Sacré Coeur, by Maurice Utrillo. Mid-30’s. Musée Montmartre. Utrillo (1883-1955) was Susanne Valadon’s son (see a previous “virtual museum” post). Montmartre, where he lived all his life, was his main source of inspiration. The church in the foreground would be the small Église Saint-Pierre, one of the oldest churches in Paris. Built in 1147, a rare example of Romanesque architecture in Paris.
The Botero museum, Bogotá, Colombia. How Moorish architecture made its way to the Andes passing through Andalusía.
“Chez Ginette”. At a café on Rue Caulaincourt, just outside the Métro. Go up the stairs, cross the Square to your right and walk along Avenue Junot towards Montmartre. This is a typical Paris “brasserie”, or café-restaurant. Good, simple food, and reasonably good-mannered waiters by Paris standards. The élégante in this “croûte” is dressed in a typical 30’s bathing suit. She met the requirements of the “Beach Po-leece.” Not an inch above the knee.
Madeleine facing Jesus. By Juan Correa (1646-1716). Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico city. A precious little museum dedicated to Colonial art in Mexico. Pay attention to the frame. I’ve never seen one like that. See detail below.
A frame of angels or a “framed” angel?
Today’s Musée Montmartre, by Susanne Valadon, as seen from the window of her workshop. The house and wokshop are still there. A very nice little museum, in the heart of Montmartre.
Nun, by Fernando Botero. Botero Museum, Bogotá. I remember the nuns in France, early sixties, with their dark dress and the huge white starched “cornette”. Shortly before Vatican II.
Let’s have a small dosis of Gauguin (1848-1903). La route montante. The road uphill. (1884) Bührle collection at the Maillol museum. Until 1882, Gauguin was a small stockbroker. He went to Pont-Aven in 1888, spent a brief time with Van Gogh in Arles, learning the light of the South of France, then left France for Tahiti in 1891.
“Retrospective portrait of a woman.” Salvador Dali, Botero museum, Bogotá. The scene above the baguette is inspired by Millet’s “Angelus”: peasants who stop harvesting to pray in the fields after hearing the bells of the nearby church. “Retrospective”(!) LOL. Dali was a magnificent crook.
Two “variants” of Maillol. Above, a classic example of Maillol’s sculpture. Maillol museum, 2019. Look closely at the contrast of the work below:
Dina au foulard. Dina with scarf. Aristide Maillol. 1941. Maillol museum. Paris. Dina Vierny (1919-2009) was born in Bessarabia, Romania. She was 15 when she met Maillol (1861-1944) to pose as a model. She inspired him a great many works, sculptures and paintings until Maillol’s death in 1944 in a car accident. When Maillol died, she was out of a job and became a gallerist. in 1972, Maillol’s last direct heir named her as sole heir to the estate. She struggled the rest of her life to set up a unique museum to the memory of Maillol. Don’t miss it on your next trip to Paris. (2025?)
Fashion photography by Dora Maar. c. 1932. Maar has been featured here often. A talented photographer in the Paris of the 30’s, she became Picasso’s mistress, who slowly dedicated himself to… “destroy” her. The only woman to have survived Picasso unscathed was Françoise Gilot. She dumped him. Still alive incidentally. Born in 1921. Best wishes to Madame Gillot.
Untitled. 1969. By Marta Palau, b. 1934. She was born roughly at the time Dora Maar took the photograph above. MUAC, Mexico city, 2018.
Japanese woodblock by Hiroshige (1797-1858), Guimet museum, Paris. We should really call him Utagawa, since the last name in Japanese precedes the “first” name. The opening of Japan in the Meiji era allowed those woodblocks to reach Europe and “blow” the mindframes of the likes of the Impressionists, Gauguin, Van Gogh and others. Thus opening the way to Western modern art.
Speaking of Dora Maar: Man with pipe, 1969, by Picasso. Botero museum, Bogotá. I’ve said it many times. (Repetition is one of the keys to communication) I love to see what works great artists buy. What other talent draws their eyes?
Banksy’s “NO future”. Paris, 2019. At the risk of sounding naïve, I do believe those trying times may turn into a big opportunity. Should we decide to take it. Art is a cure, remember?
Cupid by Cazenave. c.1794. In the midst of revolutionary Terror, those two young women welcome Cupid in their boudoir. The second of two French engravings my parents bought in Holland in the sixties. Lost, Alas.
Irene Phillips Olmedo, by Diego Rivera, 1955. Dolores Olmedo museum, Mexico city, 2018. Irene was the daughter of Dolores Olmedo, a Mexican entrepreneur(ess) and patron of the arts. Her former house turned museum now holds one of the largest if not the largest collection of Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s works.
No Art therapy could be complete without a dose of Van Gogh. Three portraits of “unknown” gentlemen. Atelier des lumières, Paris, 2018.
Can Art be a cure? The ancient Greeks (who set the foundations for Western civilization) believed in three major “dimensions”: Beauty, Truth and Good. One leading to the other. Try combining only two at a time excluding the third. Ain’t workin’. Beauty without Truth cannot be Good. Greek Art was a celebration of Beauty. And one of the paths towards Good. In those troubled days… Beauty can be a cure. Stay safe. 🙏🏻