Monday, February 20, 2012

Museum Hopping in San Francisco!

 February 10th and 11th, 2012

Well, it's been a long couple of months. Between illnesses, surgeries and a death in the family, I was looking forward to a few days in San Francisco and the comfort and joy I always find in museums. A day and a half of walking around the city,  fresh air from the sea and culture galore was chicken soup for my soul!

I started my day off at the Legion of Honor- one of my favorite places in all of San Francisco!

Visiting the museum on a weekday is the best. Even though it was mid-day on a Friday, the museum was blessedly empty and it was a pleasure to be able to wander, take pictures, just sit and really "look." - like I was taught to do in Florence.

The weather was spotty, but I persevered- motivated in large part by a special and exclusive exhibit of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Medussa,  a Baroque masterpiece that is on loan from the Musei Capitolini in Rome!

Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Medussa. 1640s. Carrara marble. Musei Capitolini, Rome.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Portrait of Costanza Bonarelli. 1637-1638. The Bargello, Florence.

Medussa is stunning and dynamic! She is full of the turmoil, energy and drama that Bernini captures in his best works! Seeing a Bernini in San Francisco takes me back to Florence and his Costanza at the Bargello! Sigh*

After meditating on Medussa, I spent a few hours walking around the museum and "looking." Here are some of my favorite pieces from the permanent collection of the Legion of Honor:

Cycladic Figure, marble, 2500 BCE

Massimo Stanzione. Woman in Neopolitan Costume. Italian. Oil on Canvas. ca. 1635

Master of Cappenberg. The Flagellation and The Crowning with Thorns from a Passion of Christ series. Oil on panel. German. ca. 1500-1530.

Spanish Ceiling. Painted, gilded, and composed wood. 1482–1503. Palacio de Altamira, Spain.

Benvenuto Cellini and workshop. Portrait Bust of Cosimo il Primo, Grand Duke of Tuscany. ca. 1548–1553. Pentelic marble.

Never say that Medicis aren't international stars! 

Beautiful skylight gallery with Rodin's sculptures

Auguste Rodin. Les Troi Ombres (The Three Shades). Bronze. French. 1898.

Gabriel Metsu. Woman Playing the Viola da Gamba. Oil on panel. Dutch. 1663.

Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun.  Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, later Marchioness Wellesley. Oil on canvas. French. 1791.

Konstantin Makovsky. The Russian Bride's Attire. Oil on canvas. Russian. 1887.

This is my favorite painting from the Legion's permanent collection. I am always and ever intrigued by its subject and fairy tale quality. Not to mention the mastery of its artist!

William Adolphe Bouguereau. The Broken Pitcher. Oil on canvas. French. 1891.

James Tissot. Le Dimanche Matin (Sunday Morning).  Drypoint. French. 1883.

Georges Seurat. La Tour Eiffel. Oil on panel. French. 1889.
Georges Seurat. La Tour Eiffel. (detail) -as you can see at the top, la tour is not quite finished!

Claude Monet. Water Lillies. Oil on canvas. French. ca. 1914-17.

Claude Monet. Grand Canal, Venice. Oil on canvas. French. 1908. I was just there!!!

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Mother and Child. Oil on canvas. French. 1895.

A recent acquisition! Odilon Redon. Vase of Flowers. Oil on canvas. French. 1901.

Giovanni Baldini (Italian):  Portrait of Mrs. Whitney Warren, Sr. Oil on canvas. 1908. and Portrait of Mrs. William Kissam Vanderbilt II (nee Virginia Graham Fair). Oil on canvas. 1905.

Auguste Rodin. Compositions of Right Feet. date unknown. Plaster and Clay.

Auguste Rodin. The Thinker. Cast bronze. French. 1904.

Lincoln Park Golf Course outside the Legion of Honor

View of the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog

After such a full morning of walking and looking at art, I decided to treat myself to another of my favorite Burmese restaurants in the Richmond District:

Mandalay: California Street, San Francisco

I ordered a Thai Iced Tea, Lunch Special #3 and a side of Coconut Rice!
The lunch specials come with soup!

Lunch Special #3: Mango Chicken and Two Samusas! Yum, Yum, Yum!!

After lunch I headed to the De Young to see the Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
I had some time to wait before I could go in, so I decided to walk around the other galleries and check out another special exhibit: 

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the American Galleries:

The painting I was obsessed with as a child: John Singer Sargeant. Caroline de Bassano, Marquise d'Espeuilles. Oil on canvas. 1884.

John Singer Sargeant. La verre de porto (A Dinner Table at Night). Oil on canvas. 1884. 

Robert Henri. Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf (O in Black with a Scarf). Oil on canvas. 1910.

Selden Connor Gile. Spring. Oil on canvas. 1928. 

 Chiura Obata. Mother Earth. Ink and colors on silk. 1912 (reworked in 1922, 1928).

I also peeked into a special exhibit called Art of the Anatolian Kilim: Highlights from the McCoy Jones Collection. These kilim- which are decorative or prayer rugs- are a part of the De Young's amazing permanent textiles collection!

Here are a few details of my favorites. I think I'd like to crochet a blanket in these colors!

Florine Stettheimer. Still Life with Flowers. Oil on canvas. 1921.

Albert Bloch. Nacht I. Oil on canvas mounted on hardboard. 1913.

 John Koch. The Bridge. Oil on canvas. ca. 1950. I love this piece. You can see the clear influence of Hokusai's 36 Views of Mount Fuji. The subject of the painting is not the figures in the room, but rather the bridge you can see in the distance through the open window :-)

I also peeked into the African galleries.  Diety Figure from a Shrine. Wood, pigment, brass, cloth. Igbo People, Nigeria. Late 19th/early 20th century.

Kanaga Mask. Wood, Paint, Fiber, Fur, Animal Hide. Dogon Peoplel, Mali. 20th century.

Since this post turned out so long, I'll write another one about the Venetian Masters Exhibit tomorrow!

Here is tonight's home cooked dinner:


My second successful Potato Gratin!

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