Sunday, April 13, 2008

MFA Sunday

Sargent: The Daughters of Edward Boit
I stood in front of this painting today. Not a print, dear reader, but the real, original giant work by John Singer Sargent. It's enormous and awesome and I don't like to use that word. The artist certainly stood on a ladder to work. I'm glad I don't have to do that, though maybe I could teach class on a ladder. Anyway, the painting is called Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. People stared at it. Some stood for their staring, some sat on a bench. I tried both. The girls are fascinating, aren't they? You'd think those two hovering in the doorway were servants, but they are the older sisters. Everyone is sticking to herself. The two big Japanese urns shown in the picture are also in the gallery as you look around. They are huge and taller than a person, as you can see. They traveled with the Boit family back and forth to Europe numerous times.

It was my first time visiting the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I'm ashamed to say. I also stood in front of this one:
Photograph: Paul Revere holding a silver teapot; painting by John Singleton Copley, c. 1768.
As rendered by John Singleton Copley. It was a lot smaller than the Sargent, which of course I know I have not replicated here, and hung in a room of eighteenth century American luminaries. The lighting was just so on the faces that it gave you kind of, how shall we say, a frisson? Ah yes, Paul Revere. My buddy.

I stood in front of Renoir's Dance for quite a while:
Pierre Auguste Renoir - Dance At Bougival - Art Prints and Posters
I actually thought the man looked a bit theatening sticking his jaw out like that, but my daughter said nay nay. You know how I like to go into a painting, dear reader, so I have to look carefully and make my time machine decisions with all judicious deliberation.

My pick for the day was this one by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Mouth That Has Just Been Kissed.

Can't argue with that, huh?

It was a lovely afternoon, though the weather, as they say, sucked. We saw a couple of Mary Cassatts but seemed to miss the wider collection of hers.

People were cheerful walking around. It was delightful to see all the art students with notebooks, drawing the masterpieces for themselves. Art is not dead. The guards and helpers in the MFA are exceptionally nice, though several don't seem to know where anything is. "Hey, we don't know what you're talking about, but this is still a great place, isn't it?" Their smiles were infectious. I hope the hummus in the the basement cafeteria was not, being a bit watery. Two small salads, twenty bucks. Hey, it's only money. BURN IT, BABY.

After a surprisingly short time of being immersed in such riches, one gets inured. Oh, another priceless work of art? Yes, very nice. I wonder where my cell phone is.

Culture up to my eyeballs, dear reader,

A bientot




At 10:31 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I like your taste in art. That Renoir looked familiar and I was sure I'd seen it somewhere recently. I dug through some photos and figured out there was a print of it hanging in the kitchen of an apartment in France (fittingly) where I stayed a couple years ago. I agree that there's something about that jaw that is very intriguing.

At 1:42 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

I can almost believe that he is forcing her to dance. In person it looks a little more muted than it does on the screen too.

You should go, sm.


At 9:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sargent: Van Dyck redivivo. I love him.

At 9:09 AM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

The Paul Revere looks a little like that actor (forgotten his first name) Black.
I like the way you do art - how you remain yourself and don't put on the airs and graces of an art critic as such, yet taking note of everything all the same - including the watery hummus.
Yes that chin does look strange.

At 9:33 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Yes, anonymous, I love him too. I am madly trying to translate redivivo and it's a good project for my day.

CB, you are so right!! Joe Black is the guy and he ought to be playing Paul Revere. Shall we write a screenplay for him?



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