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Monday, April 1, 2013

La Belle Époque

There’s a show of Anders Zorn’s paintings at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum right now. I'm not familiar with his stuff but, from a few the images on line, he looks kinda, sorta, similar-ish to Manet and I'm just wild about Manet.
The first historic exhibition in the Hostetter Gallery in the Gardner Museum's new Renzo Piano-designed wing presents new international scholarship about Anders Zorn, considered one of the most significant artists of the Belle Epoque. Although highly esteemed by contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, Zorn is little known in the U.S. today.
La Belle Époque? Clearly I need to get out to the movies more often.

Now, I'd always heard that the Gardner's collection wasn't the main reason to go there -- that the art itself was pretty damned tame -- dull even. More the reason to visit was for the glorious architecture -- this being much of why, in my 33 years in Boston, I've never gone. You know. if I'm gonna plunk down a big fat entry fee, I want to see more than a posh, monument to extreme wealth.

This was my mid-20s punker, proud peasant, narrow art loving eat-the-rich take (picture me in dramatic back of wrist to forhead pose, spouting 'if it’s not Egon Schiele or Rothko, I just don’t care!' Pretentious? Oh yeah, das ist mir) -- things might seem different to me now. Tastes evolve and expand over time. Thank Kali!

The more I see, the more I appreciate. Hell, I’m even into Renaissance painters now. (FWIW, I favor  El Greco and Bruegel over Titian and Botticelli)

Maybe I can now separate the beauty of the art, architecture and gardens from the gilded age excesses. Hey, it could so happen!

The weather's beginning to hit full metal stunning now so I’ll have an awesome walk from Park Street Station downtown through the Common, the Public Garden and up the Commonwealth Mall. If nothing else, the stroll will be fabulously beautiful.

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