St. Vitus Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus and Adalbert is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, is still named only as St. Vitus Cathedral; this cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Cathedral dimensions are 124 by 60 metres, the main tower is 102.8 metres high, front towers 82 metres, arch height 33.2 metres. The current cathedral is the third of a series of religious buildings at the site, all dedicated to St. Vitus; the first church was an early Romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 930. This patron saint was chosen because Wenceslaus had acquired a holy relic – the arm of St. Vitus – from Emperor Henry I.

It is possible that Wenceslaus, wanting to convert his subjects to Christianity more chose a saint whose name sounds much like the name of Slavic solar deity Svantevit. Two religious populations, the increasing Christian and decreasing pagan community, lived in Prague castle at least until the 11th century. In the year 1060, as the bishopric of Prague was founded, prince Spytihněv II embarked on building a more spacious church, as it became clear the existing rotunda was too small to accommodate the faithful. A much larger and more representative Romanesque basilica was built in its spot. Though still not reconstructed, most experts agree it was a triple-aisled basilica with two choirs and a pair of towers connected to the western transept; the design of the cathedral nods to Romanesque architecture of the Holy Roman Empire, most notably to the abbey church in Hildesheim and the Speyer Cathedral. The southern apse of the rotunda was incorporated into the eastern transept of the new church because it housed the tomb of St. Wenceslaus, who had by now become the patron saint of the Czech princes.

A bishop's mansion was built south of the new church, was enlarged and extended in the mid 12th-century. Construction of the present-day Gothic Cathedral began on 21 November 1344, when the seat of Prague was elevated to an archbishopric. King John of Bohemia laid the foundation stone for the new building; the patrons were the chapter of cathedral, the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, the last resting place cum pilgrimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the Papal Palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the ambulatory.

The slender verticality of Late French Gothic and clear rigid respect of proportions distinguish his work today. After Matthias' death in 1352, 23-year-old Peter Parler assumed control of the cathedral workshop as master builder, he was son of the architect of the Heilig-Kreuz-Münster in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Parler only worked on plans left by his predecessor, building the sacristy on the north side of the choir and the chapel on the south. Once he finished all that Matthias left unfinished, he continued according to his own ideas. Parler's bold and innovative design brought in a unique new synthesis of Gothic elements in architecture; this is best exemplified in the vaults he designed for the choir. The so-called Parler's vaults or net-vaults have double diagonal ribs that span the width of the choir-bay; the crossing pairs of ribs create a net-like construction, which strengthens the vault. They give a lively ornamentation to the ceiling, as the interlocking vaulted bays create a dynamic zigzag pattern the length of the cathedral.

While Matthias of Arras was schooled as a geometer, thus putting an emphasis on rigid systems of proportions and clear, mathematical compositions in his design, Parler was trained as a sculptor and woodcarver. He treated architecture as a sculpture as if playing with structural forms in stone. Aside from his bold vaults, the peculiarities of his work can be seen in the design of pillars, the ingenious dome vault of new St Wenceslaus chapel, the undulating clerestory walls, the original window tracery and the blind tracery panels of the buttresses. Architectural sculpture was given a considerable role while Parler was in charge of construction, as can be seen in the corbels, the passageway lintels, in the busts on the triforium, which depict faces of the royal family, Prague bishops, the two master builders, including Parler himself. Work on the cathedral, proceeded because the Emperor commissioned Parler with many other projects, such as the construction of the new Charles Bridge in Prague and many churches throughout the Czech realm.

By 1397, when Peter Parler died, only the choir and parts of the transept were finished

History of the Boston Red Sox

The history of the Boston Red Sox begins in 1901, as one of the original franchises of the American League. In 1900, Ban Johnson's minor Western League, based in the Midwest, declared its equality with the National League the only major league in baseball. Johnson changed the name of his league to the American League. Competing in the streets, the upstart placed franchises in two of the largest and most important NL cities and Boston. Playing their home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds, the Boston franchise finished second and third place in their first two seasons before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the feat in 1904; the team was purchased in 1903 by Milwaukee publisher, George Brumder, but Brumder sold the team in 1904. These early Boston teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins and by pitcher Cy Young, whose 1901 to 1904 seasons both rank among the best four-year runs ever. In addition, the Americans received significant contributions from outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty.

In 1903, the Americans participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates and winning the best-of-nine series five games to three. The Americans were aided both by chants of "Tessie" from their Royal Rooters fan club and by their stronger pitching staff; the 1904 club was as good as the previous year's team, but due to the emergence of the New York Highlanders as a strong contender, the Americans found themselves in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. Foreshadowing what would become a storied rivalry, the 1904 race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. However, the arguable climax of the season occurred during the season's final doubleheader at the Highlanders' home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, New York needed to take both games from Boston. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, New York seemed to have a good chance of winning the first game.

However, in the top of the ninth inning with the score tied 2–2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro allowing Boston's Lou Criger to score the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history. The NL champion New York Giants had declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals credibility, but a sharp public reaction led to the two leagues turning the World Series into a permanent championship, starting in 1905; these successful times ended, as the Americans would go on to lose 100 games in the 1906 season. But several new star players would soon help the newly renamed Red Sox reverse their fortunes once again. By 1909, center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, the Red Sox worked their way up to third place in the American League. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club-record.691 winning percentage while anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game.

Boston was led by superstar pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, with whom the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4–3–1 in the 1912 World Series that has become best known for "Snodgrass's Muff." From 1913 to 1916, the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Babe Ruth, soon to become one of the best-known and most-revered baseball players ever. In Ruth's debut as a pitcher he got a win vs. the Indians in 1915 his first major league home run was against the Yankees, who he would play for in his career. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the 1915 World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. In the 1915 World Series, Harry Hooper hit two home runs, Duffy Lewis batted.444 with a home run. The 1916 team once again earned the AL pennant, though Tris Speaker was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the off-season, his departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of Babe Ruth as a star pitcher. Once again, the Red Sox won this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins.

In game two Ruth would pitch a 14 inning complete game victory. Third baseman Larry Gardner hit a 3-run inside-the-park home run. After the Series, Lannin sold the team to New York theater producer Harry Frazee. By 1918, the team found itself at the top of the heap again, led by Ruth to another Series championship over the Chicago Cubs; the 1918 victory for Boston was provided by the pitching of Ruth and submarine pitcher Carl Mays. In his third year as owner, Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees on January 2, 1920 for $100,000. Ruth had just broken the single-season home run record, hitting 29 in 1919. Legend has it that Frazee did so in order to finance the Broadway play No, No, starring "a friend", but the play did not open on Broadway until 1925. During that period, the Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees had a détente. Although Frazee owned the Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park, making his ownership a precarious one. Frazee thus felt the need to purchase the park though he was in debt.

Further, providing the Yankees with a box office attraction would help that mediocre club, which had sided with him against Johnson and "the Loyal Five" clubs. He needed cash to pay

Jacoba Maria van Nickelen

Jacoba Maria van Nickelen, was an 18th-century flower painter from the Northern Netherlands. She was born into an old painting family of Haarlem. According to the RKD she was a fruit and flower still life painter, whose work shows the same elements as the work of Cornelia van der Mijn, the daughter of her teacher Herman van der Mijn, she was active at the court of Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, where besides Cornelia, the women painters Adriana Spilberg and Rachel Ruysch painted. She had eight children, though only two survived infancy. Jacoba Maria van Nickelen on Artnet Jacoba Maria van Nickelen on inghist