Tag Archive | The Met

Modern Art Monday Presents: Giorgio de Chirico, The Jewish Angel

The Jewish Angel
Photo By Gail

The thin stretchers and measuring devices in Giorgio de Chirico’s elaborate composition, The Jewish Angel (1916), combine references to his own profession and to that of his father, who was a railroad engineer. De Chirico lived in Paris from 1911 to 1915, creating melancholy cityscapes that became exemplary for the surrealist movement. When he returned to Italy at the beginning of World War I, he began making paintings of interiors filled with strange objects, such as The Jewish Angel.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: Carved Rosewood Sofa By John Henry Belter

Rosewood Sofa
All Photos By Gail

In the mid- 1800s, German immigrant John Henry Belter was New York City’s most important cabinetmaker, producing Rococo Revival style furniture for the luxury market. Belter garnered an international reputation for the suites of drawing-room furniture he manufactured, many of laminated and deeply carved rosewood. This large and exuberant sofa, embellished with bountiful carved bouquets of naturalistic blooms, epitomizes his best work. The modern damask covering was chosen because fragments of the original dark red sill upholstery were found on the sofa’s frame during recent conservation

Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Rosewood Sofa Installation View
Installation View

Modern Art Monday Presents: Autumn Scattering Leaves By John La Farge

Autumn Scattering Leaves
Photo By Gail

Along with Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge (1835 – 1910) was a pioneer of stained glass design in the United States. Watercolor was especially well suited for developing the designs, because the transparency of the medium could suggest the glowing, gemlike tones of the glass. Autumn Scattering Leaves (1900), an allegorical representation of the season,  was originally created as a stained-glass window proposal for a private home on Long Island. Although the patrons rejected this composition in favor of a figure in classical garb, La Farge exhibited the lyrical watercolor as an independent work.

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

Modern Art Monday Presents: Fernand Leger, Mechanical Elements

Mechanical Elements
Photo By Gail

Fernand Leger arranged impersonal elements of a new machine age like a cheerful assembly of children’s building blocks in Mechanical Elements (1920). Initially, his infatuation with modern technology did not go over well with collectors. As the artist later recalled, “For two years, Leonce Rosenberg, my dealer at the time, could not sell any of the work from my ‘mechanical period,’ while the mandolins of the Cubists moved briskly.”

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Grecian Sofa Circa 1820

Grecian Sofa
All Photos By Gail

This Grecian Sofa (New York Circa 1820 – 25) exhibits a highly sophisticate blend of line, detailed carving and subtle color.

Sofa Arm Detail

The carved vert antique legs in the shape of dolphins are found on others sofas of the period and relate to maritime talismans. Traditionally, in Greek myth, dolphins aided shipwrecked sailors.

Sofa Installation View

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Juan Gris, Still Life with Checked Tablecloth

Still Life with Checked Table Cloth
Photo By Gail

Juan Gris (1887 – 1927), a master of disguised images, presents a table brimming with coffee cups, stemmed wineglasses, a large white-footed fruit compote (see from the side and from above) containing thickly painted grapes, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Bass extra stout ale with its distinctive red diamond logo, a newspaper, and a guitar. Yet, Still Life with Checked Tablecloth (1915) has another equally compelling identity: a Bull’s head. The coffee cup at lower center doubles as the animal’s snout, black-and-white concentric circle at left is a “bull’s eye,” the bottle of ale is an ear, and the sinuous edge of the guitar is the horn. The letters “EAU” on the wine label, which ostensibly stand for “bEAUjolais” can just as easily represent “taurEAU” (Bull).

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

Modern Art Monday Present: William Baziotes, Figure on a Tightrope 

Figure on a Tightrope
Photo By Gail

William Baziotes (1912 – 1963) embraced the Symbolist concept of “correspondences”– poetic analogies in which a single form can suggest multiple references. Also influenced by the surrealist works of Pablo Picasso and Joan MiroBaziotes painted semi-abstract images with legible though ambiguous forms, like those found in Figure on a Tightrope (1947). In the year that he made this painting. Baziotes explained his process, “Each beginning suggests something. Once I sense the suggestion, I begin to paint intuitively. The [intuitive] suggestion then becomes a phantom that must be caught and made real.”

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.