Saint John the Baptist Preaching after Mattia Preti, 2008, ball point pen in Moleskine sketchbook
I made my first trip of the year to the Met this past weekend. It's been a while since I've visited this museum, the place I call my sanctuary. For a Saturday night the place was very crowded. My main reason for being there was to look at a couple of Vermeer paintings and study his treatment of fabrics. But the galleries where these paintings used to hang were closed off. Later on I found out that they were part of a current show at the museum, the Rembrandt show. So I made my way to the exhibit only to find it impenetrable. I couldn't believe the number of people jammed packed in this show. There was barely any room to walk through. I can't deal with huge crowds in museums, too many people, too much noise, they are all too distracting when it comes to looking at art. Especially when multiple people try to squeeze their heads in front of paintings. So I got in and got out. Walked right through the whole show. I walkde back to the European Paintings galleries on the second level, away from the crowd. Looking around I came across a large painting by Mattia Preti. Not sure if this is a new addition to the collection or if it's a piece taken out of storage. But I do know that it's a great painting.
Marble Head of Herakles, 2008, ball point pen in Moleskine sketchbook
After looking at Spanish and Italian art I went down the stairs to the new Greek and Roman Galleries, the pride and joy of the Met. Here you will find many artists with big and small sketch pads lost at work in front of the sculptures. And why not? The court is a relaxing space where you can hear the running water from a fountain in the middle of all the marble statues. I became one of the lost artists that night, drawing and relaxing until the time a guard came up to me letting me know that it was closing time.
"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision-it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so."
- Charles W. Hawthorne -
"One of the functions of art is to remind us of common humanity. The artist, like the priest, can sometimes remind us that we are bound by an obligation to one another stronger and more lasting than the bonds of politics or economics."
- John Manchip White, Diego Velazquez: Painter and Courtier -
"To defend an artist as original says little about his work except that it is in some way different from what preceded it. As such, originality itself is rarely a strong defense, for it is born more of admiration for audacity and perseverance than necessarily of understanding." - James H. Rubin, Manet's Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets -