Dutch art

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Five Ways of Seeing Van Gogh’s Irises

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3. Alone

With a little luck and an early arrival to the museum, you just might be able to enjoy Irises alone. If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy that makes it one of my favorite ways to see it.

4. Multiple Times

Detail of IrisesDuring my observations I noticed people often came back to see the painting multiple times in one day. I wonder if it’s due to its emotional complexity. One visitor felt the painting is filled with melancholy and sadness, pointing out Van Gogh’s stay in an asylum and the lone, white flower in the midst of the vibrant, purple irises. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another viewer felt the painting is full of joy, pointing out how vibrant the colors were, and how they manage to rise out of the seemingly dry, brown dirt.

5. Internationally

Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. DH0A5398 One of the great things about art is how we all bring our own perspectives t

A suggested menu of ways to see Van Gogh’s Irises More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Photographs, Film, and Video

Four Minds on Herzog: A Conversation with Anne Woollett

Anne Woollett
Curator Anne Woolett, photographed inside the installation Hearsay of the Soul

The deep appeal of the imagined landscape. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Laughing Out Loud! Rembrandt Self-Portrait Now on View at the Getty

Close-up of face in Rembrandt Laughing / Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Rembrandt Laughing (detail), about 1628, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. Oil on copper, 8 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013.60

A youthful, confident Rembrandt shakes things up in the paintings galleries. More»

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Posted in Art, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

The Art of Suggestion

Poetry of Paper haiku station with visitors

Visitors to the Getty Museum’s exhibition The Poetry of Paper reflect on negative space in the drawings on view by writing haiku. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Dear “Woman in Blue,” Let Me Tell You Of…

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“You will be forgotten. Your image, however, will be immortal. Through it, you will travel far—not by horse and cart, or merchant ship, but through the sky…” More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Paintings, Voices

Getty Voices: The Power of Vermeer

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Vermeer’s newly arrived Woman in Blue Reading a Letter seems calmly at home in our galleries—but introduces a distinctive new presence. More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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