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Posts tagged ‘art’

Slow Art Day 2015: Two Nanny Paintings

One of the most amazing things about museums is that every visit can bring you a new discovery.  I decided to spend Slow Art Day 2015 with the National Gallery of Art.  Even though the NGA and I are old friends, I still found some amazing pieces, examined overlooked details and learned about a new artist.  In the spirit of the Slow Art movement, let me show you just a piece of what I found when I decided to limit myself to looking at 5 paintings in the whole museum.

national gallery of art in Spring

The National Gallery of Art Rotunda decorated for Spring

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Exuberant Hungarian: The Art of Matthias Church, Budapest

Art Historians are very good about categorizing art.  Everything gets organized into bucket of a particular period or movement, but throughout Hungary, I just found the usual labels to be lacking.  While Magyar art and design of the late 19th century draws from several sources, the result is so much more than simple Historicism repeating old designs.  They created something unique and truly amazing.  It just really resonated with me and so I had to give this style its own name: Exuberant Hungarian.  I absolute fell for the Matthias Church in Budapest, with its wild but totally coherent decorative scheme.  Take a look and tell me if you’ve ever seen anything like this before, and whether or not you think the “Exuberant Hungarian” moniker fits.

Arts & Crafts lamb door

An incredible mix of color and pattern at the Matthias Church, Budapest.

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Real Gardens that Inspired Art

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Spring!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

"The Unicorn in Captivity", Netherlandish, 1495-1505 (Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Unfortunately the unicorn in this lovely garden is pure fantasy.  “The Unicorn in Captivity”, Netherlandish, 1495-1505 (Photo: The Cloisters Collection)

While Washington D.C. has been stubbornly cold this March, I’m just starting to see the first bulbs pop up.  And nothing announces Spring like flowers!  Gardens and their exquisite flora have always been a popular subject in Art, but not all of the places in these paintings are made up locations.  Let’s take a look at a few of the “real” gardens behind some famous paintings.

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Hidden Budapest – The Abandoned Párizsi Udvar

One of the thrills of travel is that wide-eyed gasp that inevitably follows after stumbling across something spectacular.  I’ve felt this in the past walking into cathedrals, gazing down into valleys, or taking in the beautiful commotion of a market.  Quite unexpectedly, I experienced this pure amazement while in Budapest.  After stepping curiously through a dark doorway, I discovered the haunting elegance of an abandoned, century old shopping gallery, known as Párizsi Udvar.  Exploring this unbelievable ghost was as close to time-traveling as it gets.

Párizsi Udvar long corridor

A view down the abandoned Parisi Udvar (or Párizsi Udvar) shopping gallery

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Back from Hungary

I’ve been quiet for a little while because I’ve been in Hungary!  The trip was filled with amazing food, beautiful architecture, and some of the most wonderful late 19th century art I’ve ever seen – like the elaborate Crypt of the Cathedral in Pécs below.  Looking forward to sharing more soon!

Pecs Hungary cathedral crypt

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