|...There once were three goats from Pawtucket*|
Where did the connecting threads go? We know that tastes develop and our life experiences impact us. But to what degree? How differently was the younger M fueled? If you were to ask me whether my visual artistic tastes have changed *significantly* over the years, I would have said no; but this experience stands in opposition. But maybe, too, it's the same thing as revisiting a novel and finding sympathy with characters who seemed unlikable or unneeded before; or becoming impatient with a prose style that once seemed masterful. The changing reader focus strikes me as right and good, so I guess it's less disquieting in that context.
That said, an unencumbered museum day is a lovely day! I wandered through galleries, running my phone battery down with excessive photos, while Javier texted me photos from his office, of Oyo hugging and touching a boy roughly her age, who looked confused, if not anxious. I wouldn't be surprised if the future little girl strides up to peers, telling them: "Hello! We're friends."
New Favorites, Hello New Friends:
1. The Shepherd's Star, Jules Breton, 1887
2. Don Giovanni de Medici, by Agnolo Bronzino, about 1551
But here, Don Giovanni, son in a prominent family, looks solemn -- already weighed down by some adult-sized responsibilities -- but look, too, at the soft roundness of his cheeks, his bow lips. I could see him spouting some adultish remarks before doing something contrary; or running off in fear of punishment. Do you see what I see? Museum label tells us that he was destined for the church at 7 by his parents; admitted to the clergy at 8 (reputed time of painting). Made a Cardinal at 17, and dead from fever by 19. So, take a moment to bask in the child's beauty, where there was not much childhood to be had; and this from a very privileged family.
Bronzino, a Florentine mannerist painter, served as the court painter for Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, starting in his late thirties. If you're like me, his most famous painting is one you know without knowing you do:
|not quite creepy. child in upper left in ecclesiastical dress. odd dog from same painting.|
3. And now for something completely different. This doesn't qualify as a favorite in the same sense as numbers 1&2 -- it doesn't resonate -- but its stunning ostentation stopped me in my tracks. I leave you with the...
Pagoda Organ Clocksee also: Too Much Money, What to Do?
the museum's website noted the misconceptions flew both ways, as wealthy Chinese bought these European-made clocks: "The Chinese viewed these chinoiserie clocks as typical examples of European manufacture and taste, whereas the Europeans misinterpreted the Chinese enthusiasm for them as testimony to their 'Chinese' qualities and appropriated them as decorations for fashionable chinoiserie interiors."
*Edward Lear actually a painter by profession!
**Yes, that DOES happen all the time, in life. but no, these would be babies remarking, "I told Ezekiah not to go into the barn," and "Twenty years hence you shall burn and in the burning, be reborn" and "Mother, separate me not from my twine; and do not gawp so."