Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cincinnati Art Museum

A few weeks ago we made the trek to Cincinnati to see a couple of special exhibits at the Cincinnati Art Museum: "Wedded Perfection: Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns" and "Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman." Both were beautiful exhibits and well worth the price of admission (free). Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in either special exhibit.

I suppose you could take our word that the most of the wedding gowns were interesting to observe, even if you couldn't get too close, and even a man could discern the subtle changes in style from one decade to the next. Gainsborough's talent was easy to recognize in the 16 paintings presented as evidence, and to see his full length portraits up close was a satisfying treat for those of us that haven't visited London's collection of art.

Since we can't share the special exhibits, allow me to share a few things that impressed me in the rest of the museum. The 18th century portrait above was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1771, and it caught my eye for its lifelike quality. Although the background is imaginary, the subject's attire is impeccable.

This next painting caught my eye from across the gallery for its vivid color. It appeared to glow from any distance, and I had to look carefully once I was close to it to convince myself it wasn't backlit like some computer screen. I regret that I didn't capture the name of the artist.

This portrait caught Karen's attention as much for the name of the artist as for the gown depicted. Lucas Cranach the Elder painted this portrait of "St. Helena with the Cross" in 1525 when Cranach was a close friend of Martin Luther and an enthusiastic supporter of the Protestant Reformation. Karen used several of Cranach's paintings as guides when she designed German Reformation costumes several years ago.

This last image shows a collection of miniature portraits, each only a couple of inches tall. I'm sorry I don't have artist or subject information for this collection either, but it caught my eye for its simple, yet formal manner.

Thanks for visiting!