Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Outing to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford

Inside the Lobby of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum
Fountain located inside the museum

Francesco Maria Francia
Italian (Bolognese), c. 1450-1517
"Madonna and Child with Saint Francis," c. 1505
Oil on panel
Gift of Mrs. T.W. Inglis-Jones 1960.259

Taddeo di Bartolo
Sienese, 1362-1422
"Madonna and Child"
Tempera and oil on panel
Gift of the Robert Lehman Art Foundation, 1962.444

Jack Whitten
Born in Bessemer, Alabama, 1939
"Einstein's Violin," 1991
Acrylic on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1992.25

Norman Lewis
Born Bermuda 1909
Died New York City 1979
"Green Mist," 1949
Oil on canvas
Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1995.35.1

Richard Barthe'
Born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, 1901
Died in Pasadena, california, 1989
"The Negro Looks Ahead, c. 1944
Gift of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, 1989.4

Gustave Courbet
French, 1819-1877
"The Shore at Trouville: Sunset Effect," 1866
Oil on canvas
Gift in honor of Helene and Max Eisner, by exchange, with additional funds provided by the Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Fund, 2006.15.1

John Federick Kensett
American, 1816-1872
"Coast Scene with Figures (Beverly Shore)", 1869
Oil on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1942.345

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890
"Self Portrait," c. 1887
Oil on canvas
Gift of Phillip L. Goodwin in memory of his Mother,Josephine S. Goodwin, 1954.189

My featured artist for the Atheneum Museum is Vincent van Gogh. This portrait is one of 35 self portraits that he painted. The technique used to create this portrait was called broken color. This technique enhanced the lighting in portraits and was frequently used by impressionist. Van Gogh was known to paint quickly. He used the paint straight from the tube and painted in thick brush strokes. Painting in this manner is called impasto. This is well noted in this asymmetrical portrait which was painted in 1887. Van Gogh’s self image dominates the painting. The message conveyed is one of despair. Van Gogh’s use of dark, muted shades in the background forced me to focus on his pale, white face, which further emphasizes his blue eyes. The hopeless, melancholy look in his eyes and the pale face all sitting in the middle of the darkness surrounding the subject gave me the feeling that he was a depressed man when he posed for this portrait. He used various shades of yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and even some blues on his hair and beard, which looked unkempt. His shirt is a combination of white, blues, and reds.
For van Gogh, he used art as a way of expressing his thoughts and emotions. His self portraits were purely autobiographical. His paintings usually expressed his moods. During happier times the colors in his paintings were brighter. When he was depressed, his paintings were darker such as in the painting titled “Whistler’s Mother.”
Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. He was a very nervous man who often stayed up all night and painted all day. This lifestyle helped in the decline of his health. At one point, van Gogh ended up in an asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment of mental illness. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his entire lifetime. He lived very poorly and was supported by his brother and close friends. In July of 1890, van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself. In addition to being a great impressionist painter, he is also known for cutting off part of his left ear.
Works Cited

Friday, December 11, 2009

Metropolitan Museum of Art Part II

Visiting Egypt and Its Monuments

"The West Wall'

"West wall of the chapel of Kaemsenu"
Dynasty 5, reign of Niuserre (ca. 2420-2389 B.C.)
Excavated at Saqqara
Gifts of Edward S. Harkness, 1926 (26.9.1;statue 26.9.3)

(The above two photographs)
"Sarcophagus of the Hathor Priestess Henhenet"
Dynasty 11, reign of Mentuhotep II (ca. 2051-2010 B.C.)
Painted limestone
From Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, temple of Mentuhotep II, pit II
Egypt Exploration fund excavations, 1906-07
Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1907 (07.230.1a,b)

The Beauty of Marble

Attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
"Young Archer"
Italian (Florence), ca. 1491-92
Lent by the Frence Republic Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)
"The Angel of Death and the Sculptor" from the Milmore Memorial 1889-93;this carving, 1921-26
Gift of a group of Museum trustees 1926 (26.120)

William Henry Rinehart (1825-1875)
"Latona and Her Children, Apollo and Diana, 1870;this version, 1874
Rogers Fund, 1905 (05.12)

Giovanni Caccini (1556-1612)
Italian (Florence), 1578-84

Randolph Rogers (1825-1892)
"Ruth Gleaming"
1850; this carving, 1855 or 1856
Gift of James Douglas, 1899

(In the background)
"The Libyan Sibyl"
1860; this carving, 1861
Gift of Erving Wolf Foundation, in memory of Diane Wolf, 1979

Metropolitan Museum of Art Part I

Front and center of the Metropolitan Art Museum

Henry E. Sharp (active ca. 1850-ca. 1897)
Faith and Hope
New York City, 1867-69
Painted and stained leaded glass
Gift of Packer Collegiate Institute Inc. 2002

William Jay Bolton (1816-1884) and John Bolton (1818-1898)
Miriam and Jubal
Pelham, New York 1843-48
Painted and stained leaded glass

A house exterior located in the courtyard of the museum

Glass ceiling inside one of the atriums

"Armors for Man and Horse"
Steel, etched and partly gilt;leather
Italian (probably Milan), about 1560-75

Frank Duveneck (1848-1919)
"Tomb effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck" 1891; this cast, 1927
Gilt bronze
Rogers Fund, 1927

Marco Pino
Italian, Siena, active in Naples, 1521-1583
"The Resurrection of Lazarus"
ca. 1570
Oil on panel
For the past two Sundays, I have been taking the train to New York to visit museums. This week I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Because of the weather, no one wanted to come with me so I went alone. I managed to join a couple of tour groups and learned quite a bit, especially about the courtyard. I arrived early and spent the entire day in this museum and still did not see everything! There was so much art to see that I was overwhelmed. There was no way I could just focus on one particular piece. The great part is that I was allowed to take pictures of everything (without a flash of course). This was the largest museum I have ever visited. If you want to see art by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Michelangelo, etc... this is the place to go. The museum contains thousands of various pieces and styles of art, period rooms, tapestry rooms, original Tiffany windows, marble floors, courtyards with glass ceilings, pottery, sarcophaci, huge statues, and more. I would advise everyone to visit this museum at least once in their lifetime. I was totally amazed!

My Outing to the Yale Art Gallery

Lobby of the Yale Art Gallery

Claude Lorraine
French, active in Rome, 1604-1682
"Pastoral Landscape"
Oil on copper

John Singleton Copley
American, 1738-1815
"Mrs. Benjamin Pickman (Mary Toppan)"
Oil on canvas

Jean-Francois Millet
French, 1814-1874
"Starry Night"
ca. 1850-65
Oil on canvas

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890
"Corner in Voyer-d' Argenson Park at Asnie'res"
Oil on canvas

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926
"The Artist's Garden at Giverny"
Oil on canvas

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926
"Camille on the Beach at Trouville," 1870
Oil on canvas

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890
"Le Cafe' de nuit (The Night Cafe')"
Oil on canvas

Sugiuva Yasuyoshi
Japanese, born 1949
Heisei era (1989-present)
Ceramic sculpture, glazed stoneware with detached painted ceramic seeds

Giovanni Paolo Panini
Italian, Rome, 1691/92-1765
"A Capriccio of the Roman Forum"
Oil on canvas

"Rooms by the Sea," 1951
Oil on Canvas by Edward Hopper

As I stared at this portrait, all I could think of is what a peaceful place to be. I was drawn to this painting because of its simplicity and attention to detail. This painting reflects Edward Hopper’s legendary solitude. As you read, you will be able to tell that Hopper is my favorite artist. Imagine how happy I was to find three more of his pieces when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art the following day. The accession number of this particular work of art is 1961.18.29. It measures 29 ¼ x 40 inches and has an asymmetrical balance and two-dimensional design. The painting gives me a feeling of serenity. Just by looking at the painting I can imagine the sound of the ocean waves and a warm, gentle breeze which gives me the calm feeling. The painting contains two rooms. The main room has a pale-blue wall, a yellow floor, an opened door, and a view of the ocean and sky outside the opened door. The second room gives me a side view of a brown dresser, a portion of a red chair, a green carpet, and a portion of another wall that displays a small part of a painting. Both walls have rays of light hitting them on a diagonal.
In the middle ground, a huge pale blue wall makes up the positive space and contains nothing on it but a band of light. It is the focal point and draws me in while, at the same time, takes my eye out of an open blue-green door that opens on to the dark blue sea. This wall dominates the painting. In the foreground the open door makes up the negative space and directs the eye toward the sea and the sky outside. The undulating lines used for the sea suggest the movement of the water and creates a visual interest. The background of the painting allows me to get a peek into the room on the other side of the main wall. I can only see portions of the items in that room. A smaller band of light lies against the pale blue wall in that room casting shadows on the carpet, wall, dresser, chair, and a portion of the partial painting. Everything in the second rooms seems to be on a smaller scale than in the first room.
The simplicity and the artist’s use of lines is the first thing I noticed about this painting. Hopper’s use of vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and undulating lines is exceptional. A few of the lines are thick but most are thin. The line at the horizon and the undulating lines depicting the sea represent nature. The vertical lines draw the eye up while the horizontal lines draw my eye out the opened door. The sunlight is represented by the diagonal lines and the dull yellow color creates a smooth rhythm. The major direction of the diagonal lines brings me in and the second direction takes me out in almost the same glance. There is unity and repetition created by the straight lines.
Objects creating mass in the room would be the huge wall and dresser. The wall grounds the artwork and the dresser adds weight. Rectangular shapes fill the space. The entire painting is very linear. The ocean and the sky are the atmospheric elements that help create the tranquil feeling of the painting.
The painting looks smooth to the touch, but after sitting and looking at the painting from different angles for a small period of time, the areas where the sun hit the wall seem to be a little rough. In these areas the paint crackles just a little and there is a hint of luster, whereas the rest of the painting seems muted. Contrast is created by soft and hard surfaces, light and dark colors, and the shadows cast by the sunlight. The cool and muted hues of yellows, greens, and blues are matched against the red in the chair and the brown in the dresser for a punch of color. The light is intense and saturates the parts of the wall it touches.
I think the painting probably held an intrinsic and psychological value for the artist. It looks lonely but peaceful. His uses of cool colors depict serenity. I notice that there are no people, boats, birds, or anything else that might disturb or distract someone. Maybe this person likes seclusion. I don’t see any children’s toys and the place looks immaculate. It looks as if the person who may live in this place is a loner.
The painting itself gives me the feeling of tranquility. The sounds of the ocean waves, the soft, warm sunlight, the sparseness in room d├ęcor and the openness of the door gives me an almost Zen-like feel. It makes me wonder what could have been going through the artist’s mind while he was painting this picture.
Edward Hopper was born on July 22, 1882 in Nyack, New York. His artistic talent was noticed when he was five years old. In 1900, Hopper attended the Correspondence School in Illustrating in New York. He furthered his education in art by attending the New York School of Art in 1901. Between 1906 and 1910 Hopper traveled to Europe three times. He finally moved to Greenwich Village in 1913 into a top floor apartment. In 1924, he married Josephine Nivison who was also a painter. The couple lived there until they died.
Hopper was a struggling artist. By the time he was 40 years old, he had only sold one painting. In 1923, the Brooklyn Museum bought one of his paintings and his popularity began. Some details reflected in his work include his use of light, angles, shapes, and lines. A feeling of calmness and solitude is a common theme in his paintings. He creates beauty in the mundane of every-day life. Among his many works of art, Hopper painted cityscapes as seen in “From Williamsburg Bridge,” quiet views as seen in “The Lighthouse at Two Lights,” and restaurants as seen in “Tables for Ladies.” These portraits are available for viewing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Edward Hopper died on May 15, 1967 at the age of 84. His wife died just 10 months later.

Works Cited

Museum of Fine Arts. Home page. 2009