10.22.2011

S.L.A.M. aka St. Louis Art Museum

S.L.A.M.  Actually it stands for St. Louis Art Museum.

The day after visiting the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis we visited this museum which I had never been to before.

It was another beautiful, warm autumn day in St. Louis.  The leaf colors of the trees in front of the museum were spectacular...
What a fantastic museum!  Free entrance every day!  The permanent collection has examples of all of my favorite genres of art.

My recent trip to the Netherlands has given me a greater interest in Dutch Masters paintings such as this masterpiece, Portrait of a Woman (1650-1652) by Frans Hals:
This portrait was created during a conservative phase of his career, when sober and elegant portraits were favored by the wealthy citizens of Haarlem, the city in which he painted during most of his life. This unknown woman sat for the artist together with her husband, whose portrait is now in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

One of the unexpected highlights of this visit was seeing the 6-foot by 14-foot Water Lilies (1915–26) by Monet:
This mural-sized painting is part of a triptych featuring water lilies from the garden pond he created by diverting a river. For twenty-five years Monet obsessively painted the water lily motif at different times of day.  Its counterparts are currently located at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City and at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

One of my favorite artists is Vincent van Gogh.  What a thrill to see these two masterpieces, painted in 1890 in the small town of Auvers shortly before his death.  Both paintings, Vineyards at Auvers (top) and Stairway at Auvers show the intense, heavy brushstrokes and brilliant color that make van Gogh's paintings so beautiful!





Ah!  The Impressionists...

Renoir painted this colorful portrait of a woman, titled The Dreamer, in 1879, the height of his Impressionist period...


In Promenade with the Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, painted in 1874, Monet exemplifies key aspects of his Impressionism, notably the incorporation of industrial elements into the landscape.

Monet painted his London series, which features the Thames, railroad bridges (including this beautiful Charing Cross Bridge painted in 1903) and buildings of Parliament enveloped in a dense morning fog during three trips he made to England between 1899 and 1901.



Paul CĂ©zanne was fascinated by the subject of The Bathers.  This version was painted between 1890 and 1892.  This painting was purchased the year CĂ©zanne died by Claude Monet.

Edgar Degas gives color a starring role in The Milliners, painted in 1898.  Degas produced over 20 paintings and pastels of milliners, beginning in the 1870s and continuing into the 1900s.
Then there is the genius of Manet...

In The Reader, painted in 1861, Manet enlivened his dark palette with creamy whites and varied flesh tones, inspired by the 17th-century Dutch painter Frans Hals (see his painting above), whom Manet admired.





What art lover doesn't recognize a Picasso?  Facets of creamy grays, whites, pinks, and browns form a mosaic of color and tone across the body, evidence of his continued exploration of Cubist fragmentation.
Here is his Mandolin and Vase of Flowers, painted in 1934.
Picasso painted The Mother in 1901 when he was just 20 years old...


I discovered the works of Modigliani during my visit to Paris in 2006.  Modigliani was a prominent figure of the “School of Paris,” a loose group of figurative painters who worked in France after the First World War. His greatest contribution to modern art was in portraiture.  Here is his Elvira Resting At A Table, painted in 1919.


One of my favorite painters is Maurice de Vlaminck.  I love the colors in his paintings; de Vlaminck used pure color, often straight from the tubes of paint, to create his dynamic landscapes, such as here in Le Havre: Le Grand Quai painted between 1906 and 1909.



These are just a few examples of the fantastic permanent collection on display at the St. Louis Art Museum.

In my next post, I want to introduce you to the German Expressionists, a group of artists whose paintings are some of my favorites.  The St. Louis Art Museum has several excellent works of art by many of the artists associated with this movement.

St. Louis Art Museum
Forest Park, MO  63110
314.721.0072
  • Admission to the museum is free everyday.
  • Museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
  • Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 to 5:00.
  • The museum is open Friday until 9:00.
  • For more information, visit: http://www.slam.org/

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