Monday, May 23, 2011

Inside The Getty

IMG_6993 John Singer Sargent
Portrait of Thérèse, countess Clary AldringenJohn Singer Sargent, 1896.
Oil on canvas, 90 x 48 in. (228.6 x 121.9 cm).
Renée and Lloyd Greif, Los Angeles, California
Article here.

I wrote about the architecture of The Getty Center in my last post and the stunning Rembrandts a couple of posts before that. Today I will feature a few more of my personal favorites from The Getty Museum.

Stepping backwards in time, I begin with the John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Thérése, countess Clary Aldringen. Sargent's life-sized portrait stands tall and proud in the gallery.

Source: The Getty

His quick brushstrokes express the compelling presence of his statuesque subject.

IMG_6994 John Singer Sargent
Portrait of Thérèse, countess Clary AldringenJohn Singer Sargent, 1896.
Oil on canvas, 90 x 48 in. (228.6 x 121.9 cm).
Renée and Lloyd Greif, Los Angeles, California
Article here.

According to a Getty article the countess is portrayed here after she's had three children. I'm consoling myself by believing that she paid Sargent handsomely to shrink her waistline into an impossibly small hourglass.

IMG_6995 John Singer Sargent
Portrait of Thérèse, countess Clary AldringenJohn Singer Sargent, 1896.
Oil on canvas, 90 x 48 in. (228.6 x 121.9 cm).
Renée and Lloyd Greif, Los Angeles, California
Article here.

Since my love affair with Paul Cézanne started last fall, I continue to be inspired to see his work. In stark contrast to the regal presence of the Sargent portrait, Cézanne's melancholy pose for this young Italian woman does not convey an ounce of vanity. 

IMG_7010 Paul Cezanne - Young Italian Woman at a Table
Young Italian Woman at a Table
Paul Cézanne, French, about 1895 - 1900
Oil on canvas,  36 1/8 x 28 7/8 in.
Description here.

I am in awe of Cézanne's commitment to understand the use of space on the canvas using the same familiar props over and over again. Above all, I was thrilled to see the budding spark of cubism in the background.

IMG_7012 Paul Cezanne -Still Life with Apples

Still Life with ApplesPaul Cézanne  (1893 - 1894), French
Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 32 1/8 in.
Description here.

While Cézanne used his props as a constant to explore the use of space, Claude Monet studied the effects of light on the same landscape. He painted these haystacks at least thirty times as the seasons changed . The light  in this example is wondrous.

IMG_7006 Claude Monet - Wheatstacks, Snow Effects, Morning
Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning, Claude Monet
French, Giverny, 1891
Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 39 1/4 in.
Description here.

A mere 75 kilometers away from Cézanne's Aix-en-Provence, Vincent Van Gogh painted Irises in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Each iris is captured as a portrait. One by one, each is expressed with its individual attitude, height, and angle. The strength of the explosive blues are given by the orange flowers in the background and the rust earth in the foreground. Can you imagine this painting without these essential reds? Of all the works of art I saw this day, the movement in this dynamic painting was the crescendo of the day.

IMG_7008 Irises by Vincent van Gogh

IrisesVincent van Gogh
Dutch, Saint-Rémy, France, 1889
Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 5/8 in.
Description here.

Stepping back more than one hundred years, I found Augustin Pajou's bust of an ideal female head. She is beautiful and demure with every hair in place.  She was designed as a model to ornament a balcony in Versaille. To see the companion sculpture, click here.

IMG_7005 terra cotta bust
Ideal Female Head, Augustin Pajou (1769 - 1770 ) French
Terracotta on white marble socle
Description here.

Albert Cuyp paintings always get my attention because he is a household name in Amsterdam with a street, outdoor market, and even a supermarket chain named after him. His paintings always convey the essence of the Dutch low countries.

IMG_6967 Aelbert Cuyp
A View of the Maas at Dordrecht, Aelbert Cuyp
Dutch, Dordrecht, about 1645 - 1646
Oil on panel, 19 3/4 x 42 1/4 in.
Description here.

I can understand why Frans Hals is my mother's favorite Dutch portrait artist. The Getty Center and the Rijksmuseum jointly conserved these 400-year-old paintings with beautiful results.

IMG_6969 Frans Hals
Lucas de Clercq and Feyna van Steenkiste
Frans Hals, the Elder (c. 1580 – 26 August 1666), after conservation
Description here.

The oldest piece I include here is the soft pink glass and gold-leaf Pilgrim Flask from Murano.

IMG_6942 glass bottle
Italian, Murano, late 1400s or early 1500s
Free-blown colorless (slightly pink) glass with gold leaf, enamel, and applied decoration
14 13/16 x 7 7/8 in.
Description here.

I'm hoping, by posting this, that I will return to that extraordinary island before long. 

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Ruth said...

You have exquisite taste. But I knew that.

The closeup of Thérèse's bodice is simply incredible. I can't stop staring at the details, the textures, the gleam of satin and pearl and metal.

I love the Cézanne still life here, maybe the most of all his apples and still lifes. The van Gogh, Monet, Hals, all of this is splendid. And then that colorless glass, ohhhh, what a piece. It looks like it would break if you looked at it wrong.

CC said...

Gorgeous stuff!
Love the Sargent and the Cezanne Italian woman.... and the Dutch couple.
But they are all choice.

Thanks so much for sharing!!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks for the tour! I like the Cezanne still life -- I'm taking a pastels class and we're copying a Cezanne. Of course, the Monet and Van Gogh are gorgeous too . . .

Ginnie said...

I feel like I have just walked through the museum, DB, thanks to you! I especially liked the Albert Cuyp painting because of my connection here in The Netherlands. But that Murano glass takes my breath away. I had the good fortune to visit a glass factory on Murano a few years back and know the history behind such pieces. We live in an incredible world, don't we!

Margaret said...

I have one glass crucifix on velvet from Murano. I treasure it. The soft pink "Pilgrim Flask" is stunning- I can't imagine it ever being used! Thank you for the tour - I loved the companion sculptors - how he has one looking at the other. "Irises" is a personal favorite due to the movement and color. The countesses hands are my favorite thing about the "Therese" painting. Thank you for the "tour".

Lisa Gordon said...

What amazing works of art!
Thank you for sharing these here!

rochambeau said...

Hello Dutchbaby!
Thank you for this fantastic tour! John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Thérése, is amazing! I've never seen it before. The mix of realism, (her porcine skin and silk dress, that you could reach out and touch), with the dreamlike background is spectacular!
Wonderful detail!


Pretty Zesty said...

WOW! The way I dress, I can't imagine getting dolled up like that. AMAZING!

Speaking of trips:
Stop by because I've got the scoop on a giveaway trip to Holland!

Kala said...

So many wonderful paintings displayed here. I absolutely love the Van Gogh.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

You chose some lovely pieces. There are so many there to enjoy.

Reader Wil said...

The lady Sargent painted is beautiful, but I prefer the paintings of Cézanne. Actually I prefer impressionism to the romantic period before this. The Irises of the Dutchman Van Gogh are a favourite of mine.
Thanks for sharing and for your visit and kind comment.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

I was hoping you'd take us inside!
The Pajou portrait is lovely,she looks so alive.......and the Murano glass is amazing.

Beautiful photos!

Victoria said...

Oh WOW... what a treat to see the art you have shown here... we clearly have some of the same interests in art and artists... Van Gogh is one of my all time favorite artists. (I was in the Netherlands in 1990 when there were two amazing exhibitions of his work collected from all over to display in recognition of the centennial of his death and have seen the iris painting you photographed so beautifully.) I arranged my trip to fly through Boston and made sure I had time between flights to see the Monet exhibition that was at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts that same year... many of Monet's haystacks and Rouen Cathedral (another subject he painted over and over in varying light conditions) paintings were displayed together.

Back to your marvelous photographs... I love how you have presented them with part of the walls of the museum around each one and then the description underneath. The focus on each is so marvelous that it is almost as good as seeing the paintings in person!

And the Murano glass vase is just spectacular... beautifully photographed!

A word about my "not a phlox" flower... I do not hate know-it-alls and am grateful for the correction. I really hate to be wrong with an ID... what fooled me (I think) about this flower is the color... I have yet to see an image of a Crucifer flower that is so intensely colored... but there are many variaties! I will correct my caption forthwith! :-)

London Caller said...

The Getty is such a great place to explore!
I am so jealous that you can take pictures inside this gallery.
Most galleries in London do not allow photography.
The only one that you can take pictures inside is the Saatchi Gallery.

California Girl said...

I love your POV re: the images. It is educational and passionate.

The Sargent portrait is a wow. The Impressionists are my favorite group so no need to comment other than an extended "aahhhhh".

Unknown said...

Lovely, lovely, extraordinary pieces you chose to feature! John Singer Sargent is one of my favorite portrait artists. I love that they're always bigger than life. I'm sure Countess Therese' was corseted within an inch of her life to get that waspish waist. How did they even breathe????

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
Thank you for telling me you like my selections.

I was intrigued with Sargent's brushstrokes which lend a crisp feeling to the fabric. The angular folds in the sleeves make me think that the dress might be made of taffeta. It would be grand to hear the rustle of her dress when she enters a room.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear CC,
I like how you like all the portraits except for the Pajou bust. I imagine it is too idealized to be interesting enough for your taste :-)

I was unfamiliar with the Italian by Cézanne. I still can't get over the expression on her face.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Elise Ann Wormuth,
What a great exercise to copy Cézanne. I bet you're learning a lot. I sure did when I emulated him in my photo class.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ginnie,
I loved that little Albert Cuyp painting too. The blues against the greys are so soothing. Seeing the slack sails and the mirror-like water, he must have wanted to capture a rare windless day in Holland.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Margaret,
I can only imagine how beautiful your Murano crucifix must be.

Can you believe that the pilgrim flask survived 400-500 years, including a trip across the Atlantic?

I took a picture of the companion bust, but it was hopelessly out of focus. I'm glad you clicked through to see it.

You're going to laugh when I tell you that one of her children said that Thérèse was holding a cigarette when she posed for this portrait.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear lisa,
Thanks for your visit and leaving word.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear rochambeau,
I always find it so fascinating to study a painting up close; I'm glad you do too.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kris,
Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway trip to Holland. I hope I win.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kala,
Compared to all the other works in this post, the Van Gogh is the most dynamic to me. Those irises look like they are ready to jump out of that frame.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Sara at Come Away With Me,
It was difficult to choose which ones to feature here. Of course my shaky hand producing blurry photos helped with the process :)

Dutchbaby said...

Best Reader Wil,
Ik heb het eens met je. Cézanne en Van Gogh zijn allebei meesterlijk.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Forest Dream Weaver,
I'm glad you came back to come inside :-D

Thank you for your kind comment.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Victoria,
Lucky you! I haven't seen a major retrospective of Van Gogh since the seventies, when I stood in line for three hours in front of the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Of course, I've seen the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam a few times, but it's always a treat to see some of the lesser-known work.

Thank you for your comment on my photos. I like to shoot the work with a little bit of breathing room around them because I like to show the frame and sometimes the tag. Having worked in a museum when I was in college, I know that the curators worked very hard to choose a color that complements the art.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear London Caller,
I love being able to take photos in many of our museums. They absolutely forbid flash and the camera must be handheld. It's so nice to be able to study them long after I have left the museum.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear California Girl,
Yes, I will join your extended "aahhhhh".

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Susan,
No kidding! I think corsets are the reason why smelling salts were so prevalent during those days.

Relyn Lawson said...

You know I love art and art museums, and I adore this post. My favorite, though, was the sculpture. I found it fascinating to think of an artist sculpting their ideal woman.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
I love terracotta portraits and this one is a great example. The notion of the ideal woman is interesting, even if she is eerily symmetric.

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