Envisat 20-year anniversary

Twenty years ago, on the first of March 2002, ESA launched a new satellite to monitor our planet from space: Envisat. This research mission, which carried 10 instruments, would become a beacon for the development of future Earth observation satellites. In orbit for 10 years, double its projected lifespan, this flagship mission provided science with a wealth of data on the health of our planet and climate change – a treasure trove of data that is still used today. Thanks to the Heritage Space Programme, ESA ensures these precious data are preserved and made accessible for future generations.

This report includes interviews of :

– Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation, ESA–ESRIN, Frascati, Italy in English, French & Italian

– Henri Laur, Former Envisat Mission Manager, ESA–ESRIN, Frascati, Italy in English & French

Access the related broadcast quality video material.

Source: esa.int

Echo and Narcissus, John William Waterhouse (English, 1849-1917)

John William Waterhouse, byname Nino, (baptized April 6, 1849?, Rome, Italy—died February 10, 1917, London, England), English painter of the Victorian era known for his large-scale paintings of Classical mythological subjects. He is associated both with his predecessors, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, based on their shared interest in literary subjects (e.g., scenes from Alfred, Lord TennysonJohn Keats, and William Shakespeare), as well as with his contemporaries, the Impressionists, as exemplified by the brushy or sketchy way he sometimes applied paint to canvas.

Waterhouse began studying at the Royal Academy in London in 1870, at first pursuing sculpture. By 1874, however, he had switched to painting, as evident by the painted work (Sleep and His Half-Brother Death, 1874) that he exhibited at the Royal Academy that summer. Waterhouse’s paintings were distinct for their rich, glowing colour. Like the Pre-Raphaelites, he depicted many dramatic, beautiful women—damsels in distress, enchantresses, or femmes fatales. The tragic figure Ophelia was a subject he turned to three times (1889, 1894, 1910), each painting capturing her in a different moment of her story as she came closer to death. Waterhouse also painted more than once the main figure in Tennyson’s 1832 poem The Lady of Shalott, a subject also prized by the Pre-Raphaelites. In his 1888 painting, Waterhouse depicted her seated in a boat floating downstream to her imminent death.

He continued producing works of the mythological and literary themes throughout the 1890s and 1900s, exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy, where he had been honoured as an associate member in 1885 and then a full Royal Academician in 1895. His virtually unchanging style and subject matter went out of vogue with the Modern trends of the turn of the 20th century, but a revived interest in his work came about in the late 20th century.

Credit: britannica.com

Henri Matisse – The Essence of Life

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

Protocorinthian Aryballos (Oil Flask), c. 650-640 BC

Protocorinthian Aryballos (Oil Flask), c. 650-640 BC, Cleveland Museum of Art: Greek and Roman Art

Corinthian pottery during the 8th and 7th centuries BC was as popular an export commodity as Mycenean ware was several centuries earlier. Protocorinthian design was very finely drawn in a miniaturist style. The use of animal friezes shows Near Eastern influences. Size: Overall: 13.7 cm (5 3/8 in.) Medium: painted terracotta

https://clevelandart.org/art/1915.532

Source: cma-greek-roman-art

Gold ring with garnets and sapphires, Roman, 4th-5th century AD; from St. James Ancient Art

Source: treasure-of-the-ancients

Provenance: Property of a London gentleman; formerly acquired before 1970; the rings is accompanied by a copy of a four page report from Striptwist Ltd, a London-based company run by precious metal specialist Dr Jack Ogden, reference number 191014. The ring will also come with a INTERPOL database search.

Maximum Speed of Raphael’s Madonna by Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí, in full Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech, (born May 11, 1904, Figueras, Spain—died January 23, 1989, Figueras), Spanish Surrealist painter and printmaker, influential for his explorations of subconscious imagery.

Vintage: Air France, Concorde

For more than six years- since the signing of a cooperation agreement on 29 November 1962 – the Franco-British supersonic aircraft programme had fascinated the entire world. The design and construction had been successfully carried out by Sud-Aviation and British Aircraft Corporation. That of the jet engines by Rolls-Royce and Snecma. Among other headaches, the challenge of overheating structures at supersonic speeds had to be dealt with and they had overcome it.

001 was presented to the world in late 1967, at which point testing could be accelerated, overseen in Toulouse by chief test pilot André Turcat – then in-flight test director at Sud-Aviation -, who was naturally chosen to pilot 001. Alongside him was an elite crew comprising co-pilot Jacques Guignard, navigator-engineer Henri Perrier and Michel Rétif, the chief flight engineer.

At 3:40pm, the aircraft began its run, its four afterburners sending it roaring up into the skies above Toulouse, flying a wide loop escorted by a Gloster Meteor which transmitted live TV images of the aircraft in flight. After 28 minutes in the air, Concorde touched down before the cheering crowds, with a smiling André Turcat telling the press, in his characteristic understated manner that “the aircraft flies well”.

Concorde – figures and facts

– «Concord» or «Concorde»? The word means “agreement” in French and English. In 1967, British Secretary of State for Technology, Tony Benn, decided that Concorde would take a final “E”, which stood for “Excellence”, “England”, “Europe” and “Entente cordiale”!

– January 21, 1976 – first commercial flight between Paris and Rio de Janeiro via Dakar.
May 31, 2003 – last commercial flight between New York and Paris.

– June 30 1973 – chief test pilot André Turcat, followed the total solar eclipse at the controls of the F-BFVA (Concorde 001 – first serial aircraft delivered to Air France in 1976).

– In his book about the supersonic aircraft, André Turcat emphasized that “the housewife’s Teflon frying pan, fiberglass offshore rig bearings, machine tools or pleasure boats, push bars and connecting rods in the automotive industry have widely benefitted from the Concorde’s technical advances”.

– 1976 – to celebrate the supersonic jet’s arrival, the design of a new uniform – intended for the Concorde stewardesses – was entrusted to the Jean Patou fashion design house.

– Concorde is synonymous with style and prestige. No fewer than three prestigious designers took it in turns to design the cabin’s interior – Raymond Loewy, Pierre Gautier-Delaye and Andrée Putman. The CDG lounge seats were designed by Le Corbusier and the in-flight tableware was signed by Christofle.

– In the collective memory, Concorde connected Paris New York in 3 hours 45 minutes. But Concorde also flew to Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Dakar, Caracas, Mexico, Washington, Dallas, to name but a few.

– In 1992, Air France carried the Olympic flame between Greece and France, by Concorde! The flame thus broke a record by maintaining the speed of 600m/second between Athens and Greece for 55 minutes. Enclosed in a container, the flame was kept alight by a special fuel designed by Air France to avoid any risk of accident.

– Concorde’s father, Lucien Servanty, died in Toulouse in 1973 at the age of 64 without having ever flown aboard this plane.

– The Concorde in a few figures:

Capacity: 100 passengers
Length inside the cabin: 2.63 metres
Speed: 2,200 km/h, i.e. twice the speed of sound (Mach 2.02)
Total length: 62.19 metres
Wingspan: 25.56 metres
Wing surface: 358.25 sq. m
Empty weight: 79.265 tonnes
Cruising altitude: 16,000 to 18,000 m
Noise level on take-off: 119.4 décibels
Consumption per passenger: estimated at between 14 and 17 litres per 100 kilometres flown (four times higher than a current passenger aircraft – 4 litres/100 km on average -)
Air France flight hours: 90,087
Air France landings: 33,183
Number of passengers carried by Air France: 1,414292

Text: corporate.airfrance.com

Statuette of Sobek, Ancient Egyptian, -664

Statuette of Sobek, Ancient Egyptian, -664, Art Institute of Chicago: Arts of Africa

Here the crocodile god Sobek, associated with water and the Nile River, wears an elaborate crown adorned with horns, feathers, and a uraeus (sacred serpent). Egyptian gods were commonly depicted with human bodies and animal heads. The animal referred to the god’s personality or characteristics, not his or her appearance. For example, the crocodile head of Sobek alludes to his fierceness.

Statuettes like these were offered to the gods to ask for their help or in thanks for their assistance. Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, and Robert H. Fleming Size: 16.7 × 4.5 × 5 cm (6 5/8 × 1 7/8 × 2 in.) Medium: Copper alloy

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/120299/

Source: aic-african

清 佚名 文殊騎獅圖 軸 | Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva by Unidentified Artist, Metropolitan Museum of Art: Asian Art

清 佚名 文殊騎獅圖 軸 : Qing Dynasty Anonymous Manjusri Riding a Lion Shaft

Gift of the Estate of Lillian Genth, 1953 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Public domain works from the Met’s Asian Art department. Not associated with Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/36069

Source: met-asian

Comédie-Royale / Jean III (1912). Leonetto Cappiello (Italian, 1875-1942)

Poster. Printer: Imp. P. Vercasson, Paris

“Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) was one of the major celebrities of the French theater; here, he both wrote and starred in Jean III at the Comédie-Royale, a play in which a young prince, who just happens to dabble in amateur theatricals against the wishes of his family, jumps at the chance to play himself in a local production, with expected hilarious results. The play opened on March 7, 1912.

Cappiello’s depiction of Guitry is grounded in the caricature tradition, catching the actor’s dashing stage presence with acute insight.”

Source: Books and Art

Guardians of the Underworld

Gate guardian deities from the realm of the Underworld, detail of the 3rd guided shrine of Tutankhamun, decorated with scenes from the ‘Book of the Dead’ to aid the king’s journey after death. 

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60667

Source: egypt-museum