Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Wrap Up - California Dreaming

I love San Francisco and really have no desire to travel. I lived all over the world in my younger years and enjoyed the challenge of new places but these days, I prefer my familiar neighborhood and marvelous friends. However, sometimes the temptation to get on that airplane and fly, fly fly the not-so-friendly skies is pretty strong.

What tempts me? Not wine or chocolate or even the ambiance of foreign parts. It's the art - particularly old master art. San Francisco is woefully lacking old master pieces; the Legion has a number of marvelous paintings but their collection is so small and never seems to have anything new. I suppose they don't have the money to buy any of the old master paintings and no collector (as far as I know), has gifted a Renaissance or Baroque piece to the museum in ages. They have a wonderful graphic collection but it's really not accessible to the public unless there's a show.

LONDON.- The drama of the Baroque comes to Edinburgh in part two of The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection. The 31 paintings and 43 drawings selected for the exhibition reflect the great stylistic diversity of the period, which gave birth to the powerful realism of Caravaggio, the revolutionary naturalism of the Carracci and the cool classicism of Poussin and Domenichino. Highlights of the exhibition include two works by Caravaggio, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew and Boy Peeling Fruit, both previously thought to be copies of lost originals. Recent research by Royal Collection curators and conservators has resulted in the re-attribution of these paintings, which are now generally recognized by experts as by the master himself.

Oh, and the Courtauld is showing Cezanne's card players (three videos here):
Courtauld Institute

Madrid: The Museum is once again displaying the magnificent pair of paintings of Adam and Eve (1507) by Albrecht Dürer, following two years of intensive restoration to their pictorial surfaces and supports. Despite their importance, for 283 years, years (with the exception of the brief reign of José Bonaparte), since their arrival in Madrid in 1655, both panels were considered to be "nudes" and thus kept in spaces not open to the public.

The very fact that they have survived at all might be considered somewhat miraculous given than in 1762 Charles III’s moral qualms led him to include them on a list of "indecent" paintings to be destroyed. The intervention of the Court Painter Mengs saved Dürer’s panels as he was able to convince the monarch that both paintings "were very useful for his pupils to study." With this didactic purpose in mind, thirty years later the two panels were taken to the Academia de San Fernando where they were stored away and could only be seen without restrictions during the reign of José Bonaparte (1809-1813), when they were hung in the Sala de Juntas. Curiously, the story of the concealment of these paintings did not end with their entry into the Prado in 1827, and until 1838 they were kept in the closed room where nudes were housed, at which date they were finally incorporated into the display of works on view to the public.

New York, London (with maybe a side trip to Amsterdam) and then, Madrid. Well, a woman can dream, can't she? But the cost and the intrusive security measures and the plain discomfort of flying keep me at home. Maybe one of these days?


Zoomie said...

When I do travel, it's mainly the art I go to experience, altho' I'm not above a trip on a river boat or a viewing of the crown jewels. :-)

namastenancy said...

Yes, I wouldn't mind throwing in a viewing of the crown jewels or a good meal as well. I remember one visit to the UK where I ate some green peas that could have been used as ammunition. Heck, maybe they WERE left over ammunition.