Monday, 26 August 2013

Salisbury cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral - Oil painting on canvas (142 x 18") by Benoit Philippe

Salisbury Cathedral is located in the town of Salisbury, in the South part of Wiltshire (England). It is the tallest cathedral in England, with a spire 225 feet tall.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is centered around the construction of Salisbury cathedral. If you like a good page turner, I recommend it.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Gromit in Bristol

Gromit Unleashed is an arts trail with 80 giant Gromits decorated by artists. The operation will raise money for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.

Nick Park, the father of Wallace and Gromit has set-up his studios in Bristol (South west England), so the funny Plasticine dog is at home in the city. Here are a few I came across when visiting Bristol.

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New-York

While in New York, we walked through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) and get in just as it started raining.

It is a very large museum, so we had to pick a few areas to visit. We started by the exhibition PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Then, we went to the gallery of European paintings, admiring on the way the collection of Rodin’s sculptures. In the end, we also went to see the temporary exhibition Birds in the Art of Japan.

There are so many high quality paintings that it is difficult to even pick a sample. The good news is that the Met Museum website is the gold standard of museum's website, with excellent photographs of the collection and an interactive map to visit virtually (or prepare your visit).

Cézanne paintings are in Gallery 825.

The Card Players - Oil on canvas (25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. - 65.4 x 81.9 cm) by Paul Cézanne [Source: Met Museum]

The Met has an extensive collection of works by Degas. It is in fact one of the world's largest collections and it is featured in four rooms (Gallery 814 - Degas’s SculptureGallery 815 -Degas's Paintings and Pastels ; Gallery 816 -Degas's Paintings and Pastels ; and Gallery 817 -Degas's Paintings and Pastels).

The Dance Class - Oil on canvas (32 7/8 x 30 3/8 in. - 83.5 x 77.2 cm) by Edgar Degas

Dancers Practicing at the Barre - Mixed media on canvas (29 3/4 x 32 in. - 75.6 x 81.3 cm) by Edgar Degas

Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh are always popular and both the colours and the texture are striking.

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat - Oil on canvas (16 x 12 1/2 in. - 40.6 x 31.8 cm) by Vincent van Gogh. Behind it, L'Arlésienne: Madame Joseph-Michel Ginoux

The reason the Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat is shown on a plynth in the middle of the room is because there is another painting on its verso: The Potato Peeler.

Irises - Oil on canvas (29 x 36 1/4 in. - 73.7 x 92.1 cm) by Vincent van Gogh

Roses - Oil on canvas (36 5/8 x 29 1/8 in.- 93 x 74 cm) by Vincent van Gogh

Monet is well represented, with paintings covering all periods.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse is an example of an early Monet displayed in Gallery 818. The application of paint is not fragmented in interlaced strokes as in the later works.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse - Oil on canvas (38 5/8 x 51 1/8 in. - 98.1 x 129.9 cm) by Claude Monet

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies is an example of Monet’s mid-career style

Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies Oil on canvas (36 1/2 x 29 in. - 92.7 x 73.7 cm) by Claude Monet

The same goes for the painting Morning on the Seine near Giverny, dated from 1897, displayed in Gallery819.

Morning on the Seine near Giverny - Oil on canvas (32 1/8 x 36 5/8 in. - 81.6 x 93 cm) by Claude Monet

Gallery 830 features some early Picasso and Matisse, included the Seated Harlequin, which I really like.

Seated Harlequin - Oil on canvas, lined and mounted to a sheet of pressed cork (32 3/4 x 24 1/8 in. - 83.2 x 61.3 cm) by Pablo Picasso  [Source: Met Museum]

Go to the website of the Met Museum to have a look at their collection of paintings by

You can also look at the Annenberg Collection of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Masters (Gallery 821 ; Gallery 822 and  Gallery 823) that includes works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Picasso.

Details for the museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028-0198

Open 7 Days a Week
Sunday–Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May

Related article

Met Museum full text online publications

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

LOVE Statue in Philadelphia

LOVE is a sculpture by Robert Indiana located in John F. Kennedy Plaza, not far from City Hall of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, U.S.A). It was installed in 1976.

There is also one in New York, at the intersection between 1359 Avenue of the Americas and W 55th Street.

Related resources

Monday, 12 August 2013

Sketches from my US trip

The whole family went to the East coast of the US (New York, Washington, Gettysburg and Philadelphia). We visited many art museums and I will publish some posts on these as soon as I sort through the photos.

In the meantime, here are some sketches from this trip.

My sketching kit consisted of:

As any long haul trip for me, it started in the waiting area of Heathrow airport in London (England). Airports are a good place to sketch. People are waiting, busy checking their email, playing on their mobile phone or reading.

Heathrow airport (London) waiting area

The seal show at New York zoo

Manhattan towers viewed from the zoo

Visitors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York

Queuing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York

Orchids - Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York

I did this one when we were resting after seeing a wonderful exhibition on Birds in the Art of Japan (February 2–July 28, 2013) that we caught on the last day, hosted in the Asian wing of the MET museum.

Leaving Staten Island

Hippopotamus – National Natural Science Museum (Washington)

If you have a chance to go to Washington, the gallery of the Natural Science Museum with stuffed animals is fantastic to sketch wild animals. They don’t move and you will never be that close to these big beasts – unless you go on a safari and are in big trouble.

The Union soldier uniform – Gettysburg

Gettysburg is a site of symbolic significance in American civil war and there is a large museum dedicated to the battle of Gettysburg.

Waiting at Newark Airport (New Jersey – USA)