21 November 2010

European Masters

Yesterday was an interesting day. We went to the European Masters exhibition at Te Papa: 96 paintings from the Stadel Museum, mostly German artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, but some earlier stuff too. Favourites: the little Monet, Houses on the Banks of the River Zahn, the Renoirs (including After the Luncheon, wow this was lovely)

Renoir: After the Luncheon

The Degas (Orchestra Musicians):

Degas: Orchestra Musicians

And a most stunning Dahl, The Eruption of Mt Vesuvius in December 1820.

Dahl: Eruption of Mt Vesuvius December 1820

The one that completely captivated me was Carl Lessing Die tausendjährige Eiche (The thousand-year-old oak) 1837 - unfortunately I can't find a picture of this.

And I saw my first Picasso.

I liked the exhibition and some of the paintings were stunning. However, I did learn something about me, or rather had it confirmed. I like landscapes, I liked some of the neoclassical work, but I didn't really like the modernists. I have to admit that I was not impressed by the Picasso. I couldn't get what it was trying to say.

I liked the representative things more, and the Lessing was stunning. I kept going back to it. The thing was huge and the detail was incredible. It had this little twisty river heading into a gap between rocks and I really want to go and exlore that space. If ever I've wanted to do an Alice Through the Lookinglass with a painting, it was the Lessing - and Constable's Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds, of course.

1 comment:

Sphenodon said...

hahahah no surprise that i can't stand landscapes and constable drives me to violence - or rather his pastoral rubbish does. some of his more interesting pictures involving the sea are more similar to jmwturner, making it ok for me to cope with.
modernists rock. the deconstruction of reality to show essence is the trick you've got to get your head around. the literalism of the classicists becomes a bit boring then.
also amused that you describe the collection as mostly german artists and promptly list french artists :)