Archive for the ‘Grande Jatte’ Category

Off the Wall


“Where Do We Come From?”
We come from far away.
“What Are We?”
We are tourists, come to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to see the above masterpiece by Paul Gauguin.
“Where Are We Going?”
We’re going to Chicago because dang it all, it’s on loan there through May 12th as part of the fabulous exhibition “From Cezanne to Picasso, Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde.

Sheesh! As if Mona
tired of mystery, and left the Louvre;

finally figured out what she wanted, and asked for privacy in her own parlor, away from the masses at New York’s Neue Galerie;

or Aristotle tired of just hanging out with Homer and contemplating,

so he left the Met to pawn his chain and have some fun,

‘La Grande Jatte’ at the Art Institute of Chicago, well, what if it just took a Sunday afternoon off?

If I traveled to see any of those paintings and they weren’t where they’re expected to be, I’d be upset. I’m amazed Boston lent the Gauguin for such a long period of time. Wonder what they’ll get in return? So make sure you see, when and where you can, the great “D’ou venons.”

That’s the “nickname” of the painting, it’s title in French, shortened. Curators who spend a lot of time with it call it that.

The “D’ouvenons.” Does it sound like the name of a fancy new condo building?

Before you go see the painting,
read this

“All this is set in a paradise of tropical beauty: the Tahiti of sunlight, freedom, and color that Gauguin left everything to find. A little river runs through the woods, and behind it is a great slash of brilliant blue sea, with the misty mountains of another island rising beyond Gauguin wanted to make it absolutely clear that this picture was his testament. He seems to have concocted a story that, being ill and unappreciated (that part was true enough), he determined on suicide – the great refusal. He wrote to a friend, describing his journey into the mountains with arsenic. Then he found himself still alive, and returned to paint more masterworks. It is sad that so great an artist felt he needed to manufacture a ploy to get people to appreciate his work. I wish he could see us now, looking with awe at this supreme painting.”