joy magnetism: From Impressionism with love

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

From Impressionism with love

Magnet #905 - Monet's Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers

Remember how I love discovering Monets that I've never seen before? With every museum I visit they're getting increasingly hard to come by.

But my visit to the National Gallery in DC a couple of weeks ago yielded a couple of them. Not surprising, given that they have about 2 dozen Monets in their collection.

This one, is a rare still life from Monet, called Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers, done in 1880. It's gorgeous up close, with the tiny details and beautiful yellow color palette. The other one I discovered was Banks of the Seine, Vetheuil. That one quickly jumped to my top three, just because it's superpretty with a green, yellow and blue palette. There was something hopeful about the piece, versus my number one fave Rocks at Pourville, Low Tide.

Right now at the National Gallery, there's an ongoing exhibition of the Chester Dale collection, called From Impressionism to Modernism, and it's just fantastic to explore. The Dales were a wealthy couple in the first half of the 20th century who basically created a large collection of art - he paid for them and his wife Maud picked them out. So, when the National Gallery started up, they turned to the Dales for help. In the end, the Dales bequeathed about 300 paintings to the National Gallery.

When you're wandering through the exhibit, you just think, jeepers, these people owned all these pieces - how much wall space did they have? One thing cracked me up was that both Chester and Maud had their portraits painted by famous artists - much like the wealthy folks and royalty did in Europe. There are two portraits of Chester - one done by Diego Rivera and one by Salvador Dali, and then Maud's two portraits was done by George Bellows and Fernand L├ęger. I dunno why it made me laugh, probably cuz mentally, I was trying to figure out how Monet or Hopper would paint me.

Jeez, these peeps had soooo much disposable income to patronize the arts, it's crazy! I suppose if I had that much disposable income, I'd buy a painting or two. Of course, I'm fairly sure if I collected real art, I wouldn't be worried about value or context within my collection, I'd totally just end up buying the pretty ones I liked.

And probably the ones in a blue color palette. Heh.
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G said...

I just told the "Rocks at Pourville, Low Tide" story to someone on Friday. I'll be back at the MAG next month for their fabulous fall arts festival and will check for a magnet again.

joy said...

Well, it *is* a great story, all for the love of a painting!

Ooooh, please definitely check! They probably have to work through someone like a Pomegranate to make them. But, man that'd be an awesome one to make.

Although, let me know if they don't, because I just realized, I have a hi-rez of that image somewheres. I should just be able to create a magnet on my own! OMG, why in the hell haven't I thought of that earlier?