Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

William Bouguereau

After so long an absence I finally took the trip to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. I remember as an art student it was a trip I made almost every weekend and sometimes I would even skip school to spend the day at the Met.

There is no substitute for the experience of seeing the actual works of art. The best reproductions never do the work any justice (and I have tons of art books). A good example of this is the painting Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau. I have often seen images of the painting in books, magazines and on the internet but I saw the actual painting for the first time on this museum visit. The color, the way the paint is laid on, the size, there was so much that could not translate in a reproduction of the thing. Only going there to actually see the painting could give you a full appreciation of the work and become an experience of deep appreciation for the work and the incredible talent of the artist. The very same thing can be said of Rembrandt. I’ve been buying art books since high school and I have found that it is very hard to find a book on Rembrandt with excellent reproductions of his work, to get a full appreciation of him you would have to see the work in person- there is no substitute for it.

Giambattista Tiepolo

John Singer Sargent

I spent about four hours in the museum visiting Tiepolo, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer, (the areas with Rubens, Van Dyck and Holbein were closed off that day), then I went on to the American Wing to visit Sargent, Eakins and Homer. I also stopped to enjoy a lot of the works in between.

I view it as almost equal in importance, if not equal, to view art that I can learn from and be inspired by. It is the very same way that Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Sargent, etc. learned. They were inspired by the work of those who came before them as well as the work of their contemporaries. In fact the two things that help me the most with my own work are looking at art and going outside and painting from nature. Spring is finally here so I will be taking my paints outdoors soon enough.

Thomas Moran

Jean-Léon Gérôme

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