Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein

July 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Last weekend, Itchyfingers found some time to visit this exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. Collected over 500 years, this is the first time over 90 masterpieces from the collection of Prince of Liechtenstein are exhibited here. There were free guided tours but we didn’t want to wait for it to start. But later we did join and listen to bits and pieces from different guides about some of the pieces.

Some of the more famous masterpieces or those that left a deeper impression are these…

raphael-portrait-of-a-man
Portrait of a Man by Raphael, who defined the High Renaissance in Italy
together with his older contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The model was posed in a three-quarter view, looking directly at the viewer

ruben-head-of-a-bearded-man
Head of a Bearded Man by Paul Rubens, who was among the first to make the
small compositional oil sketch significant. Notice only the face was done
with much details and the clothing were rather sketchy, suggesting that this
was a study rather than an actual painting

rubens-portrait-of-clara-serena-rubens
Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, his oldest child, a few years before her death

Reni-Mary-Magdalene
St Magdalene by Guido Reni, one of the great masters of Baroque art. I like 
her facial expression

birth-of-apollo-n-diana
A closer look at this painting, The Birth of Apollo and Diana by Marcantonio
Franceschini. We were initially drawn to the babies – the girl had a little 
crescent moon on her head while the boy had sun rays around his…very cute

blind-leading-blind
No wonder I found these men rather comical. This is The Parable of the Blind
Leading the Blind

harvest-wagon
I like this small painting, The Harvest Wagon by Friedrich Gauermann.
There are a lot of activities here – the gathering thunderstorm, the barking
dog, the galloping horses…

Van-Dyck-potrait-of-johann
Portrait of Johann VIII by Anthony Van Dyck. The fine laces on the shoulder
and sleeves contrasted well with the armour

van-dyck-portrait-of-maria-de-tassis
Portrait of Maria de Tassis, also by Van Dyck. The details on the different
materials of her clothing are simply exquisite. Her gaze is so alive that the
guide said she had to turn away her bag that was printed with the lady’s
portrait so that she can sleep without the feeling of being stared at!

Rembrandt-cupid-with-soap-bubble
Cupid with the Soap Bubble by Rembrandt

Francesco-hayez
Another piece with great details on the textures of the women’s dresses. This
is Consiglio alla Vendetta by Francesco Hayez, Tisu Boy’s favourite

Besides portraits and landscapes, there were also a few very stunningly done still life painting…

still-life
This is a close up of Joris Van Son’s Pronck Still Life with Overturned Silver
Ewer. The silver looked like the real thing, popping out from painting! Impressed!

Just when we were still in awe by the skills of the many masters, it was kinda anti-climax when we saw these collections…Why? There were a selection of 16 oil paintings from the National Collection on display that “draw links to the art of portraiture in Singapore’s historical context, exploring how it was an important representational mode between the late 19th and mid 20th century”. But these are not as impressive as the others, and the one that got Itchyfingers’ four itchy thumbs down was the one depicting our first president, Mr Yusof bin Ishak…thought the proportion of the head to the body was kinda off…hahah…ooops…But of course, we are no art critics and these are just our own sentiments from a lay person’s view… :p

But as anti-climax as it was, we managed to find something interesting too. There were three portraits of Governors of Singapore with names that we are all so familiar with…

nicoll
Portrait of John Fearns Nicoll. Anyone hasn’t travelled on the Nicoll Highway
before? He was Governor of Singapore from 1952- 1955

clifford
Hugh Charles Clifford was Governor of the Straits Settlements (1927 – 1929).
Clifford Pier was named after him

guillemard
Laurence Nunns Guillemard was Governor of the Straits Settlements (1919 – 1927).
Heard of Guillemard Road near Nicoll Highway?

The Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein is now on at the National Museum of Singapore until 29 September 13. Do visit it if you have the time! 😀

Also see related posts:
Tales from the Tomb – Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor and His Legacy
A Tale of Love and Adventure
Wolves in Sheeps’ Skins – Head On by Cai Guo-Qiang
Talking Behind the Bag – Carrier Bags in Singapore From the 1950s to the 1980s
The Mummy Returns – Quest for Immortality
The Image of our Landscape
Li Chen: Mind • Body • Spirit
Oriental Beauty
> An Unbroken Line – The Wu GuanZhong Donation Collection
Xu Beihong in Nanyang
Primary Colours – Feng Zhengjie
Greek Masterpieces From the Lourve

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Face Off…

July 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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There’s a Chinese saying, “一山不能容二虎” – literally translated as “one mountain cannot contain two tigers”. This means that you can’t have two commanders or leaders in a troop or else conflicts will arise.

The same day Itchyfingers first encountered Putih, the Lion King, we actually spotted this other kitty. He was sleeping on the other chair further away from Putih….

mr-b2
Cute kitty sleeping…

mr-b5
We thought he was big….until we saw the bigger Lion King…Hahah…

b2
See the dark gray patch on his body? Itchyfingers decided to name him “Mr. B”…
Wonder what the residents here feed the two boys…they are both big kitties…

b
Actually Mr B has two gray patches on each side of his body…both look like
the letter “B”

Normally we would see the two boys resting on different chairs or tables near each other. Sometimes they would be hiding under two separate cars next to each other…

putih
When Putih sat on the dry riser outlet, Mr B would also be hanging around…

brrrr
…grooming himself…and making faces…! Wahahahah….Brrrrrr….

mr-b3
Mr B would always be hanging around the block…So we thought they are
the best of friends…or rather, Mr B is the Lion King’s side kick…wahahahahah…. 😀

mr-b
Mr B is the more active one…He would be doing the kitty roll while Putih
snoozed off on his various thrones…

dance
Kitty Ballet! Swan Lake! Wahahah…..

mr-b4
But we only saw Mr B hiding from the sun under the stone bench…Sometimes
when we called him while he was snoozing, he would wake up and gave us
a look and a meow before continuing to sleep…

One recent night, Itchyfingers decided to visit the two boys at night….

snooze
And we found Mr B sticking so close to the wall in his dreamland…

itchy
Putih, the gorgeous, had his eyes wide opened cos of the low light…

We were playing with Putih for a while before his face lightened up when he heard someone coming. Apparently this man’s mother-in-law who stays on the second floor, feeds Putih regularly. And yes, she calls him Putih while the man calls him “Gigantos” for his size…No wonder Putih looked happy to see him…and then he did the cutest thing a kitty can do….

wait2
He followed the man to the lift lobby and looked at him while he pressed
the lift button!

wait
Putih waiting patiently for the lift to come…

lift
Then he entered the lift with the man! So cute!!!! I always suspected that
cats know how to take the lift cos once there was a kitty appearing at my
doorstep shortly after I took the lift up on the eighth floor…Wahahah….

We should have followed them into the lift and see Putih’s facial expression! Whahah….But we did see him following the man to the second floor unit from the ground floor….No wonder sometimes we couldn’t find him…Maybe he went upstairs for a snooze…? :p We were just wondering why Mr B didn’t follow them to the second floor…

Itchyfingers got our answer very soon. One late afternoon, we were molesting Putih while he was chilling on his dry riser outlet throne. Suddenly, the lazy boy seemed to sense something….

check2
He jumped down walked towards the lift lobby

check
Then sat down and gazed at that direction…

look2
We thought he had sensed the man or the Malay family coming out from 
the house on the second floor…

look
So he was eagerly waiting to be fed…yum yum….

But being hungry and impatient, he decided to go find them himself….?

walk
I wanted to help him press the lift button and go up with him, but the
impatient boy didn’t wait for me…

climb
He decided to scale up the second floor….

Paparazzi Itchyfingers followed….

Just when Putih made his way up the turn of the stairs, he suddenly made an unexpected dash up!

confrontation
Ah-ha! So! Putih was obviously unhappy to see Mr B at his feeding site outside
the Malay family! There was another kitty but I think she belongs to another
family…She hissed at me when I approached her later…!

stare
Look at his tail! All ruffled up! 

hide
Mr B tried to take cover….But Putih pressed on! We were actually quite 
amused as Putih sounded like a baby in his anger… 😀

I tried to help Mr B by calling Putih softly…

look3
Then, as if to complain to me about Mr B’s mischief, Putih walked towards 
me and gave me a head bump before settling down besides me, but continued
to stare at Mr B…

scold2
And Mr B seized the opportunity to flee for his life! But the Lion King was
not going to let him off that easily! He gave chase and cornered Mr B at the
stairway and started to give him a piece of his mind! Look at the size difference!

Mr B is not a small tom cat, but he is nothing compared to the almighty Lion King!
Putih looked even larger and intimidating with his fur raising up; his thick tail
swept from left to right as he yelled words and words of warning at Mr B!
“How dare you even think of invading into the King’s territory! How many
times have I warn you not to go up there?!”

scold
Mr B was totally shaken! He didn’t dare to utter a single meow! Itchyfingers
were hiding at a corner witnessing all this, and we couldn’t help giggling!
After a while, as if feeling self-conscious when he discovered someone were 
looking at him, Putih started to calm down a little and sat down….

run
It took Mr B a while to slowly back off away from Putih…Not wanting to block
his escape route, we walked down gingerly…Here, Mr B was figuring 
whether to run upstairs or downstairs….I think eventually he realised he
would agonise Putih further if he were to go back to his feeding spot, so he
plunged up his courage to run past Putih and down the stairs!

scared
Finally to safety! Poor Mr B! See how submissive he looked! I don’t think
he would ever dare to do that again! His heart must be still pounding very fast!

scared2
Mr B checking to see if Putih was chasing…The Lion King merely turned
over to take a glance, satisfied with the outcome….Gotta pat the poor Mr B
to calm him down!

Seeing that the storm was over, with Mr B retreating to another corner, we went for our dinner. No wonder Tisu Boy’s friend, who used to stay here and knew both kitties, said they are arch enemies! And we thought they were best of friends to stay so close! Hahahah! Seemed like Mr B is indeed the side kick! 😀

After our dinner, we went back to check at the boys….

tired
…only to find Mr Putih lying flat on the stone table, completely spent after
a hard day’s of chasing and puffing….Not easy to be a king! Wahahahah!!!!

See the funny video of Putih scolding and puffing at Mr B!

Putih sounded like a baby…Maybe those reports from army boys hearing babies at night were actually cries from cats?!? See he looked at us from the corner of his eyes before turning over, feeling self-conscious! Hilarious!

Also see related posts:
> The King and I
> The Lion King

The King and I

July 7, 2013 at 11:57 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Ever since Itchyfingers got acquainted with the Lion King, Putih, we would drop by frequently during the weekends to visit him before going for lunch at the nearby market.

king2
The King and I…Didn’t really dare to go too near to the King the first time
we met cos of his built…hahah….

king
But soon we realised Putih is really a very gentle giant….just like any
kitty… 😀

Most of the time you would see His “Meowjesty” chilling out on his various “thrones”….

king3
The Lion King occupying the whole stone table….so cool….both the kitty and
the table…wahahah….

groom
The King must look his best all the time! Groom, groom, groom….

Itchyfingers have been saying Putih is a big kitty…I think he’s the biggest community cat we have ever seen…But I don’t think it’s because he’s fat. He’s just big and muscular…hahah… 😀

Just how big is Putih the Lion King?

length
See how big Putih is compared to the length of Tisu Girl’s arm…From the
tip of the middle finger to the elbow is about 40cm, plus another palm size…
I should think Putih is at least close to 54cm long from head to his butt, 
excluding his tail…Will try to remember to bring a measuring tape next time…

Sometimes, we would catch the King snoozing on this “throne”….

sleep2
Sweet kitty! Just like a baby!

sleep3
Must take a photo of the King and I!

molest
Getting bolder and molested His “Meowjesty’s” head….Most of the time he
would just continue to sleep and ignore us. Occasionally he would shift
to a more comfortable position and continue snoozing….

roar
Sometimes he would let out a silent roar…wahahah…. 😀 Caught ya!

Once we saw His “Meowjesty” hiding under his throne…peeping at his humble subjects…

stare
It’s not easy to have to look at everybody from the top all the time…so it’s good
to have a change of perspective for a different outlook of life…hahah…

king4
But life up there seemed more interesting….Back at his throne… :p So handsome…

Another time, we found His “Meowjesty” hiding from the paparazzi under a car…

hide
Putih was a bit surprised that we found him…It was so funny when he tried
to look up at us but found his view blocked by the bottom of the car bumper…

walking
Tisu Girl walking her kitty…wahahah! Was actually stalking Putih so that
we could take a closer look..

boy
..to confirm that Putih is a boy! 😀 Wahahaha!!!! Like all community cats in
Singapore that have been neutered, Putih had his
left ear tip clipped...Too
bad our little Lion King 
has also been neutered so he won’t have any handsome
descendents…
 😦

lumpy
Putih sulking cos he won’t have the chance to meet beautiful kitties like our
Fat Lady Dusty…Itchyfingers cannot imagine what kind of cute kittens they
would otherwise have produced! 

handsome
Such handsome face…

Another rare occasion when the handsome boy was relatively active, we caught him strolling and surveying his territory…

thrilled
Tisu Girl molesting Putih’s tail…

roll
In an unexpected move, the Lion King rolled on the ground like a playful kitty!

lick-armpit
Licking his furry armpit….wahahaha….

putih
Then he walked towards this dry riser inlet…

jump
And once again impressed us with his agility by jumping up in one swift move!

snooze
Taking a rest after doing such strenuous exercise…. :p

pet
Such a darling…So tame…Was he ever someone’s house cat before? 

sleep
Tired….need to sleep….It’s time for some beauty sleep….

Also see related post:
> The Lion King

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