Friday, May 22, 2009 C

"Thoughts after Lunch"

I've just finished lunch. I chose healthy tilapia fish, acorn squash, green beans and carrot juice. The green beans were a little raw, so I didn't finish them. But as I sit here in the cafeteria, satisfaction will soon come.

Ooh, I am weary, but I have at last seen the Vermeers!

Study of a Young Woman
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1665–67, Size 17 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (44.5 x 40 cm)
Accession # 1979.396.1
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in memory of Theodore Rousseau Jr., 1979

There were maybe five, I photographed them all, from the sweet faced young woman with a pearl earring, to the complex allegory of Catholic religion - 'Faith with the World at her Feet'. I knew by composition and use of color it was one of his.

Allegory of the Catholic Faith
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1670–72, Size 45 x 35 in. (114.3 x 88.9 cm)
Accession # 32.100.18
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
(For more details, see gallery page)

He, in contrast to the other Dutch painters, has a sense of intimacy in his paintings. There is no wasted space. His 'Woman with a Pitcher of Water' is the most perfect thing I have ever seen. The capture of the moment, the young woman has just opened the window, the air is warm and she is doing her task with all the sense of a sacred moment. How do I say this, it's the awareness of the moment:

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1662, Size 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm)
Accession # 89.15.21
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889
(For more details, see gallery page)

The religious artwork didn't intrigue me so much, except one Madonna and Child scene, the faces having depth, but everything else flat and decorative. There is perfect duplication of the detail (looks 'copied and pasted').

Saint Ursula and Her Maidens
Niccolς di Pietro (Italian, Venetian, active 1394–1427/30)
Tempera and gold on wood, ca. 1410, Size 37 x 31 in. (94 x 78.7 cm)
Accession # 23.64
Rogers Fund, 1923
(For more details, see gallery page)

There was another scene with Madonna and Child, this one with beautiful colors, a sense of being in a park or courtyard. But what a strange old man's face on the Christ child!

Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Barbara
Hans Memling (Netherlandish, active by 1465, died 1494)
Oil on wood, ca. early 1480s, Overall 26 7/8 x 28 7/8 in. (68.3 x 73.3 cm); painted surface 26 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (67 x 72.1 cm)
Accession # 14.40.634
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
(For more details, see gallery page)

Another 'strange' painting, of Venus lounging, with an angel to her left. That nasty little angel is PEEing on her! The info card said that was to aid in fertility???

Venus and Cupid
Lorenzo Lotto (Italian, Venetian, born about 1480, died 1556)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1410, Size 36 3/8 x 43 7/8 in. (92.4 x 111.4 cm)
Accession # 1986.138
Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Marietta Tree, 1986
(For more details, see gallery page)

At visit's beginning, (and a bathroom visit), I snapped some of the late Egyptian/Roman things, a lovely shroud, showing a golden scarab on back, on front her detailed portrait, with her wearing rings and some serpentine bracelets.

Mummy Mask, Roman period, ca. 60–70
Egyptian; Probably from Meir
Painted plaster, cartonnage (linen and gesso), and plant fibers, size H. 21 in. (53 cm)
Accession # 19-2-6
Rogers Fund, 1919
(For more details, see gallery page)

There was a lovely serpentine bracelet showing Isis, a Herakles knot, and Renenutet in her Greco/Roman form:

Bracelet, Probably 1st century BCE - 1st century A.D.
Accession # 23.2.1
Rogers Fund, 1923
(For more details, see gallery page)

I captured, too, a lovely gold bracelet with just the Herakles knot.

Now, food is mostly digested, feet are rested, and it's the Lehman collection next!

Friday, May 22, 2009 D

"More Perfection"

I sit in the Lehman collection area before Renoir's painting of two girls at the piano - another sumptuous piece of perfection. The pinks, blues and whites are so nicely harmonized as no doubt is also their music:

Two Young Girls at the Piano, 1892
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Limoges 1841– Cagnes-sur-Mer 1919)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1410, Size 44 x 34 in. (111.8 x 86.4 cm)
Accession # 1975.1.201
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
(For more details, see gallery page)

I like the 'musical art', and caught two in the European painting section, as well. You could almost read the sheet music in one:

Allegory of Music, 1649
Laurent de La Hyre (French, 1606–1656)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1410, Size 41 5/8 x 56 3/4 in. (105.7 x 144.1 cm)
Accession # 50.189
Charles B. Curtis Fund, 1950
(For more details, see gallery page)

Go Back to Travel Journal Archives...
Go Back to Main Journal Index Page...
Go to Index of Joan's pages...

© Joan Lansberry