Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 28 April 2016

{quotable thursdays}

A Bank Holiday here awaits us in the UK this weekend-the sign that spring is on its way (even if this chilly weather is telling us otherwise)!
So, a quote about the possibilities of great things ahead: 
{something wonderful}

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Hi all,
Just about to run out the door to head into London, but wanted to post a quote for today. I'm giving a talk at a CHASE workshop on the matter of the archive...
So today, instead of sitting in front of my computer, I'm speaking to an audience--something us academics do from time to time, but it's still stepping out of one's comfort zone every time one has to speak in public. Today's quote is dedicated to that:
{step out of your box}
have a grand ol' day!
ps: Happy Birthday to the Queen!!!!!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

{postcards from Spain-San Vincent Ferrer}

In my previous post, I blogged about my stay in Valencia and promised to dedicate a post to the San Vincent Ferrer celebrations, which took place while I was there.
Saint Vincent Ferrer was born in Valencia and is an incredibly important saint for the city and, in the early modern period, for the Aragonese. I first stumbled upon the saint during my PhD research when I was studying the Aragonese court in Naples. A well-known painting by Colantonio was/is of particular interest to me as it is one of the earliest portraits we have of Eleonora d'Aragona (daughter of the king of Naples and Duchess of Ferrara)-somebody I've spent much time researching (she appears in the central panel of the predella):
{Colantonio, Altarpiece of Saint Vincent Ferrer, c. 1458, commissioned for San Pietro Martire, Naples (but currently in the Capodimonte)}
Luckily, I just happened to be in Valencia during the celebrations, which occur on the weekend after Easter and run for a few days.
I first stumbled upon a church (Iglesia de los Santos Juanos) where the spectacular temporary structure was being erected:

We then seemed to stumble upon the processions and festivities everywhere we went...
The next morning at breakfast, we were suddenly in a privileged spot to see the saint being paraded to the nearby church:

{walking back from the beach we encountered a performance in front of another church}
As a Renaissance art historian, you read chronicles and letters reporting such events, but seeing it live as we did, made me feel just a bit closer to the real experiences of Renaissance individuals, who would have seen such spectacles on a fairly regular basis (and we must remember, had never seen the telly so that such pageantry would have seemed even more spectacular).

 That evening, as we jumped from tapa place to tapa place, we got caught up again in the extraordinary celebrations. This time the saint was being lifted up on a mechanical ladder to his final position on the erected structure:
{when out for tapas, we joined the celebrations of him being placed on his perch}
 Children dress up in traditional costume and process through the streets:

{there he goes--almost reached his destination!}

The music I have to admit, was particularly moving:

 On the final day, a large procession, including adults and children winds its way throughout the city, accompanied by musicians, fireworks, and other fanfare. Once again, we just happened to be having breakfast in the right place at the right time:

& this is what it looks like when you randomly stumble upon them on a side street:
& then more down the main streets:

{one final shot of a little girl dressed up, on the street below-view from my balcony!}
Thank you Valencia!
What a wonderful treat!!

{postcards from Spain-Valencia}

Earlier this month I was enjoying the sunny and warm climes of Spain!
I was in Valencia for a conference and then stayed on to conduct archival research. Over the weekend I had a good friend come and visit and we enjoyed lovely evenings out eating tapas and paella...and beautiful days strolling and soaking in the sunshine.
We were also lucky to be there during the patron saint's festival-San Vincent Ferrar--I'll post another blog post dedicated to those celebrations as they are simply fantastic!
The pics say it all:
{I'm still stunned by this amazing cross-stitch façade}

{my friend Ruth enjoying a drink on the beach!}
There's lots of wonderful museums to see:
The Colegio Seminario de Corpus Christi is a church and a museum (with a collection of paintings from Van der Weyden to Caravaggio}

The ceramic museum in the centre has a fantastic façade and is housed in an old palace, so is much more than just a museum, with stunning interiors (& exterior) to admire:

My flat was in the old city centre:

{my flat was on this street}

{the fantastic balconies on the flat I rented!}

{the main old cathedral was just a minute away from my flat--you could hear the bells ringing!}

 Valencia feels small--especially the old centre...it's easy to just wander around by foot.. That indeed was my favourite thing to do. I couldn't stop admiring the buildings, the winding little streets, the beautiful tile work everywhere you look. The colours were a feast for the eyes.

{antique shop!}

Just around the corner from my flat was the market: 

{simply stunning tiles}

{striking interior as well}



{exterior of the Lonja, which faces the market--originally a hall for silk traders & now a UNESCO heritage site}
 We enjoyed some horchata at Oxata Daniel in the mercato Colon, which is a lovely little place:

I have to admit, I did enjoy spending time on my balcony, eating breakfast, or sipping a glass of wine and munching on tapas and simply watching the world go by below:

I'd gladly go back to Valencia again!