Category Archives: art

You’re Into Monet? Better Get to Denver Fast!


When Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature opened at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) on October 21, the Colorado venue became the only U.S. site to host the most comprehensive collection of the French artist’s work in more than two decades.

Here is the story.

And this sort of thing awaits you!

Claude Monet’s “Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville (Chemin dans les blés à Pourville)” from 1882 is among the 120 works on display at the Denver Art Museum through February 2020.

What does it mean? Forget that! If you need to think when you look at a painting, think about the color blue. Have you seen blue like that before? Then do the same for red, white, tan. Keep going dude! Pretty soon you will be feeling stuff through your eyes the way that Monet did.

I Got Manifestoed at the Hirshhorn!

I am glad to be back in Tartu after a quick trip to DC for my nephew’s wedding.  The event — very nice BTW  — gave me a chance to trot over to the Hirshhorn for an afternoon.

And there, I go manifestoed.

Manifestos, a standard feature of modernist avant-garde movements, were often created to outline the principles of artist groups and to purport revolutionary social and political theories practiced by artists, writers and philosophers.

The Hirshhorn is offer exhibits on manifestos from the 20th century, and one is by Greman film maker Julian Rosefeldt

Rosefeldt’s titular Manifesto (2015) will be displayed as a singular work. Conceived as an artwork, Manifesto has gained world-wide attention as a feature-length film. Presented at the Hirshhorn as a multichannel installation, chapters of the film will play simultaneously on 13 video projections, inviting visitors into an immersive experience. Featuring actress Cate Blanchett performing excerpts from some of the great manifestos of the past century, the installation serves to demonstrate the contemporary resonance of the artist manifesto in today’s artistic and cultural climate, while simultaneously connecting earlier aesthetic movements from the previous section.

If you happen to be in DC, I would recommend checking this out. It is out there and it is a bit oppressive. But it has a certain power and it definitely sticks in your mind!

This video gives you a peek (though it  does  not really do justice to the entire work). Enjoy!

Damned Rodin Just Refused to Leave!

Did you know?

The works of another of France’s great artists, Auguste Rodin, are displayed in the magnificent backdrop of Hôtel Biron. The manor boasts grandiose columns, arches, and sweeping staircases as well as subtler intricate moldings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Bought by the State in 1911 while Rodin was residing here, he refused to leave and bequeathed his entire collection to the country on condition that it remained his home for life.

Would you want to leave this?

Image result for Hôtel Biron.

In fact, the story of how Rodin — and a lot of other interesting folks — ended up at this place is pretty interesting.

Enjoy with a very large cappuccino!

More Was Much, Much More with Gustav Moreau

The Symbolist movement in Parisian artistic circles had its heyday in the late 19th century.

What was this all about? Perhaps the best way to understand it is to contrast it with the other school that emerged – impressionism. The impressionists strove to bring us closer to reality. To make what is real the subject of a work of art, rather than impose our values on what we see.

So we get this early work from Monet that is now highly prized.

Image result for Monet harbor

The light, especially t on the water, is the subject. We need no more deeper meaning than this in order to feel the energy that this great work of art can give us.

Symbolism reflects a very different obsession. The symbolists were less obsessed with reality than with  mythology . For them, the real was simply a mechanism to transmit symbols of higher values.

So you get a painter like Gustv Moreau, who offers us Narcisse

Image result for Gustave Moreau  Narcisse

His use of representation may make symbolism less modern. But before we dismiss this work, we might consider that of the two schools, symbolism is the more emotional and subjective. Its themes take us into the self. The impressionists did not see the value of that type of psychological journey. And with our modern obsession with psychology, which is the more relevant?

Gustav Moreau lived and worked in Paris.


He apparently had one great love in his life, a woman by the name of Adelaide-Alexandrine Dureux.

Image result for Adelaide-Alexandrine Dureux

And while Moreau had his ups and downs in life, he was nothing if not prolific. He was deeply into his work and you might say was an inspiration for the artists who we now recognize as modern – the surrealists.

In 1895, (Moreau) entrusted the conversion of his family home into a museum to architect Albert Lafon and left the property, as well as all its contents, to the State upon his death in 1897. After a year and a half of renovations to restore them to their original state, the six rooms on the ground floor were re-opened in January 2015. Paintings of note include Narcisse, famous for its seductive representation of the relationship between human and nature, and his preparatory works for Léda (a legend that often served as inspiration for the female nude) and Fée aux Griffons (representing the inaccessibility of the female body).

I love this image by Emma Jacobs. from her book “The Little(r) Museums of Paris

Image result for The Little)r= Museums of Paris

Here is another image of the Gustav Moreau Museum

Image result for Gustave Moreau museum

And from the outside

Image result for Gustave Moreau museum

I liked this comment from HIP Paris

 Look out for his two masterpieces, Jupiter et Sémélé and L’Apparition. The former features the allegories of death and pain, which represented the tragic essence of life for Moreau, while the latter, which features Salome, was probably a result of his frequent opium hallucinations. .

Opium hallucinations? Hmm …  with L’Apparition, we are talking about this

Image result for Gustave Moreau Museum Salome

It is a rather startling image, n’est cs pas?