Sunday, 27 June 2010

Lorenzo de Medici

Here's a great print I came across recently on the British Museum's website. It's by Giorgio Vasari, a painter from 14/15th century Florence who wrote biographies on the most significant artists of the time. It's a portrait of Lorenzo de Medici, and the same image was originally a painting.

Lorenzo was probably the most well known of the Medici family, who were the rulers of Florence (on and off) for centuries. His support of the arts and of education put him in favour with the majority of Florence and gained the name 'the magnificent' for these qualities. He brought Michelangelo Buonarroti to live with his own son and sent the two on to university. Da Vinci, who was almost the same age as Lorenzo, was apparently more or less ignored by the Medicis - perhaps because of his awkward relationship with Michelangelo, or because Lorenzo resented his ability to build a life for himself out of more or less nothing.

Lorenzo may have supported the arts but he wasn't exactly a pacifist; he was severely brutal with his adversaries – especially those who attempted to assassinate him and his brother (and managing only to finish half of the job, leaving Lorenzo wounded but alive). The offending Pazzi family members were run down by mobs, torn to pieces in the streets,  castrated and dragged by horses, defenestrated and humiliated. Then again, brutal times.  Very interesting character to read about; art, politics (war and murder) and intellect.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Map of Italy

I'm thinking of drawing a map of the UK for the office at work – people in my department could do with one on the wall.

I thought I'd see how difficult or time-consuming it might be by doing a simple one of Italy (for myself). It's quite a cool little design task because you can do it a number of ways (dots/squares/lines/typography(??)) and you learn the geography almost by accident. Vatican City looks like a little scar on the face of Lazio but I felt it should probably be included!

It's a little annoying having so little time to write my blog these days (I usually do some work first, and then write about it). Still, I might be able to upload the work I do for my employer at some point (I'm currently finishing an advert for them).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Daily Telegraph Typeface

I noticed this typeface in the Daily Telegraph the other day – really like the stroke on the ‘r’ and ‘y’ (not easy to end the strokes on serif typefaces), and the ‘t’ has an interesting crossbar to it. I have a feeling this typeface was made especially for the newspaper, as I've been unable to find it online.

The T

The last time I played around in Illustrator I learned more about the fact that to draw a good piece of lettering it seems more productive to consider the space around it rather than the object itself. I'm still working on this one; I want to experiment more with stroke weights and what sort of contrast in line is best for readable lettering.

Eiffel Phi

Hmm. Thought so…

Barbara Bonney

17 May was my last post?! Ouch. Sorry for the long silence. My new job still takes the wind out of me. I'll have to start organizing my time more.

Anyway, just want to share some cool music I got recently. Before I do, I better clarify that I  listen to a huge variety of music but might as well not talk about the mainstream predictable stuff on my blog.

I bought Fauré's Requiem by The Boston Symphony Orchestra but found two other 'bonus' songs on the album that I really liked – ‘Aurore Opus 39 No.1’ and ‘Le Secret’ by Barbara Bonney and Warren Jones. Great piano melodies in both.

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