Monday, November 5, 2012

Retroblogging: Chicago Trip 2012, Art Institute

Once of the things I liked most about the Art Institute was that the size of the museum was manageable. While Kari and I didn't get through everything, we got through a lot. The crowds were also not overwhelming, for the most part*, and we were able to linger and study and to see how the museum had acquired and displayed works that tied together. Like this study, for a much larger, more famous work.
 Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891
Oil Sketch for "La Grande Jatte", 1884
Oil on panel
6 1/8 x 9 9/16 in. (15.5 x 24.3 cm)
Gift of Mary and Leigh Block, 1981.15
de Hauke 93


Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte -- 1884, 1884–86
Oil on canvas
81 3/4 x 121 1/4 in. (207.5 x 308.1 cm)
Inscribed at lower right: Seurat
Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, 1926.224
de Hauke 162

It's amazing to finally see of these works in person and to be able to zoom in on details. Like these frisky friends. Did you know there was a monkey in this painting? Bottom right corner at the bustled lady's feet in the shade? See.
Also, there's a border painted onto the painting - a layering of the colors, which you can finally notice when you are about a foot from the actual work.

Of course you have to be able to get close enough to the piece to study it, and it helps if it's a wall-sized canvas.

*I never did get close enough to American Gothic to really experience that work. Somebody had parked themselves right in front of it! And then there were crowds around him. I bought a postcard.

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