Every time I go to the National Gallery I see something new even though I must have been there a couple dozen times now. And over the years my taste in art has developed and changed. I am drawn to post impressionism more and more. And Matisse has become a very favorite so I always enjoy seeing his use of color and space. And then I discovered a Gauguin painting of Peonies (my favorite flower) that I had never seen before. What a treat!
Archive for January, 2013
One fascinating thing I love to see at the National Gallery of Art when I visit is the work they are doing to restore and maintain the beautiful art. Sunday while visiting I ran across this painting group. It was five panels framed together (you see two of them here) that was painted by Benvenuto di Giovanni, an Italian painter (1436-1517) and is a depiction of five scenes in Jesus’ life. The panel on the right is called Christ Carrying the Cross, painted in 1491. It is tempera on panel board measuring around 16″x18″. You can see how much brighter this panel is than the one on the left. The right panel has been removed and cleaned. You can clearly see the difference in the cleaned panel compared to the one that still needs cleaning. What drew me to this grouping was that one of the panels was missing and this sign was in it’s place:It says: “Benvenuto di Giovanni’s Christ in Limbo, usually installed here, is currently in the Painting Conservation Lab for treatment. Each of the five panels in this series will be cleaned in turn.”
How cool is that?
If you want to see “Christ in Limbo”, the piece that is being cleaned, click here.
One of the reasons I wanted to get down to the National Gallery this past weekend was to see Michelangelo’s David-Apollo (c. 1530) that is currently on loan from Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence until March 3rd. It is a wonderful example of Michelangelo’s work and of his habit of working non-finito (unfinished or incomplete). You can see in the side view the stone left uncut in the back of the sculpture. He leaves much to the viewer’s imagination, wondering what was his intent. You can learn much more by clicking this NGA link.
One of the things I like best about going to the National Gallery of Art is that you can learn so very much. For instance, in the Impressionist Gallery that has recently reopened after being remodeled, I came across two of Monet’s Cathedral paintings hanging side-by-side. What a wonderful way to see Monet’s thought process as he explored color and light on canvas. He painted this same scene, Rouen Cathedral, more than thirty times at different times of day and different months of the year in his quest to master color and light. Monet used this learning tool, series paintings, on several subjects including his Water Lilies, Haystacks, Poplars, and The Parliament and it’s always a treat to see several of them displayed together.
At the National Gallery of Art today on a girls day out enjoying this Robert Motherwell along with many other beautiful pieces of art. Look for more from the trip next week.
I just completed a portrait of Mamie to hang on the portrait wall with the paintings of other dogs that have lived at this house with me. Clockwise from top left you will see Eleanor Roosevelt (Rosie), Truman, Jefferson, Lincoln, Boo, and Jed Bartlett. Now Mamie Eisenhower can be added to the wall.
The young artists painted a lovely bowl of strawberries in class yesterday. Even though school was canceled because of the snow, these three die-hard artists came to class to learn about shading and shadows. And they applied those principles to these painting with great success. Good job guys!!!