The trip to the Art Gallery

Yesterday I went on an outing with my cousin and her husband.  Along with many hundreds of people we went to the National Art Gallery of Australia to see the Masterpieces From Paris exhibition.   I love art and having studied it at school I always jump at the opportunity to see the "real" pieces of art , rather than the reproductions in books - so when I heard that the Post-Impressionist art collection from the Musee D'Orsay in Paris (which is currently being renovated) was coming to Australia I was so excited.

The exhibition contained 112 paintings, including Van Gogh's "Starry Night" (1888) which was just incredible.  In a book it looks quite flat but up close it is so beautiful - full of depth, richness and colour - almost glowing.  Another painting was "Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles" (1889) and once again the colours are so vibrant - considering it was painted 120 years ago its just wonderful to look at.

One thing I did discover is the size of many of these painting - some I thought were quite large - eg Seurat's "Study of a Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Gradne Jatte" however it is tiny  t only15.5 cm x 25.0cm.

Some of my other favouirtes were:

Maximilien Luce "The Seine at Herblay"  (1890)
Luce uses the technique of delicate stipped brushwork and the laying of colour - his method was known as Divisionist, which began in the mid 1880's.  This particular painting looks great close up but even better from a distances when all the colours begin to merge.

Alfred Sisley "Moret Bridge" (1893)
Once again its the colour and light that makes this such a wonderful piece.  I almost felt like climbing into the picture as it looked so warm and summery.  Many of the post-impressionist artists lived in the countryside (eg Sisley and Gauguin) to save money and whilst there captured the lives of the rural communities.

Vilhelm Hammershoi "Rest" (1905)
I am a fan of this artist as I love his stark cool settings.  I was thrilled to finally see one in real life and it was just as I had hoped. The Danish painter reinvented the rear view and did a number of paintings of his wife Ida without showing her face.

Albert Besnard "Madame Roger Jourdain" (1886)
The fabric of the dress is just beautiful in this painting - Besnard has captured the movement of light in such a wonderful way.  Interestedly the sitter in this painting lead a scandalous life with many lovers, a morphine addiction and finally died from a sleeping pill overdose.

It took us 3 hours to walk through the exhibition and listen to the audio narrative of selected paintings. We then had lunch and spent more time looking at other art, including Jackson Pollock's "Blue Poles" (which I really like) and some very old Persian, Indian and Middle Eastern sculptures.

All in all I was on my feet for 5 hours and now my legs feel very worn out!!!