Culture

Through Classical Chinese Dance, a Grander Vision of the World

The first time Michael Hu saw Shen Yun Performing Arts, he was filled with excitement and struck with the idea that he was going to be a dancer. If a picture told a thousand words, then Shen Yun was a series of pictures that added up to a performance capable of conveying 5,000 years of

Philadelphia City Hall Graces the City’s Center

The Philadelphia City Hall is like a distinguished gentleman, who is noble in his contribution to the city, has integrity in material and structural elements, and who possesses a refined and cultured disposition. The location of City Hall was originally outlined in the 1682 city plan by William Penn, the founder of the Province of

A Real-Life Fairytale: Bojnice Castle in Slovakia Is a Fantasy Lover’s Dream Come True

With its teal-topped turrets and warm stone façade, oozing fantasy, Slovakia’s Bojnice Castle will take your breath away. The castle is one of the most visited in the world, welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Its breathtaking fairytale aesthetic has also made it a popular filming location for fantasy movies.   (Radu Cadar/Shutterstock)  

The Cathedral Square of Pisa

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (translated as Pisa Cathedral Square) was conceived in a time when Pisa held a dominant maritime position in the Mediterranean, boasting thriving trade and the largest navy in the sea. The piazza, or square, reflects the city’s flourishing wealth. The four monuments—the cathedral, the baptistery, the campanile (bell tower), and the

Archeologists Uncover the First Known Dark Age Roman Mosaic Crafted in Britain

Archeologists have uncovered a rare, delicate Roman mosaic that dates all the way back to the mid-5th century A.D. The discovery shocked researchers, who say that this mosaic was crafted during the “Dark Ages,” decades after Roman rule had ended in Britain. The discovery, found at Chedworth Roman Villa, in England, calls into question some

Blenheim Palace: Prim on the Outside, Lavish on the Inside

England’s national treasure Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock, Oxfordshire—the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill—is a fine example of the short-lived English Baroque style of architecture.   The north gate of Blenheim Palace. (Blenheim Palace)   The entrance to Blenheim Palace. (Blenheim Palace) English Baroque wasn’t as outwardly flamboyant as European Baroque. The exteriors of

The Spirit of Jade: Its Sacred and Noble Status in Chinese Culture

Jade is a beautiful stone that suggests water-like fluidity and kindness. Beyond its delicate yet firm texture, it embodies thousands of years of Chinese culture. One can get a sense of Chinese people’s long-lasting admiration for the luster and brilliance of jade through children’s names, poetry, literature, and paintings.  A Tale of Jade From the

Germany’s Oldest Porcelain Palace: Rastatt Favorite Palace

Rastatt Favorite Palace, located near Baden-Baden, Germany—where Romans discovered healing hot springs—served as a pleasure palace for the Margravine Sibylla Augusta (1675–1733). It is a short carriage ride from Schloss Rastatt, the oldest Baroque residence in the German Upper-Rhine.The oldest of Germany’s so-called porcelain palaces—home of one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese porcelains—it

The ‘Ladies’ Château’: Château de Chenonceau

If there was ever a monument of architecture dedicated to the feminine soul, Château de Chenonceau should be that testament. The medieval castle that dominates the right bank of the Cher River in France’s Loire Valley exists only because of the women who loved this regal residence. Built upon the ruins of a 12th-century medieval

An Exceptional Auction

Sometimes people miss the most precious things around them, while others can enlighten and become the lucky ones. Once upon a time, there was a man who was very frugal but spent lavishly on art. Over the years, he collected many famous paintings. One year, his country was involved in a war, and his only

Serving God, Sculpture by Sculpture

Some 18 years ago, Minnesota-born Cody Swanson arrived in Italy on a two-way ticket as a fresh-faced 18-year-old keen to discover more about traditional art. That he did. But his trip wasn’t quite what he had envisioned. He’s lived in Italy ever since, having never used his return flight. Swanson settled in Florence, where he

The Appropriate Way to Handle Money (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1) Story 4 – Propriety: Do Not Go after Ill-gotten Gains Xie Ting’en, a native of Fuzhou in Jiangxi, was a businessman in the Qing dynasty. He was revered for his integrity and known by the locals as “Master Xi” (since he was from Jiangxi). He grew up in a poor family

Ancient Wisdom: The Appropriate Way to Handle Money (Part 1)

Zhang Yue was the prime minister during the Kaiyuan era under the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. He was known for having some unique wisdom regarding money, which he laconically expressed in “Qian Ben Cao,” an article just over 200 characters long. The centerpiece of the article was an analogy where Zhang compares money

The Patriotic Art of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris

In 1805, Napoléon Bonaparte promised “triumphal arches” to his troops after they won the Battle of Austerlitz. The first arch that he commissioned was the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (the Triumphal Arch of the Star) in Paris, commonly known as the Arc de Triomphe, and construction began on Aug. 15, 1806, Bonaparte’s birthday.  As a great

El Escorial: A Wellspring for the Spanish Empire

King Philip II inherited the Spanish Empire in 1556, including territories on every continent then known to Europeans. During his reign, the Spanish kingdoms reached the height of their influence and power.  The king was named “Philip the Prudent” due to his care and thought for the future. He was devoted to God; he upheld

‘Authentic Purity’: Shen Yun Showcases a China Before Communism

In order to see some of the best art of Western civilization, you have to look up. On the ceilings of palaces and churches are sweeping scenes of the heavens, of allegories and saints and divine beings in all their magnificence—feats of technical and technological innovation, a mastery of skill coupled with a flourishing of

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