First-ever appearance of Buff-breasted sandpiper in Greece

Buff breasted Sandpiper near Halcyon HillsSamos had a surprise unscheduled landing a few days ago when a Buff-breasted sandpiper, which breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America made one of its rare appearances in Europe and first-ever in Greece.

The Buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis, is a small shorebird, classified as a calidrid sandpiper and currently believed to be the only member of the genus Tryngites.

Members of the Fauna Observation Team of the Airport’s environmental service — who are also members of the Greek Ornithological Society — spotted the bird at the airport’s southern border.amna

The Buff-breasted sandpiper is a very long-distance migrant and spends the non-breeding season mainly in South American, migrating usually through central North American. Occurring as an occasional wanderer to western Europe, particularly during the autumn migratory season, this was the first recorded sighting of Tryngites subruficollis in Greece. Its moderately small remaining population continues to decline and as a result it is considered Near-Threatened. amna

Arrivals of rare birds are not uncommon in the region of the AIA, and the Buff-breasted sandpiper was the 188th species of bird to be recorded there.

Samos masterpiece displayed in London’s National Gallery

 

Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666) – La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 – 1828)

Two important works of art have been surrendered to the nation in lieu of taxes. Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666), has never before seen by the public and La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) have both been allocated to the National Gallery by the Arts Council England under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows donors to leave major works of art to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax.  These two paintings make an important addition to the National Gallery’s permanent collection and are now available for visitors to enjoy in Rooms 42 and 32 respectively.

Guercino’s, Samian Sibyl with a Putto was an oracle of Apollo from the Greek island of Samos, who prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin in a stable at Bethlehem – the inscription held by the putto refers to the suffering of the Virgin Mary: ‘Hail Zion, chaste maiden who has much suffered.’

This painting is directly related to the National Gallery’s Cumaean Sibyl, which was painted in 1651 by Guercino for his patron Giuseppe Locatelli of Cesena.  As told by the artist’s early biographers, the Cumaean Sibyl painting was being finished when Prince Mattias de’ Medici, brother of Grand Duke Ferdinand II, sighted it and convinced Guercino to sell it to him.  The artist then had to create another painting for Locatelli and, rather than repeat the same composition, he painted The Samian Sibyl so that each of his noble patrons would have an entirely original composition.

It is rare to be able to display subsequent versions of compositions.   Their juxtaposition offers a profound and clear demonstration of the artist’s ability to vary a basic compositional formula to create a distinctive mood.  The points of distinction between the two Sibyl paintings – one being active and the other contemplative – make them function as a brilliant pair,  even if this was not intended by the artist.

Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté  – This is the first work by the great master, Parkes Bonington to enter the National Gallery’s permanent collection. La Fertéestablishes the connection between the French and English painting traditions and beautifully enhances the National Gallery’s landscape collection.

Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté , probably depicts the estuary of the river Somme, on the French coast of Picardy. A hamlet on the outskirts of the small port of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, La Ferté offered wide unspoilt views and was a favourite sketching spot for Bonington and his painting companions, Paul Huet and Thomas Shotter Boys.

This open-air study painted in 1825 is likely to have been made on the spot and conveys the changeable weather of the Northern coast.  Characterised by a fluid handling of paint, light , smooth horizontal sweeps of his brush evoke the sky, the brisk sea air and the sand washed tide whilst vertical strokes suggest distant rain showers further in the horizon. Foam and seaweed are picked out with a few thicker highlights, painted wet-in-wet and some details such as the large boat and the woman on the right may have been added later in Bonington’s studio.

Its inclusion in the National Gallery collection will enable visitors to appreciate the freshness and freedom of Parkes Bonington’s modern brushwork and the impressionist investigations into open-air painting.

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (‘squinter’) (1591 – 1666), was born in Cento, near Ferrara.  He became one of the leading painters of the Bolognese school and was one of the most accomplished draughtsman of the Italian Baroque.  His early work shows the influence of a variety of North Italian sources, most notably the work of Ludovico Carracci and Venetian artists of the preceding century.  He developed a highly individual style that shows a command of subtle effects of light and dark, strong colour, and robust brushwork. After serving the Bolognese Pope Gregory XV in Rome in 1621–3, his work began slowly to change as he came under the influence of a more classical style of painting.  His figures reveal an acute command of the affetti, gestures and facial expressions that reflect the study of body language in relation to the classical tradition.  In his later work, such as Samian Sibyl, he was deeply affected by the austere classicism of one of his greatest rivals, Guido Reni.

Richard Parkes Bonington (25 October 1802 – 23 September 1828) Born of English parents, Richard Parkes Bonington spent much of his short life in France. He initially studied painting in Calais before moving to Paris. In 1818 he first met Eugène Delacroix and enrolled in the atelier of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros. A keen traveller, he spent much time exploring Normandy and Picardy, frequently sketching at St Valéry sur Somme and nearby La Ferté with his painting companions, such as his great friend Paul Huet (whose work is also represented in the National Gallery collection). In 1825 he visited London with several French artists, including Delacroix, and in 1826 he travelled through Switzerland to Venice. He died tragically young, at the age of 26, from consumption.

Samos International Film Festival

The 1st Samos International Film Festival – Between Two Continents has started and there will be all kinds of amazing international film screenings on the beach.

Here’s the teaser video:

http://vimeo.com/46682910

And here’s the programme:
August 23th

11.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / Opening Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Paradise / Panagiotis Fafoutis / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Opening party // Mezza Volta / Samos Town
August 24th
11.00 / Masterclass with Panagiotis Fafoutis // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
21.00 / The Building Manager / Pericles Hoursoglou / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.00 / Head-on / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
August 25th
11.00 / Masterclass with Pericles Hoursoglou // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
18.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / La source des Femmes / Radu Mihaileanu / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.30 / Io sono l΄ amore / Luca Guadagnino / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
22.30 / Yiafka – Pan Pan / Concert // Karlovasi High School
August 26th
21.00 / Closing Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Soul Kitchen / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Closing Party // Escape Music Club / Samos Town

Traditional Samos superstitions

Traditional Superstitions in Samos:

Priest: Greek Orthodox
priests ( popes ) are very revered and the custom is to kiss a priest’s hand in
respect when meeting one, today this custom is only followed in small villages.
But it is believed that seeing a black cat and a priest during the same day is
bad luck.

Bat Bone: For some Island folk, bat bones are considered
to be very lucky. These people carry a small bit of the bone in their pockets or
purses with them where ever they go. The only problem is getting the bone as it
is supposed to be very bad luck to kill a bat.

Cactus: No Greek
home would be complete with out at least 1 cactus positioned somewhere close the
front entrance. Cactus with its thorny spikes, takes it place proudly warding
off the evil eye from the property.

Crow: Crows are considered
omens of bad news, misfortune, disease and death. When you see or hear a crow
cawing, you say go well into the day and bring me good news ( in greek language “Sto Kalo, Sto Kalo, Kala
Nea na me Feris” )

Tuesday the 13th: Different from Western
cultures, it is Tuesday the 13th of the month that is considered unlucky in
Greece and not Friday the 13th .