Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Favorite Painting

George Caleb Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, 1845. Metropolitan Museum of Art. I think about this painting sometimes, when I'm walking around Lake Balboa, and thought I'd look it up. It's one of my favorites. What are yours?

Yes, he did do the jollyboat men. It appears that painting was so popular that different versions were done, and I was VERY surprised in general at how hard it is to pull up a good and true color version of a well known painting. There are all these art poster shops on the internet which the links take you to, whereas the museums are utterly STINGY in the images they release. Also on superficial run around it appears that information on less famous artists is not easily obtained at all.

Namowal, thanks! I'd never seen this painting before you posted it:

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

I remember the name Otto Dix, but none of the images I saw looked familiar.

Here's another one I like, by an early 19th century painter who is interesting to read about, (if you can find the book!) George Catlin, one of the first artists to paint Native Americans.

Katy, just spotted your post. I love George Stubbs paintings, will enjoy following links to others later.

One more by George Caleb Bingham, just a detail but I couldn't find the full image anywhere.


Namowal said...

Is this the same guy who painted "The Jolly Flatboat Men" (I may have the wrong title)? I like that one.
Also like Wright's "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" (though I don't advocate abusing your pets). Then there's Frida Kahlo, and Otto Dix (earlier work especially). There's more, but I'll save room for everyone else.

Katy said...

Stubbs' Zebra, Gauguin's 3 Puppies, lots and lots of Rothko, Diebenkorn, Fairfield Porter, Matisse, Gorky's Artist and His Mother, Hopper's Rooms by the Sea. Beyond painting, but still great with a thrill: Joseph Cornell. Nice to see the Fur Traders again. River light, still. What other paintings rise to the surface in LA traffic?

awittykitty said...

I just took my first trip to MOMA on July 4th and was able to see all my favorite Kandinsky paintings in person. I was also very impressed with Jackson Pollock's work and how delicate the layers of paint were. I was also thrilled to see my first Frida Kahlo. It was so tiny!

Sally said...

I didn't know the Frida paintings were tiny. When I went to my nephew's wedding 1 1/2 years ago in the "Carmel of Mexico" San Miguel de Allende, it was shocking how Frida's paintings had been made into every form of plastic kitsch tourist stuff dangling in doorways. And the paintings are so weird and way out at root.

What do you all think of Cezanne? I could never get those paintings at all. I like Joseph Cornell and also those 19th century artists that did trompe l'oeil like Peto.

Fairfield Porter was teaching at Amherst when I was at Smith, but I never took a class with him.

sally g said...

Bonnard immediately springs to mind for me.

sally g said...

On Cezanne, I find the choppy brush strokes interesting, and I can sort of appreciate the obsession with painting the same thing (mountain) over and over.

I fell in love with Matisse all over again at the SFMOMA yesterday; great figure drawings (they're having an exhibit of his sculptures juxtaposed with drawings and paintings of the figure). I love to draw the figure.

Namowal said...

Cezanne? He sure liked oranges and bathing ladies. He seemed to have a good eye for light and shadow. OK, his composition is good too. My only problem is I find his subject matter dull. I think my brain is missing the neurotransmitters needed to appreciate still lifes and landscapes. ;)

Katy said...

OK Sally, look for Fairfield Porter's collection of essays Art in Its Own Terms. He has a nice piece on Cezanne, and there's other good stuff. Make up for that class you missed. I've had this book handy for over twenty years and it still hits the reading/seeing spot; I'm not neutral on Fairfield, I like the guy. Beware--he does have an anti-tech rant. Does LA still have libraries?

linda said...

Favorite paintings, Gosh.
Well, my favorite painters at the moment are Ida Kohlmeyer, Dave Warnke, and Jean Dubuffet. I've always loved Chagall.

That black cat in Fur Traders Descending the Missouri is something else. The light is amazing ... I didn't know of that painting.

Sally said...

about Fairfield Porter, further, katy:

A boyfriend from Amherst was strongly influenced by him, his site here:

Remembering what he was like so long ago, I would never have matched him to these paintings.

3 Puppies is wonderful. Gauguin's work is so tactile and color intense that no jpeg will ever catch it.

I sat through many lectures on Cezanne, but I could never get it. Like namowal, I thought the subjects were dull, the colors wishy washy, and the solid 3d monumental-ness I just couldn't see or get.

Matisse is a treat too. Those Rooms by the Sea are gorgeous, actually fun to see if you do google image, they sort of syncopate.

Katy said...

The GCB detail is in Detroit, if you want to see the rest of the boat.


I liked the Tom Hoffman site. Especially the cityscapes.

Sally said...

Thanks for the bigger view of the painting, katy. had a bit of a 19th century knock off feeling when you saw the whole thing. Wonder how you found it, as I spent some time and got nowhere?

Katy said...

The Milwaukee museum site had the detail image, and their text said it was part of an exhibit from the Detroit Institute. You're right about museum image stinginess. I don't know if it's because they're accustomed to making money on hard copy reproduction rights, or because they don't have the staff to get the images and descriptions on the web. Or perhaps it's policy---they don't want to "give away" what customers will pay to see.