From the late Middle Ages to the Baroque, Habsburg emperors and archdukes collected exotic and uncommon materials, to which they often ascribed magical powers, such as precious stones, ostrich eggs, coral and shark’s teeth, which were considered to be dragon’s tongues. From these natural products, artists created virtuoso works of art.
Once, while at the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome, I tried to give lectures, but one woman constantly blinded me with a camera flash, which prevented me from concentrating on my notes. I said that while I was working, they should stop working, because of the division of labour. The woman turned off her camera but clearly felt pained.
The Altai Mountains run through Central and East Asia for about twelve hundred miles from the southeast to the northwest, spanning China, Mongolia, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
Much of the land contains burials from thousands of years ago which have been preserved due to the permafrost that covers the area.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the topic of travel is temporarily closed for most of the inhabitants of the Earth. Fortunately, we can still go on virtual walks in stunning locations. Why not take a stroll through the halls of the world’s best museums that have created an interactive version of their exhibits? Let’s go on excursions to visit the best cultural treasures of different countries and people.
Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part IV. One of the most interesting clocks, as well as one of the most representative of clockmaking during the transition from the late 16th to the early 17th century, is this rather spectacular automaton of Diana On Her Chariot, as it’s called.
What of the origins of doll’s houses? Where does the interest come from – for our children to love to play with them, for so many adults to love to collect exquisite miniatures like this?
The aqueduct of Segovia is a classic example of Roman water transport architecture—simple in design, yet magnificent to behold, and surprisingly durable. The aqueduct was built in the 1st century AD to convey water from Frío River, 17 km away, to the city, and it has been carrying out this function in one form or another for the past 2,000 years. This is all the more impressive when you realize that this aqueduct was built without a single ounce of mortar.
Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part III. The Silver Swan is an automaton dating from the 18th Century and is housed in the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Teesdale, County Durham, England.
Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part II. “Without the duck of Vaucanson, there would be nothing to remind us of the glory of France.” – VOLTAIRE
Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part I. Not so long ago, a short video of a truly uncanny dulcimer-playing wind-up automaton made for Marie Antoinette in 1784 appeared online. The queen was no stranger to extravagance, we know, but why this machine, this wonderful human-like machine, which must have taxed the greatest artisans and mechanics of her time? What was its appeal?