August 3rd and the sands of our time in NYC were running out. In the evening of the same day we'd been to The Hispanic Society of America we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had to choose just what to see in the few hours before your eyes undoubtedly bleed and you become completely desensitised. We opted to race around the European Paintings in favour of spending the bulk of our time in the 19th and Early 20th Century Paintings.
If I thought the 35,000 pieces of art at the Louvre was an astronomical number, I was stunned to learn that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has over two million works divided among nineteen curatorial departments. Even if I lived in NYC and visited every day, could I ever see it all?
|I've been a fan of Renoir all my life. Here I'm admiring how very black his blacks are|
People say an artist should burn their inferiour works because one day they just might show up in a prominent museum and what would the world think? As my friend Linda says "We should be so lucky to have any painting in the MET!" Well I take comfort in knowing that the masters, like all of us, have bad days too! What painter would not want to know that? And so I thanked him for it, and did a happy dance, when I saw this horrid Manet ...
|THE "KEARSARGE" AT BOLOGNE (1864) by Edouard Manet|
|Ah Degas, you master!|
It was thrilling to find familiar works by Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Cezanne, Degas, and Picasso, to name a few, but there was complete delight in seeing paintings I didn't know existed ...
|Detail of JOAN of ARC (listening to The Voices, 1879) by Jules Batien Lepage|
The impact of the above painting is profound. Bill and were both strongly drawn into it and it seems we are not alone. If you have the time and the inclination this is an excellent review. Batien Lepage was a much lesser known artist of the Impressionist era (I'd never heard of him) likely due to his untimely death at age 37.
A couple of the many other paintings which caught my attention ...
|SALOME by Henri Regnaualt|
|STUDY OF A FEMALE NUDE (1840) by Henri Lehmann|
Racing against the clock, in the half hour before closing, we tore to the American Wing expressly to see the John Singer Sargent's.
And managed to view other, stunning, familiar and unfamiliar works by Whistler, Homer, Mary Cassat, a Russell and a Remington. And then, I was amazed to see a painting I have long admired in reproductions ...
|REPOSE (1895) by John Alexander White|