Saturday, January 30, 2010

Colonial Building

Even with snow squalls and a bitter wind,, I stopped to take some photos today.  I switched over to a 'real' camera a couple of months ago and wished I'd had a long time ago as there's much more possibilities with it.

It was overcast today even though glimpses of blue sky appeared now and then, they didn't last for long.  I stopped at the Colonial Building in St. John's as the columns caught my eye.  The brief shot of sunshine didn't last long enough to capture the shadows the columns threw, but I decided to go for it anyway.  Even though the image is shot with colour, it still comes out as shades of grey with the weather and the building setting the values.

The Colonial Building was created to be the seat of Legislature in Newfoundland and was constructed from 1846 - 1848, complete with its own time capsule buried under the cornerstone of the building.   It's facade was constructed of imported white Irish limestone and is neoclassical in design, with six ionic columns, and a pediment sculpted with the Royal Coat of Arms.

The painted ceilings of the building were painted in 1880 by a Polish fresco painter named Alexander Pindikowski. Mr. Pindikowski had come to Newfoundland to teach art in the community of Heart's Content. However, he became a famous character in Newfoundland history, not through his teaching, but rather through his arrest for attempting to cash forged cheques.  After being arrested for his crimes in March 1880, Mr Pindikowski was sentenced to 15 months in the Penitentiary.

The government were aware of his skill at painting frescoes and had him put to work during the days of his sentencing to complete the painting.  Even after his work as a painter, his sentence was only reduced by a month.

There were nine different colours used in the original ceiling work, and an inlay of 200 books of gold leaf. Pindikowski's work was carefully restored in 1940 by a local painter named Clem Murphy. Current restoration work is planned for the building which is anticipated to finish in 2013.

Meanwhile I continue on with the crow, but not a lot of progress today.  More tomorrow I hope.  It seems my weekends are as busy as my weekdays.  Sometimes my body and mind just shut down and make me nap on the sofa by the fire.

I have tried  putting a a couple of pieces of art on Ebay, besides the Purity Kisses prints, which seem to becoming more popular. You can click here to view and bid.


RHCarpenter said...

Beautiful ceiling work and to think how much went into this for only a 1 month reduction in sentencing! Don't rush the crow...they come when they are ready :) And sometimes you just need to rest your body and mind.

Margaret Ryall said...

How nice to see a common site for me as I buzz around town highlighted. I realized I had heard the story of the ceiling paintings before as I read your post. Thanks for the reminder of an artist who once worked and lived in our city.

Jeanette said...

Its a great building Rhonda and a little story always makes it more interesting. The crow is slowly coming along...

I hadn't heard the story of the ceilings previously Margaret. Now I have to go see the inside of the building to satisfy my curiosity.

Diarikom said...

It was really nice to see some pictures that heve been taken with a "real camera" As you say, much, much more can be done with them! Thaks for the great example, Nigel JAMES, Vienna.