Thursday, May 13, 2010

Masterpieces of European Painting from Dulwich Picture Gallery, through May 30th

At the Frick Museum 1 East 70th Street

Apparently the Dulwich Picture Gallery has been open to the public since 1817, which makes it England's oldest public art gallery. I've never been there, but if this show is any indication, it must house a lot of old European paintings.   This show, while very small has some beautiful paintings in it.  It starts with Rembrandts "A Girl At A Window" (1645) displayed prominently on a wall by itself. I feel like I've only seen this image in reproduction, but in person it's quite stunning.  Rembrandt's work tends to be like that.   Behind it is an amazing Poussin "Nature of Jupiter" (1663), which I think may be the best piece in the show.  Like I said it's a really small show, but it has some other big names like Watteau, Canaletto, and Gainsborough.
The tiny scale of the show feels like it's not really worth the price of admission, but it is a good excuse to go to the Frick, which has been called everyone's favorite museum. It is a beautiful building, that creates a warm serene environment, which runs contrary to the cold white modernist walls you see in most museums today (at least in New York). This is really an ideal venue for the collection, which consists of European fine and decorative art from the early Renaissance up through Impressionism.  Every once and a while I run into a New Yorker who's never been to the Frick and it's all I can do to keep from slapping them in the head. I always make a point of wandering into the Fragonard room and the Boucher room. Both elaboratly decorated spaces where the museum has recreated this lush rococo world of 18th century decadents and whimsy.  I think they're two of the most beautiful public rooms in all of New York.  Every time I go there I feel like if my eyes could salivate, this is where it would happen.  It's a wonderfully escapist experience.  Then you have to leave, and deal with the real world. That part sucks!

1 comment:

  1. I have to go to the Frick! Hey Gomaar, your eyes aren't salivating, it called crying. Good review. Cheers!