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July 18, 2018

Mid-Morning Open Thread

Eeckhaut four officers.jpg

Four Officers Of The Amsterdam Coopers' And Wine-Rackers' Guild
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

It just occurred to me why I enjoy the Dutch masters so much; their work exudes a warmth, not necessarily from the subjects (these guys need to relax and imbibe!), but from the colors and the contrast.

By the way, my original choice for this fine morning after the storm was an El Greco depicting Christ driving the traders from the temple. I recently saw it at The National Gallery in London, and it was spectacular. But I could not find a reproduction that did it justice. Even on the museum's own website was a poor, sad facsimile of a glorious and energetic painting.

The moral of the story is: Get thee to a museum! I'm not sure why museums get such a bad rap, although it is at least in part because many of us were dragged to them as kids and were forced to treat them as cathedrals, where one speaks in hushed tones and all must be reverent at all times, worshiping at the altar of great art.

That's crap. I have had the opportunity to wander through a large number of museums around the world, often alone (the best way!), and I have found that the best way to enjoy art is to look at the stuff that piques my interest and just glance at the stuff that doesn't. So what if you don't like what the art historians say is great. The real crap has been filtered out by history and collectors over the centuries (that's why there is so much absolute shit modern art), so it's a fair bet that most of what is in the museum is going to be at the very least a reasonably good piece.

So...what caught my eye in this piece? The little mutant bat-like dog in the lower left corner. I got a chuckle out of it, then looked at the rest of the painting and immediately thought of a cobloggers meeting just before the first bottle is opened.

Art may be great, but that doesn't mean that it has to be serious. By all means look at the weird animals and finely formed racks and weird feet and cool weapons and great sunsets and strange, six-fingered hands and....

You get the point.

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posted by CBD at 09:40 AM

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