Friday, August 31, 2012

Plethora of Photographs from a trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Inner Artist was stimulated. 
I took a photograph (at an angle!) of a junction between a stairway, marble floors, windows and doors and then jazzed it up to get the image to the upper left.  The one that looks as though it MIGHT be a Christmas tree is a photoshopped image of the Chihuly "Green Icicle" in the 3 story cafe atrium.  I warped it.  It doesn't really bend.
The French Impressionist room was our initial motivator for getting to the museum.The BMFA owns one of 3 very large Renoir paintings of a couple dancing.  Apparently it is supposed to be Renoir himself with his womanly muse.  The second and third paintings were on loan from the Musee D'Orsay in Paris.  The BMFA had a liberal photography policy, but wouldn't you know my phone had the hiccups at that point in time, and when I realized it, I forgot to go back and get "that shot."  You can see them here, though, because not everyone forgot:

The room full of impressionism was wonderful.  Two of Manet's paintings or Rouen, and two that I expected to be Seurat but weren't .
This is an early Renoir.  He definitely got "better" later... even though I can't quite figure out what changed.
The male nude, below, by Caillebotte was a recent and controversial purchase.  The museum sold some allegedly second teir works by Manet, Gaugin and others in order to get this first-rate work by the lesser known painter.  It is striking because it is pretty much life size!
This is Manet... in a VERY dark representation.  The composition really "works" for me, though.
I was so sure this was Cezanne... but it was Caillebotte again.  Fooled me.
Then came a room of works from all over Europe. For all the romanticized biographies I read about Sarah Bernhardt, I wouldn't have expected her to do a self-sculpture of herself as a BAT!  Sorry for all the reflections.  If I were going to scult myself as an animal... I have no idea what it would be.  Something heavy and earth-bound, probably.  Perhaps a Polar Bear, or even a Penguin.  What would you do?  (Here's a link to a  photograph: of a self-sculpture she did of herself as a Sphinx:
My woodworker husband and I drooled over this cabinet.  The inlay work was showy and breathtaking.
I loved the affection and whimsy shown in this scupture of a pet grayhound.  Click on the images to see them bigger.

And then there were a couple of magnificent JW Turners.  So large.  So Yellow.  So impressionistic yet detailed at the same time.  This is of a slave ship, I believe.

Could France and Italy be far behind? This person play8ing bagpipes to a lamb struck me funny.
The tag called this a commode.  Makes you wonder.  And the fuzzy photo below gives you some idea of all the inlay and piece work someone did with veneer pieces of different colors. 

A Ginormous post card (From Rome) Giovanni Paolo Pannini
Apparently these are  two of four paintings were done as souveniers of a Frenchman's tourof Italy.  The paintings in the painting represent famous locations or even famous art in the city.  There's a bit of Sistine Chapel copies in the dome at the top.  I doubt that there addresses and a message like, "Seeing everything, wish you were here," on the back.

DH noticed how this model really seemed to stand apart from the flatness of the canvas.  He was bigger tha life, too.
American Folk Art
I haven't figured out the difference between "craft" and folk art, but I usually like both.  There were some wonderful old American Folk Art objects in the collection.
Ram weathervane
Steam powered water pumper weathervane
(Weird) Small Eagle overlooking a Squirrel.  In Person this looks ominously war like.

Carousel figure: Pig.  That's a grayhound in back.
Boot Scraper.  This was high on my list!
American Painting (and some huge favorites) I can imagine being enchanted every time I go to the museum... and taking a picture every time!
John Singer Sargent

The Family Cafe wasn't what we expected.
We were going to get a light lunch or something to drink.  then we saw the prices!! Then we ordered a ricotta cannoli thing... and THEY WERE OUT.  Hubby wasn't happy.

The Maritime Art room included paintings of ocean going vessels as well as models.  I tried to capture the carved face through which one of the ship's lines was attached.
This painting is an icebound whaling boat.  William Lane.  Powerful image..

Teeny dining table and chairs that would be to scale on the boat to the left.

Under glass!

Art of the White Mountains
By Robert Duncanson, a biracial painter ca 1862.
Guide book photograph showing one of the mountain trestles!
Edward Hill:  Night fishing on Profile Lake.  Until 2003, their was a "profile" of the Old Man of the Mountain above this lake... and the lake was good for trout fishing.  The light and dark contrasts in the paintin were amazing.  and Hill really controlled, but thickly applied his zinc or titanium white for the moon!.
Alvin Fisher, self portrait in watercolor.  Do you think he punned on his name on purpose?

Contemporary Interlude
These soaring figures always ingrigue me for they are quite realistic.

Triumph of Caesar by Anthony Caro.  A contemporary representation of battle done with construction grade metal.
Shambala and the East
This exhibit was overly peaceful for my mood.  But the dim quietude of the gallery was wecome.

Japanese Prints:  Cats and Crickets

Apparently there is a long Saga about the War between Cats and Mice.  I love that the mice were channeling the Samurai!


Animals on Paper
"Horse frightened by lightning" Millard Sheets lithograph.  We have a Millard Sheets painting.  I wonder if the BMFA would like to buy it?
Several pieces by artist and children's book illustrator Leonard Baskin
Tiger and lamb
Theophile  Alexandre Steinlein:   Prowling Cat (pastel)
Toulouse Laudrec:  Escargot (in pencil)

Gerhard Marcks: Cats (woodcut)
James Danielle: Lion emerging from a cave.  Mezzotint.
The Gift Shop

It might be inconvenient to get to the Down East mid Coast of Maine this year.  I hope it is all there next year!
Cosmopolitan! Loved this display, even though I hardly "need" $66 straw hat.
Art and Books of many types!  Check 'em out at Amazon.
Mary Corita did the drippy paintings on an oil storage tank near Boston's Logan airport.  It is whimsical and a local landmark. It is likely that it is better known as the Ho Chi Minh painting

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