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Art that captivates
Old 04-11-2016, 09:23 PM   #1
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Art that captivates

At home and on our travels, the young wife and I are habitués of art museums; we've been to many of the most famous. Today, I started thinking about the tremendous amount of great art that I've seen. I've enjoyed all of it, of course, but there are a few, rare pieces that positively transfix me. Things so achingly beautiful that I could look at them for hours without ever growing tired. And I wonder if others see them in the same manner. Here are my top two. What are yours?
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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OK! There are so many to choose from. I'll pick one painting and one sculpture, like you did (or the post could be pages long). It's really impossible to figure out which of each is my absolute favorite, but here are two that are definitely in the running.

First, the sculpture. This sculpture of Joan of Arc "Maid of Orleans" was given to New Orleans by France in 1958 and stands proudly in the French Quarter here in New Orleans, on Decatur St. The original is by Emmanuel Frémiet dates from 1874 and is in Place des Pyramids, Paris.

Look at the determination in her eyes! To me this sculpture is so inspirational, when faced by challenges that seem insurmountable. He somehow truly captured her bravery and spirit. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of this woman, and neither do I.




As for paintings, how about some Vincent Van Gogh. "Wheat Field with Crows" was painted the month that he died, in 1890, and to me it shows the depth of his torment and out of bounds insanity as it reached its final crescendo. My heart aches for what he was going through at that time. Yours will too, if you stare at the painting for a while.

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Old 04-11-2016, 10:21 PM   #3
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We took a taxi to Giverney to Monet's home, and walked under the road to the pond where he painted.
This is a photo of DW having a "silent moment" with Monet on that same bridge



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Old 04-11-2016, 10:24 PM   #4
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I've only been to a handful of art museums, all in the US, the most recent being the Heard Museum of Native American Art in Phoenix. I'm amazed at the level of detail in their works, given the materials available to the artists in earlier times. My favorite art museum is the Art Institute of Chicago. I have many favorites there, but 2 that come to mind are Nighthawks by Edward Hopper and American Gothic by Grant Wood. I like to study the expressions of people in paintings, trying to get a feeling of what their lives were like.

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Old 04-11-2016, 10:48 PM   #5
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While we were on a river cruise that started in Arles, France, I came across a multimedia presentation in an old limestone quarry near there. It was called " Carrieres de Lumieres (Careers of Enlightenment} and featured works by Gauguin and Van Gogh projected on the walls with accompanying music!
It was so spectacular we watched the show 3 times! I am sorry the massive impact of these projected paintings being over 20 feet high is lost in these pictures, not to mention the music. It was one of those things where you had to be there to experience the full impact, but it was spectacular.







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Old 04-12-2016, 06:37 AM   #6
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I'm with Ronstar. Nighthawks is haunting. American Gothic, meh.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:01 AM   #7
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I have enjoyed many museums including the Louvre, the Uffizi, Vatican, NY, etc. My favorite art though is natural.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:51 AM   #8
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A different medium, nature photography; but, any time I wander into a Mangelsen gallery, I usually weep a bit because of the beauty surrounding me. I'm not sure why; but, his work touches me like little else. I am not sure about the copywrite and forum rules; so, I am not going to post any examples; but, this is his site: MANGELSEN - Images of Nature Gallery

Sadly, I am too cheap to actually own any of his prints.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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Fun thread. I am an art novice, but I've also had the good fortune to see a lot of great art in the US, Europe & Asia. Like others, there are just way too many to choose from. The Mona Lisa is truly remarkable in person, so is David. I like Van Gogh.

But two examples that have always intrigued me where art meets technique in ways I can't comprehend:

Sunday in the Park - a beautiful very large piece. What intrigues me is the technique, pointallism, what you see standing back and what you see close up. I can't understand how Seurat did it!




Jose Parla's "Mural" at the One World Trade Center. I never understand the abstract stuff, some don't appeal to me, while others do - but I have no idea why? Even with a given (abstract) artist, I may love some pieces and see no appeal to others - again, I have no idea why...




OK, three, I lied. My favorite Japanese Woodblock...another where technique is part of the appeal to me.

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Old 04-12-2016, 10:22 AM   #10
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For me, even though I once lived across the street from the Louvre, the most memorable piece of art I've ever seen was the "jade cabbage" at the Taipei National Museum.

I know it's not the grandest thing going but somehow it just captivated me. I went there several times and just stared at it for a long, long time. I was completely enthralled by this thing.

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Old 04-12-2016, 11:07 AM   #11
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A different medium, nature photography; but, any time I wander into a Mangelsen gallery, I usually weep a bit because of the beauty surrounding me. I'm not sure why; but, his work touches me like little else. ...
Sadly, I am too cheap to actually own any of his prints.
Thanks for posting the link, I see they have a gallery in La Jolla, not far from us, so will try to make it there soon. Don't tell anyone but I am too cheap to buy too, but my wife really takes some great nature photos, we get nice quality large prints made and hang around the house.

I love some of the old masters, by that I mean those before photography forced artists to become "modern."

We recently went to the Huntington near Pasadena, and I was captivated by some of Thomas Gainsborough's work, especially his best known one, "The Blue Boy", amazing shimmering light on the fabric and emotion in the boys face and stance and life size. He is said to have painted it blue because one of his rivals, Sir Joshua Reynolds wrote that blue should only be used in the background, with warm colors in the forefront. So Gainsborough did the opposite and created one of the greatest paintings ever.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:40 AM   #12
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I was always oddly captivated by this fine piece....


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Old 04-12-2016, 03:15 PM   #13
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While I enjoy many different types of art and artists, I find Escher's work to be particularly captivating:

M.C. Escher – Image Categories – Most Popular
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:38 PM   #14
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So much beauty, even the cabbage!

Let me offer one more, less well known example. This is by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (same guy who did the $20 gold piece). He called it "The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding," but it is commonly known as the Adams Memorial, because the original adorns the grave of Marian Hooper Adams in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. The version pictured is a duplicate located in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There is something ineffable about it that draws me in.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:34 PM   #15
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Oh no, soup can thieves on the loose ...

Proof that art is in the eye of the beholder .

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The F.B.I. is offering a $25,000 reward for the recovery of seven screen prints of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup cans after they were snatched from an art museum in Springfield, Mo.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/ar...-missouri.html
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:40 PM   #16
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So much beauty, even the cabbage!

Let me offer one more
Nice!

Then, let me offer one more as well. I love the ballerinas of Degas, whose flexibility seems nearly infinite as does their depth of focus on the dance.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:45 PM   #17
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Okay, instead of soup can, I'm going with Rockwell ...
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:46 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting the link, I see they have a gallery in La Jolla, not far from us, so will try to make it there soon. Don't tell anyone but I am too cheap to buy too, but my wife really takes some great nature photos, we get nice quality large prints made and hang around the house.

I love some of the old masters, by that I mean those before photography forced artists to become "modern."

We recently went to the Huntington near Pasadena, and I was captivated by some of Thomas Gainsborough's work, especially his best known one, "The Blue Boy", amazing shimmering light on the fabric and emotion in the boys face and stance and life size. He is said to have painted it blue because one of his rivals, Sir Joshua Reynolds wrote that blue should only be used in the background, with warm colors in the forefront. So Gainsborough did the opposite and created one of the greatest paintings ever.
Absolutely spot on! The companion piece of "Pinky" is just as large. DW has a friend who had small copies of both in her bedroom. When I took her to see the originals, she was blown away at the size!
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:33 PM   #19
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Fun thread. I grew up ditching high school in a Chicago suburb and, like a true nerd, ending up in the Art Institute. Stood for hours in front of the Seurat, Van Goghs, and all the other Impressionists in that wonderful collection. I then went to school in Vienna and spent many hours in the art museums. I was especially captivated by Durer at the time.
I like many genres and styles. One that comes to mind as quite intriguing is the Dutch genre painters such as Steen and Bruegel. I like these paintings because of all the places the eye needs to move, and the typical homey, happy family scenes, usually including cats and dogs. People and animals look jolly and quite well fed (if not inebriated).

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Old 04-12-2016, 08:01 PM   #20
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Then, let me offer one more as well. I love the ballerinas of Degas, whose flexibility seems nearly infinite as does their depth of focus on the dance.
I love Degas. The unusual vantage point, the perfect composition and color, the sense of capturing the dancers in the middle of their preparations, all contribute to the feeling that you are part of some special revealed world.
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