|1. Portrait of a Peasant
Van Gogh, 1888
|2. Still Life with Musical Instruments
George Braque, 1918
Liubov Popova, 1915
|4. Portrait of the Artist's Wife
by Amedeo Modigliani, 1918
|5. The Entrance to the Port of Le Havre
Claude Monet, 1867-68
|6. Woman with a Book
Pablo Picasso, 1932
|7. At Renoir's Home, rue St-Georges
|8. The Boulevard des Fosses, Pontoise
Camille Pissarro, 1872
|9. Portrait of a Boy
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1655-60
|10. The Happy Lovers
Jean-Honore Fragonard, 1760-65
|11. The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil
Claude Monet, 1881
|12. The Poultry Market at Pontoise
Camille Pissarro, 1882
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1636-38
|14. Brittany Landscape, Emile Bernard, 1888-1889|
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Among the first ten paintings, there is no significance to the numbering of the images.
Although weather-beaten and asymmetric, the face in Van Gogh's Portrait of a Peasant has a magnetic effect that is hard to explain. The sadness and resignation that one sees in the man's eyes perhaps reflect the artist as much as his subject.
The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil by Monet is an attractive piece. In fact, the composition is very similar to a piece in the National Gallery by the same artist. For a side-by-side comparison of the two paintings, click here. The figures in the painting at the National Gallery give that piece a special charm. I believe that Mr. Mellon made the better acquisition.
Pissarro's The Poultry Market at Pontoise is an interesting piece. The posture of the woman on the left almost suggests a country dance. The perspective, in which the main figures are seen largely from behind, is unusual and daring, but (at least for me) somewhat unsatisfying. I find myself wanting the central figure to turn so that I can better see her face.
There is speculation that the lad in Rembrandt's Portrait of a Boy is the artist's own son. Various bits of evidence support this conjecture. Note, e.g., the pentagonal shapes of the two heads and the similar chins. (Compare numbers 9 and 13).
The appearance of discoloration in number 9 is at least partly the result of reflections from protective glass, but it is also possible that the work is in need of restoration.
These photos were made with a hand-held Nikon D7000 camera, using ambient light only.
Last update: 1 Feb., 2016