Boat Moored on the Seine at Argenteuil
Oil on canvas (About 1884)
This vertically formatted marine depicts a sailboat with a blue and pink hull and white, furled-up sail moored on the Seine river in the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil. A grassy bank with thin tree branches occupies the foreground. The river Seine and sailboat dominate the middle ground, occupying about half of the composition. Low, nondescript white and yellow buildings and a smokestack occupy the opposite bank under a cloudless blue-gray sky. The painting’s surface is animated by short, rapidly applied, directional brushstrokes; thick areas of impasto are visible throughout, particularly in the boat’s scintillating reflections on the water.
In addition to working as a leading Impressionist painter, Gustave Caillebotte developed a serious passion for sailing. He was not only a national sailing champion, but also one of France’s leading yacht designers.
In this work, the subject is one of Caillebotte’s lightweight sailboats moored on the Seine in front of his home. Caillebotte devoted marked attention to capturing the brilliant reflection of light dancing on the water, rendered in thick strokes of white paint.
The Green Vase
Oil on canvas (about 1900)
"Best known as a painter of dream-like, often darkly themed subjects, Odilon Redon produced hundreds of brilliantly colored floral still lifes in the last 16 years of his life. Although seemingly a simple painting of a bouquet of flowers, the vase hovering in space and the powdery surface place the subject somewhere between dream and reality. Redon was closely associated with the Symbolist movement and its fascination with the subconscious and the imaginary.
This vertically formatted painting depicts a still life. Simply composed, the painting features a double-handled green vase centered on a reddish-brown table or ledge filled with a bouquet of varied red, pink, purple, white, and yellow flowers. Behind the still life is a blank wall that shifts from gray-blue to golden-brown hues as the eye travels upwards. The vase casts a subtle shadow on the table/ledge. The paint is applied thinly and sparingly in small, loose brushstrokes."
Oil on canvas (1937)
"What would be the best way today to protest against a war? How could you influence the largest number of people? In 1937, Picasso expressed his outrage against war with Guernica, his enormous mural-sized painting displayed to millions of visitors at the Paris World’s Fair. It has since become the twentieth century’s most powerful indictment against war, a painting that still feels intensely relevant today."
"Much of the painting’s emotional power comes from its overwhelming size, approximately eleven feet tall and twenty five feet wide. Guernica is not a painting you observe with spatial detachment; it feels like it wraps around you, immerses you in its larger-than-life figures and action. And although the size and multiple figures reference the long tradition of European history paintings, this painting is different because it challenges rather than accepts the notion of war as heroic." Continued... Picasso, Guernica
Woman with Stroller
"After seeing his lover Françoise Gilot push their son, Claude, in a carriage, Picasso began to construct this sculpture. A master scavenger, he assembled it out of found materials before casting a bronze version. Cake molds, stove plates, a table mat, rolled metal sheets, and pieces of pottery come together in this monument to motherhood."
Mother and Child
Oil on canvas, 1907.
"Motherhood takes an unusual turn in this painting, which followed the completion of the completion of Les Demoiselles d"Avignon. Vivid contrasting colors, stylized faces and coarse brushstrokes seem to defy the warmth and gentleness more commonly used to depict this subject. It is another signal of Picasso's decisive turn toward a strong and often startling visual language."
A Lazy Fisherman
John Gadsby Chapman
A critic in 1844 described this barefoot boy in ragtag clothing as "laziness personified." His complete ease is embodied in his languid pose and heavy lidded eyes and echoed in the fallen basket, lax fishing line and sluggish river. This sentimental view, rendered with creamy, smooth brushwork, developed from John Gadsby Chapman's experience illustrating volumes of romantic verse. His talent for drawing is revealed in the boy's hat, clothing and especially in the outturned foot.
Chapman desired, above all, to be a history painter, but he painted portraits and genre scenes to earn a living. Pleasing scenes of children were especially popular in the mid-19th century as they offered musings on childhood innocence and freedom in an increasingly challenging world.
Pictographic Dress, Lakota
(Teton Sioux) (1885)
North or South Dakota
Muslin, graphite and pigment
"Lakota, muslin dresses painted with battle scenes could be worn only by women who had lost relatives in war. This dress belonged to Silent Woman (Ini'laon'win), whose brother, Bobtail Bear, had been killed in battle with the Crow. Painted by a male relative, the individual scenes covering the front and back of the dress represent Bobtail Bear's military exploits and accomplishments. While each side forms and overall pictorial composition, the various episodes represent distinct events separated in time and place. Bobtail Bear's glyph, or name symbol, appears over many of the figures, thus identifying him in the actions portrayed. Other symbols--human hands (touching the enemy), human heads (slain enemies), pipes (war parties led by Bobtail Bear) and horse tracks (enemy horses taken)--represent additional honors.”
"In the 19th century, when Mandan and Lakota warriors returned home after a battle, the tribe would hold a War Honor Dance (also called Victory or Return from Kill Dance), where women would wear pictographic dresses painted with combat scenes to honor their husbands, brothers, or sons killed in battle. They would also wear these dresses on other ceremonial occasions. The battle scenes were traditionally painted by male artists for the woman dressmaker, since only men could create representative art, while women would create designs, sometimes resulting from visions, that would bring power to the wearer." *