Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Beauty is in the details

My friend Philippe is visiting from Germany and was in town yesterday, so we went to the Metropolitan Museum (where else?). The 19th-century European painting galleries held lots of surprises for me, in the sense that the Met constantly changes out paintings from its vast storage facilities. Yesterday, there was a whole room of paintings by Pissaro that I had never encountered and, with a larger number of works to consider, offered new insights into this period.

Lately I find myself consumed by the details in works of art. Herewith some examples from yesterday's tour. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Luca Signorelli, Head of a Man in Profile (1490s)

Hubert Robert, Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius (1757)

Claude Lorrain, Perseus & the Origin of Coral (1671)

Circle of A. Mantegna, Descent into Limbo (1465)

Henri-Joseph Harpignies, View of Moulins (1850-60)

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, The River (ca. 1864)
 This last detail is from a painting by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, whose paintings are exhibited in the long hall in which the Met's ample supply of Rodin sculptures is located. Like Pisarro, his work is also one I had often passed by without looking closely, but the beauty is certainly in the details.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, The River (ca. 1864)

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