and a new vision about art.

Monet was very fond of painting controlled nature such as his own gardens in Giverny with its water lilies, pond and bridge, and scenes up and down the banks of River Seine, producing paintings such as Break-up of the ice on the Seine.

169 works of art by Monet from private collections from world over has been put together in this exhibition. In a career spanning over 60 years, the impressionist master has produced a huge body of artistic works. He experimented with colors, moods, seasons and brush strokes to give a new meaning to art.

The paintings of Monet’s iconic ‘Water Lilies’, which have launched a thousand Impressionist calendars the world over, were inspired by the water lilies in his garden pond at his house at Giverny, and he repeated them over and over again, but every time giving them a new expression of mood and beauty.

His painting the ‘Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies’ (1899, currently in Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) were repeated at least 5 times, every time giving the vegetation around a new life, new meanings and mood swings.

Monet’s Westminster series depicting London’s Houses of Parliament (London, Parliament, Reflections on the Thames; in French: Londres, Le Parlement, Reflets sur la Tamise - 1905) were also repeatedly created as new works but in different light conditions and seasons.