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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo


In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.
www.blurb.com/user/ruudleeuw

CURRENT BLOG

 

 
HONOUR | TV-MINISERIES TRUE CRIME

Honour, tv-miniseries (true crime)

Honour, tv-miniseries (true crime)


Honour is a two-part British television drama, depicting the investigation into the real-life disappearance and murder of honour killing victim Banaz Mahmod.
Banaz Mahmod (b.16Dec1985 – d.24Jan2006) was a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurdish woman who lived in Mitcham, South London, England. She was murdered on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing because she ended a violent and abusive forced marriage and started a relationship with someone of her own choosing.
Her father, uncle and three cousins were later convicted of her murder. Even her mother refused in co-operating with the police.

Gwyneth Hughes created the screenplay using the first-hand experiences of key figures from the real case including Bekhal Mahmod, Nawzad Gelly and Caroline Goode, who acted as consultant.

Narrative: Rahmat Suleimani reports his 20-year-old girlfriend, Banaz Mahmod, as a missing person; newly promoted DCI, Caroline Goode, heads Team 16 of the London Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command in the ensuing search.

While Banaz's parents insist Banaz is not missing, her phone hasn't been used and there's been no movement on her bank account.
It soon transpires that Banaz had been in contact with the police repeatedly in the preceding months; she'd even left a note with her local police station listing several men, including her uncle Ari Mahmod, who she claimed were planning to kill her, but she had not been taken seriously. Rahmat confirms that he and Banaz have been threatened with death because they'd been seen kissing and their relationship was deemed inappropriate; he claimed the threats were initiated by Ari Mahmod, and had been reported to the police two days before Banaz went missing.

In a closing note we learn that Caroline Goode was awarded a police decoration for bringing the culprits to justice, she also brought 2 suspects who fled to Iraq back to England where they were convicted for murder.
Excellent roleplay by Keeley Hawes as DCI Goode. Also by Alexa Davies as Keilly Jones, the data analyst.

en.wikipedia.org:_Honour_(miniseries)
en.wikipedia.org:_Murder_of_Banaz_Mahmod
www.imdb.com

[22JAN2021]

 
SMELTEND IJS by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION

Smeltend IJs - Arnaldur Indridason
(Myrkrið veit) (The Darkness Knows)

Myrkrið veit is a spin-off from international bestseller Indridason's critically acclaimed Reykjavic-set novel, The Shadow District. In other words, another Konrað novel, Indriðason seems to have done with the Erlendur and Young Erlendur novels.
The victim in The Darkness Knows is a businessman missing for thirty years, found by tourist frozen in a glacier but partly thawed due global warming.
Konrad had participated in this case and is drawn in, mostly because he was fascinated by the main suspect who was tarnished by the investigation but always insisted on his innocence and never convicted.

Inspite of his retirement, Konrað visits Hjaltalín on his deathbed but does not get a confession out of him. Instead, Hjaltalín confronts Konrað with the death of his father, a petty criminal stabbed in the back, a crime also never solved.
A woman named Herdis approaches Konrað with new information and progress can finally be made. Instead of trying to solve the murder of Sigurvin, on the glacier, he accepts the request of Herdis to look into the hit-and-run death of her brother around that same time, looked upon at the time as an accidental death, a drunk died in the road during a snowstorm.
Konrað can accept this assignment, to make inquiries on behalf of Herdis, for the other inquiry is in the hands of the police and he does not have a badge anymore.

But as Konrad starts to look back at the case(s) and secrets of the past. More ghosts of the past haunts him: the shady dealings his father was involved in (could they have led to his murder?) and the recent death of his wife, Erna.

The book is very low paced, on many inquiries he receives no co-operation as he has to admit he's retired from the police. He does get help from Marta, a former colleague and now a police chief.
When Konrað's parents divorced, his sister went with their mother while Konrað stayed behind with the father. It seemed Konrað would follow in his father's footsteps, but things changed for the better. But we get to see there still is a dark side to Konrað.

Another fantastic read by Arnaldur Indriðason.

en.wikipedia.org:_Arnaldur_Indriðason

[22JAN2021]

 
WE HUNT TOGETHER | TV-SERIES CRIMA FICTION DRAMA

We Hunt Together - tv-series


This is not a 'whodunnit', from the start we know who does the killing.
We have a duo who does the killing and we have a duo in the policeforce aiming to put a stop to the killing.
Both consist of a caucasian woman and a man from Africa.

The murdering couple, Freddy and Babba (resp. Hermione Corfield and Dipo Ola) face the world in a Bonnie & Clyde fashion. Freddy works at a center for sex-lines, but she is unable to pay back 10.000 pounds she borrowed from Matt, a criminal.
Freddy says she loves Babba, whom she met in the men's room of a club. Babba worked there handing out soap and perfume to gents, working for tips while he was awaiting to be processed for a permit to live and work in the UK.
Babba has a trauma from his youth when he was a child soldier in Nigeria, killing many. This is a secret he does not want to share, for if known he can forget his permit. But his conscience plays up, he 'sees' persons from that terrible period.
Freddy, of whom he later learn here actual name is Lilly, manipulates Babba in helping her.

The other team also has distinct characteristics. DI Jackson Mendy (Babou Ceesay) is originally from Gambia, happily married with an ambitious lawyer, plus 2 kids. Jackson meets every problem or person with a happy attitude, and works very much on the nerves of Lola Franks.
Detective (DS) Lola Franks (Eve Myles) is addicted to heroin, but sofar has been able to hide it from everybody. She suffers from a trauma when through her fault, on the job, people died in a head on collision. One of the victims was a young child, she died after a week or so with Lola at her bedside.

During the investigation Jackson finds out about Lola's addiction and she notices that it isn't exactly a rosegarden at the Mendy's.
Their investigation get stranded a few times, the police chief anxious to conclude it, while Freddy/Lilly & Babba keep running but finding it more and more difficult to outrun the police.
There is a showdown, with an unexpected outcome, at the house of a friend of Lilly.

Very entertaining series!

www.imdb.com
en.wikipedia.org:_We_Hunt_Together_(TV_series)

[21JAN2021]

 
BORN WILD ('WILDE HAREN') by TONY FITZJOHN | AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn, OBE
Subtitled 'the extraordinary story of one man's passion for lions and for Africa'
Co-author Miles Bredin.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Locations of Kora NP and Mkomazi NP

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Kora National Park (Kenya)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Mkomazi National Park (Tanzania)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Tony with Freddie in his arms, underneath is Arusha and Gigi awaits its turn

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
19.Tony in Kora camp woth Kaunda
21. Jojo's arrival in Kora
22. Girlfriend Lindsay visiting Tonu in hospital after he was almost killed by Shyman
20. George, Kaunda and Tony at the river (Kora)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Leopards are very different from lions: they don't like to cuddle like lions will and they
don't drink bottled milk as young lions will.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
32. Tony and Bugsy, true camaraderie
33. Bugsy and Squeaks, great friends

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
At Mkomazi camp, working on the infrastructure, getting married & raising a family and.. wild dogs

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
49. Wild dogs in Mkomazi boma devour their food
51. Kisiwani school, funded by the trust. Started while the roof still needed finishing
52. The first four rhino's for Mkomazi arrive by Antonov 12 from South Africa
53. Officials celebrate the arrival of the rhino's
50. Aart Visee (r.) and Sangito Lema take blood samples of the Wild Dogs for DNA-analyses

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Rino's and elephant Nina. After returning to the wild Nina returned to Mkomazi camp
to show her first born; sadly Nina died in the bush (near the camp) in childbirth of her second.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
The stories about these animals, each with a name and a unique character, are deeply moving


When I bought a new car last year, I was pleasantly surprised seeing various display of rhino's. Having been on safari in South Africa only a few months before my visit to the cardealer, this hit the right note for me.
After we concluded the deal, I was given a copy of Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn, a copy in Dutch titled 'Wilde Haren'.
Only now I managed to read this, in part due to the lockdown.
And what a pleasant surprise it was!

Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn, OBE is a conservationist who worked extensively with George Adamson at Kora (Kenia) in Africa.
In recognition of his service to wildlife conservation, Fitzjohn was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2006.

The book starts with describing how Fitzjohn was almost killed by a lion, a chilling introduction.
Next we learn how Fitzjohn struggled find his place in the UK, in life and experienced a great feel of belonging when he found himself in Kenia during the late-1960s.
When he met George Adamson at Kora, he decided to stay, in spite of primitive living conditions.
Like George, Fitzjohn walked and cuddled with lions. He and George succeeded in raiding lions and reintroducing them into the wild.
We read about the characteristerics of the lions, each different from the other, as the other animals we come to be introduced to.
Life in Kora is a constant struggle: financially but also due to a lot of obstruction and corruption of local and national government. Gradually poachers and herders (grazing their cattle) encroach on the wilderness surrounding Kora. Soon followed by outlaw Somali terrorists wielding AK47's, killing people and wildlife.
The circumstances are explained in details, how tribes in Somalia fell apart and young men formed bands terrorizing a wide territory, knowing full well that the Kenyan government did little than nothing to protect Kora and its northerly area.

When Kora became increasingly unsafe, Tony Fitzjohn took the offer with considerable difficulty to start something similar in Tanzania: Mkomazi.
Again we see a repeat in difficult living conditions and much obstruction and corruption by government officials, so endemic for African countries.
But some things had changed. Tony now found himself increasingly by support from influential people in the Western World, as well as influential people in Tanzania. Actress Ali McGraw and Princess Margeret of Kent already had supported work at Kora, as well as Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
People helped to set up a trust, set up bookkeeping and accounting, and gradually life improved.
The book ends in 2009, when Mkomazi was officially declared a National Park.
The reader is acquainted with many individual animals, such as lions, leopards at Kora and rhino's, wild dogs, an elephant in Mkomazi.

In Tanzania Tony get married to Lucy and they get 4 kids. A life in the African bush, Tony travelling for crowdfunding and he finds himself awarded with an O.B.E. and dining with the British royal family.
A constant drama is during this period 1968-2009 the way officials, criminals, terrorists, thieves thwarted George Adamson and Tony Fitzjohn's dream for providing a safe haven for the animals, to care for them and raise them for reintroduction into the wild.
And not without success. Many animals return in different frequencies to the camp, but many also died by poison or by other predators, elephant Nina in childbirth.

An amazing book, about realizing dreams, support by people far and wide, friends dying, people hurt by the animals they care for. The animals are the true stars of this book, as well as Tony Fitzjohn.

About Tony Fitzjohn-
Established and stocked the first successful rhinoceros sanctuary in Tanzania.
30 years of successful rehabilitation of zoo animals into the wild.
Gained National Park status for two game reserves.
Completed the construction of a new secondary school for 400 children.
Provided local communities with clean water supply, dispensary and Flying Doctor service.
First successful captive breeding program for endangered African hunting dog in East Africa.
Ground-breaking veterinary research into disease of endangered species.
20 years of developing and supporting anti-poaching units.

en.wikipedia.org:_Tony_Fitzjohn
rhinoclub.nl
en.wikipedia.org:_Kora_National_Park
www.kenyanationalparks.com/kora-national-park
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mkomazi_National_Park
www.mkomazi.info

[21JAN2021]

 
HET PIXELPARADIJS by JOEP LENNARTS | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
'Pixelparadise', by Joep Lennarts. Photographer of light and shadow.

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
The news, large firms deemed immortal (e.g. Philips, DAF Trucks) forced to layoff many

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Photographer for De Volkskrant

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Reporting the news: the Dutch Air Force C-130 crash at Eindhoven

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Culture

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Joep in Africa

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Portraits

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Joep Lennarts also loved photography of music concerts, he photographed many an iconic star.


The Pixel Paradise, subtitled Photographer of Light and Shadow'. This is the title of a book that was published 8 years after Joep Lennarts passed away. It entirely devoted to the photographic work of Joep Lennarts (1958-2011).
The book can be read and viewed as a warm tribute by his son Daniel and various friends to the Bossche photographer who retired from life in 2011. It is also an excellent showcase of photojournalisme abroad and at home.

Joep Lennarts, photographer between 1985 and 2011 for the 'Brabants Dagblad', 'de Volkskrant' and Theatre Festival Boulevard. He started his career as a journalist but after a few years switched to photography.
He had worked at the Brabants Dagblad for 5 years as a reporter when he switched to photojournalism
in 1986. From 1989 to 1997 he worked for De Volkskrant, from 1999 to 2006 for the Brabants Dagblad.
He went missing on 25Feb2011. His body was found 69 long days later in the Meuse.
This book is a fine tribute to Joep and his legacy.

Soon after Joep's death there was talk of a book, but it took 8 years before The Pixelparadise could be published.
It became a collaborative project of son Daniël Lennarts, working at a design agency, and some friends
of the photographer: his colleague Marc Bolsius, the publicist Eric Alink, designer Eric Schreurs and the Brabants-Dagblad journalists Theo van de Zande and Joop van der Pol.
The book has 8 chapters on themes, 8 for the number of years to complete this book. Each chapter starts with an excellent essay, giving an insight into the person and his life.

The chapters are 1.Nieuws (sub 'eternal transience') - 2.Documentair (sub 'the grandness of the insignificant') - 3.Religie (sub 'the intoxication of the invisible') - 4.Boeren (sub 'the uprooted idyll') -
5.Op cel (sub 'the incarcerated reality') - 6.Reizen (sub 'the unzipped horizon') - 7.Portretten (sub 'the search for truthfulness') - 8.Cultuur (sub 'the unquenchable fire').

The why question, of why Joep retired from life, has no answer. It isn't a sad book, though.

www.bd.nl (NL)
www.brabantcultureel.nl/2019/
www.heinen.nl, the Adr.Heinen bookshop in 's-Hertogenbosch where was able to buy this superb book
www.youtube.com, presentation of the book Pixelparadijs (NL)
www.youtube.com Portrait of Joep Lennarts

[19JAN2021]

 
OCCUPIED, SEASON 3 | DVD TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA

Occupied, tv-series, season 3

Occupied, tv-series, season 3

To summarize the first two seasons of Occupied: the series is set in the near future and inhabits a world
in which Norway became occupied by Russia, on behalf of the European Union, because Norway was shutting down its oil and gas refineries to transition to clean energy sources.
The environmental friendly Norwegian government was under leadership of Jesper Berg and he was forced out, he subsequently organized the growing resistance Free Norway and by Machiavellian cunning managed to regain leadership of Norway.

In season 3 we have the Russians withdrawn from Norway, and Jesper Berg is tasked with forming an interim government. The EU is monitoring the Peace Treaty and pressures Norway to resume its oil and gas production. While Russia tries to regain some form of control.

Hans Martin Djupvik, still in charge of government security forces, discovers that the new Defense Minister Harald Vold may have ordered the assassination of Anita Rygh. Norwegian border troops in Pasvik rise against EU's peacekeeping forces.
Djupvik is seperated from his wife and daughter and is in growing concern about his work ethics.
Sidorova does everything in her power to get her partner Lyubov back from Russia. 'Ljuba' carries their child.
Harald Vold enters the electoral campaign and accuses Jesper of profiteering.
A growing number of Russians are being attacked with acid in the hate campaign #BrandThem. Jesper's attempt to link Vold to BrandThem only increases Vold's popularity among Norwegians who are furious with the Russians.
Jesper's party has a big lead in the polls, until he is targeted by rumors claiming that he ordered the assassination of Anita Rygh. Jesper discovers that Bente's boss Sobol is paying troll factories to spread the rumors.
On Election Day, Jesper wakes up from a near fatal heart attack. Bente's testimony spurs the Supreme Court to recommend the impeachment of Jesper. Hans Martin discovers that Sidorova is collecting compromising information on European politicians, for Russia to regain control in Norway's politics.

Again an excellent political drama, brimming with intrigue that seems to have a high agree of reality.

www.imdb.com
en.wikipedia.org:_Occupied


[18JAN2021]

 
THE BEAT GOES ON by IAN RANKIN | SHORT STORIES CRIME FICTION

The Beat Goes On - short stories by Ian Rankin (Rebus)
The Complete Rebus Short Stories

The Beat Goes On - short stories by Ian Rankin (Rebus)
Content: John Rebus short stories by Ian Rankin


'The Beat Goes On': The Complete Rebus Short Stories is an anthology of all the Inspector Rebus short stories (30) by Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, plus the novella Death Is Not the End; though the Rebus short story 'Well Shot', published in 2nd Culprit (1993), is not included.
It is Rankin's 3rd collection of short stories.

Published in 2014 (the paperback version published in 2015), it includes 2 stories not in the hardback edition; a new story 'Cinders', written for Christmas 2014 and an old story from his files 'My Shopping Day', which was first published in 'Herbert in Motion and Other Stories' (1997).

The first story 'Dead and Buried' is set in the mid-1980s, when Rebus was learning the ropes at Summerhall Police Station, and 'The Very Last Drop' is set during a tour of a brewery immediately after Rebus's retirement in 'Exit Music', a retirement present from Siobhan Clarke who goes with him (written to be read aloud at a charity night at Edinburgh's Caledonian Brewery).
'The Very Last Drop' was written to help the work of Royal Blind.

All the 12 Rebus stories in 'A Good Hanging and Other Stories' are included: they cover a chronological year in Rebus's life; 'Playback' in March, 'A Good Hanging' in August during the Festival Fringe and 'Auld Lang Syne' in December.
Also included are the 7 Rebus stories in 'Beggars Banquet', which has 14 other stories, 21 in total.
There are 6 uncollected stories from magazines and newspapers, often for a Christmas issue so set in the festive season.
There are 2 new stories: 'The Passenger' and 'A Three-Pint Problem'.

In the Preface (page 1) and Rankin on Rebus (pages 595-609) Rankin discusses Rebus and writing him. Not something to be skipped, esspecially by someone such as myself who has read Rankin's all his books.

There is an excellent interview on YouTube of Ian Rankin by Scottish journalist Ruth Wishart during the 'e-edition' of the Edinbuirgh Bookfestival (August 2020). It's about an hour long and the interview commences at about 3 minutes into the video.

en.wikipedia.org:_The_Beat_Goes_On_(short_stories)
www.ianrankin.net


[12JAN2021]

 
OCCUPIED, SEASON 2 | DVD POLITICAL CRIME DRAMA THRILLER

Occupied, season 2

Occupied (Norwegian: Okkupert) is a Norwegian political thriller tv-series which premiered on TV2 on 05Oct2015.
Based on an original idea by Jo Nesbø, the series is co-created with Karianne Lund and Erik Skjoldbjærg.
Season 2 premiered on 10Oct2017.
The final 3d season started airing in Scandinavia on 05Dec19. It will be discussed here soon as I have the dvd box at the ready.

The series depicts a fictional 'near future' in which, due to catastrophic environmental events, Norway's Prime Minister Jesper Berg (Henrik Mestad) has stopped the country's oil and gas production.
Russia, with support from the European Union, occupies Norway to restore its oil and gas production, in response to a Europe-wide energy crisis. The deal was that the Russians would only stay for 6 months, but in season 2 they are in continued presence for 2 years with no sign of leaving.

The former prime minister Jesper Berg, who now has been ousted from Norway, has found refuge in Sweden. He communicates with Free Norway, a resistance group, through a computer game.
There is a lot of political intrigue.
Anita Rygg is put in power, as nobody wants the job as Prime Minister of Norway at this stage. Everybody expects her to fail, for she lacks the experience for such a position. She has a good working relationship with the Russian ambassador, Irina Sidorova (Ingeborga Dapkunaite).
Russia is trying to increase its hold on Norway, to draw Norway into the fold, even with countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
A semi-military group of coastguarders, on a self initiated check visit a gasplant, end up in a shoot out with Russian military forces, with dead and wounded on both sides. Jesper Berg had secretly initiated that raid to Melkøya. Berg is hounded by Norway's security forces, lead by Hans Martin Djupvik (Eldar Skar), and Berg flees to Poland and onwards to Paris in an attempt to form a new political alliance to oust Anita Rygg. He stops at nothing.
We also meet a couple of young activists who see their ideals misused and abused.
Djupvik's daughter is kidnapped by the underground movement.
A Norwegian hotel, lead by Bente Norum (Ane Dahl Torp) plus a business partner, caters for the increasing amount of rich Russians. The hotel becomes a hotbed for covert operations and a Russian oligarch forces Bente's partner out: his young daughter is the new partner.

Again a fine political thriller, brimming with intrigue and drama!

www.imdb.com
en.wikipedia.org:_Occupied

[09JAN2021]

 
J.W.M. TURNER by MARTINA PADBERG | PAINTER ART BOOKS

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter
Venice by J.W.M. Turner

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter
A good roadmap to see more of Turner's paintings.

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (b.23Apr1775 – d.19Dec1851), known in his time as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist.
He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings.
He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2.000 watercolours, and 30.000 works on paper.
Turner was championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

William Turner was a shy loner, an einzelgänger and a bit of an eccentric, but also an extremely productive artist who quickly became one of the most successful painters of landscapes and seascapes in England.
Although his fame was limited to his native Britain during his lifetime, William Turner is now revered as an exceptional talent who bridged romanticism and impressionism.

I thought it remarkable how much he has travelled!
This fantastic little book shows he was much more than a painter of ships, always seeking the glorious light, seeking understanding of all kind of weather phenomena and he was interested in the changing of times during his days.
He may have been a bit of an eccentric, he had no trouble making money by being very productive, also working as an illustrator for travel documentation and poetry publications.

It will be good to seek his work on display in the various museums in London and elsewhere in the UK.

Martina Padberg is an art historian and works as a freelance curator and writer. Her exhibitions and numerous publications are focused mainly on (modern) art. Martina Padberg's most popular book is on Claude Monet.

en.wikipedia.org:_J._M._W._Turner

[04JAN2021]

 
DE ZWARTE DOOD IN VENETIË - GERRIT KORTHALS ALTES | ART HISTORY BOOKS


PEST, POLITICS AND ART IN VENICE

Doge of Venice

The Plague in Venice, its art

 


With my interest in history and having a particular interest in Venice, it had to be that during the
Covid-19 pandemic, I would stumble on this charming little book: The Black Death in Venice, subtitled 'Pest, Politics and art in the City of the Doges'.

Venice was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice for a millennium and more, from 697 to 1797. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce—especially silk, grain, and spice, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th.
The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century.
Its trading empire made it vulnerable for several severe outbreaks of the plague, The Black Death.

'The Black Death in Venice' tells of the other Venice, where the harbors brought in not only wealth, but also unsuspectingly the Black Death.
Two outbreaks shortly after each other, the plague outbreaks in the late-16th and early-17th centuries claimed tens of thousands of victims and depopulated the city. Only faith could turn the tide, since the correct cause based on scientific evidence had not yet been found.

With the vow to build grand new houses of worship, the Venetians hoped to defuse the pandemic. Renowned architects, sculptors and painters – such as Palladio, Tintoretto, Bellini, Titian and Veronese – were invited to submit designs for church and interior design.
Thanks to generous donations and indulgences, the buildings were quickly built. By the end of 1630, the Venetians had been liberated from the plague and the city with richly decorated domed churches was given its famous silhouette.

Gerrit Korthals Altes (b.1939-d.2020) was a theatre director of a.o. 'Toneelgroep Amsterdam'.

Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which exists in parasitic fleas of several species in the wild and of rats in human society. In an outbreak, it may kill all of its immediate hosts and thus die out, but it can remain active in other hosts that it does not kill, thereby causing a new outbreak years or decades later.
The bacterium has several means of transmission and infection, including through rats carried on ships or vehicles, fleas hidden in grain and—in its more virulent forms—transmitted by blood and sputum directly between humans.

There's detailed history of the Doges of Venice during this era, lost and won battles influencing its empire, the building of Il Redentore and the Santa Maria della Salute, their art and other important art preserved in museum and collection relevant to this era.

I was more interested in life during the plague in Venice but how this found itself depicted in art and churches certainly broadened my perspective. On a future visit to Venice I will use this guide to find new places to visit in La Serenissima!

A doge (plural: dogi or doges) was an elected lord and chief of state in several Italian city-states, notably Venice and Genoa, during the medieval and renaissance periods. Such states are referred to as 'crowned republics'.

The Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore (EN: Church of the Most Holy Redeemer), commonly known as Il Redentore, is a 16th-century Roman Catholic church located on Giudecca (island) in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, in the city of Venice, Italy.
The cornerstone was laid by the Patriarch of Venice, Giovanni Trevisano, on 03May 1577 and the building was consecrated in 1592.
Every year the Doge and Senators walked across a specially constructed pontoon bridge from the Zattere to Giudecca, to attend Mass in the church.
The Festa del Redentore remains a major festival in the Venetian calendar, celebrated on the 3rd sunday in July. A huge firework display on the previous evening is followed by a mass procession across the pontoon bridge.

Santa Maria della Salute (EN: Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana, in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy.
In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague (until 1631 the Black Death killed nearly a third of the population). As a votive offering for the city's deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, IT: Salute). The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena.
Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.
The dome of the Salute was an important addition to the Venetian skyline and soon became emblematic of the city, inspiring painters like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Francesco
Guardi.

geschiedenis-winkel.nl/p/de-zwarte-dood-in-venetie/ (NL)
en.wikipedia.org:_Il_Redentore
en.wikipedia.org:_Second_plague_pandemic
en.wikipedia.org:_Santa_Maria_della_Salute
en.wikipedia.org:_Venice
www.parool.nl/nieuws/gerrit-korthals-altes-1939-2020 (NL)
My most recent travel to Venice (2020)

 

[04JAN2021]

 

 

 
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Created: 01-JAN-2021