Grave Sweeping Day, Hong Kong.

People walk past tombstones in a cemetery near residential buildings during the Ching Ming Festival, or Grave Sweeping Day, in Hong Kong on 5 April, 2019.
Visiting the graves of ancestors during Ching Ming is a Chinese tradition dating back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, with families paying their respects by cleaning the graves, presenting offerings of food, and burning joss paper.
Image Credit: Photograph by Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty
Source: Photos of the Week: Straw Kongs, Reindeer Races, Yosemite Rainbow – The Atlantic

Lucrezia Borgia, 1480 -1539.


Lucrezia Borgia (Italian pronunciation: [luˈkrɛtsja ˈbɔrdʒa]; Valencian: Lucrècia; Catalan pronunciation: [luˈkrɛsiə]; 18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519) was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei.
Her brothers included Cesare Borgia, Giovanni Borgia, and Gioffre Borgia.
Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy.
Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films.
Very little is known of Lucrezia, and the extent of her complicity in the political machinations of her father and brothers is unclear.
They certainly arranged several marriages for her to important or powerful men in order to advance their own political ambitions.
Lucrezia was married to Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), and Alfonso I d’Este (Duke of Ferrara).
Tradition has it that Alfonso of Aragon was an illegitimate son of the King of Naples and that her brother Cesare may have had him murdered after his political value waned.
via Lucrezia Borgia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Boris Karloff meets Frankenstein’s Monster 1931.


Boris Karloff actually was an intelligent man who continued acting almost to the end. Was he ever good looking? You be the judge.
The classic and definitive monster/horror film of all time, director James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) is the screen version of Mary Shelley’s Gothic 1818 nightmarish novel of the same name (Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus).
The film, with Victorian undertones, was produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. for Universal Pictures, the same year that Dracula (1931), another classic horror film, was produced within the same studio – both films helped to save the beleaguered studio.
[The sequel to this Monster story is found in director James Whale’s even greater film, Bride of Frankenstein (1935).]
Just who is the Monster in this snap?
The film’s name was derived from the mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), who experimentally creates an artificial life – an Unnamed Monster (Boris Karloff), that ultimately terrorizes the Bavarian countryside after being mistreated by his maker’s assistant Fritz and society as a whole.
The film’s most famous scene is the one in which Frankenstein befriends a young girl named Maria at a lake’s edge, and mistakenly throws her into the water (and drowns her) along with other flowers.
Mister Messy cuts the cake.
Read more via Frankenstein (1931).

Ghoulish Vintage Noir Paintings.

travis-louie-02One can see clearly the influence of early cinematic techniques in the paintings of New York visual artist Travis Louie, particularly that of German Expressionism and Film Noir.
It is in the imagery that he chooses to engage with and in the colours which he uses to bring it all to life: think Victorian freak show sketched in all manner of shades.
via Ghoulish Vintage-style Paintings by Travis Louie | Illusion Magazine.

Bride of Frankenstein, 1935.

While many of the profitable Universal monster movies were given sequels, Frankenstein’s first one is of particular interest.
With the success of the original picture, Universal realized it needed the director James Whale to come back and do the follow up, too. Whale, however, thought he’d done as much with the story as he could and was uninterested in working on a sequel.
He finally consented after being given full control of the picture including the script (along with a promise he could direct another film in which he was interested.
The result was one of those rare things, a motion picture sequel which is considered better than the original, similar to The Godfather Part 2.
Karloff repeated his role as the monster, while actress Elsa Lanchester took the part of the creature’s mate created by Frankenstein in order to fulfill a promise to the monster.
Lanchester also played the writer, Mary Shelley, in a flashback at the beginning of the picture.
Despite the bride only appearing for a few minutes at the end of the production, the makeup work of Jack Peirce again provided the world with an indelible image of a literary character.
via The UnMuseum – The Universal Monsters

Phaedra’s Suicide by Cabanel.


Donated by Alexandre Cabanel (born 1823 in Montpelier – died 1889 in Paris) to the museum of his birthplace, this painting is an exemplary work by the artist and strongly representative of his achievements and success during the period.
The classical figure of Phaedra’s languid body stretches across the canvas.
Nearly as white as the sheet draped over her, her body dramatically contrasts against the vivid colours of the setting.
The details of the architectural features, furs, fabrics and the servant’s costumes are all rendered sumptuously and create an atmosphere of exotic luxury.
Cabanel used the wife of a prominent banker as his model.
That he could represent the significant classical figure of Phaedra in this way – both frail and banal – was heavily criticised at the Salon of 1880, where the painting’s confusion of insignificant details was also taken to task.
Nonetheless, it was precisely the painting’s confusion of banality and excess that made it a fitting, nostalgic allegory to Second Empire society.
via French Painting from the Musee Fabre | Alexandre CABANEL | Phaedra.