Philadelphia Museum of Art ๐Ÿ–Œ๐Ÿ–ผ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Still Life with Moss Roses in a Basket, by Gauguin, 1884

The Museum collection started in the aftermath of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia 1876. European and Japanese fine and decorative art objects and books for the museum’s library were among the first donations. In 1892 Anna H. Wilstach bequeathed a large painting collection, including many American paintings, and an endowment of half a million dollars for additional purchases. I have never been to the Museum in Philadelphia but I went to an exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan which presented a good section of the European painting collection, with a focus on impressionism and avant-garde.

In the picture above, Still Life with Moss Roses in a Basket, oil painting by Paul Gauguin, 1884 – This delicate floral composition is still influenced by impressionist paintings and was painted by Gauguin following a difficult visit to his wife’s family in Denmark and his decision to dedicate his life to painting. Later his art will be influenced by primitivistic and symbolist themes.

Circles in a Circle, is an oil painting by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923, exhibited at Palazzo Reale in Milan for the temporary exhibition Impressionism and Vanguards, This is an abstract composition against a white background, based around one big black-rimmed circle and two beams of coloured light across the canvas that change colours when intersecting other smaller coloured circles in the middle of the artwork.

Woman with Children, oil painting by Pablo Picasso, 1961 – In this painting Picasso portrays his family at the time, with his new wife, Jacqueline Roque, in the middle, sided by his daughter from a previous marriage, Paloma, on the left, and Cathy, Jacquelineโ€™s daughter from a previous marriage, shown faceless on the right. Picasso had married Jacqueline the previous month.

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13 thoughts on “Philadelphia Museum of Art ๐Ÿ–Œ๐Ÿ–ผ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  1. I enjoyed the tour Enzo! It’s so interesting the stories that are behind these artworks. But then, when you say Paul Gauguin was inspired after a difficult visit to his wife’s family, does it mean they hated him or was someone sick? Please, if you can tell I’ll like to know.

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    1. Thanks for your comment that allows me to explain better what happened to Paul while he was in Copenhagen. He had moved there from Paris to stay with his wifeโ€™s parents. He was a salesman but did not speak Danish and this meant an unsuccessful attempt to earn some family income. His wife became the breadwinner in the family as she was teaching French. He wanted to become a full time painter but could not do it in Denmark. The resolution to this situation was for him to leave his family, wife and five children in Copenhagen while he returned to Paris. This must have been a very difficult decision for him and can imagine how much he was troubled about it. Despite this background, his painting is so delicate and serene. He really loved painting, in contrast with the rest of his life. He found the happiness there he could not find anywhere else. His artistic soul was blossoming like the flowers he was painting.


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