Saturday, August 30, 2014

Norton Simon Museum

 I was in California, for a very quick trip, to go to  concert. Before we left in the morning, we made a stop at the Norton Simon museum in Pasadena. I have been by it several times, but had never stopped before. It was amazing! I thought it was very small. I was wrong. It is full of a lot of different kinds of are, but an especially fine collection of impressionists.
Outside, there is a sculpture garden. Rodin is especially well represented. He did the statue, the Thinker.
This is a detail from a sculpture of John the Baptist. I loved his hands and face the most. It seemed like the hands and feet of all his sculptures were particularly large.

 This group is called the Burgers of Calais. I don't know if you can see the detail, but some of the men have nooses around their necks or manacles on their hands. It is very emotional.
 Here is another detail. I didn't know this story and so had my friend Juanita look it up. It was during the 100 years war. The town of Calais had been under siege for a very long time. They were told by their government not to give in. Finally, everyone was starving. The British told them that if 6 of their leaders would present them selves with nooses around their necks and the keys of the city, as a sacrifice for everyone else, the town would be spared. One stepped forward and then others joined him. This represents them offering themselves as a sacrifice for the town. In the end, the British queen interceded by saying that their death would be bad luck for her unborn child. It was an amazing sculpture.
 Degas must have been a favorite on Norton Simon. He had a lot of his bronzes in addition to his paintings. I loved the bronzes. I found them full of life and very interesting.

 Some of my favorite paintings. I forgot who did this one. It was interesting in that it depicted a chestnut harvest. Instead of showing the women as being full of effort and hard work, instead they almost appeared as a religious procession, very serene and quiet.
 A Degas nude. Very beautifully done.
 Something about this painting, I loved. It is a Toulouse-Lautrec. It is a circus performer on a white horse. My photo doesn't do it justice.
 Degas did several fan paintings. Really beautiful
 This is a detail from the fan painting.
 More Degas. He had worked in pastels for more than a decade by the time this was done, according to the info at the museum, and he had masterly skill in being able to depict detail in this medium. I love the dancers graceful arms.
 Another Degas. He was also noteable for drawing subjects that were unable to hold a pose for a long period, like a dancer on point. Again, amazing work with pastels.
 Another Degas. Known for his unconvential subjects.

 This is a Renoir. I love her eyes and expression
 This is a Van Gogh. My photo doesn't do justice to the bright colors and feel of the sunflowers.
 One of my favorites. Van Gogh's gardener. Look at the thick paint and broad strokes. Unconventional us of color in the face and clothes. Love this.
 Van Gogh, mulberry tree.
 Van Gogh's mother.
 Gauguin in Tahiti.
 Some older European paintings that I enjoyed.

 This is Mary Magdalene being rebuked by Martha for her worldliness. You see an angel driving out a devil. In front of Mary, are jewels, symbol of her worldliness.

 This is a girl writing a love letter. I should have done a close up of her face. She was looking rather slyly sideways at you.

 There was a special exhibition of Asian art. Mostly all were religious deities.

 Ganesha, the elephant god.

 Some of the deities were sitting or standing on people. Do you see the guy underneath this one?
 A detail from a painting, fighting with elephants. Poor elephants.
 Flames coming out of her hand.
 Standing on someone.
 This one had a dog and cat at it's foot.
 This guy is from Pakistan. I am not familiar with art from there. I think he is beautiful.

 Turtles in the pond!

1 comment:

Aimee said...

What an incredible collection would love to go there, wow!