“Noon, Outskirts of Moscow”, 1869, Ivan Shishkin.
Evening drawing school. Boston, Massachusetts. Ca.1890.
These stunning photographs, which look like a glorious late evening sky with dashes of pink and purple, are actually pictures of Japan’s largest wisteria (or wistaria, depending on whom you ask) plant.
This plant, located in Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan, is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still comes in at an impressive 1,990 square meters (or half an acre) and dates back to around 1870 (the largest, at about 4,000 square meters, is the wisteria vine in Sierra Madre, California). Although wisterias can look like trees, they’re actually vines. Because its vines have the potential to get very heavy, this plant’s entire structure is held up on steel supports, allowing visitors to walk below its canopy and bask in the pink and purple light cast by its beautiful hanging blossoms.
Image credits: Takao Tsushima
Rococo in Detail: Jean-Marc Nattier
A World of Childhood Fantasy in Narni, Italy
There are stunning similarities between the real-life town of Narni and the fictional world of Narnia: blazing green hills, clear blue skies and picturesque stone structures.
In fact, the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S. Lewis in 1950, is rumored to have been inspired by this small Italian town 50 miles north of Rome. According to biographer Walter Hooper, Lewis was fascinated by ancient history, and Narni—named “Narnia” in Roman times—was highlighted by the children’s author in his personal atlas.
Whether Lewis visited Narni has never been confirmed, but even today, its cobblestone streets and castle fortress look like they belong in a magical, medieval novel. And while there are no mythical, talking creatures roaming the land, Narni still feels like a place pulled straight out of our childhood imaginations.
Jean Paul Gaultier Couture 2007 | Details