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! 



The Great Statue of Amida Buddha at Kamakura, Known as the Daibutsu, from the Priest’s Garden

Artist:  John La Farge (American, New York 1835–1910 Providence, Rhode Island)

Date:  1887

Medium:  Watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper

Dimensions:  19 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (48.9 x 31.8 cm)

 

On a trip to Japan with Henry Adams in 1886, La Farge enlisted watercolor—the familiar medium of the traveling artist—to create studies for illustrations and to paint sheets for exhibition. He executed this bold and monumental composition after his return to New York, using a watercolor sketch done during his travels as well as photographs that he and Adams had taken. The Daibutsu, or Great Buddha, a fifty-foot-high bronze cast in 1252, is renowned for its colossal size, its peaceful demeanor, and its unusual site in the open air surrounded by mountains and trees.

About The Author: Bruce

2 Comments

  1. Amy
    Reply

    This is a strange picture because there are two dominant images, the large Buddha statue in the background and what looks like a temporary canopy structure that’s in the foreground, shielding our eyes from seeing the important Buddha. Is the artist making a statement? The painting has vivid, beautiful colors, and I didn’t realize it until I examined them closely that this is a water color, which I wasn’t expecting.

  2. Collin
    Reply

    Is this matting being erected for some kind of festival?

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