Wednesday, 25 April 2012


We attended the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show that took place Wednesday 28th March - Sunday 1st April 2012. This flower and garden show is still ranked in the top five flower shows in the world. 

2012 was the 17th year that this show took place in Melbourne, and it is regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.   Featuring the best landscape and floral talent that Australia has to offer alongside an extensive array of garden retail products, the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is a celebration of Australian lifestyle and our great outdoors.

Staged within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens, this prestigious Show is well established in the psyche of Australians as a "must see" event. We were not disappointed and we spent one whole day wandering around trying to see everything there was to see.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday, 9 April 2012


The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites. The main gallery, known as NGV International, is located on St Kilda Road, in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, with a branch gallery at Federation Square.

The St Kilda Road Gallery, designed by Sir Roy Grounds, opened in 1968. and redesigned by Mario Bellini. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square was designed by LAB Architecture Studio.

At the time when the gallery opened, Victoria was an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Besides donations of works of art, donated funds from wealthy citizens have been used by the Gallery to purchase large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. The Gallery currently holds over 65,000 works of art.

The Felton Bequest, established by the will of Alfred Felton, has acquired and donated over 15,000 works of art to the Gallery. The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867. It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910. The School’s graduates went on to become some of Australia’s most significant artists.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of Toby's Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors meme.
The imposing St Kilda Rd façade of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne
The rather grand entranceway to the Gallery. Entry is free tot he Gallery, although a fee is usually charged for special exhibitions
The water windows at the Gallery entrance delight both young and old...
But especially so the young! 
The Gallery has expansive spaces, many of which are brightly lit with natural light, as can be seen in the foyer area here 
The sculptures of the figures visible here are English sculptor Antony Gormley's stainless steel 'Inside Australia' installation in the foyer of the Gallery 
The Gallery shop on the Ground floor of the Gallery is a treasure of books on art, architecture, craft and related disciplines. As well as books, the shop sells catalogues, postcards, art, gifts and other art-related merchandise
The Great Hall, created by Leonard French between 1963-1967 is a magnificent space, often used for performances, concerts and all sorts of other functions. The ceiling is high (13.72 metres), vast (60.9 x 15.24 metres) and so heavy with glass and steel that its downward projecting triangles need to be held up by a series of slim steel columns.
Looking up, one becomes aware of the wonder of one of the largest glass ceilings in the world. The kaleidoscopic tent of light suspended high above the NGV International's Great Hall is part of the building's fabric and an iconic part of the National Gallery of Victoria
Leonard William French OBE (born 8 October 1928) is an Australian artist, known principally for major stained glass works. French was born in Brunswick, Victoria. His stained glass creations include a series of panels in the cafe and foyer of the National Library of Australia in Canberra, and this stained glass ceiling for the great hall at the National Gallery of Victoria
The sculpture garden of the Gallery at its back end
Another view of the garden
Henry Moore's "Draped Seated Woman" of 1957-58, with a mosaic in the background, a recreation of Fernand Léger's "Grand Parade with red Background" made in 1985
Auguste Rodin's sculpture of "Monument to Balzac" (1891–1898)  Rodin had a modest attitude toward his art. When he finished his "Balzac", which remains the incontestable point of departure for modern sculpture, he declared, "It is now that I would like to begin work."
There are several cafés and places to refresh oneself in the Gallery. Here is the very cosy  first floor "Tea Room"
 The gallery's collection includes 66,000 objects: Sculptures, paintings, prints, costumes, furnishings, photographs and artefacts. Here is the "Triptych with the miracles of Christ" (1479-1491), painted by the workshop of  the Master of the Legend of St Catherine 
A detail of the  "Triptych with the miracles of Christ" 
"Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints" - Cologne School, c.1510-20 
Detail of  "Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints"
The Rembrandt Cabinet
Detail of "The Two Philosophers" (1628) by Rembrandt
One of the 16th-17th century galleries
Giambattista Tiepolo's "The Finding of Moses"  (1740-1745)
Giambattista Tiepolo's stunning "The Banquet of Cleopatra" (1743–44)
Three decorative art pieces from the extensive collection of similar type in the Gallery. These are Minton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire bone china pieces, two baskets (1873) and a covered vase (ca. 1885). The vase was decorated by Henry Mitchell (active 1860-1875)
A 17th-18th century gallery
One of the 19th century galleries
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes' enormous cartoon of "St Geneviève Ravitaillant Paris Assiégé" (1897-1898)
Another of the 19th century galleries decorated in the salon style typical of the early to mid-19th century
James Tissot's "An Interesting Story" (1872)
Claude Monet's "Vétheuil" (1879)
Frederick McCubbin's "Lost" (1907)
Paul Nash's "Landscape of the Summer Solstice" (1943)
Detail from John Longstaff's portrait of Alfred Felton of 1932.  Alfred Felton (8 November 1831 – 8 January 1904) was an Australian entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist. His sizeable and very generous bequest to the National Gallery of Victoria made the gallery what it is today - the best in the Southern Hemisphere and certainly one of the best in the world. My short photographic foray has hardly done it any justice