''Along the Rhine''
In the past, we have occasionally juxtaposed the restoration of Classical femininity with the renewed appreciation of timeless beauty in other art forms, such as painting, literature, and architecture. In particular, we have discussed the growing admiration for the Europe's greatest historic landmarks--its castles, cathedrals, and national monuments, such as Burg Eltz, and the Cologne Cathedral.
Those of you who have enjoyed such analogies (and whose TVs pull in PBS stations), are in for a real television treat, this evening (Monday December 5th).
"Visions Of . . ." is a PBS series of hour-long programs that record stunning visual flyovers of different parts of the world. The programs are photographed via a steadicam mounted on a helicopter, and the results are smooth, fluid, bird's-eye views that provide an entirely different perspective on famous sights than that which one obtains from the ground.
Tonight's episode is Visions of Germany: The Rhine, and Burg Eltz and the Kölner Dom are only two of the many breathtaking sights that the episode will photograph in a way that none of us have ever seen before.
As the official program description puts it, this episode
follows the lyrical path of the Rhine River through Germany's southwestern region. Aerial footage, informative narration, and a local soundtrack including native sons Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Wagner (and, if you listen closely, the siren song of the Lorelei) combine for an enchanting journey.
The soundtrack alone, then, is sufficient reason for watching the program. The link posted below offers a complete list of the sights that this episode will feature, but suffice it to say that it covers the most exciting, enchanting, and magical area of the Old World.
Its walls still house the royal crown of Prussia, and it remains the official residence of the Hohenzollern family.
And if you think, "That castle is fit for a princess," you are absolutely right--and real-life princess have inhabited it, throughout history. Here is an image of Prussia's beloved Princess Luise (later the Queen of Prussia), painted by Vigée-Lebrun. The femininity of her round facial features and soft figure forms a perfect compliment to the sublime Gothicism of Burg Hohenzollern:
(Note the style of her dress, which is not dissimilar to the feminine fashions that are so much in vogue, today.)
It is easy to be cynical about PBS, and to note that the network offers programs related to European heritage, and to Western culture, during pledge drives (in order to attract paying subscribers), and that it churns out more politically-motivated programming during the rest of the year. This may well be the case.
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