For Christmas, in 2017

December 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm (Christmas 2017)

Sending some beautiful things your way, on this Christmas Day:

Maesta, by Duccio


Nativity, by Rogier van der Weyden


Adoration of the Kings, by the Master of Perea


Nativity, by Conrad von Soest


procession of the Magi, by Gozzoli


Adoration of the Magi, by Botticelli



Adoration of the Shepherds, by Murillo


Journey of the Magi, by Sassetta

This is a painting I have loved since I first saw it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was a child. It makes me think of Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims.


Portinari Altarpiece, by Hugo van der Goes


The Nativity at Night, by Geertgen tot Sint Jans














Permalink 1 Comment

London, Day One: Christmas crowds and Christmas lights

December 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm (Christmas 2017, London 2017, Travel)

As I was adjusting to jet lag and a general sense of dislocation, my brother, sister-in-law, and I explored the neighborhood. This was Bloomsbury.

We were staying at the Bloomsbury and the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotels respectively – barely a block from the imposing edifice of the British Museum on Great Russell Street.

The British Museum in London


That night, we walked to the storied Seven Dials  intersection,    then along Oxford Street to Regent Street. This is the intersection known as Oxford Circus. I was not always sure where I was at each point in our stroll, but I know the streets were thronged with holiday shoppers and the lights were dazzling.

In the course of our peregrinations, we ended up at London’s new flagship Apple store on Regent Street (see map above). This was not entirely unplanned; my brother Richard works for the company at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Unlike this depiction, the store was packed that night. a week ago last Sunday.


It’s an impressively designed store, spacious, beautifully detailed, and very green.

Now, back to the streets and the lights. These pictures (plus one video) were taken under less than optimal conditions, but I still think they convey a sense of the festive and beautiful ambience that was very much in evidence  that night:



Permalink 1 Comment