Friday, October 28, 2011

'Dreams and Reality' At The Museum

'Camille on Her Deathbed' ~ Monet

After the poetry reading session, there were precious 20 minutes to closing. We were given that time to roam about the gallery to view National Museum's 'Dreams and Reality: Masterpieces of Painting, Drawing and Photography from the Musée d'Orsay'. I took a very brisk walk around to grab a feel of the exhibition.

Prior to this evening, I dug out old notebooks of my visit to Musée d'Orsay and other similar exhibitions in other cities to refresh my memory of how they were curated.  I wondered if I'd see my favorite paintings tonight. I wasn't disappointed. I'm definitely returning for a couple more visits just to linger over certain pieces.

The paintings have been most carefully curated to fall within several themes, and a good selection has been picked for the Singapore sojourn. Within these, I was most drawn to 'Solitude' where Monet's loving depiction of his 32-year old wife, Camille, on her deathbed, reminds us how fragile and transient life is. Then there's Marianne Stokes' 'The Young Girl and Death' which captivated me for a while. For some reason, I'm not familiar with her works. I suppose I've been too distracted by the various Pre-Raphaelite painters around that I haven't particularly noticed her paintings and styles that evolved.

I'm glad to see one painting by Gustave Doré'The Enigma'. Touted as the most tragic in a series of 3 allegorical paintings, it's one that I could view over and over again, and still discover new details and interpretation to it. My favorite Degas painting isn't here. But his 'Dancers Climbing a Staircase' is, classified under 'Leisure', providing insight into his signature horizontal format compositions as it seems to become a doorway into another world. Of course Van Gogh's 'Starry Night Over the Rhone' is given a place of prominence. Oddly, I didn't linger over that. I've stared at Van Gogh's artworks quite enough as he's the one artist we studied in earnest for post-Impressionism.

On the next visit, I shall hop into the museum shop to see if there're any lovely things to buy from this blockbuster exhibition. I'm a total sucker for museum shops anywhere else. It's not difficult to buy an item if I'm at Tate or V & A or MoMA. I'm not so sure about our museums. I don't recall having bought a single item.

'The Young Girl and Death' ~ 'Marianne Stokes


bookjunkie said...

I am totally captivated by the painting - young girl & death. On a certain level it seems very dark and scares me, but that may relate to my mental state at the moment.

notabilia said...

Let me know when you plan to go and linger. I'm very curious as to how this exhibit has been curated give that a/ I studied this stuff extensively in uni and b/ that the D'Orsay is probably my favorite museum in the world. Glad to hear your words of confidence; as you know, I was skeptical.

mummybean said...

I wouldn't say i know much about art but I'm really really looking forward to going for this exhibition! I've yet to go to any of the museums in France so I'm thrilled these pieces are coming to Singapore. Am so glad to hear your positive review :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting the painting.
the words titling the painting are also apt.

Dawn said...

Lovely painting! I've never seen it either. Looking forward tomseeing it.

bmuse said...

Am arranging to go as well! Missed out on this during my Paris trip, and was thrilled to hear that they were coming here! : )

imp said...

Go. Definitely worth a look. Of course they wouldn't let the most precious pieces out of the country to so far away, but what we can see here is good enough. ST Life today had a good summary of the exhibition. For S$11, I'll gladly pay it twice over.