Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Every Thursday, as part of my personal “enriched environment” initiative, I post a piece of art, usually from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which recently released online some 400,000 high-resolution images of its collection.  All artwork will show a sun (or sunlight) somewhere. 

I won’t name the piece or the artist, but instead invite you to study the art and post a comment addressing one or more of these questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

If you have another idea, run with it.

Special Update!  The New York Times website does this same exercise every Monday with a news photo that is uncaptioned and contains no text (click!).  The Times asks viewers the same three questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

However, at the end of the week, the Times posts the background information on the picture.  So, I’ve decided to do the same.  I’ll still post an unlabeled piece of art on Thursday.  But return on Sunday (for the Sunny Sundays post!) and you’ll find an update on the artwork here.

Note:  To embiggen the image, click on it! 



Celia Thaxter’s Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine

 

Artist:  Childe Hassam (American, Dorchester, Massachusetts 1859–1935 East Hampton, New York)

Date:  1890

Medium:  Oil on canvas

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 769

This painting is one of the finest of a series of works that Hassam made during summers in the 1890s on Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, which lie ten miles east of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This series portrays the sumptuous wildflower garden cultivated by his friend, poet Celia Thaxter, a garden that provided a marvelous contrast to the rugged terrain of the island itself. In this painting, vibrant red poppies entangled in lush green foliage introduce a view of bleached Babb’s Rock. The painting shows Hassam at the height of his creativity as an American Impressionist.

 

About The Author: Bruce

3 Comments

  1. Diana
    Reply

    Wow !! What gorgeous flowers !!! Are they poppies ?? I’d never expect to see poppies near the ocean like that !!! I don’t know why..

  2. Tarona
    Reply

    I always find it interesting that on the one hand you have splotches of paint which suggest, in this case for instance, flowers on a sunny hill overlooking the ocean. And you believe you’re seeing actual flowers. But on the other hand if you look at the sky you see cracks in the paint, making you realize that it’s all artifice.

  3. Chris Tempe
    Reply

    What’s going on in this picture? All that I can see is that a bunch of flowers are basking in the sun, and on the horizon a few boats are moving along. The sunlight seems to be everywhere and I can’t tell where the sun is because there are no clearly-cut shadows anywhere in the painting. And technically, I can’t be sure the boats on the horizon are moving because this picture is static. The boats could be anchored and not moving at all, although the fact that they have their sails up suggests movement.

    The date on the painting is 1890. I find it amazing that back then people were producing paintings where mere blotches of color suggest a world of plants, landscape and ocean. If I examine the painting when I enlarge it. I can’t make out individual flowers at all – just blotches that appear random and somewhat three dimensional where the oil is thick on the canvas. This is a painting that calls on the viewers mind to make sense of it.

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