Friday, January 03, 2020

Art and Technology

Loving family members have been gifting me Best Buy gift cards that were piling up in the drawer because never had anything that I wanted to buy.

I finally thought of something! I had some remaining money on my card and I asked the cashier if they wanted it. They said they weren't allowed to accept it and if I left it there that they would have to put it in the store's safe. Ok.

I pretty much use the Google Nest Mini to play Jeopardy everyday and to play music on occasion. 

A St. Louis pro tip is that at the Saint Louis Art Museum the traveling paid exhibits are all free on fridays. This time was Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Per website:

"Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt presents outstanding examples of 17th-century Dutch painting from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition features many of the subjects for which the Dutch are well known, including landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and scenes of everyday life—or genre scenes as they are now commonly known.

Seventeenth-century Dutch artists lived in a period of far-reaching change—political, religious, social, economic, demographic, and even geographic. The Protestant self-ruling Dutch Republic, which gained independence from Spanish Habsburg rule in the course of the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), quickly rose to international prominence. An expansive worldwide presence transformed the Dutch into leaders in global trade and established a vigorous merchant class at home.

Many of the paintings in Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt bear witness to overseas travel, trade, and territorial expansion. Other works bring the people of the young republic to life, while yet others evoke the physical world they lived in—city and country—all year round.

The exhibition celebrates two remarkable gifts to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and from Susan and Matthew Weatherbie. Included are paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, and other celebrated 17th-century Dutch artists.

Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and presented in St. Louis by the Betsy and Thomas Patterson Foundation. The St. Louis presentation is curated by Judith W. Mann, curator of European art to 1800; Elizabeth Wyckoff, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs; and Heather Hughes, senior research assistant in prints, drawings, and photographs."

Portrait of Johan van Musschenbroek and His Wife, 1685 or 1688

"Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606-1669

Reverend Johannes Elison, 1634
oil on canvas

Maria Bockenolle (Wife of Johannes Elison), 1634
oil on canvas

This pair of Rembrandt portraits depicts Maria Bockenolle and her husband, Reverend Johannes Elison, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Norwich, England. As the embodiment of education and culture, the minister wears a long, sleeveless outer garment, called a tabard, the attire of an intellectual. His broad learning is expressed further by the printed book-probably a Bible-and a handwritten journal on the right. He expresses his faith by drawing his left hand to his breast. Maria wears dress fashionable for women in England, including the broad-brimmed hat. Such hats, more commonly worn by men in the Netherlands, were trimmed in beaver fur. Extinct in continental Europe by the 17th century, beavers were only available through trade in North America.

Life-size, full-length portraits, typically chosen for royal or noble patrons, were far more expensive than the usual bust or half-length formats. This pair, commissioned by the couple's son, a wealthy merchant, hung in his house in Amsterdam to demonstrate his status and success. Johannes and Maria resided in Norwich from 1608 until 1639. Dutch Calvinists went to England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, fleeing the Catholicism imposed by Spanish rule. The Elisons most likely served a congregation of such immigrants."

This one was one of my favorites. I liked this whole exhibition a lot because it was long enough ago that it was unfamiliar, but contemporary enough that I could relate to the scenes. This one was fun because of the "drinking" tobacco part.

"Jacob Duck
Dutch, c.1600-1667

The Smoker, 1650-55
oil on panel

An off-duty soldier gazes listlessly up at the tobacco smoke curling out of his mouth. Tobacco, native to the Americas, was imported into Europe in the 16th century. It was embraced, first as a medical cure-all, and then as an intoxicant to rival alcohol. In fact. people referred to smoking as "drinking" tobacco before the verb "to smoke" came into use. Several white clay pipes are featured in this composition. One of them rests on top of a brazier, the ceramic vessel that held hot coals used to light a pipe in the days before matches. Everything else-the soldier's pose and expression, the two women (of perhaps ill repute), the card game, pearls, wine, and candlestick-strongly suggest this group is up to no good.

Utrecht artist Jacob Duck specialized in guard room and tavern scenes that highlight the military men who kept the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) going. When this painting was made, the war had only recently come to an end."

No comments:

Post a Comment