Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’


“I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I, which is my life, the power to create.”

Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh



Love the passion in the words above from Van Gogh but really just wanted to share the painting at the top of the page. It’s The Red Vineyard from 1888 and it is considered to be the only painting ever sold by Van Gogh in his lifetime.

It was bought by the Belgian Impressionist artist Anna Boch in 1890, the year of Van Gogh’s death. It was bought for what would be abut $2000 in today’s dollars. I include that because when Boch let it go to auction in 1909, its value had shot up to what would be about $150,000 today. Van Gogh’s sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Theo, wanted to get it back but the price went well past her means.

It was purchased by a Russian collector who gave up ownership of it when all private property was nationalized by the Bolsheviks after the Communist Revolution. Today, it hangs in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

More than likely I will never see this painting in person but it remains a peach.

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Moscow Wild Dogs - The Sun UKOver the years I have been fortunate to observe many wild animals from the windows of my studio.  I am always amazed at the  intelligence and resourcefulness as well as the sense of community and family that they so often display.  Their ability to adapt to situations is remarkable, something which many humans  fail to do when faced with any sort of change.  I suppose that’s why I was not surprised when I read an account of the wild dogs of Moscow and how they have adapted to a changing world.

It seems there is a large group of these dogs which works during the day in the city center where scavenging for food is easier from tourists, office workers and city dwellers who frequent the street vendors there.  These dogs have even developed a method where they approach an unsuspecting street  diner from the rear and bark very loudly, often making the startled person drop their food.  With children, they change their tact, using a softer approach where they will rest their heads on the child’s knees and look dolefully at them as they eat.  It often yields a few tidbits.

At the end of the day these dogs move to the subway and head out to the suburbs, where it is safer for them at night than in the city center.  They board the appropriate trains, dashing through the doors at the last second, and know how long it takes to reach their destination.  They ride in the less crowded cars at the front and rear of the train and often  fall asleep, having  to be awakened by the barks of their companions to let them know that it is time to get off the train.

If you’ve had a pet, especially one that was extremely bright, then this probably doesn’t come as any sort of surprise.  I wish I could find one that would write my blog and do my taxes.

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