As on every vacation of mine, I was intent on visiting as many art museums and galleries as possible. Before I flew out of Milwaukee, Josephine and I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the Jan Lievens Exhibit. Jan Lievens was a Dutch painter,
a contemporary and friend of Rembrandt (who modeled for him). Although equally successful in his time, he was long in Rembrandt’s shadow because their painting styles were so similar at one point in their careers, a number of Lievens’ paintings were attributed to Rembrandt. They were both among the Utrecht Caravaggisti, Dutch painters who trained in Rome and adopted the unidealized realism and dramatic lighting of Caraveggio. Lievens was original in his compositions and painted in a variety of genres. Later in his life, he was invited to London to paint with Van Dyke. His paintings became more elegant — he even adopted the typical Van Dyke pose — as can be seen in this self-portrait from that period.
Julie and I visited the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where we toured the home and studio of N.C. Wyeth. The Museum houses a collection of three generations of Wyeths: N.C., Andrew and Jamie, as well as paintings by N.C.’s mentor, Howard Pyle, and a permanent collection of 19th Century landscapes of the Brandywine area.
On another day we took the train to Phillie to see the Philadelphia Art Museum, which is noted for the monumental Thomas Eakins paintings, the Gross Clinic and the Agnew Clinic. I particularly enjoyed the Moorish Chief by Eduard Charlemont and the Annunciation by Henry Tanner. There is also the Trompe l’Oile Staircase Group by Charles Wilson Peale and the dramatic Life Line by Winslow Homer. These paintings are all magnificent and seeing them with my own eyes underscores the absolute truth that artwork must be seen in person to understand why the experience is impossible to duplicate in reproduction. It is so important to visit museums and galleries to view the actual works as often as possible.
In this Post I’m showing pictures of the lovely creek that flows next to Julie and Tim’s home — there is the constant sound of flowing water…heavenly — and Julie and I walking on the beach at Cape May, New Jersey.
I also discovered an impressive wildlife artist named Laura Mark-Finberg in Lancaster. On my final morning in Pennsylvania, Julie modeled for me as Circe. More on that to come!