I've been to Germany for a week, so I haven't updated this blog. (Instead I've been updating my maths blog).
I spent one day in Frankfurt, and was extremely lucky, as this was the one day in the year when all museums were open from 19-2 in addition to their usual opening hours. This meant I got to see eight museums in 24 hours...
The main museum for me, though, was Das Städel, and the visit there what I will write about in this blog. They had lots of interesting paintings, but these are my favorites:
Auguste Renoir: La fin du déjeuner (1879)
What a care-free existence, with everything floating and transparent. What an impression works like these must once have made, with the flowers in the background just unfocused blots. Soft and wonderful!
Edgar Degas: Die Orchestermusiker (1870-6)
Very interesting use of contrasts and a very interesting history of how Degas took the painting back and added the upper part - which now seems essential... (A good example of how the history of the painting contributes to the experience of the painting.)
Claude Monet: Häuser am Ufer der Zaan (1871-72)
I don't know if this is in any way an important painting, I just know I find the colors and the reflection beautiful...
Unknown artist: Das Paradiesgärtlein (1400s)
This is one of my favorite paintings to show lack of correct perspective. It is surprisingly small and with lovely botanical details.
Meister von Flémalle: Trinität (1400s)
A wonderful painting (left above) of the father, the son and the spirit, in the form of a stone sculpture. As the other paintings created with it, this is a very expressive painting with impressive details.
Max Beckmann: Die Synagoge in Frankfurt a. M. (1919)
An impressive depiction of a world gone mad and a wonderful use of "wrong" perspective.
Alexander Calder: Red Lily (1950)
Having spent almost two hours in a gallery where every effort is made to prevent people from making any impact on the works (as in any gallery), it is interesting to see this work, which is designated to be changed by the movement of the air created by viewers passing. I blew some air in its direction, and it moved, while the Degas, the Monet and the Renoir will be exactly the same after my visit as they were before.
Have I changed, by the way? Have visiting this museum had any effect? Certainly, there are hundreds of paintings worth millions of dollars/euros, which has had no effect on me whatsoever. And then there are a few which I will remember with pleasure.
It is a nice museum. And the audio guide is ok, although there are far fewer works covered by the English version then by the German one.
(One more work of art I want to mention from the eight museums, is Pierre Bismuth's "The Jungle Book Project" in Museum of Modern Art, in which the artist has edited lots of local versions of "The Jungle Book" so that all the characters speak different languages. (The artwork is the full movie, but with edited soundtrack.) That's cute. It also makes one question once again what is art and who is the artist...)
See my index on other of my postings on art galleries.