Saturday, November 14, 2009

PAL member in transit

Greetings fellow PAL members,
I have been invited to be a guest author so thought it might be of interest if I reported on the museum... our beloved Metropolitian. As many of you know, I'm studying art in NYC for the next 2-3 years so my focus is the realist style. Before returning to Washinton for Thanksgiving, I had to see the collection of Vermeer paintings as the exhibition ends soon. http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={EC38F2E1-BA19-4D5F-845F-A5C44CB90A9E} Arriving on the steps 30 minutes early with 100 or more other art lovers we easily swelled to 250+ before the doors opened . Luckily I only saw maybe 30 heading towards the exhibition so I didn't have too many people to dodge to see "The Milkmaid" one of his most famous/beloved works. Yes the work was extrordinairy from the color mixing, through the sense of light, to the treatment of edges and I was honored to lay eyes on the real thing... as we all know there is no comparison in a reproduction... even a good one. Having never seen his work outside of books, I sought out "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" as compositionally I prefer this work and was curious to see the actual colors of this more muted palette use yet the work didn't have the same strength as the famed Milkmaid.
Curiosly as the crowds were packing tightly around the 2 mentioned works (writing notes, studying technique, making sketches...) I wandered towards a sleeper piece that was in my opinion the jewel of the show "A young woman at her toilet with her maid." The colors were rich (although not as pimary or as high chroma as the milkmaid) with plenty of interest in both highlight and shadow areas. The flesh tones and brushwork was impecable. The asset which really made me think was his treatment of edges and how he used the technique to bring the viewer in and purposly draw the eye through the composition as if to be sure no area of the picture plain was neglected. My impression was that this was not just a piece to favor the scene, the subject or even the models. This was a celebration of accomplished ablities as an artist in reguard to technique and command over his skills to direct his audience where he wished the viewer to follow. As a recently returning student to the arts, this was one lesson that you always read about but I finally witnessed from Borch, another master artist in the collection. -Feather

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