The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

The Heads of an Old Man and a Youth

Scan 6This lovely card comes from Ellu in Italy and shows Leonardo Da Vinci’s Study of the Heads of an Old Man and a Youth, which dates to around 1495. Ellu has a love for this sort of art, so I love that she in turn shares in with me! Da Vinci used to do these studies to prepare for his elaborate final masterpieces. Fantastic card, thanks Ellu!

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Florence Skyline

postcards1_3From German Susi, after a trip to Florence in Italy, I was lucky enough to receive this card. I just love this stunning skyline and the beautiful cathedral! Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region but has a population of only 370,000 – sounds perfect to me! Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence attracts thousands of history-loving tourists every year. I can see why! The domed cathedral – the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower – is probably its most famous landmark and took over 100 years to build (1296-1436), those were the days! Thank you Susi for this wonderful card!

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Perspective Study for the Adoration of the Magi


This great card comes from the lovely Ellu in Italy, telling me she’s finally graduated! Congratulations Ellu! Here you can see one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s perspective studies before he painted Adoration of the Magi. This was so that his final painting could be completed to perfection without looking staged. Well, even the most famous of artists have to practice!

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Christmas Maxicards

postcards3 postcards3_2In my backlog of updates are still quite a few Christmas cards, so I apologise for their unseasonal appearance on here. That being said, some, like these from Silvia in Italy, are really beautiful! These are two maxicards unique to Christmas 2013, one showing a traditional religious motif of Jesus taken from Guido Reni’s San Giuseppe col Bambino and the other created especially for penpals and postcard lovers like us! Wonderful! Thanks Silvia!

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postcards1_5_2I received this lovely card from Roberta in Italy and man am I excited to make this! It sounds delicious! She chose it for me as it is a perfect combination of cultural traditions with postcards and shows off a local recipe and from an area so famed for its onions, I can’t think of a better place to receive a recipe from! Thanks Roberta!

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A Wonderful Surprise

postcards_3My beautiful friend Ellu sent me this fantastic card as a surprise from her trip to Rome recently and… because she’s amazing, stamped and posted it from Vatican City! Wonderful girl! So, obviously this shows the Colosseum, recently declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Building of this enormous construction started in 70 AD and continued throughout the Flavian Dynasty and was used for public spectacles, including, of course, gladiator battles. Yes, yes, all of our minds think wistfully of Russell Crowe in his heyday, but let’s focus on the beauty of this ancient building instead, shall we? It could hold 50-80,000 people (Wembley Stadium holds 90,000 and that was built two thousand years later, to give a little perspective) and was used until the early medieval era for entertainment purposes. Over the years it has been ruined by earthquakes and stone-robbers but still remains in pretty spectacular condition. What a wonderful card!

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The Virgin of The Rocks

postcards_2This pretty card comes from the equally pretty Ellu in Italy. As arty as ever, she sent me this card just before a trip to Rome (somewhere I would really love to go some day). This painting by Leonardo Da Vinci (not the similarly named Leonardo who I recently saw the Mona Lisa accredited to on some obscure internet blog… sigh) and is called Virgin of the Rocks. It is one of two paintings made in the late 1400s and this one is known as the Louvre version. It shows Mary, Jesus (right), John the Baptist (left) and an angel. Beautiful!

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The Crown of Theodelinda

postcards_2_2This beautiful card comes from my good friend Ellu in Italy and shows the crown of  Theodelinda (what a name!), queen of the Lombards in the 500s. Ellu tells me she bought this card about 10 years ago when she went to Monza to see the historical treasures there. Well, I’m glad it resurfaced to be sent to me! Ellu’s postcards are always such a joy! One of the only penpals I have got round to meeting, she is a total sweetheart!

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Leonardo Da Vinci

leonardoThis cool card comes from the lovely Ellu in Italy who tells me she has a Canadian friend visiting so they took the opportunity to go to Venice and Turin as well as seeing all the sights in her hometown of Milan. Sounds like they had an amazing time! She says she’ll be in London this month, too bad I won’t be there. Oh well, maybe she can send me an English postcard? This card shows Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous self portrait. As always her cards always make me smile!

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Arty Ellu

ElluArtThis pretty card comes from Ellu who tells me that she has been very busy at home in Italy and has been unable to enjoy spring du to the rain – I can definitely empathise there! The image is by Willem Hussem and is called Senza Titolo. Lovely!

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