Armoury, Governor’s Palace, Valletta Malta


The Armoury, Governor’s Palace.
1900s

Ever since its construction by the Order of St John [in the 16th century], this Palace was richly embellished with collections of works of art and heritage items, some of which still grace its walls. While some of these were purposely produced to form part of the historic fabric of the building, others were acquired, transferred or presented at different times throughout the chequered history of the Palace. Destined for grandiosity, right from its beginning, this Palace was one of the first buildings which were constructed at the heart of the new city of Valletta, founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette. Successive Grand Masters enlarged and developed this building to serve as their official residence. Later, during the British Period, it served as the Governor’s Palace, and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921.
Heritage Malta

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order.
. . .
In 1604, the Order’s arsenal was transferred to the Grandmaster’s Palace by Alof de Wignacourt, and was housed in a large hall at the rear of the building. At the time, it contained enough arms and armour for thousands of soldiers. The armoury was rearranged under Manuel Pinto da Fonseca’s magistracy in the 18th century. Parts of the armoury are believed to have been removed and shipped to France during the French occupation of Malta in 1798–1800, as part of “the organised robbery of art treasure and historic treasures” carried out by Napoleon. In the early 19th century, the armoury was altered by the British with the addition of Egyptian style column-like supports. These were removed and returned to England in 1855. In the late 1850s, the armoury was restored under the personal direction of Governor John Gaspard Le Marchant, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1860
Wikipedia.

Musée de Cluny, Cluny, Paris


MUSEE DE CLUNY. — Salle des Émaux
(Room of Enamels)
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View (exterior).

The Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes et hôtel de Cluny (“National Museum of the Middle Ages – Cluny thermal baths and mansion), is a museum of the Middle Ages in Paris, France. It is located in the Latin quarter in the 5th arrondissement of Paris at 6 Place Paul-Painlevé, south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain, between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Saint-Jacques. The Hôtel de Cluny is partially constructed on the remnants of the third century Gallo-Roman baths known as the Thermes de Cluny, thermal baths from the Roman era of Gaul. The museum consists of two buildings: the frigidarium (“cooling room”), within the vestiges of the Thermes de Cluny, and the Hôtel de Cluny itself, which houses its collections.
Wikipedia.

The Musée de Cluny is an extremely valuable collection of medieval products of art and industry. As there are over 11,000 objects, one visit will hardly suffice for even a glance at the most important. . . . The entrance is at 24 Rue Du Sommerard. The court is enclosed by a battlemented wall. We enter by a large gate or by a postern, both adorned with tasteful sculptures. The main building and the wings have Gothic windows with stone mullions, an open-work parapet, and dormer-windows of delicate execution. In the centre of the facade rises a turret. The left wing has four large Gothic arcades. In the right wing is the entrance to the garden. The door of the museum is at the right angle of the main building.
[continues with room by room description]
Paris and environs, with routes from London to Paris : handbook for travellers, 1913, pp.280+

In the Middle Ages, enamelling was one of the main techniques used to decorate gold and silver work. Enamel consists of powdered glass, coloured using metal oxides (cobalt, copper, iron, etc.) and usually rendered opaque. Applied on top of metal (gold, silver or copper), it becomes liquid when fired and solidifies onto the metal when it cools down. Either opaque or translucent, enamels, which were an ideal tool for decoration or narration, were extraordinarily popular in the Middle Ages, due to their brilliance and colours. Almost all enamelling techniques were invented or developed in medieval times.
Musee de Cluny: Enamels in the Middle Ages (pdf)


Musee de CLUNY – Grille de clôture de l’église d’Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, commencement du XVIme siècle
(Enclosure from church of Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, 16th century)
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

The furniture of the Middle Ages must be divided under two different heads; the most important examples are evidently those for religious use. . . . We shall dwell but little, however, on this branch of furniture, which diverges slightly from the special object of this study; it will be sufficient for us to point out the types in our museums which exhibit its characteristics. First of all we shall mention the sumptuous sacristy “dressoir,” or sideboard, preserved at Cluny, taken from the church of Saint Pol-de-L6on. . . . A no less important piece of the same period is the carved woodwork grating forming the enclosure of one of the chapels of the church of Augerolles (Puy-de-Dôme).
History of Furniture, 1878, image 44

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Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany


Halle Flugwesen
(Aviation Hall)
Publisher: Jospeht Lindauersche Universitätsbuchhandlung (Schöpping)
(Joseph Lindauersche University Bookstore (?))
On back: Offizielle Postkarte des Deutschen Museums, München
(Official Postcard of the Deutsches Museum, Munich)

Website.

The Deutsches Museum (German Museum, officially Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (English: German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology)) in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It receives about 1.5 million visitors per year. The museum was founded on 28 June 1903, at a meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) as an initiative of Oskar von Miller.
Wikipedia.

Bargello, Florence


FIRENSE – Cortile e scala del Bargello
Bargello courtyard & staircase

Official Website

The Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, or Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy. . . . The word bargello appears to come from the late Latin bargillus (from Gothic bargi and German burg), meaning “castle” or “fortified tower”. During the Italian Middle Ages it was the name given to a military captain in charge of keeping peace and justice (hence “Captain of justice”) during riots and uproars. In Florence he was usually hired from a foreign city to prevent any appearance of favoritism on the part of the Captain. The position could be compared with that of a current Chief of police. The name Bargello was extended to the building which was the office of the captain.
. . .
Construction began in 1255. The palace was built to house first the Capitano del Popolo and later, in 1261, the ‘podestà’, the highest magistrate of the Florence City Council. This Palazzo del Podestà, as it was originally called, is the oldest public building in Florence. This austere crenellated building served as model for the construction of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1574, the Medici dispensed with the function of the Podestà and housed the bargello, the police chief of Florence, in this building, hence its name. It was employed as a prison; executions took place in the Bargello’s yard until they were abolished by Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1786, but it remained the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor Peter Leopold was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, and it then became a national museum.

Wikipedia.

TERMINOLOGY
The word “bargello” appears to derive from the late latin noun bargillus, meaning “castle” or “fortified tower“. Bargello was the title attributed to a military captain, precisely the “Captain of justice”, who from 1554, under Duke Cosimo I, made arrests, conducted interrogations, and carried out death sentences.

THE PALACE
The Bargello was used as a prison until 1786, when the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo abolished capital punishment. Consequently, from this time on, the Bargello no longer held executions. The Bargello next served as the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Pietro Leopoldo II was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, thereby becoming a national museum. Construction of the palace began in 1255 when Lapo Tedesco, an Italian architect of the XIII century, incorporated the old palace, the tower of Boscoli, the property of an ancient Florentine family, as well as certain houses and towers belonging to the Badia Fiorentina. Subsequently, the palace was merged with a new building on Via dell’Acqua, and in 1295, its arcaded courtyard was created. Between 1340 and 1345, the famous Italian architect Neri di Fioravante added another story to the building. The Bargello was designed around an open courtyard with an external staircase leading to the second floor. An open well is located in the center of the courtyard.
Florence Inferno

The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence that dates back to 1255. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà, the palace became, in the sixteenth century, the residence of the Bargello that is of the head of the police (from which the palace takes its name) and was used as prison during the whole 18th century. Its walls witnessed important episodes of civic history. It was the meeting place of the Council of the Hundred in which Dante took part. It wituessed sieges, fires, executions, the most famous perhaps being that of Baroncelli, involved in the Pazzi plot against the Medici, which Leonardo also witnessed. During the 14th and 15th century, the palace was subjected to a series of alterations and additions, still preserving its harmonious severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor.

The building’s use as National Museum began in the mid-19th century. Today it is the setting for works of sculpture, mainly from the grand ducal colleotions, and for many examples of “minor” Gothic decorative arts.
Museums in Florence

The entrance of the museum gives access to the inner courtyard, where criminals were executed until 1786. The walls are decorated with coats of arms representing high ranking officials and city districts. . . . The staircase on the inner court leads to an arcaded gallery known as the Verone, where you’ll encounter a number of marble sculptures by GiamBologna, a Flemish artist who worked in Florence for most of his life.
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