|Image found here. The entire exhibit was based around this painting, "Luncheon of the Boating Party."|
The Phillips Collection has a Renoir exhibit going on right now, so I definitely wanted to check that out. The exhibit was based upon his "Luncheon of the Boating Party" painting (see above). We got to learn about the models that were used for the painting, including his wife Aline Charigot (the one kisses the dog); I rarely ever think about the faces in paintings as belonging to real people whom the artist knew! We also learned about fashions of that time period, Renoir's history as an artist, and how his friends supported his dream of painting. We even saw pictures of the painting under infrared light and x-rays, where you could see changes the artist had made (for example, some characters were shifted slightly, and the awning overhead was a last-minute addition).
Want to learn more about the painting? Mental Floss lists "15 things you didn't know" about the piece: http://mentalfloss.com/article/75976/15-things-you-didnt-know-about-renoirs-luncheon-boating-party.
The Phillips Collection also had several paintings by Pierre Bonnard, another artist from the Impressionist era. I'm not sure why I had never heard of him before, since Impressionist art is my favorite and his works definitely have a Monet-feel about them. And I love his use of color! And I myself am inspired by nature, so I like how many plants/trees are in a lot of his pieces. Here are some of his paintings that I saw:
Here were a couple more of my favorites from The Phillips Collection:
|"House at Auvers" by Vincent van Gogh|
|"Summer" by John Henry Twachtman, another piece that reminded me a bit of Monet.|
|The deer are so cute in this one! This is "Deer in the Forest I" by Franz Marc.|
|Another nature one that I really liked. Who knew Georgia O'Keeffe painted leaves as well as flowers?|
Then we headed to the National Portrait Gallery to see a new exhibit on Marlene Dietrich. I didn't know much about her except that she was a famous actress from a while ago. The photographs of her were amazing, and part of that was the fact that she knew a lot about lighting and her own angles. She was really ahead of her time: she had an open marriage, frequently wore pants (even in Paris where it was illegal at the time for women to do so), and she was unashamed of her bisexuality (although the exhibit focused nearly exclusively on her male lovers). Both men and women loved her for her beauty, talent, and attitude!
|Here Dietrich is wearing a suit like a man, a men's overcoat, and round glasses, a "code" or "sign" for lesbians at the time. Image found here|
|Image found here|
The Portrait Gallery also had a room dedicated to Sylvia Plath. I have never read anything of hers, but I really should! I think her most famous work is The Bell Jar, which I need to add to my reading list. The exhibit featured poems she had written, photographs of the writer, and letters from her or others who knew her; there were also pieces of studio/fine art, like paintings and collages. She dealt with depression throughout her life, and soon after she was divorced she killed herself, leaving her two young children without a mother. So sad!
Click here to read more about the Sylvia Plath exhibit.
|Photograph by Louie Palu. Image found here|
|Some of Emily Prince's cards, as well as how they are displayed at the museum. Image found here|
Lots of good artwork in DC that is worth checking out!