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Alexis' Blog

  1. In Prague, at Kubašta's door

    Vojtech Kubasta's Prazský Betlém (Prague Nativity, Orbis 1968 & 1969) features Prague landmarks, including the Charles Bridge (left, above). 

     Praha 5, Smichov, No. 2.   Map in hand, I turn right from Andel (Angel) Metro Station, walk two blocks, and find myself on Vojtech Kubasta's street in Prague's Smichov.

    Elegant apartment buildings line Vltavska Street that leads to Prague's watery highway, the Vltava River. Almost at the water's edge, ...
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  2. Saint Petersburg's treasures

     The Nativity, high above, on the vaulted ceiling of the Raphael Loggias, The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia.   
     The Byzantine Double-headed Eagle — looking East and West — crowns the gates of The Hermitage.  It might be a short plane ride from Medieval Tallinn — and Peter the Great's intimate Cottage and modest Kadriog Palace — but his "Window to the West," his glittering capital, Saint Petersburg, seems a world away.

    The Imperial Double ...
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  3. Church of the Holy Ghost, Tallinn


    The Nativity is found on one of the balconies of Tallinn's Holy Ghost Church……and so is Tallin's oldest clock.
     Set as it is in the heart of Tallinn's Old Town, The Holy Ghost Church is surrounded by people — but, behind its thick walls, thre's peace. I've always been fascinated with clocks; tempus fugit, as Benjamin would say.

    Churches? Well, you can always do with a moment of reflection — and there's always the possibility of discovering a Nativity.
    ...
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  4. The Ayala Altarpiece, a Gothic narrative of the Nativity

    The Ayala Altarpiece, a pictorial narrative in the Gothic linear style by an anonymous 14th century artist, is one of the Medieval masterpieces of the Art Institute of Chicago.

     The photographer/blogger is ithere to provide scale: the large Ayala Altarpiece fills a gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was fourteen when I first saw the Art Institute of Chicago. I arrived in the Windy City by train from New York with my adoptive parents who brought me to America. ...
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  5. An Antique Crèche, A Gift from Svatava Vizinová

     This "Antique" crèche is a reprint of a 1900 vintage nativity, and features a new back, complete with Gothic window, courtesy of Crechemania.com After my Basilica videos, I decided to give up all the Photoshop cutting and pasting — and try an X-acto knife, instead.

    The reason? Creating a new back for a lovely Czech nativity that my friend Svatava Vizinová sent me for Christmas.

    "It was printed in 1900," she writes, "in Vjperty Town. This is a reprint, of ...
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