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Sep 26 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
"The Course of Empire" is a series of paintings by Thomas Cole depicting the rise and fall of an imaginary civilization.
Inspired by his visit to the ruins of ancient Rome, they were meant as a warning to the U.S. against the pride of empire building.
Which stage are we in? 🧵 1. The Savage State / Commencement of the Empire (1836)
Sep 18 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
Those who say that America doesn't have magnificent cathedrals are simply wrong.
A thread of the finest churches in the U.S. 🧵 1. St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, NY (1878)
A Gothic sanctuary in the heart of the city - it's the largest Gothic Catholic cathedral in the country, and a symbol of the triumph of religious freedom in America.
Sep 15 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
Reminder that Buenos Aires was once known as the Paris of South America.
A thread of colorized images from the early 20th century 🧵 1. Constitución railway station, 1900
See @argentinaacolor for many more from this era!
Sep 8 • 16 tweets • 4 min read
Baroque was a movement that sought above all else to inspire awe.
Its goal was maximum drama and grandeur by emphasizing motion, contrast and extravagant detail.
A thread of Baroque wonders in art and architecture 🧵 1. Prometheus Bound - Peter Paul Rubens (c.1612)
Sep 6 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell." - Aldous Huxley
A thread of the most terrifying depictions of hell ever painted 🧵 1. The Garden of Earthly Delights (right panel) – Hieronymus Bosch (1515)
A nightmarish scene imagining the monstrosities of hell - including a bird-headed creature eating a naked man and a hollowed out giant with trees for limbs.
Sep 4 • 13 tweets • 4 min read
Art Nouveau was a nature-inspired, decorative movement which flourished between 1890 and 1910 across Europe and the Americas.
A thread of its most beautiful examples 🧵 1. Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, Mexico City (1899)
Aug 31 • 13 tweets • 4 min read
Some things shouldn't be possible to carve from stone, but the master sculptors managed it anyway.
A thread of impossible details of marble sculptures 🧵 1. The intricate net of "The Release from Deception" - Francesco Queirolo (1759)
Aug 29 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
A thread of towns and cities that look spectacular from above 🧵
1. Madrid, Spain 🇪🇸 2. Barcelona, Spain 🇪🇸
Aug 28 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Budapest is healing - the city is erasing the brutalist blight left over from its communist past, and rebuilding lost architecture destroyed during WW2.
A thread of uplifting before and after shots 🧵
1. Realized the original 1920s plans for a building at Kossuth Square 2. Removed 1960s cladding from the Corvin Department Store, Blaha Lujza Square
Aug 26 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
America was supposed to be Art Deco - a thread of 10 iconic Art Deco designs 🧵
1. "Mercury" - a streamliner passenger train which operated between 1936 and 1959 2. The Eastern Columbia Building, Los Angeles (1930)
Aug 24 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
"The Veiled Christ" is a marble sculpture so lifelike that the artist who produced it was accused of alchemy.
Sculpted by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753, the delicate, translucent veil over the body of Christ is so remarkable that it's hard to believe human hands could have shaped it from stone. At the time of its completion, there were popular claims that it must have been created by draping a veil over the figure and using alchemy to turn it to stone.
Alongside his contemporary Antonio Corradini, Sanmartino was one of the few artists to ever sculpt such intricate folds, rivalling the earlier Renaissance and Baroque masters like Michelangelo and Bernini.
The layered effect of the marble is so precise that every feature of Christ, from his eyelids to his earlobes, is easily discernible through the veil, which appears to sit weightlessly over his body - it is one of the most impossible feats ever achieved in sculpture.
Corradini was originally commissioned for the sculpture by Raimondo di Sangro, the Prince of Sansevero. Corradini died before the work began, so Sanmartino stepped in to create what became his magnum opus.
The work still lives at the Chapel of Sansevero in Naples to this day, where it is housed alongside several other miraculous creations like Corradini's famous masterpiece, "Modesty" (1752).
More details of the impossible feat:
Aug 22 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
John Martin was an English painter known for his vast, dramatic landscapes and scenes of apocalypse. These are his 10 greatest works 🧵
1. The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum (1822) 2. The Destruction of Tyre (1840)
Aug 7 • 14 tweets • 4 min read
This is the future we should have chosen.
A thread of the fascinating illustrations by Russian architectural theorist Arthur Skizhali-Weiss 🧵
Bridges of Dreams (2005)
Aug 1 • 16 tweets • 5 min read
The purpose of art was once to elevate the soul.
These are the 15 most beautiful ceiling frescoes on earth 🧵 1. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Vatican - Michelangelo (1512) 🇻🇦
Jul 27 • 11 tweets • 5 min read
This is the Apennine Colossus - a 36-foot-tall colossus built almost 450 years ago by one of the finest sculptors of the Italian Renaissance. A brief thread 🧵
The extraordinary brick and stone figure, completed in 1580, is the work of the renowned sculptor Giambologna. Approximately 7 miles north of Florence, it lives on centuries later as a brooding guardian of the Villa di Pratolino.
Jul 23 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
Very few artists in history have mastered the art of carving translucent veils from solid stone.
These are the 10 greatest examples ever sculpted 🧵 1. The Sleep of Sorrow and the Dream of Joy - Raffaele Monti (1861)
Jul 18 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
How do we go back to being a society that creates art like this?
Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss (1793) - Antonio Canova. The craftsmanship is so fine that its marble wings become translucent in the sun's rays.
Jul 17 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
"Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things." - G.K. Chesterton
10 iconic paintings of apocalypse and destruction 🧵 1. The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum (1822) - John Martin
Jul 14 • 16 tweets • 4 min read
The great Gothic cathedrals remind us what is possible when we reach for the heavens through architecture.
These are the 15 finest examples in Europe 🧵 1. Lincoln Cathedral, England (1311) 🏴
Jun 26 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
"Art is to console those who are broken by life."
11 of Vincent van Gogh's greatest self-portraits, in chronological order 🧵
Van Gogh's self-portraits are a remarkable window into the soul of the troubled genius. He created 36 in total, in the space of only 10 years.
1. Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat, Spring 1886
Jun 24 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
"The mother art is architecture."
Here are 10 examples of paintings that vividly imagine architectural wonders and impossibilities 🧵 1. The Architect's Dream, Thomas Cole (1840)