Postcards from Miami, for an unwell Clive

Given that my friend Clive is unwell and taken  to bed rest I thought these recent photos would bring some cheer.

I boarded this morning from Ft. Lauderdale, arriving in San Diego a little dazed from the time difference. These images  were taken yesterday at Vizcaya, the Miami estate of John Deering which is situated upon the Biscayne Bay. Built between 1914 through 1923 the house and grounds are a marvel. Typical of the period it is a mad mash-up of the Italian Renaiisance and Baroque, pinches of Neo-Classicism thrown in for restraint and Rococo frivolity when called for. It is quite simply my favorite house in the States. Jefferson’s Monticello is of course a marvel, a close second in the race for my affections; but Vizcaya reigns supreme. It is a tremendously large house, rooms bloom more splendidly  from one to the next. Alas we are not allowed to take images indoors, a fussy precaution, this link is a gallery of interior images, well worth a peak. For more general information follow this link.

I hope the following  images speeds Clive along on his recovery.

Stone barge acting as dock for incoming guests.
View of Vizcaya and the aforementioned barge
An example of the very lovely Vizcaya pink.
One of countless caryatids.
Funny stone faces at every glance.
I just love her face.
The taste of the house and gardens tends towards the seductive, the male gaze particularly abundant. There are many such busts scattered about the grounds.
Living in the desert makes me ache for this sort of lushness .
I also miss little critters like this fellow. The ground at your feet is alive with movement.

I was able to find a vintage image of the interior, this being the entrance to the interior courtyard (now enclosed). Once again the seductive glance, this time from everyone’s favorite god Dionysis.

ca. 1917 entrance to Loggia

I’m going to close with an image of  Vizcaya’s designer, Paul Chalfin, essentially because I have a crush on him. I’m always having crushes on dead guys and given his good looks and incredible taste, he is just about irresistible. 

Paul Chalfin 1916 by Albert Sterner

Get well Clive!

 Until next time,

take care,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

12 thoughts on “Postcards from Miami, for an unwell Clive”

  1. Leonard, what a sweet gesture. Thank you so much. This is an undiscovered world for me, and I can quite see why the house and its gardens have captured your heart.That stone barge is quite something. Peter and I plan a long trip to the States in the not-too-distant future, and you’ve just added a must-see to our tour itinerary.

    1. You would be wild for the house, it is pure theater, that barge only hints at the extravagance. Grotto pools under the house, majestic towers with sweet little 18th cent chairs, just marvelous. I hope you get a chance to see it. so much in the States is dull and conservative, this is anything but.
      Please let me know when and where you plan to visit, i will make certain I meet you somewhere; I wouldn’t want to miss that chance.

  2. ahhhh… i love that whole area!! we got lost walking around in ft. lauderdale once, thought we were going to burn to death from the sun in some warehouse district… we ended up stumbling across a water-taxi and got a long fantasy ride through a channel full of such amazing mansions. and at the end of the ride, we were right back where we had started wandering in the first place! small miracles.
    miami is fantastic. i’ve ever seen that house, but– gorgeous! great postcards, and clive’s already up and throwing clay, so your get-well cards must pack quite a punch! 😀

    1. I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale, sometimes I miss it, particularly in the glorious winter. There is a small estate along the ocean in Ft. Lauderdale, the Bonnet House. It belonged to wealthy artists during the 20’s , it is an absolute dream place.
      Miami is one of my favorite places in the States, so fanciful, so NOT white bread.
      I saw that he was throwing clay, unfortunately I seem to have caught what he had, soaring fever, I don’t “do” sick well, I’m very crabby 🙂
      Take care,

      1. oh, no!! i am sorry you’re not well–but i can’t imagine you crabby 🙂
        i will send lots of blue your way, tomorrow you will wake slinging clay 😉
        i am definitely going to have to look for the bonnet house….i agree about miami, it’s my favorite so far in the states as well.

      2. the blue worked, i will be slinging paint if not clay!
        Next week I start a printmaking class, very eager to learn.

      3. Oh no. I didn’t send it, I swear. Leonard, I used always to catch unpleasant things on flights, until I started using antibacterial gel on my hands and not touching my face during the journeys. It works really well!

        Sending good thoughts. You’ll bounce back quickly, I’m sure.

      4. Of course I was teasing, my friend Rosa, bless her, had a wicked stomach virus upon my arrival. The trip, time spent with loving friends was well worth any silly discomfort. I’m better now for the most part, worked in studio looking like a zombie; today I venture into the land of the living!
        I will try to member your precautions but I’m hopeless at packing.

  3. Love your blog

    2012/8/14 Giovanni delle Stelle

    > Splendide picture ! > Thanks a lot > Hugs > Giovanni delle Stelle Espinosa >

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