“You look like a woman on a mission,” said the guard as I passed into the Tuileries exhibit – I was back for a second look at Camille Pissarro’s bird’s eye view paintings – delicate and atmospheric tracings of the changing seasons in the Garden. Sit on the bench nearby, where you can also observe the sparkling, light-filled works of Childe Hassam and Gaston de LaTouche. In the next room are lovely Gelatin Silver prints from the 1960’s ¬ 1980’s by Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson, Kenna, and Poncar that take you to serene, yet lonely places.
Marble and bronze statues are an integral part of the Garden and of this exhibit – my favorites are Hippomenes (1712) and Atalanta (1704) in the midst of their footrace (we have the chance to see the originals, here). Other pairs of statues illustrate popular mythology (the Fawn & Hamadryad, Vertumnus & Pomona) – but you must see them to feel their majesty. There is a lot more to see in this exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, including etchings of a hot air balloon ascent (Ben Franklin was there), and political satire. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
2 thoughts on “The Tuileries”
You have inspired me to go! Maybe I will see you there……….
I did not see you there, but I have to say that I enjoyed the exhibit, too. The two works that I found most engaging were both bronze statues, “Hercules Battling Achelous as Serpent” and “Standing Woman” (you can find excellent photos of them with an internet search). Both heroic nude figures in size and presence, they represented an interesting dichotomy to me. Never mind the obvious of male vs. female. What I found most engaging was the contrast of academic vs. expressive representation of the human body, musculature vs. flesh, physical motion vs. quiet presence. Yet, both statues demanded that you acknowledge their presence, that you view them from all sides. And the patina on the Hercules statue is exquisite!!
I found the rest of the exhibit interesting as much for the history of the Tuileries Garden and and palace, as for the art on display.