Friday, February 1, 2013

Beauty, and the Use of Long Paintbrushes

I don't know much about art or art history, but like all good liberal arts college alum, I can point out a Kahlo or a Jackson Pollack.  Warhol, Picasso and Rockwell are entirely recognizable, but that's about it for me. On Sunday, my friend and I caught the last day of an amazing French Painting exhibit at the Wadsworth Museum in Hartford, and got to see unbelievable works by Manet, Renoir and Monet.  The museum itself reminded me of a smaller version of the Met, only much less crowded and way more accessible, making it difficult to resist the urge to touch Monet's Water Lilies when it was a mere half-inch from my face (yes, that Water Lilies).   

The old ladies walking behind us in the exhibit kept saying "Did you know that these artists used to paint with very long paintbrushes?  That's why they were such good painters." Now, I don't think that using long paintbrushes added to these artists' talent but it makes their work even more impressive.  It's not easy to wield those long brushes, I'm sure.  My personal favorite was Monet's The Beach at Trouville: understated beauty when viewing up-close as well as at a distance.

I loved the sweeping staircases in this museum, and the walls in just those areas were painted in bright, swirling designs.   The juxtaposition of modern and medieval styles was so fun, and the entire building felt very open and inviting with atriums and fountains at the far ends. The fact that we got free admission from the kind woman in front of us with extra tickets didn't hurt either.  All in all, a good day surrounded by beauty. xo

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