I take the map and I plan the best way. I start with artists of the twentieth century. Honestly it seems like I am in the Oslo National gallery: I see again Degas and Rodin, that dancer with the nose in the air and the thinker. And I thought that there was just one copy. Actually I’m asking myself, how many other ones are there?
I continue on my way and in the French room, I bump into “Odalisque in Grisaille” by Dominique Ingres, a woman with a turkish hat. In that period the Turkish clothes were trendy in pictures, which reflect some perceived imperfections in a nude body It was like that in the beginning of the Paris Exhibition, where the imperfection caused doubts from the reviewers, but thanks to Baudelaire, who recognized the Ingress bizarre style, quote: “ The beautiful is always bizarre!”
The high colors of “Massacre Innocents” by François Navez struck me. On the contrary Rousseau used dark colors in his painting” The Forest in the Winter at Sunset” makes me think about the Tim Burton movie “Sleepy Hallow”. Continuing, English and French painters interchange in the Romantic Period, and when it’s talking about Romanticism, it’s talking about Italy!
I see what once were the Tivoli ruins, a Rome very different from what it is now, historical monuments wrapped in countryside landscapes: The Quirinale, Villa Medici, the nineteenth-century countryside which was principally in the city, the Castelli Romani (Roman castles area), Subbiaco , Naples. Reviewing Dahl and admiring the painting “Copenhagen Harbour by middnight” I think at the beginning of this trip, the midnight sun, was in fact a few weeks ago, but its seem like months. Among the paintings that represent Scandinavia and Italy, I remember sweet European memories. In a small square around me, is the work of Theodore Gericault, famous for the Raft of the Medusa, which is located at the Louvre.
His project is one of a planned series of four monumental landmarks that represent the hours of the day. Gericault, however, completed only three: the one in front of me is “Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct” which is precisely the evening. The other works, “Morning: Landscape with Fishermen” which is located at the ‘Alte Pinakothek in Munich and “Noon: Landscape with a Roman Tomb” at the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris. The landscapes depict the ruins in the Italian countryside, which Gericault had visited in 1817, with stormy skies and turbulent moods that characterize the emerging aesthetics of Romanticism and the Anglo-French concept of the Sublime. Géricault painted these landscapes at a time of personal turmoil: the second wife of his uncle was about to give birth to a child … and Gericault was the father. This event interrupted his work on “Time of Day”.
Going forward, I see another familiar city: the gondolas whiteness docked in the arcades of a blue canal in Venice. A painting that is based in part on a sketch drawn in August 1819 during his first trip to Turner in Venice and where joining two points of view, along the Grand Canal. The buildings on the left you can see from the corner of the church of Santa Maria della Salute. Those on the right are viewed from a vague position on the other side of the canal, about a hundred yards back, next to the Ferry Field of Santa Maria del Giglio. Turner has also extended the height of the bell tower – it is seen in the background on left side. After that, I see the tree-lined landscapes by Corot. Wisteria Room, the Room of female pleasure, where strove the first vibrators. Just before leaving I had watched the movie, and amused, I imagine that room where a poor man, put a vibrator for the enjoyment of the old ladies. I see with pleasure the sinuous forms of the ‘Birth of Venus’ by Alexander Cabanel; is one of the great successes of the Salon of 1863 where it was bought by Napoleon III for his personal collection. Cabanel, an award-winning painter, has a very important role in the teaching of Fine Arts and in the direction of the Salon. His virtuous style of painting is a perfect example of that, and in those years, he conquered the consent of the public and official bodies. In the ecclectic spirit of the Second Empire, the artist mixes the sources of reference to Ingres and the painting of the eighteenth century.
Cabanel evokes a famous episode of ancient mythology: Venus at the time of his birth, is laid on a shore by the sea foam. This subject, who knows a huge success in the nineteenth century, gives some artists the opportunity to address the eroticism without scandalizing the audience with the alibi of a classic subject. For Cabanel, in fact, mythology serves as a pretext to deal with the nudes whose idealization does not exclude the lasciviousness. Emile Zola denounces the ambiguity of this representation: “The goddess drowned in a river of milk, has the air of a lovely courtesan, not even in the flesh – it would be indecent – but in a kind of almond paste and white rose.”
In that same year, ‘The Olympia’ by Edouard Manet caused a scandal. The subject of the two paintings is the same: a woman lying naked. However, the quiet confidence with which the character of Manet fixed at the time so the audience viewed this as far more provocative than the languid pose of the Venus Cabanel.
I see that simpering Degas dancer, with his usual upturned nose, it seems as if she snob me and tell me, “Hey honey, are u travelling? Me too! “
Soon after I realized that … it’s dressed! In fact, the dancers of Degas who were exposed Impressionist exhibition, was not only bronze, but had had the tutu or better cotton skirt and satin hair ribbon.