Truth And Beauty – Legion Of Honor Exhibition – Review

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Last week I made the best gift to myself what artist can do to the artist (besides buying the favorite paints and brushes of course). I’ve visited a new exhibition Truth & Beauty at Legion Of Honor museum in San Francisco. 

The exploration of both, truly beautiful art and seeing the beauty of truthful comparison of two different centuries in portraiture presentation was really priceless. 

The organizers called this exhibition The Pre-Raphaelites And The Old Masters. But as well they can just call it Learn From Old Masters and they will be absolutely right.

The exhibition presented portraits and religious themes from the 15th century European Artists, and the mid 19th end of 19th century masterpieces.

Here is a great example, Sandro Botticelli, Idealized Portrait of a Lady from 1475:
and 1878 oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Proserpine:
or  Self-Portrait by Raphael from 1506:

And amazingly well done painting of Henry Wentworth Monk by William Holman Hunt that he created in 1858:


The beauty through the centuries was reflecting in these two portraits as well.
The oil painting by same Sandro Botticelli, the Portrait of a Lady Known as Smeralda Bandinelli, 1470-80. This painting was previously owned by the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He believed that Botticelli used the same model for his painting of Venus:

Later in his career Dante Gabriel Rossetti himself used his wife as a model for many of his paintings, such as a beautiful diptych for example Beata Beatrix, that he painted in 1871-72:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti drew a parallel in this composition between the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s despair at the death of his beloved Beatrice and Rossetti’s own grief at the death of his muse, lover, and wife, Elizabeth Siddal. 

I also adored the 19th century painters Kate Bunce:

Saint Cicilia , 1901 by Kate Bunce
..and another woman artist Marie Spartali Stillman with her symbolic and stunning artwork Love’s Messenger, 1885:


.. portraits by William Holman Hunt:

Bianca, painted 1868-69
and one of his wife, Edith:

The Birthday, 1868

One of my favorite sections of the exhibition was where some amazing watercolors were presented.

In the books print form:

As well as well preserved artworks in watercolor such as an example Cesare Mariannecci’s copies of Old Masters.

Just take a look at his Copy after “The Delphic Silbyl” by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Rome. Mariannecci painted it in 1867 and it is now masterpiece on its own:

Other two copies by him of Botticelli, Birth Of Venus & La Primavera.

Note that the artworks that Mariannecci painted from huge oil paintings of Botticelli are just approximately 20″x16″ in size. The precision of a watercolor brush stroke is outstanding. His artworks, the  copy, became certainly a great example of devotion, love to the art, and admirable craftsmanship. If I could I would “camp” there next to these paintings for a week looking constantly at them and possibly make my own copies of the copies in watercolor 🙂

The exhibition left a very soft peaceful feeling on my Artist’s Soul. I saw that the art yet developing through the centuries for sure, has one timeless quality, The Beauty. In our contemporary days it is truly hard sometimes to stop and admire a simple flower, a beauty of everyday life. But the gift of being able that, be in the moment, and have ability to capture it in our hearts is truly, undeniably, PRICELESS!! 

Here a few more artwork that I admired at this exhibition, Truth & Beauty:

Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1862 by William Holman Hunt

Oure Ladye of Good Children, 1866 by Ford Madox Brown

“Leisure Hours” , 1864 by John Everett Millais

The Lady Of Shalott, 1888-1905 by William Holman Hunt

Cheers from 





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Seduction Of Europe – Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review

art, art history, Casanova, exhibition, Legion Of Honor, old masters, paintings, Seduction Of Europe

Roses Under The Sun framed artwork by Irina Sztukowski . Link to the print is HERE

  

Flowers And Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to the canvas print is HERE
Blue Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to print is HERE

An interesting combination of objects and subjects came to my mind when exploring a new exhibition Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe that is now presented in Legion Of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I thought about combined beauty of Flowers, Gold, Nude, and Music. The exhibition has many more subjects mix there. 

Per organizers:
In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire. He charmed—and was charmed by—every level of European society, from scoundrels to kings.Casanova went everywhere, knew everyone, and wrote it all down. His twelve-volume autobiography—The Story of My Life—provides an unrivaled account of eighteenth-century society. Casanova was famously a womanizer and a cheat. He broke promises, perpetrated frauds, and skipped out on creditors. Many of his sexual exploits were scandalous and criminal in his own time, and, for different reasons, would be considered reprehensible today. But he was also a multitalented and multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society, endowed with a surprisingly modern candor and capacity for self-invention. Many of the trends in our own society—from our obsession with celebrity culture to the confessions we make on social media—find precedents in Casanova’s writings and experiences.

I loved exploring the art of 18th Century with its range from hyper realism to an obvious impressionistic approach for boudoir love scenes. 

Here are a few examples of city scapes from the beginning of the century:
Giovanni Antonio Canal, The Grand Canal from Campo San Vio, 1730-35

Bernardo Bellotto, View Of Dresden 1747

a fragment close up view of gorgeous oil painting:
A part of exhibition was devoted to portrait paintings of famous people of that time
Anton Rafael Mengs, Self Portrait 1776

Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, 1757





A large part, as the Casanova’s famous name was associated with theater, love, and adventure was devoted to love scenes that were kept in bedrooms for an aesthetics and pleasure:




Jean-Marc Nattier, Talia, Muse Of Comedy 1739:





Jean Baptiste Le Prince, Fear, 1769:

Luis Jean Fransois Lagrenee, Mars And Venus, Allegory Of Peace, 1770:

The artworks of passion and love:
But my favorite of all from this exhibition was Rococo large paintings that depicted scene from ancient Roman literature.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica:
Rococo style, style in interior design, the decorative arts, painting, architecture, and sculpture that originated in Paris in the early 18th century but was soon adopted throughout France and later in other countries, principally Germany and Austria. It is characterized by lightness, elegance, and an exuberant use of curving, natural forms in ornamentation. The word Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, which denoted the shell-covered rock work that was used to decorate artificial grottoes.

François Boucher (September 29, 1703 – May 30, 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.

Six Methological paintings by François Boucher, 1769:

  
With its gorgeous details:


I also was pleasantly surprised to find a few artworks painted with watercolors by Muller and Parr at this exhibition. 


 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

   

Water Lilies – Monet Or Not Monet

art, Claude Monet, collection, exhibition, Legion Of Honor, Monet, Painting, water lilies, young years
Last weekend, when I was visiting a new exhibition at Legion of Honor in San Francisco, a special on Monet early years and his development as an artist; I was thinking of how people perceive art.
For example, when people look at my Water Lilies painting (above) many comment that it “looks just like Monet” . So, majority of people remember Claude Monet as a “water lily” artist, don’t they!
But, what the exhibition showed to me and to many that Monet started painting in quite different, more realistic style before he found his, so loved by many,  “Monet” style.

I was browsing from one painting to another and I was astound how the artist was really developing and searching for his own style. If I’d show a few of the paintings that caught my attention to some people, they would probably say it is not Claude Monet.

Here are a few good examples:

  
Amazing art was presented at this exhibition. 
Some painting came from the U.S. National collections, others came from Netherlands, France, England. It was a blessing to see them all in one exhibition and being introduced to Claude Monet from a different perspective of his young years, his search of the style, his steps in the history of Art!

Cheers from www.artirina.com