Tag Archive | Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Birth of Venus By Alexandre Cabanel

Birth Of Venus
Photo By Gail

The first version of Alexandre Cabanel’s  The Birth of Venus created a sensation at the Salon of 1863, which was dubbed the “Salon of Venuses” owing to the number of alluring nudes on view. Embodying the ideals of academic art, the careful modeling, silky brushwork, and mythological subject of Cabanel’s canvas proved a winning combination: the Salon picture was purchased by no leas that Napoleon III for his personal collection. In 1875 , Jon Wolfe commissioned the present, slightly smaller, replica from Cabanel.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Jean-Léon Gerome, Pygmalion and Galatea

Pygmalion and Galatea
Photo By Gail

Between 1890 and 1892, Jean-Léon Gerome (1824 – 1904) made both painted and sculpted variations of the theme of Pygmalion and Galatea, the tale recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. All depict the moment when the sculpture of Galatea was brought to life by the goddess Venus, in fulfillment of Pygmalion’s wish for a wife as beautiful as the sculpture he created. This is one of three known versions in oil that are closely related to a polychrome marble sculpture, also fashioned by Gerome (located at Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA). In each of the paintings, the sculpture appears at a different angle, as though is was being viewed in the round.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Edgar Degas, Young Woman with Ibis

PYoung Woman with Ibis
Photo By Gail

French artist Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) made sketches of this composition, Young Woman with Ibis during his second stay in Rome (1857 – 58). Originally conceived as a depiction of a pensive woman, the painting assumed a mysterious air when Degas added the imaginary Middle Eastern cityscape, the pink flowers, and the two red ibises around 1860- 62. About the same time, he also considered adding the brilliant birds to his large historical painting, Semiramis Building Babylon, which resides in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Flying Saucer Dress By Issey Miyake

Flying Saucer Dress
All Photos By Gail

The Flying Saucer Dress from Miyake Design Studio (Spring/Summer 1994, prêt-à-porter collection) represents a continuation of Japanese fashion design legend Issey Miyake’s exploration of pleating garments with a playful element. He explains, “The Flying Saucer was a search for what could be done with different sorts of pleating — in this case, accordion pleats  — and to see what could be done by combining fabric, design and movement. Why not make brightly-colored, wearable accordion?”

Flying Saucer Dress Flat
Flying Saucer Dress, Flat (Detail)

The dress is made from machine-sewn polychrome polyester plain weave, and is machine-garment-pleated.

Flying Saucer Dress Expanded
Flying Saucer Dress, Expanded (Detail)

Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Manus x Machina Fashion Exhibit in the Summer of 2016.

Flying Saucer Dress

Modern Art Monday Presents: Gustave Moreau, Oedipus and the Sphinx

Oedipus And The Sphinx
Photo By Gail

At mid-career, Gustave Moreau (French, 1826-1897), made his mark with this painting, Oedipus and the Sphinx,  at the Salon of 1864. It represents the Greek hero Oedipus confronting the Sphinx outside of Thebes: he must solve her riddle to save his life and those of the besieged Thebans. Remains of those victims who’ve failed the test are seen in the paintings bottom right corner.

Moreau’s mythological theme and archaizing style reflect his admiration for Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres‘s 1808 version of the same subject and for the work of the early Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna. In emulation these exemplars, Moreau diverged from the Realist sensibilities shaping French art in the 1860s.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Jefferson Market, New York

Jefferson Market New York
Photo By Gail

During the 1930s, Stuart Davis, who criticized Thomas Hart Benton’s self-consciously American art as inherently xenophobic, and [referred to] the elongated figures in his paintings as dehumanizing caricatures, was one of Benton’s most vocal adversaries. Even so, their art intersected in many ways. Painted in 1930, Jefferson Market depicts the public space and surrounding structures along Sixth Avenue between 10th and Christopher Streets, only two blocks south of the New School’s headquarters. Davis compressed symbols of urban infrastructure into spatially complex, collage-like painting. The looming shadow of a taller skyscraper in the background portends New York’s continual urban transformation, a theme that Benton engaged in the City Building panel of America Today.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: James Ensor, Comical Repast (Banquet of the Starved)

Comical Repast
Photo By Gail

The current title of this painting, Comical Repast (Banquet of the Starved) (1918) reflects the two names it was given during James Ensor’s lifetime. Scholars have interpreted the enigmatic scene as a critique of the German occupation of Belgium during World War I, which the artist experienced firsthand. The grouping around the table evokes the Last Supper, but Christ and the Apostles are replaced by ill-behaved, grotesque and masked figures — some of Ensor’s favorite motifs. Their meager meal, including insects and a raw onion, may evoke the near-famine that Belgians endured. Ensor underscored the theme of mortality by referencing three of his works, depicting rowdy skeletons, in the background.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.