Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Anishinaabe Scout And An Ottawa Skyline

With tomorrow's theme day before us, I have some shots taken in May. Another from this series will feature into tomorrow's theme day, but I wanted to present these as well. This is a view looking across to the north end of Major's Hill Park from the path coming down from Nepean Point. There's a statue positioned across the gap.

It is the statue of an Anishinaabe scout. The sculpture originally stood up at Nepean Point, at the foot of the monument to Samuel de Champlain. You can see the Champlain statue in the background of this shot, taken from the south side of the statue. The scout was moved over here after concerns from First Nations elders that its placement gave the image of subservience to a white explorer. The sculpture does stand out well here, and the visitor can walk around it, taking in the surroundings, which include Parliament Hill, the park, and the National Gallery.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

White Dresses And Madame De Misery

"A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white." ~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

That quote was on one of the walls in this special exhibit, which is where I'm finishing this series on the National Gallery. The White Dress is meant as a companion show to the Vigee Le Brun exhibit, with art surrounding this display case of two white muslin dresses from two centuries ago. 

This is one of the companion paintings for the exhibit, Young Woman Overtaken By A Storm, an oil painting from 1799 by the French artist Chevalier Fereol De Bonnemaison. It is on loan for this exhibit from the Brooklyn Museum.

This oil portrait was painted by Anne-Louis Girodet De Roucy-Trioson in 1807, and is titled Madame Erneste Bioche de Misery. The painting belongs to the National Gallery. Quite a surname- imagine going through life with Misery as your name. Of course there's the Stephen King character Misery in the book within a book of the same name. And the writer in me thinks it would be a good moniker for a professional assassin going through life trying to hide the fact that her name is Misery. Madame de Misery does look quite glamorous.

That's all for this tour of the National Gallery, but of course I'll be back soon enough. I'll pick up with a Canada Day visit at the Museum of History after the beginning of the month before moving onto other things.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Landscapes, Mythology, And Monet

This is a busy weekend here. Ottawa Buskerfest started yesterday and runs through the weekend, and we have the Civic Holiday weekend as well, so I'll be taking a good many shots.

Carrying on with the series, this is an oil painting by the British artist John Constable, done in 1820. It is titled Salisbury Cathedral From The Bishop's Grounds. 

French artist Charles Meynier painted this large neoclassical oil painting in 1810. It is titled Wisdom Defending Youth From The Arrows Of Love. It takes the Roman goddesses Venus and Minerva as two of its subjects, while its youth is divided between desire and duty, something that would have been resonating in Meynier's life and French society at the time. It is a new acquisition to the Gallery; there was a feature on it recently in one of our newspapers.

Another mythological story is the basis for this oil painting by French artist Antoine-Jean Gros, dating to 1821. Bacchus and Ariadne depicts the mythological story of Ariadne, left behind by Theseus on the island of Naxos, where the god of wine Bacchus has come to comfort her.

British artist J.M.W. Turner also drew from mythology for this oil painting from 1836, titled Mercury And Argus. Turner's style of romantic landscapes provides the setting for the messenger god Mercury (Hermes to the Greeks) lulling the shepherd giant Argus to sleep.

This is the work of Claude Monet, an oil panting from around 1884, titled A Stormy Sea.

The last time I showed you around the Gallery, this sculpture by Alexander Calder caught the eye of several readers, so I decided to show it from a couple of angles. It's Jacaranda, a mobile sculpture from 1949, hanging in the center of this space.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

History And Geography Within Art

This rather unusual sculpture is called Memento Mori. It dates back to around 1770, by the Italian artist Francisco Celebrano.

This is a whimsical oil painting by the Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens (and his workshop). It is called As The Old Sing, So The Young Pipe. It dates to 1640, and reflects the proverb that children take after their elders- in this case, not in the best of ways!

The Italian artist Bernardo Bellotto painted this oil painting around 1743. It is called The Arsenal, Venice.

Bellotto also painted this one around the same time- it is titled The Piazzetta, Venice.

Venice also features in this oil painting by Antonio Canal, aka Canaletto, painted circa 1735-37. It is titled St. Mark's And The Clock Tower, Venice. 

This dramatic oil painting is by a British artist, George Morland, painted at some point in the 1790s. It is titled The Wreckers, and deals with a favourite subject of the artist- shipwrecks and their aftermath. 

While I was in this room, I photographed again two items that I've shown you before. The first is the dramatic oil painting The Death Of General Wolfe, painted in 1770 by Benjamin West, and depicting the death of the famed British general at the Battle of Quebec.

The second is the sculpture Dancer by Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Renaissance Art And The Faith

Today I'm moving into the world art section of the National Gallery. This first painting is by Paolo Caliari, also known as Veronese, dated to 1572, titled The Rest On The Flight Into Egypt. It depicts the Holy Family fleeing the wrath of King Herod, as told in the Gospels.

This is the gallery space where several of these paintings are placed. 

This work dates to 1570, and is the work of a father and son, Jacopo and Francesco da Ponte, also known as Jacopo and Francesco Bassano. It is titled Departure Of Abraham For Canaan, and depicts the passage from Genesis 12.

This rather grisly painting is The Martyrdom Of St. Erasmus, dating to 1628. It was painted by the French artist Nicholas Poussin, and shows the disemboweling of a third century Bishop by Roman priests.

The Return Of The Prodigal Son is a painting by Italian artist Salvador Rosa, painted at some point between 1655-65. Rosa depicts the parable from the Gospels of the fallen son having had come home to his father.

Dutch artist Matthias Stom painted this oil painting between 1630-32, and it is titled The Arrest Of Christ. You can see the influences in terms of lighting of the style of Caravaggio, and Stom paints those around Jesus in more contemporary attire, while the Messiah himself is depicted in a traditional style.

This was a challenge to photograph- the oil painting is dark, both the shape of the man and the background, but the face stands out. This is Daniele Barbaro, dating to 1545, and was painted by Tiziano Vecellio, who you might know better as Titian.

Nearby, I stopped to look down at the fountain from the balcony.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Group Of Seven And Emily

The last time I took you around the National Gallery, I made mention of the Group of Seven, the Canadian artists who exhibited together in the early twentieth century, forming after the death of their friend Tom Thomson in 1917. Thomson and the Group have numerous works displayed together, both small field canvases and large works.

This is Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay, by F.H. Varley, painted in 1921.

These are some of the field canvases from the members of the Group. They would take these small wooden surfaces out into the wild, painting quick sketches of scenes that they would bring back to the studios for the full work.

Arthur Lismer painted this in 1914. It is entitled Road Through The Bush.

These are two paintings by Tom Thomson. The top painting is The Silent Lake, done in 1913. The lower painting is Moonlight, painted at some point in 1913-14.

Spring Ice dates to 1916, and is another work by Thomson. 

And this one is another Thomson, one of his most famous paintings, The Jack Pine. It was painted at some point in 1916-17, and Thomson depicted a lake scene in eastern Algonquin Park, a place he spent much time in. Today there is an interpretive hiking trail to that very spot.

This is another Arthur Lismer oil painting, from 1921, titled, September Gale, Georgian Bay.

And this painting is by Lawren Harris, dated to 1924. It is titled Afternoon Sun, North Shore, Lake Superior. 

This last painting is by a contemporary of the Group, and a great artist in her own right. Emily Carr painted this in 1928, an oil painting entitled Heina. It reflects her personal interest in First Nations culture, particularly in British Columbia.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Portraits And Landscapes

Carrying on with our tour of the National Gallery, this is View Of Hamilton, by Robert Whale, painted in 1853 shortly after his immigration from Britain. It depicts high ground on the Niagara Escarpment and the view down towards the growing town of Hamilton.

This is At The Rogers Pass, Summit Of The Selkirk Range, B.C., an 1886 oil painting by John A. Fraser.

These two paintings are by the same artist, Frederic M. Bell-Smith, the first being a portrait, Queen Victoria, and the second titled The Artist Painting Queen Victoria. Both paintings date to 1895. Bell-Smith was the son of artist John Bell-Smith, whose portrait of Amelia Boddy I showed you yesterday.

I glanced into the other large interior courtyard here in the Gallery, which has this water feature that can be taken in from here, the upper floor, and even from below.

This is a rather vivid oil painting from 1916, titled De Profundis. It is by Horatio Walker, and I like the contrast between the crucified Christ and the contemporary rural scene.

This bronze sculpture has caught my eye before. It is Inspiration, by Louis-Philippe Hebert, and dates to 1904. It is something of a self portrait (or self carving) of the artist himself, receiving the titular notion from a winged figure.

Mortgaging The Homestead is another vivid oil painting from 1890, by the artist George Reid.

Moving forward in time, this colourful acrylic painting from 1980 is by the First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau. It is titled Artist And Shaman Between Two Worlds.