Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Sep 25, 2013

Some Sightseeing

So, yesterday and today have been fun for me and not so fun for Adam.  I got a bunch of writing done yesterday and then went out to dinner with Uncle John, Aunt Titi, and my cousin Sean (ooh, I hope that's how he spells his name).  We went down to Chinatown for (what else) Chinese food and smoothies, and then drove across town to visit Grandma in her new apartment.  She seems to be doing well, although she is having trouble remembering things on occasion, but she still gets out and about on a regular basis.  Sean spent most of the visit setting the grandfather clock that Grandpa built well before I was born.

Today I got lunch and hiked down to the Art Museum and spent quite a while examining various impressionist paintings.  I also went across the way and briefly toured the 15th century art exhibit.  The contrast between the two periods is really stark--the 15th century art is all religious in nature (in fact, most of it was panels from diptychs) with ultra-precise lines, nearly invisible brushwork, and little to no perspective or value.  The 19th century impressionists, on the other hand, have visible (and often quite abstract) brushwork, but their paintings are filled with life, light, and perspective.

The one thing that really struck me was this statue by Rodin of the author Balzac:

It's a fantastic statue, particularly in the stance and the musculature of the arms, legs, and neck.  You can almost feel the living power and authority of the man.  It also, amazing coincidence, looks EXACTLY LIKE ADAM.  Even to the lack of pants.  Adam hates pants.

Most of the sculptures were really amazing, in fact, even if some of the paintings left me kind of cold.  It's strange to think that most of the artists I saw were working around the time of the Civil War or shortly afterward.  It really brings home the fact that the horrors of slavery and the terrible slaughter that followed existed alongside a culture that was not all that dissimilar from our own. 

No comments: