I’ve been visiting more art museums than usual lately. This is certainly not the best of news for my “ballet-burdened” bank account but, I’m afraid, sometimes it simply can’t helped. Like the last exhibition I went to. I HAD to go because everywhere I went in town, they were displaying posters for it. I couldn’t have ignored them, right? 😉
Jokes aside, the exhibition was really worth the visit. It was a collection of paintings and sculptures from Henri Matisse and his fellow “Fauves”, on loan from museums and private owners from around the world. Photos were not allowed, which was a shame, but I did jot down the names of the ones I liked the most.
Wondering through the exhibition was like walking through the middle of a rainbow. The Fauves are known for their use of vivid colours and simplified representations of life but I don’t think I ever really understood just how colourful the paintings are until I saw them. The brush strokes they used are amazing, too. If you get really close (not too close or the guards will be at you), you can see how aggressively and “wildly” they painted (part of the reason for their name “Fauves” or the “wild beasts” in English).
Without a doubt my favourite painting from the exhibition was by Kees van Dongen. I’ve loved his portraits of women since the time my sister sent me a birthday card with the painting “Woman at the Balustrade” on it (that card hung over my dressing table for years, until I moved in with D).
The women in his portraits (socialites and it-girls of the day were van Dongen’s forté) have the most stunning eyes – large and heavily made-up – and wonderfully full red lips.
I was so excited to see one of my favourite portraits on display at the exhibition – “The Curious Girl” (also known as “the Gypsy”). Painted sometime around 1910, the portrait is usually housed in the Musée de l’Annonciade in Saint Tropez so I was lucky to see it in my home town.
Look at her gorgeous eyes and pouty lips – I think van Dongen could have had a successful career as a make-up artist had he wanted to, don’t you?