Sunday, 5 May 2013

More of my paintings

A couple of posts ago I showed some Scottish pictures, or at least with a Scottish connection, from the National Gallery of Scotland which is now allowing people to take photographs. Today here are some more pictures from the same visit but this time of a more international flavour.

For the duration of the year, Auguste Rodin's Kiss is on loan from the Tate. This is one of three large marble versions of this sculpture. The first was made as a commission from the French Government, who even provided the block of marble, for their 1989 Exhibition Universelle. It was late and first appeared in public in 1898. This version, also made by Rodin, was commissioned by Edward Perry Warren for 20000 francs. When he received it in 1904, he found it was too big for his house and had to live in his stables. In 1914 he lent it to the Lewes town council to be displayed in the town hall but there was a certain amount of complaint that it might excite troops billeted in the town at the time and it was returned to Warren in 1917. It eventually found it's way into the Tate in London where it can be seen when it's not appearing elsewhere.

The sculpture, tells a tale from Dante's Inferno, it features Francesca de Rimini who was married to Giovanni Malatesta. This is not he, it is his younger brother Paolo, who has fallen in love with his sister in law while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere. The book is just slipping from his hand as he is about to kiss Francesca, but their lips do not touch on the statue as it was just at that moment that they were discovered.

Across the hall from the Rodin, you can see them in the first picture, are these three paintings by Francois Boucher. They are, from left to right, "L'aimable Pastorale", "L'offrande a la Village", and "La Jardiniere Endormie" - I'm sure your go at translating the French is every bit as good as my efforts would be, so I'll leave that with you. They were all painted in 1761 and 62 and owned by the Marchal de Saincy who used them to decorate their Paris home in the late 18th century. All three pictures have been known to have been cut down since.

There are two sets of rooms upstairs in the gallery. In the one at the back, which the staff call the back bedroom, the impressionists are to be found. These Three Tahitians were painted by Paul Gauguin in 1899.

There are several paintings by Edgar Degas. These ballet dancers are a common subject for him.

Degas also made a number of little bronzes which are of similar subjects to his paintings. The gallery has one of a ballet dancer and this young lady having a bath (another common subject for his paintings)

Poplars on the River Epte painted sometime in 1891 by Claude Monet.

I'm not really a Van Gogh fan but from time to time he paints a picture which I like better than the rest. There are three at least in the collection and here are two of them. This is Orchards in Blossom (Plum Trees), Arles from 1888.

And Olive Trees from 1889.

"Pas Meche" by Julien Bastien-Lapage. According to the label, the title is short for "Il n'y a pas Meche" which means, "there is nothing doing". The boy is probably a barge boy with his whip for driving the horses and the horn on his back would have been used to call the Lock keeper.

Malvina mourning the death of her fiance Oscar by Anne-Louis Girodet

Not so sure about mourning, to me it's the expression of somebody who, listening to music on a Greek hillside, has just realised that, back in Blighty, she's left the iron on.

El Greco's Saviour of the World. It's nearly 400 years since El Greco died but there seems to me to be something much more modern than that in this picture.

Ah Titian. Venus Anadyomene (Venus rising from the sea)

Most of the pictures we see in the galleries around the country are indeed ours (or at least the Brits amongst you - I'm sure the Americans and other nations have their own pictures). It isn't for no reason that the BBC have titled their website of the countries paintings, Your Pictures. How good my Titian of Venus would look in my garret. I think though, I might be stretching the boundaries of mine if I was to pop round and suggest it was my shot to have it for a week or two. At least they let me take pictures of it now.

Not all the pictures in the gallery are owned by me and it is not unreasonable to ask us not to photograph these. One of my favourite paintings in the gallery is Titian's Three Stages of Man which was bought by the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. His descendants have passed this and the rest of his art collection on to the National Gallery of Scotland to look after and display, which is very kind of them considering just what you could get for them on a good afternoon at Christies. Even if it was mine, The Three Stages of Man is a bit larger then Venus and might not fit in the garret all that well. Here's the painting on the Galleries own  website.

Another picture from the Bridgewater collection that is on display is one of Rembrandt's excellent self portraits (see it here). He painted himself many times over the course of his life. This Rembrandt of a lady in bed does belong in the main collection.


Shundo said...

More lovely stuff, Sandy. The Van Goghs in particular are striking, and I haven't seen either of those before to my recollection.

Sandy's witterings said...

Shundo, I expect that anyone looking for Van Goghs to show people probably go to the big galleries for pictures or the news making auction sales. These have been sitting quietly in the quiet halls of the Edinburgh galleries for decades. Why send your cameraman to Edinburgh to photograph 3 Van Goghs when Amsterdam has a spectacular number (I saw them a couple of years ago). The olive trees here are one of my favorites.

Pam and Wayne said...

Love the musculature on the marble sculpture, makes you want to reach out and touch it.

Michael (Light-In-A-Box) said...

Sandy, the paintings are incredible but the sculpture is most impressive. Very accurate to human form. I guess in a modern world more & more museums are allowing cameras.

Cheers. : )

billy bagwash said...

the "Pas Meche" what a haunting picture,

Sandy's witterings said...

Pam and Wayne, it is amazing what you (not you I suspect or certainly me but Mr Rodin) can do with a lump of marble. I reckon you could reach out and touch it - though you might be risking getting chucked out.

Michael - I hope this is a trend for museums allowing cameras - Edinburgh are certainly not alone in this but there are a good many who still don't allow pictures.

I agree Billy, I think there's something about the boy which makes him look like a kid from any age - even though he doesn't have a pair of Nikes and a designer jacket. O.K. maybe any age up till about 1990 i.e. pre Playstation!!!