|The Romantic Hotel, Istanbul|
|Looking across the Bosporus Straits toward Asiatic Turkey|
|The Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque|
With freshman experience in Kenyan souvenir bargaining I came to the Turkish bazaar as a seasoned sophomore (Greek, sophos wise + moros foolish).
A pleasant man named Cemil befriended us drifting around a public square. He offered apple tea and the finest hand-woven rugs. His parents had come from Greece and Bulgaria in the waning days of the sultan. We disappointed him only a little by buying a turquoise runner for the back of our sofa. A pillow sweetened the negotiation, with cash payment in US dollars.
|Our silk souvenirs|
At a compatriot's lamp store we offered little resistance to the shopkeeper, just drank more tea and brought home a beautiful chandelier at a favorable price. ☺
The lamps evoke Turkish motifs in the fiery arts, where flaming crucibles convert drab minerals into colorful glass and tiles.Ottoman architects reveled in decorative elements from their craftsmen's kilns. They achieved breathtaking designs in glass, ceramics, and metallurgy.
|The dome of the Blue Mosque|
|Tiles in the Hagia Sophia|
The Hagia Sophia, once the world's largest church, begun by Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor Justinian in the Sixth Century, received its present ornamentation during Ottoman times. Chemistry and artistry in fiery furnaces produced the brilliant glazes.
|Mosaic dome, Hagia Sophia|
|Window, Musée Chagall, Nice|
"For me a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world." ...Marc Chagall
|Mosaic of Elijah ascending to Heaven amidst occult symbols of the Zodiac, Musée Chagall.|
|Gilded iron gate, Musée Massena, Nice|
In Nice we also appreciated wrought iron forged in the hearths of its blacksmiths.Artistry in medieval Europe reached its apex under Church sponsorship. The fire of Christian theology, cosmology, and empire coaxed wondrous windows from its guilds.
|The north transept rose of Chartres Cathedral|
|Medieval glass kiln, Chartres|
Innovative traditions live on today at the Centre International du Vitrail in Chartres adjacent to Our Lady's Cathedral.
|Modern artists, International Stained Glass Center, Chartres|
Woman in the Hat, by Lapis Andras,|
outside the Hungarian Institute, Paris
Thinker, garden of the Musée Rodin|
Napoleon's Tomb in background
The French capital displays monuments to its prominent citizens and collective glories. They often exalt their creators as much as their subjects.
|The Thinker, original conception|
|The Eiffel Tower, twilight|
Inducted fires of electricity crown the skyline of the City of Light.
Sacraments of empire are as manifest in public sculpture as in the fiery words of the French national anthem, La Marseilles: "Arise, children of the fatherland, the day of glory has arrived..." The whole effect seems iconographic, calculated to sweep its citizens to unity and achievement.
|The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Our Lady alongside the Seine|
The fires of history have spawned monarchs and popes, revolutionaries and invaders, saints and despots on the heart of Paris, the Île de la Cité. Its noblest building is dedicated to The Virgin Mother.
|Interior dome of Sainte-Chapelle|
Its loveliest place of worship, Sainte-Chapelle, arose within the palace of King Louis IX during the Thirteenth Century. He was subsequently canonized Saint Louis.
|Rose window, Sainte-Chapelle|
Solar light fills stained glass windows with an interior glow. The motifs present an innate rather than a reflected beauty.
The sun fuels the processes of civilization on Earth. It renders the invisible visible.
In gratitude the artisans of mankind aspire to respond, transforming dreams, experiences, and earthly elements in flaming crucibles of "I am." They ignite the works of their hands and minds with the combustion of Creation. They answer an invitation as irresistible as breath, to die into the newness of what might be.