Bombay, India

Couldn’t leave the city that I have been part of for the part – Mumbai or I should say Bombay, because the photographs were taken pre independence.

It features the two icons of Bombay – The Rajabai Clocktower (upper left) and Victoria Terminus and just like the city they have had a change of name, but are still resplendent in their old-world beauty.

The photography’s were purchased from Bombay Store, where they used at one time, stock these time capsules.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Maybe there are so many works by the Old-World Masters on display in Amsterdam, that street artists are very rare finds. While this picture is not of a city monument, the artist is a treasure by himself.

Painted by Vincent Van Gogh, this is one of his lesser known paintings called Seascape near Les Saintes- Maries-de-la-Mer and is obviously a smaller adaptation of his original work, purchased from the Van Gogh museum shop.

What made us select this over the others was the use of a multitude of blues and whites and the fact that the original (as seen magnified in the museum), contains grains of sand embedded in the paint that had stuck to it while it was still drying.

Zagreb, Croatia

One of the most different paintings that we collected. What makes this different is that the painting is on a 6×6 inch block of wood and captures the famous red umbrellas of the Dolac market with the twin steeples of Zagreb Cathedral rising into the sky behind it.

We purchased this from a small shop located at the rear end of the Dolac market and thought that it would be great to a picture in this different format.

Rome, Italy

Probably one of the few European cities that we really loved, Rome encapsulating the Holy City of Vatican was the only place we couldn’t decide on which piece of art we should select.

We purchased the paintings from an artist couple who were creating their art works in the piazza, surrounding by live music and the throng of tourists. The city is littered with monuments and the artists had managed to capture each of them with a deft touch of their brush.

We selected the monument that defines the country within the country; St. Peters Square at Vatican City and the might Colosseum, as the paintings that would continue to make memories for years to come.

Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

No picture or painting can truly capture the beauty of Kinderdijk. A bus, train, tram and waterbus ride from our Air Bnb, brought us to this monument of The Netherlands. On our way back, we missed the direct waterbus and had time to spend until the next one. That is what made us enter the souvenir shop that sat across the road.

A mass produced water painting, however, this one played with the light and color in equal proportions for us to select it over the others.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

One of the most vibrant city centers at any time of the day was Ljubljana, Slovenia. Street performers, musicians, restaurants galore and of course gelato was available at this city center, framed by their famous triple bridge and pink colored church.

The painting depicts just that church and the triple bridge framed in front of it. Unfortunately, the vibrancy of the place could not be captured in this painting.

Udaipur, India

Unfortunately, local tourists are not as important as the foreign ones in our country. And this is possibly why, in a talent rich country like ours, the hand painted pictures are often overpriced.

This one however, has a good ring to it. Sold to us by an elderly, homily gentleman, who also manned the desk at the old style “Haveli”, this picture represented the warmth and friendliness of the Rajasthani people.

The painting had all three animals that were and still are important to the local people – the might Elephant, the hardy Camel and the sturdy Horse.  

Den Hague, The Netherlands

The streets of Amsterdam had offered us magnets, history, the canals and chaos. The streets of Haarlem were quaint but deserted. And hence, we did not expect to find this masterpiece on the streets of Den Hague, a place known for its Embassies and the International Court of Justice.

And why we call this a masterpiece is for the simple reason that the old man painting it was doing it in freehand and on wood.

Yes, this picture is not one of a prominent location in the country, but the sheer passion that the artist put behind creating this was worth breaking the rule. With pictures painted on all sizes of thin wooden sheets, this was the smallest one we could purchase, also keeping in mind that our flight was scheduled to depart in a little more than eight hours.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The city of Dubrovnik, with its ancient town housed inside the walls of the fort and its bloody and tragic history and wars seemed to be the best place to pick up some souvenirs.

And we found the best souvenir of all, a painting of the harbor with the red roofed tiled houses and fort walls visible from a distance.

 We had just finished walking what seemed to be a ten-kilometre walk along the fort walls in a thirty-five-degree summer heat, when we saw this artist, perched in the shade of one of the walls doing what he knew best – painting!