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Monday, July 8, 2013

Pendant with Oil Study after Bartholomé; inspired by Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity exhibit

Pendant with study after Albert Bartholomé's In the Conservatory
Hand-painted oil on linen, 1" x 1.5"
by Anna Wakitsch; available in The Pearl Paintbrush Etsy shop

 I recently visited the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago to see the exhibit Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity, organized in association with the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  The exhibit displayed gorgeous period clothing along with rooms full of 19th century paintings depicting similar fashions.  

The presentation was excellent, often featuring a dress set up in front of a mirror and facing its painting.  I noticed that I could look at the dress from the front and also see (in the mirror behind it) both the reflection of the back of the dress and the reflection of the painting behind me.

Near the end of the exhibit was a grouping of large Impressionist paintings of fashionably dressed figures set in the outdoors.  These were housed in a delightful garden room complete with the sounds of birdsongs and AstroTurf that rustled softly as we strolled from Monet's Women in a Garden to the giant left and central panels from his triptych Luncheon on the Grass.  Finally, in the last room, was the Bartholomé: In the Conservatory (c. 1881).

In the Conservatory by Albert Bartholomé, c. 1881

Albert Bartholomé was a French painter working during the time of the Impressionists; the painting is a large full-length portrait of the artist's beloved wife entering the doorway of a greenhouse.  I was quite taken with the way she is stepping from one world into another; the dappled light, the lush emerald greens surrounding her, the deep blue-violet in her costume, her sparkling gold cuff and sapphire ring.  

On display next to the painting is the original dress in which she posed, carefully preserved by Bartholomé in memory of his wife, who died at a young age not long after this was painted.  Both the painting and the dress are on loan from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

     After visiting the exhibit, I painted a tiny oil study on a 1" x 1.5" oval of fine portrait linen, which I set into a silvertone pendant.  It can be worn as jewelry or simply displayed as a miniature.  It is currently available in my Etsy shop: The Pearl Paintbrush.

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