I've been dreaming of visiting the Art Institute ever since I first saw A Sunday on La Grande Jatte in a High School art history class. It immediately took my breath away, and burrowed its way into my brain. I was fascinated by the hours it took to construct such a large painting from so many tiny dots, how revolutionary the technique was at the time (and how reviled the Impressionist and Post-Impressionists were with the arty-farty folk of the time).
To actually see it in person...
This is the face of a person who is in disbelief that this is happening right now. Or the face of a person who always looks a little derpy in photos.
Two sisters standing in front of Renoir's Two Sisters (On the Terrace)
What do I always say about ballerina's in art museums? If it's a ballerina, it is almost always a Degas.
So, a quiz:
Is this a Degas?
Yes, it is a Degas. (Little Dancer Aged Fourteen)
What about her?
Yes, she's Danseuse rose (Pink Dancer) by Edgar Degas.
Ballet Dancer on Stage by, you know it, Edgar Degas
How about these lovely ladies?
Green Dancers, Edgar Degas
And this trio of sculpures?
All by the multi-medium artist, Edgar Degas
And finally, Ballet Dancers?
No! This is not a Degas....occasionally someone else paints ballet dancers. This is actually by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
Much like with the Seurat at the top of the post, occasionally I turn around and run smack-dab into something that I've read about, or dreamed about, or admired my whole life. And suddenly there it is, right in front of me. For me, they are almost always in some way related to art - a painting, sculpture, building or monument, and they always take my breath away and bring tears to my eyes. There are so many of these in world-class museums like the Art Institute.
Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath
Whistler's Mothers was on special loan in the final days of her display.
And other's that I wasn't familiar with before my visit, but evoked emotion immediately:
I was highly suspicious of this cat. Does it think it is next on the dead animal table, or was it the one who killed them all, and is just waiting for a chance to pounce!?
At of course, as iconic as any piece of art inside the walls, are the lions - standing guard outside.