Sometimes you forget just how much you love a painting. After looking at so many, those that are most beautiful can easily slip from your mind. The other day I was wandering the MFA in Boston with a friend, when this gorgeous woman appeared in my vision.

A Capriote, John Singer Sargent

A Capriote, John Singer Sargent

 

I have seen this painting many times and make a point to visit her when I am in Boston, but my mind’s eye had forgotten her. I love the way she is draped across the branch, as if she were a dress hung while the woman was taking a dip in the river. She becomes part of the landscape; she appears to be a part of the tree with the stump becoming a limb to her.

The palate and painterly application create this dreamscape. The lack of saturation in the palate creates a hazy space, a dreamy space. The expression on the young woman’s face is that of a day dreamer. Because she is at a distance from us, she eludes us. She is out of reach. Does she see us? Is she smirking at us or at a thought of her own? Is she even real? She is the gatekeeper of the dreamworld. The flowers in the foreground are the doorway. Will you enter?

To zoom in on this image visit her on Google Art Project.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

 

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Eve After the Original Sin, Eugene Delaplanche

Eve After the Original Sin, Eugene Delaplanche

I stumbled upon an image of this beautiful sculpture on Google’s Art Project and fell in love with her. I wish I was in Paris, so I could see her up close for more fine details. Her body language is what pulled me in. She does not come across as mournful due to the knowledge of good and evil. She seems pensive, but there is also something light about her expression. In many paintings of Adam and Eve after “The Fall”, they are sobbing and embarrassed of their bodies; they cover and hide themselves from the viewer.

If she were horizontal, her body would appear to be in a fetal position- seeking comfort of some kind. The parts she hides from us our her nether regions and her lips, but it doesn’t seem to be out of shame. She seems to be soaking in the memory of her actions. Maybe it gave some pleasure to fall from grace. The way her body curves is almost mimicking the shape of the snake beside her; she is curling into herself for comfort. Maybe she is thinking about what she has done. She reminds me of child who has been caught doing something she shouldn’t have but doesn’t quite feel bad about it. Maybe she is even hopeful for the new possibilities added to her life.

In these images is it difficult to see her true expression. I recommend visiting the professional photo here. She appears as though she is thinking, “How do I get myself out of this mess?” or maybe “What am I do to with this knowledge I now have?” As an observer with “insider information” and life experiences, one brings that to the artwork one views. How does she appear to you?

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan