Head Hunters

Outside the MFA.

“Over the past several decades, Antonio Lopez Garcia has become known as the finest Spanish painter of his generation. His intensely realistic paintings-ranging in subject from grimy bathroom sinks to expansive Madrid cityscapes-often take him years of meticulous work to complete. These sculptures, and several other recent works by Lopez, were inspired by the birth of his grandchildren. When his second grandchild, Carmen, was a few months old, Lopez began modeling two portraits of her head, one depicting her awake and the other asleep.”
Source: CultureNOW

The full sculpture of the Hunter, however, depicts him hunting a antelope – not heads!

“Paul Manship designed Indian and Pronghorn Antelope to span the length of the mantelpiece in his New York City apartment. He expertly used the negative space created by the separation of the hunter and his prey to capture the drama of the hunt. The work represents a compromise between historical artistic traditions and modern tendencies toward abstraction: the smooth planes and stylized renderings recall ancient Greek statues, while the arresting linear design and suggestion of movement reflect Manship’s own innovations. Small-scale statuettes such as these were popular for interior decoration, and Manship’s style was immediately accepted by the public.” Source: Art Institute Chicago

While this particular cast adorns the Fenway entrance lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts, a quick search on line shows a number of others being in permanent collections of various museums in America, such as The Met in New York, Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha Nebraska, Buffalo Center of the West Wyoming, The Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts.

Antonio López García
Day & Night, 2008
Bronze

Paul Manship
Indian Hunter, 1917, this cast 2002
Bronze

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

May 2nd, 2017

Maenads in a Wood

”Gustave Doré (1832–1883), known primarily for his book illustrations, prints, and paintings, turned to sculpture late in his career. It was only in 1871 that he began to learn to model, and he exhibited his first sculpture at the Salon of 1877.
This plaster relief is the second version of a sculpture inspired by his 1879 painting of the Death of Orpheus. Doré used the same background and composition in both reliefs; however, here the dead Orpheus is absent and the female woodland figures are not armed. He has depicted a Bacchic dance of the Maenads, followers of Dionysus, god of the Orphic religion, who in a delirious frenzy killed Orpheus. This relief may have been intended to serve as an architectural decoration.”

Maenads in a Wood, 1879
Gustave Doré

The painting in reference and a study (the only copies I was able to trace on-line): 

Gustave Doré
Study for La mort d’Orphée, 1879
Charcoal and watercolor with gouache on thick card


Gustave Doré
La mort d’Orphée, 1885
Wash and gouache


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
May 2nd, 2017

Make Way for Ducklings

Mrs. Mallard with Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack, are out for a walk in the park. Dressed in their springly attire, daring the sun to come out (but – wisely – keeping their woolen shawls on, just in case it wouldn’t). 

“Make Way for Ducklings” by Nancy Schön
Bronze on Old Boston cobblestones
Boston Public Garden, Boston

May 1st, 2017

Before leaving Baltimore

We attempted to visit the B&O Railroad Museum but found it closed in preparation of the ”Day Out with Thomas” which, by the way, is coming back this year on April 27-29 and May 4-6.

Instead, we walked back to Penn Station, taking in some city views along the way. But one of the most striking features was Jonathan Borofsky’s much debated Male/Female, a 51-foot (15,5m) of a sculpture overlooking – or, as some would say, clashing with – the classic Beaux-Arts building of the train station. It all depends on the point of view, I guess. Personally, I rather like this dialogue between two giants and was glad to have discovered another artwork by Borofsky (the first one was ”Humanity in Motion” inside the Comcast Center lobby, in Philadelphia).

That’s a wrap of our two-day trip in Baltimore. But stay tuned for more travels, because next, we go to Boston!

April 27th, 2017

Will o’ the Wisp

My, oh, my… those fans! This is one of the most exquisite quilts I have ever seen! I wonder if I could borrow it for a day or two…

Harriet Hosmer, Will o’ the Wisp, modeled 1858, marble
Residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky – Fan Quilt, Mt. Carmel – 1893 – cotton, wool, silk, velvet, lace, ribbon, silk thread, paint, chromolithographic paper decals and canvas
Residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky – Fan Quilt, Mt. Carmel – 1893 (detail)

If not the quilt, how about this Greek Evzone costume?

Walter Gould, Portrait of John B. Carmac in Greek Evzone Costume, 1853, oil on canvas

”Walter Gould painted this image in Florence in 1853, soon after he returned from Greece and Turkey. He posed his sitter wearing Greek military costume associated with the crack troops that fought the Turkish occupation of Greece. Such costumes alluding to Greek independence became popular with visiting American tourists, who fondly saw parallels to their own war of independence. Gould portrays Carmac as if he were a local resident, holding a long-stemmed pipe; a hookah, or water pipe, rests on the floor beside the window.”

I seem to be in need of some counseling!

John Rogers, The Council of War, modeled c. 1873, painted plaster

 

Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 25th

Bad kitty…!

Scolded and Unamused

Reproof

c. 1878-1880 by Edward R. Thaxter

Marble

”In Reproof a young girl sternly scolds her cat who has just attacked a birds nest. She clutches the cat to her chest and looks at it disapprovingly while waving her hand in discipline. Meanwhile a dead bird lies at her feet and feathers hang limply from the cat’s mouth. This scene is a prelude to the responsibilities of motherhood the young girl who is now reprimanding her cat will have to ensure that her own children are well behaved in the future. Although Edward Thaxter’s life was short, he excelled in creating detailed neoclassical sculpture. He made at least five marble copies of Reproof.”

Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 25th, 2017

Sleeping Children

There is something simultaneously tranquil and unsettling about this sculpture – I want to believe the children are sleeping but a subtle whisper tells me they won’t be waking up…

Sleeping Children
William Henry Rinehart, 1825–1874

Modeled 1859, Carved 1869
Marble

Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 25th, 2017

Crossroads of Civilization || Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Head of the Buddha

A very early image of the Buddha, this serenely beautiful head was once framed by a halo and joined to a complete figure. The Buddha’s downward gaze conveys that he is meditating. His cranial bump (ushnisha), which signifies transcendent wisdom, and his forehead dot (urna) are marks of his perfected nature. The sculpture was created for a monastic complex in ancient Gandhara, a region that now spans Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the third century, Gandhara was a crossroads that united the Greco-Roman world with India, and the Buddha’s wavy hair recalls classical images of Apollo.

Pakistan (ancient Gandhara)
3rd century
Schist


Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

April 25th, 2017