Monday, November 11, 2013

Highlights and Influences

Just last week I arrived home after a trip to the cities of Madrid and Paris. I know, lucky me, catching the last of the Autumn sun! Myself and Boo spent five nights in each city.

The visit had many highlights including the Musee Rodin in Paris, a day spent at Fiac - the contemporary Art Fair on the Champs Elysees which has been running since 1974, and a first visit to Museo Sorolla in Madrid not to mention all the beers and tapas!

We had been in Madrid for a weeks adventure four years ago and visited the 'Golden Triangle' of Museums there - namely the Prado, Reina Sofia and the amazing Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art. But I had presumed that the Museo Sorolla was in Sorolla's home of Valencia when in fact it was in the center of the city of Madrid! This was a great opportunity to return again and spend a day at Sorolla's home and studio, which didn't disappoint! The Museum has a great collection of both Sorolla's landscape and figurative works - many of which offered me a rich insight into his processes.

The Prado was incredible as ever and there just happened to be a dedicated new wing to hold a special show of 'Velazquez and the Family of Philip IV'. But the real clincher for me on this trip was the work of Ribera and a close encounter with a Rembrandt portrait at the Thyssen.

Over the years I have held many 'favorite' artists, and have come to realize now that I have never abandoned any of these influences as I have grown - no influence becomes superseded but my appreciation just grows with time, expanding with knowledge and understanding.

The works of Ribera at the Prado really stood out for me this year, especially a grouping known as 'The Series of Apostles' and a captivating painting entitled 'Saint Paul the Hermit'. Standing at these paintings I frantically took notes and jotted down ideas and insights in my notebook.

Another real highlight was in the Thyssen this year, when I came face to face again with a wonderful and enigmatic Rembrandt self portrait. I stood in front of it for at least half an hour, just breathing it all in. I'd say Boo was about to kill me!

Below, a few of photos I took of a couple of the more memorable paintings I encountered.

Captivating garden scene, (which for me had echoes of  the work of 'the orientalists') from the Museo Sorolla Collection.

A detail from a light infused seascape at Museo Sorolla.

Detail from a Ribera.


No comments: