Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fragonard at the Louvre and other small treasures



My day at the Louvre started with the thrill of finally being there, only to find that nowhere were there drawings to be found. All had been removed for a show of drawings that was to begin the day we were departing. For the rest of the day I wandered the myriad of galleries spending time with not only many of the greats of the art world but small treasures tucked into sometimes larger boring paintings. But favorites were pieces like this small Fragonard, a painter in court of Louis XV. There is a wonderful exuberance in his brush stroke and a sense of pure pleasure in painting in his work.


I enjoyed this piece, a study of hands, and had a chuckle because it reminded me of a beautiful study by Gordon Janikowski, a student at Seneca, and a piece that still hangs in the hallway there.


This hand in the lower reaches of a portrait captivated me for its subtle beauty of form and modelling.


On the lower edge of a very large and pompous and quite boring painting by I believe Boucher I was enchanted but this parrot. I'm sure art historians would find significance elsewhere in the painting, but I found a refreshing life in this detail.



I couldn't wait for the lady to move ( I guess she was as fascinated by this work as I ) before taking the picture. The legs in particular in this work were amazing, and somewhat reminded me of Dali's treatment of the legs in his stunning painting 'St John of the Cross'. If you have seen that work, of St. John suspended before a cross of cubes with Dali's wife gazing up from below, you would agree.



Even the greats do their studies: these by Ingres of hands. Beautiful in real life. Sorry for the shake.

Today after my class I hung around to hear Rick Pottruff lecture about the feet and legs, and about the poetry and grace of lines that follow the form of the anatomy. These are the legs of one of Michelangelo's Dying Slaves sculptures. I didn't realize they were in the Louvre, and werer another lovely surprise as I wandered. I could have spent a lot of time just absorbing the beauty of his work but it was closing time and they were beginning to usher us out.






A lush Boucher. They had fun with their paint...rich and luxurious.

And finally my own little study of the Fragonard, since it was such a lovely surprise to meet it unexpectedly and the only way to really absorb is to draw.

2 comments:

illustrationist said...

Have you been to Florence to see Michelangelo's David, etc.? If no, you'd love it!

werner zimmermann said...

I have been and yes, impressive, but one feels a certain distance from it, where as with the slave pieces at the Louvre, there was an intimacy from the ability to come so close, and perhaps because of the unfinished nature, one could feel as though the sculpting had just been interrupted and here was a chance to be close to the process. I felt not as if Michelangelo had finished and left, but as if he were about to return, and I was left wondering where, on which spot he would resume.