Master Drawings @ The Morgan Library

We were back at The Morgan to see the magnificent Old Masters’ drawings from the Thaw Collection, that were displayed at the time.

These are some highlights, which I hope you’ll enjoy.

Odalisque with Slave, 1839
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) and Jean-Charles Thévenin (1819-1869)
Black chalk and graphite, black and brown wash with white and grey opaque watercolour


Reading, ca. 1860
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)
Pen and black ink and grey wash with black fabricated chalk over charcoal


Woman Churning Butter, ca. 1855-58
Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)
Black Conté crayon


Leave It All to Providence, from the Black Border Album, 1816-20
Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)
Black ink and grey wash


Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud, 1872
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Watercolour and white opaque watercolour over black chalk on light brown paperboard


The Spider, 1902
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Charcoal and black pastel


The Fool, 1877
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Charcoal with black chalk and fixative on light brown paper


Artist in the making


Nurse with a Child’s Carriage
Georges Seurat(1859–1891)
Conté crayon on Ingres paper


Vincent van Gogh
Letter to Émile Bernard, 7 June 1888

Energized by his visit to the seaside town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, van Gogh wrote enthusiastically to Bernard about his explorations of complementary colours (“No blue without yellow and without orange“) and his consideration of black and white as colours. He included several sketches to explain his ideas and enclosed a sheet containing drawings of canvasses in progress.


Vincent van Gogh
Letter to Paul Gauguin, 17 October 1888

Writing to Gauguin, who was to arrive later that month, van Gogh extolled the attractions of Arles and chronicled his progress on one of his masterpieces from the period, Bedroom at Arles (1888; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), even including a sketch.


Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, 1936
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Pen and black ink and wash


Caricature of a Sleeping Man, ca. 1755-60
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)
Pen and black ink and wash


Young Woman Wearing a Chemise, ca. 1718
Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)
Black, red and white chalk


Interior of a Library, ca. 1780-85
Étienne-Louis Boullée (1728-1799)
Pen and black and brown ink and washes over graphite with black chalk


November 18th, 2017

 

 

 

 

The Art Institute of Chicago

After two full days absorbing as much as possible of the city’s stunning art deco architecture, it was now high time for some art. Enter the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest museums in the United States, one that is home to some of my favourite paintings and the one museum you should never leave Chicago without visiting.

And once inside, the danger is, you will never want to leave.

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas


Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884 (1884-86), oil on canvas


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Self-Portrait, 1887, oil on artist’s board, mounted on cradled panel


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Bedroom, 1889, oil on canvas


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Poet’s Garden, 1888, oil on canvas


Louis Anquetin (1861-1932)
An Elegant Woman at the Élysée Montmartre, 1888, oil on canvas


Harald Sohlberg (1869-1935)
Fisherman’s Cottage, 1906, oil on canvas


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Lucie Berard (Child in White), 1883, oil on canvas


Emil Nolde (1867-1956)
Red-Haired Girl, 1919, oil on canvas


The Art Institute of Chicago

November 4th, 2017

More Harvard Art

”So this is their home”, I silently exclaimed! A lot of the art in these galleries has been bequeathed to the Museums by former students. Please enjoy a fraction of this unimaginable wealth!

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin, 1888. Oil on canvas. Dedicating this work, van Gogh inscribed it ”To my friend Paul Gauguin” and send it to him. Shortly afterwards, however, their friendship deteriorated and Gauguin sold it for three hundred francs.
Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Astor Hotel, 1933. Mezzo-fresco (lime wash on plaster). Marsh’s Depression-era work focuses on urban landscapes and everyday life in America; his subjects include burlesque performers, unemployed workers on the Bowery and Coney Island beach scenes. He was particularly concerned with the exploitation of the nation’s millions of unemployed women and portrayed them as independent figures.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Seated Bather, ca. 1883-84. Oil on canvas. Renoir painted this figure and her drapery differently from the landscape, so that she appears to float in the setting. He also left her right foot unresolved where it meets the fabric, signaling that his pictorial approach was no longer a purely naturalistic enterprise.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973), Mother and Child, ca. 1901. Oil on canvas. Following his visit to the Saint-Lazare prison hospital, an institution for Parisian prostitutes with venereal disease, Picasso produced a number of paintings of destitute mothers embracing their small children. This painting was executed on a reused canvas and another composition lies beneath this scene. That painting is a portrait of Picasso’s friend, the poet Max Jacob, who sits in his study surrounded by books. Some evidence of the image is still visible, particularly the contours of the face, which is roughly the same size as the mother’s head and is located above her knees.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Three Pairs of Shoes, 1886-87. Oil on canvas. Made at a time when van Gogh was deeply engaged with still life, this composition is painted over another image of a large bouquet of flowers in a vase. It is one of a series of five paintings of shoes by the artist.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973), Woman with a Chignon, 1901. Oil on canvas. Picasso painted this portrait during his early-career ”Blue Period”, so named for the colour that predominated in his work at the time. The muted palette, blocks of interrupted colour and abstracted forms with strong outlines typify the artist’s approach at this stage, one of the most celebrated of his career.

Harvard Art Museums

May 3rd, 2017

Maria in the wings

Her black velvet eyes, captivating. More than the nude bodies of her friends. Or the chubby cheeks of Madame Roulin’s baby. I wonder if Madame would have approved. Maria, 1907-10
Kees van Dongen
Oil on canvas


Tahitian Women Bathing, 1892
Paul Gauguin
Oil on paper laid down on canvas


Madame Roulin and Her Baby, 1888
Vincent van Gogh
Oil on canvas


Reclining Nude, 1928
Suzanne Valadon
Oil on canvas (lined)

Suzanne Valadon posed as a model for Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec before she began painting herself in 1893. While she favoured still lifes and portraits, Valadon is best known for her paintings of female nudes – a subject rarely chosen by women artists at the time. 


The Robert Lehman Wing,
Metropolitan Museum of Art

March 19th, 2017