Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Matisse in the Studio


Late last week I took a trip into Boston to met a friend at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. First time I had been back to the museum for several months. A combination of things has kept me away, mostly weather related. Then I get out of the habit and just end up not making the trip. Not good, as there are several exhibits at the museum that I want to spend more time with. On this trip the main focus was the Matisse in the Studio Exhibit which is in the large gallery space. Though we also spent time in the Botticelli exhibit.

Henri Matisse was a French Artist who along with several other Artists was involved with the beginnings of modern art in Paris around 1900.  Unlike Picasso who worked at developing his artistic skills as a young man Matisse didn't discover art until after he had started a career in law as a court administrator. While he was recuperating from an illness his mother gave him some art supplies and he fell in love with art. He then returned to school in Paris to study art. If you wish to read more about Matisse click on the link embedded in his name above and read a full biography.


The exhibit pairs his paintings (selected as representing his entire career) with objects from his studio that he had collected or had been given and then used in his paintings. Matisse liked to paint from life.

In the painting above it is the screen and table that were items in his studio. Both are in the exhibit.


Both the tree above and the lithograph below are from a later time in his career/life, when he along with Picasso was interested in simplifying drawings and design. Course the men were lifelong friends by then and probably discussed their goals with their art.


I find that I enjoy looking at these simplified images. And I have to say that it isn't as easy to do as Matisse makes it look. 

Matisse was also known for his use of color, which can be seen in the painting I posted at the head of this post. 

I am not going to say much about the Botticelli exhibit though it includes paintings from his instructor. While I enjoyed viewing the works I can't say that I really admire them. I can only take so many virgin's with child before I have had enough, and Botticelli lived at a time when religious art was the main stay of his career. They do have one of his Venus paintings, and another that shows Athena with a centaur, both classical themes that again I find a bit, wearing. That said both paintings are beautifully executed and if you like art of that period (Renaissance) are worth a visit to the MFA to see.

One totally non relevant comment, in the Matisse exhibit I saw a man going around to each painting and photographing it. He didn't bother to look at the paintings, well only enough to make the photograph, and then quickly moved on to the next one. What was he doing? Did he not have time to spend in the exhibit and wanted to document that he had been there? Did he honestly think he could study the paintings in his photographs as if he were in front of the actual works? By the way you can't, photographs lie, and gallery lighting isn't good enough for a really good photo. It seemed very strange to me. While I made a few photos (for the blog) I don't usually even try to photograph paintings. I am more likely to photograph sculpture or other works and then more as a memory jogger rather than as something I would study at leisure. As far as I am concerned he was just wasting his time and perhaps looking for bragging rights. Oh well it takes all kinds.

That is it for today. Next blog post will probably be pretty flower pictures.