Posts filed under “Art”


This portrait of Christ is dated “13th century” by Wikimedia Commons. It was taken from a Web site that no longer exists. The portrait is attributed to Arsen Bulmaisimisze, a Georgian name that comes up in some Georgian sites, but Dr. Boli has forgotten all the Georgian he ever knew except “Peachtree Street,” and he suspects that may be the wrong kind of Georgian. Every other mention of that name in English on the Internet is connected with this image, which appears on a few other sites scattered here and there. Some of those sites are stock-photo sites that have clearly harvested the same image from Wikimedia Commons and would like you to pay them up to $200 for it, which is a useful cautionary tale for designers who buy stock images. Every site that mentions a date at all dates it to “13th century.”

Clearly, then, this is one of those cases where literally all the information on the Internet has propagated from one source, and that one source is egregiously wrong. If this is a painting from the thirteenth century, Dr. Boli will eat his hat with a side of Marshmallow Peeps. It cannot be earlier than the nineteenth century, probably late nineteenth century.

So your challenge (and it may be an impossible one) is this: identify the true source and date of this image. The prize will be the right to say, for one twenty-four-hour period, that you are smarter than the entire Internet.


As we saw earlier, Google uses its astounding intelligence to figure out where your photos were taken all by itself, just by looking for telltale landmarks. Here are some more examples, with the identifications that Google has proposed for them:

Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea. Remarkably, the building is brick-for-brick identical to the old Webster Hall hotel designed by Henry Hornbostel in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

This very elegant structure is in Montreal, QC, Canada. The French Canadian architectural flair is unmistakable.

Vancouver, BC, Canada. Vancouver is a city noted for its up-to-date style.

National Mall, Washington. The Mall is known the world over for monumental buildings like this.

Rockefeller Center, New York. The streamlined Art Deco style is a dead giveaway.


LAST NIGHT’S PERFORMANCE of the Symphonie Plague No.3 by Ruthven Mophandle Heyser was disappointing: nothing was outlandishly poor, but the Duck Hollow Philharmonic is capable of better work. The bassoons, marked pianissimo in the score, nearly drowned out the rustling tissue paper, which is marked fortissimo. The Krummhorns were so badly out of tune that at one point a distinct effect of harmony was produced where, needless to say, none was intended. The concluding explosions were ill-timed and ruined the rhythmic effect of the finale. Much praise is due, however, to Miss Una Corda, the notoriously shy concert pianist, whose faint melodic tinkling was not audible at all.


By Our Roving Critic.

The so-called Moving Sale at No. 1721 Featherstone Avenue in Dormont was—there is no kinder way of putting it—a disappointment. The goods on display were pedestrian and unimaginative. The cookware section was typical: granted that some of the items, notably the sauté pan with lid, were useful, where was the emotional impact? We looked in vain for any trace of a pattern in the boxes of VHS tapes, but they seemed to have been thrown together at random. The children’s clothes on sale had the same old story to tell: once our children were small, and now they are bigger, and their clothes no longer fit—there is not a triter trope in the book. The blandly adequate furniture spoke of no tragedies; there was no hidden sadness in the garden tools. In short, the sale was not moving at all, and to advertise it as such straddles the line between hyperbole and consumer fraud.


Garden at the Vanderbilt mansion, Hyde Park.

Garden at the Vanderbilt mansion, Hyde Park.

Update: The site is no longer on line.

Do you wish the world were more like an old postcard? Then you will want to visit Father Pitt’s new Two-Color World, a silly photographic experiment in which every picture is presented in old-fashioned two-color printing, like an old postcard or a two-strip Technicolor movie from 1929.

You may notice from the URL that our friend Bozar the Clown has graciously donated Web space for this enterprise, and in fact we are interested to see how his Web host responds to the demands of running WordPress. Mr. Bozar’s site uses a tiny and simple blogging script that places very few demands on the host, but WordPress takes some oomph.