Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Two: the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

This room was amazing; it was a very large hall filled with paintings salon style, and it was a bit overwhelming (in a good way), and the light was just right for looking at paintings.

But the best painting in the hall was the Boar Hunting Scene by Franz Snyders.  He apparently specialized in hunting dog portraits, and apparently Reubens would call on him to detail the animals in his own paintings.

Painted by Whistler in about 1879.  I like this painting, and it's too bad I couldn't avoid the glare.

Vilhelm Hammershøi painted this in the early 20th century.  I like it.  But I'm also a sucker for low contrast interior scenes.  I also like that this painting is the same room, with no furniture, at a different time of day (or perhaps a different season)

Oh Cezanne:

This painting was one of my favorites:
It's a very small piece, hung in a hallway with other paintings all around it.  This one stood out, though, and then when I read the placard, I was like "duh" It was painted by Goya.  And I know it's hard to tell in the mildly crappy photograph, but it's a very beautiful painting.  I was very much attracted to the angel's dress.

My current infatuation with Tiepolo also started here:

And then, there was this painting:
The cow (bull?) is huge! And the dog! lapping up the blood? oh my,  But it really works as a still life: there is so much to look at, and everything about it draws your attention.   It was painted by David Teniers the Younger in 1642.  The classification on the Museum website is interesting: genre, interior, still life, food.  I guess I don't really look at this painting and think "food"

But this painting was my favorite:
The Execution of the Emperor Maximillion, by Manet
He was another artist I (re)fell in love with this weekend. He painted multiple compositions of this scene, and this one is technically unfinished.  But it's still the best one.  The MOMA had a show of Manet's paintings of the execution a few years ago: you can view them here.

While in Boston, we also visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is the site of what could very well be the greatest unsolved art heists in history.  The museum itself (other than the empty frames) is wonderful.  In her will, she left the museum to the people of Boston, stipulating that nothing was to be removed or added (or even moved from her original placement).  So you have a very eclectically organized museum that is still the same as it was when it was a house nearly 100 years ago.  She also, obviously, had very good taste in artwork. It reminds me of the Frick, which is quite possibly my favorite museum ever.

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