10 November 2009

The Royal Academy and France Pictures

On Monday, thanks to Sarah's brilliant reminder, I was able to go to Royal Institution for a Royal Academy lecture by Prof. David Watkins about William Chambers, an English Architect who was responsible for Somerset House (where the Courtauld is located). It was an interesting lecture, even though I was not fully in agreement with some of the conclusions Prof. Watkins made in regards to Chambers practice and influence on later architects. If you look at the life and work of Chambers, it would not be hard to argue that he was one of the first architect to practice in what would now considered a very Beaux-Arts style. He was also very fond of architectural capricci - such as all of the small structures he designed for Kew Gardens, including greek and roman temples, ruined arches, pagodas, spanish pavilions and chinese temples and gardens.

Also, as promised - France Pictures:

Paris at night - Above the Louvre
Below Rachel in one our fabulous Halloween Hats

Above - the Choir Screen in Chartres Cathedral, a ridiculously detailed set of scuptures and carvings all celebrating the lives of Mary and Jesus.

Above - the roof of the entrance passage at the Château de Chenonceau.
Below - the Chateau de Chenonceau which bridges the Cher River.

Above - the Chateau of Ambois - a great record of the architectural transition between a gothicizing style to a more renaissance style. The small chapel to the left is actually an 18th century structure where the body of Leonardo da Vinci was buried - after he lived the last 3 years of his life in the town of Ambois under the protection of the King of France.

Above - The Château de Chambord, a place I was really excited to visit for thesis research, as well as just because it is an amazing structure.
Below - The double helix stair - thought to have been designed by Leonoardo da Vinci while he was in Ambois.


  1. Oh, you saw the double helix staircase and Rachel! And Rachel's wearing her Primo hoodie, too. Glad you're having such a great time with good friends.

  2. Great photos. I had a long conversation about Barcelona and have been planning (in my head) my return to Europe.

    Enjoying all the castles?