8.11.2017

LA JEUNESSE DE L'IMPRESSIONNISME

La Jeunesse de l'Impressionnisme translates from French: The Youth of Impressionism. In the 1860s, a handful of young French artists came together in the art studios of Paris from different parts of France. They were different than the painters that preceded them. They painted outdoor landscapes (en plein air) actually in the outdoors, carrying their portable easels and paints outside to capture the light as it changed throughout the day. They painted the ordinary people they saw and met as those people lived their ordinary lives in the Montmartre area of Paris. They held their own exhibitions in protest of being rejected by the famous "Salon" exhibition over and over again. And they were heavy criticized and mocked for this new way of painting for years.

But as we now know, these young artists could paint and now we love their paintings. The paintings below were included in the recent exhibition I saw at the National Gallery of Art titled Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism. They are early works of Renoir, Monet and Morisot, painted in the "youth" of their careers, but they are early examples of the spectacular paintings each artist would later create. 

Lise Sewing: Auguste Renoir (1867-1868):
Between 1866 and 1872, Lise Tréhot was Renoir's favorite female model (and mistress) until she left Renoir to get married.  The most fascinating aspect of this superb painting, an excellent example of Renoir's talent as a painter of flesh and blood, is its provenance; it was owned by the sitter throughout her life.
























The Beach at Honfleur: Claude Monet (1964):
Claude Monet grew up in the Normandy region of France so he was familiar with the beauty and landscape of Honfleur. In the early years of his career he often went back to his familiar roots.



























Rue de la Bavole, Honfleur Claude Monet (1964):
A simple street scene was a typical subject of the Impressionists.































Sainte Adresse: Claude Monet (1867):
The several months Monet spent painting seascapes in the area of Sainte-Adresse, a resort town in Normandy in 1867, were very productive.


















Bazille and Camille: Study for Déjeuner sur l'Herbe: Claude Monet (1865):

This painting featuring fellow Impressionist painter, Frédéric Bazille and Monet’s future wife, Camille, is a perfect example of how Monet was a genius at capturing the light with his brushstrokes.





























The Harbor at Lorient: (Berthe Morisot) (1869):
Berthe Morisot, along with Mary Cassatt, were the two most notable female Impressionists. Some critics seemed to believe that Berthe Morisot was the purest "Impressionist" artist of all the painters: she tended to adhere to the basic principles of light and color in Impressionist painting.

























In the next post I show more masterpieces from the exhibition Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism. That exhibition was the main reason for our trip to Washington DC.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue. The entrance to the East Building on 4th Street NW.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in June, 2017.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.


8.02.2017

MULTIPLE MATISSE MASTERPIECES

Henri Matisse, along with his rival Pablo Picasso, revolutionized painting in the early 20th century. Like Pierre Bonnard in my last blog post, Matisse began his career in Paris, but in 1904, he visited the south of France and fell in love with bright light and colors of the area.  For several years he painted in the style known as fauvism where the painters expressed emotion with bold brushstrokes and colors.

Fauvism only lasted for a few years, but Matisse's career and fame continued to grow. He traveled to Algiers, Spain and Tangiers throughout the years and tended to alter his painting style based on what he saw in each place. He was also the victim of much criticism (one of his paintings was actually burned in effigy in Chicago in 1913). 

It was the Paris-based American collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein and the notable Russian art collector Sergei Shchukin who initially began the early support for Matisse. 

Still Life (1905): 
A perfect example of Matisse's Fauvism work, with its heavy brushstrokes and brilliant color. 

Pot of Geraniums (1912): 
Into the 1910s, Matisse continued to create works using bright colors, limited detailing and strong outlines.
























Odalisque, Half-Length: The Tattoo (1923): 
In the 1920s, he reverted to more conventional "model" painting, depicting figures in exotic costumes in the textile-sheathed interior of his Nice studio.  












































Still Life with Apples on a Pink Tablecloth (1924):
Matisse spent most of the 1920s living in the Nice; he incorporated many of the ideas he gathered during his past trips to Morocco such as these clashing patterns and bold color.
Still Life with Pineapple (1924):
Woman Seated in an Armchair (1940):
This painting was confiscated by the Nazis in 1941 by the Jewish French art dealer, Paul Rosenberg. It was returned to the Rosenberg family in  1948 and sold to the writer Somerset Maugham.


In the next post I will begin to show the masterpieces from the exhibition Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism. That exhibition was the main reason for our trip to Washington DC.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue. The entrance to the East Building on 4th Street NW.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in June, 2017.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.

7.16.2017

PIERRE BONNARD IN THE EAST BUILDING

Continuing on with my tour of the National Gallery of Art's East building, I exited the room with the Modigliani paintings and entered a room filled with paintings by two of my favorite painters: Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse.

Both artists began their careers in Paris but later they were drawn to the light and color of southern France. I love color in paintings; that's why I love the paintings of the Fauvists  and Nabis; Matisse was associated with the Fauvists; Bonnard was associated with the Nabis. These two artists' work really show how color was important to them in their works. See for yourselves...

Many of Bonnard's paintings simply focus on the everyday life around him.

Work Table (1926/1937)
This painting was confiscated by the Nazi ERR during WWII, and selected by Herman Goering during one of his *tours* of the Jeu de Paume. It was recovered after the war and returned to France.











































The Green Table (1910)

































Nude in an Interior (1935): 
The detailing in this painting is remarkable: in the patterns in the wallpaper, the carpeting and the sofa.












































Stairs in the Artist's Garden (1942/1944): 
This painting shows the brilliant color Bonnard found while living in the South of France.

































A Spring Landscape (1935)


In the next post I will show the brilliant colors of Matisse's masterpieces.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue. The entrance to the East Building on 4th Street NW.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in June, 2017.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.

7.02.2017

MODIGLIANI IN THE EAST BUILDING

The reason for my most recent visit to Washington DC was an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition took place in the National Gallery's East Building which is located directly across the street from the iconic West Building.  

I'd never visited the East Building but I knew that many paintings by some of my favorite artists were in this building instead of the West Building. Some had been moved from the West Building to the East Building since my previous visit in 2013. I took the opportunity prior to seeing the planned exhibition to tour a small part of the collection. 

In one room, a small part of the Chester Dale collection, included 12 Modigliani masterpieces:


Madame Amédée: Woman with Cigarette (1918)












































Nude on a Blue Cushion (1917)

Woman with Red Hair (1917)




























Monsieur Deleu (1916)




























Gypsy Woman with Baby (1919)




























Chaim Soutine (1919)



























Léon Bakst (1917)












































Adrienne (Woman with Bangs) 1917



























Madame Kisling (1917)



























Girl in a Green Blouse (1917)




























Café Singer (1917)












































Nude on a Divan (1918)
Like Andrew Mellon, Chester Dale made his millions as a banker and on the New York Stock Exchange. His wife, Maud, who was a painter and art critic, introduced Chester to the idea of collecting modern art. They built the bulk of their collection rather quickly, putting the majority of their collection together between 1926 and 1933. In 1929 alone they purchased an astonishing 130 paintings. The Dales collected an amazing number of paintings by their favorites artists: 17 by Renoir; 15 by Picasso; 25 by Toulouse-Lautrec; 11 by Monet; and 21 by Modigliani.Like Andrew Mellon, Chester Dale made his millions as a banker and on the New York Stock Exchange. His wife, Maud, who was a painter and art critic, introduced Chester to the idea of collecting modern art. They built the bulk of their collection rather quickly, putting the majority of their collection together between 1926 and 1933. In 1929 alone they purchased an astonishing 130 paintings. The Dales collected an amazing number of paintings by their favorites artists: 17 by Renoir; 15 by Picasso; 25 by Toulouse-Lautrec; 11 by Monet; and 21 by Modigliani.

Modigliani painted several portraits of his artist friends such as Maurice Utrillo, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine.

Modigliani's use of drink and drugs contributed to his early death at age 35 in Paris of tubercular meningitis.

I will continue to show more of my visit to the National Gallery of Art's East Building in my next blog post.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue. The entrance to the East Building is on 4th Street NW.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in June, 2017.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.