Friday, January 27, 2017

Sculptures And Paintings

Today I am finishing up my current series from the National Gallery of Canada with this set. I'm planning on making another visit in March, because I want to see the Alex Janvier exhibit again before it's done.

The Judgment Of Susannah is an oil painting dating to 1720-21. It is the work of the French artist Francois Boucher, in fact his first recorded work. It depicts an Apocryphal account of the prophet Daniel, who can be seen rushing in at the right to defend the wrongfully accused Babylonian Susannah (sometimes called Susanna, depending on the artist). The two elders who have accused her of adultery will soon meet a bad end for bearing false witness. The story often turns up in classical art; there's at least one other painting here at the Gallery depicting aspects of the story.

Garden Of An Italian Villa is a 1764 oil painting by Hubert Robert (whose name came up among the paintings in the series I showed you earlier this month from the Napoleon exhibit at the Museum of History). The French artist had spent time in Italy, and it had an influence on him.

When I'm here, I seem to always photograph Antonio Canova's marble Dancer, done circa 1818-22. It's the second version of a sculpture the Italian artist first did for Empress Josephine; the first version is at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

This marble bust, Empress Josephine, was done circa 1805-08 by French artist Joseph Chinard.

This oil painting was a delight to see; it's a new acquisition for the Gallery, an anonymous gift by a Canadian collector. Elizabeth Louise Vigee LeBrun was a court artist for Marie Antoinette who wisely got out of France early in the Revolution and stayed in exile for some years. This 1796 portrait is Countess Tolstaya, depicting the Russian noblewoman in a classical, but equal, setting. Vigee LeBrun was the subject of a joint retrospective in 2016, first at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, then here at the Gallery, where I attended. I took no pictures at the time, but never actually noticed if there was a no pics policy. Seeing this was a pleasant reminder of her work. I'm presently reading a book of her work, compiled for that retrospective.

The Cliffs At Etretat is an 1866 oil painting by the French artist Gustave Courbet, depicting the coastline near Le Havre in Normandy.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted this portrait, Claude And Renee, in 1902-03. It shows his son Claude held by the baby's nurse Renee Jolivet.

And I finish with this 1896 oil painting by Camille Pissarro. The Stone Bridge In Rouen, Dull Weather depicts the view of the inland port that Pissarro would have seen from his window.


  1. The last 3 paintings are my favourites in this series! :)

  2. Seems strange to have a painting of a baby and his nurse. Interesting, the sense of detachment in the way she is holding him.


  3. That's quite a story in the first painting 😊 The bust of Empress Josephine is so perfect!

  4. kind of find it impressive the crowns ... i wonder how long those take to make? i wonder if any one does that kind of art work or i guess it would be clay work? any who ... i guess it is a past kind of style of art? need to google it. very very cool! ( ;

  5. Beautiful sculpture and paintings. Have a good day!

  6. How edifying to experience this. Thanks William

  7. @Linda: thanks!

    @Whisk: as do I.

    @Janis: I can see that.

    @Grace: she looks quite serious.

    @Beth: no, it's marble, so it takes a lot of work.

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

  8. These are all wonderful. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have 1/2 the talent these artists had. The Normandy painting reminded me of scene of DDay. And those sculptures are so perfect!

  9. You are bringing back all kinds of vacation memories for me with this tour of the museum. I loved seeing the Canova statue since I visited Canova's temple in Italy and posted about it last January on my travel blog. I also am admiring that Renoir and Pissarro.

  10. My favourite of this series is the painting of the coastline near Le Havre. I can almost picture myself standing there!

  11. Lovely.
    I scrolled through the posts I missed. Great tour---thanks

  12. What a grand tour. My favorite is the Cliffs At Etretat.
    Have a wonderful weekend, William.

  13. Thanks for this tour of the National Gallery and thanks also for your expert commentary.

  14. @Lowell: I'd like to see Etretat itself someday.

    @Sharon: I would like to see more of Canova's work!

    @RedPat: you're welcome.

    @Marleen: it must be quite a sight. I've featured a Monet that the Gallery has from the area.

    @MB: you're welcome!

    @Bill: thanks!

    @Jan: it's a pleasure.

  15. I'm always amazed at how much motion a sculptor can imbue into marble. I love Renoir portraits.

  16. I saw Le Havre in 1974 and it sure changed from 1866.

  17. Lots of history and detail in these paintings.

  18. Thank you for posting the beautiful artwork.

  19. Excellent photos! That dancer is quite sensuous!

  20. Thank you for that. I have never seen those impressionist paintings. I love the bonnet on Claude Monet :).

  21. You tend to educate your readers well!

  22. @Revrunner: so it seems!

    @Kay: I agree.

    @Eve: it would have.

    @Red: indeed.

    @Mari: you're welcome.

    @Norma: thank you.

    @Linda: she is.

    @Aussie: thanks!

    @Jennifer: that's the idea!