Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Last week while buying for clients in France, I discovered Museum Marmottan Monet had a special exhibition of the works of Berthe Morisot ( 1841-1895), who along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt were the great women of Impressionism. The crowds were huge and security tight....even special sensors to detect and prevent phones( definitely no photos allowed).
The large exhibition of perhaps 50 works was astounding....arranged to show how she developed over the years...landscapes, portraits, garden settings, boating scenes .... even large scale decorative painting for her drawing room in Paris.
Interesting that her art career started at 16, when her mother enrolled her,along with her two sisters, in drawing classes...wanting them to create Christmas gifts for their father. Later, becoming a classical copiest of Louvre and then went to study with Corot, who started her painting outdoors..plein air. Later passing her love for outdoor painting to Edouard Manet, convincing him also to become plein air painter. At 33, she married Edouard Manet's younger brother, Eugene Manet.
Like Mary Cassatt, Morisot focused on domestic life and portraits.... using family and friends as models.
Her sister, Edma, and only daughter, Julie, were often subjects of her works....it is Julie in the above painting with her whippet.
Morisot died at only 54......while caring for her daughter, Julie, with pneumonia...Morisot also developed pneumonia and could not recover.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Life can bring surprises!
After over an hour train ride and 30 min car drive to small village north of Paris to meet with a specialist of black forest...
I discover the dealer's 10 year old son is quite the chef...
Mom teaches French cooking and even at 8, the young boy could prepare complete dinners including appetizer!
He welcomes me to his father's shop carrying a tray of espresso, chunks of brown sugar....and his own mini macarons in assorted flavors
I have eaten macarons from the most famous makers in Paris...and none top his.
His two younger brothers are obviously his big fans...as little hands and big smiles quickly emptied the tray.
It is moments like this that bring me to France.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
L'Estaque, a small fishing village near Marseille, captured the souls of great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artist. Eight enameled plaques, sprinkled through the village, allow us to stand where the artist painted.
Cezanne discovered L'Estaque in 1864, returning often, always taking a room in the same house...painting 60 pieces during the next 10 years. He wrote to a friend of the red roofs and blue sea...adding how the terrific sun silhouetted objects in red, blue, brown, and violet.
Renoir visited and the two great artist painted side by side....capturing the same scene in their individual styles...leading Renoir to comment..it was the most beautiful place in the world.
Today, even a rainy Sunday did not stop this father from fishing with his children..
Or interfere with 3 friends fishing nearby..
3 young boys dived into the sea...never thinking of the raindrops...
And I found the perfect dry view...dining, overlooking the many boats beyond..
Enjoying the terraced houses that rise up the hills...
The sun brought the artists...but even rainy days allow its charm to shine through.