Friday, June 12

The Legion of Honor

My trip to Berkeley happened to coincide with most of the free days of the Bay Area museums, so it was more or less a necessity to go to at least one. Strangely, I didn't feel inspired to go to most of them, but we did make it to the Legion of Honor; a museum that normally charges $20 to get in. The collection was nice, but also fairly small so I probably wouldn't pay $20 on a normal day to see it. I took photos of some of the highlights. There was an imported Spanish ceiling that reminded me of the rooms at Hearst Castle.

A room of Renoir sculptures was particularly interesting, though this hand was the one piece to catch my attention. I love how it looks so much like a tree.

There was a special exhibit of Max Kliniger and other symbolist illustrators. I was happy to see this spider print by Odilon Redon.

By far, my favorite painting was 'The Pieta' by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It so obviously draws from Michelangelo's sculpture of the Pieta; the posture and strength of Mary as she cradles her crucified son. Both Bouguereau and Michelangelo emphasize the relationship between Mary and Jesus; this was a mother mourning the death of her son, and the weariness and pain in her eyes is so clear. This was a pain Bouguereau knew full well, having lost a child of his own. I sat in front of this painting for quite awhile taking it all in.

This portrait was also quite captivating, largely because of the attention to detail.

Finally, a portrait of Judith with the head of Holofernes. This is a classic story, depicted by many artists over time; most notably Donatello, Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Botticelli, Giorgione, Titian, Paolo Veronese, Caravaggio, Klimt, and Artemisia Gentileschi.


alexae said...

ya know, I also took a photo of Judith. Only I didn't really notice the big dead head under her hand. I was fascinated by the slashing on the fingers of her gloves so that you can see her rings!
Clearly something is a little askew with my brain!

Anonymous said...

Call it costuming bias! Mom