|1. America Windows - Right Panel
Religious Freedom, Marc Chagall, 1975-77
|2. Antwerp, Georges Braque, 1906||3. Two Sisters (On the Terrace)
|4. Curtain, Pitcher, and a Fruit Bowl
Paul Cezanne, 1893-94
|5. Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy
(Asnieres), van Gogh, 1887
|6. Water Lilly Pond
Claude Monet, 1917-1919
|7. Woman and Child at the Well, Camille Pissarro, 1882||8. Man with a Pipe, Pablo Picasso, 1915||9. The Child's Bath, Mary Cassatt, 1893
|10. White Crucifixion
Marc Chagall, 1938
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The America Windows (#1 is the right-most panel of this three-panel series of stained glass windows) are not exactly paintings, but one stage of the stained glass process does involve painting on the glass, so I thought that it wasn't too much of a stretch to count this work as a painting. This piece exhibits the whimsy that is so characteristic of Chagall. Has the upside down figure spun off the edge of the wheel above him, or is he simply exercising his right to religious freedom by defying the law of gravity?
The Art Institute's plaque for Two Sisters (#3) reads as follows:
Renoir painted this delightful homage to springtime, youth, and beauty on the terrace of the Fournaise family's restaurant on the Seine River at Chatou-- where, six years before, he had made "Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise (also on view in this gallery).
The plaque for Water Lilly Pond (#6) reads as follows:
During World War I, after several years of inactivity because of bad health and grief over the death of his second wife, Claude Monet embarked on a period of intense work. Building a large studio and improving his garden, he began a group of monumental paintings of water lilies that he would later offer to the French state. Alongside this project, he painted a suite of 19 smaller canvases, including the present one. There is evidence--including a few photographs of the artist working in his garden--that Monet conceived these paintings outdoors and then reworked them in his studio. By this last stage of his career, however, the distinction between observation and memory in his work is intangible, and perhaps even irrelevant.
The plaque for The Child's Bath (#9) reads as follows:
In this work, Mary Cassatt addressed the theme for which she is best known-- women and children--while also experimenting with elements derived from Japanese art. In 1890, after viewing a large exhibition of Japanese prints at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she produced a series of prints influenced by their asthetics. "The Child's Bath" is a culmination of these works, which emphasize decorative pattern and a flattened picture plane. Moreover, the subject mirrors that of many Japanese prints, which capture intimate scenes of everyday life. In Cassatt's painting, the mother's encircling arms and gentle touch convey an overall feeling of protection and tenderness.Why is this painting so appealing? Neither the woman nor the child is particularly attractive. Furthermore, perhaps because of the artist's viewing point, one can't read any emotions in the faces. It is the body language of the mother that makes this work special.
The plaque for White Crucifixion (#10) reads as follows:
"White Crucifixion" represents a critical turning point for Marc Chagall: it was the first of an important series of compositions that feature the image of Christ as a Jewish martyr and dramatically call attention to the persection and suffering of the Jews in 1930s Germany. In this painting, exhibited in January 1940 (four months after France's entry into World War II), Chagall stressed Jesus' Jewish identity by depicting him, along with the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs above him, in traditional Jewish garments and surrounded by images of the devastation of pogroms. Linking the martyred Jesus with martyred Jews, and the Crucifixion with contemporary events, Chagall's painting suggests that the Nazis, like Christ's tormentors, were engaged in persecution and murder.White Crucifixion is a powerful and disturbing piece containing symbols that are particularly meaningful for Jews and Christians. The work can be understood in many ways, but I believe that Chagall did not intend it as an indictment of Christians for the horrors of the Holocaust; the message of the painting is more universal.
There is no significance to the numbering of the images.
These photos were made with a hand-held Nikon D7000 camera, using ambient light only.
Last update: 22 April, 2017