Bavaria and Paris 2/18    New Pinakothek

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Friday September 21, 2007.
The focus of the New Pinakothek art museum in Munich, Germany is European Art of the 18th and 19th century. It is one of the most important museums of art of the 19th century in the world. The museum was founded by the former King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1853. Ludwig began to collect contemporary art already as crown prince in 1809 and his collection has been steadily enlarged. In 1853 the works held in the existing collection was split between the New Pinakothek and the Alte Pinakothek. Art works of the so-called old masters were placed in the Alte Pinakothek while art from the period shortly before the turn of the 19th century was gathered in the New Pinakothek. This delineation has become the prototype for many other galleries.

  The original Neue Pinakothek was destroyed during World War II. I believe the artwork had been removed to protect it. Between 1976 and 1981 the Neue Pinakothek was rebuilt as you see it now.



Henry Raeburn (1756-1823)
Mrs. John Campbell of Kilberry 1802

Of course, I am no art critic, and don't presume to understand enough about the subject to be one. During the Napoleonic era, is this an accurate representation of how (rich) women looked? I like the placing of the hands, one looped over a branch and the other gently bunching a bit of dress. I believe this could be called a milky complexion. I think outdoor gardens were popular, which may be why nature is so predominately featured.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)
Mrs Thomas Hibbert 1786

It has been said that, "... Mrs Thomas Hibbert, Gainsborough painted more from his observations of nature (and human nature) than from any application of formal academic rules."

This portrait is a generation earlier than the portrait just above. Although there is something unrealistic about the facial features, I like the elaborate dress, hair, and hat. Again, the hands are doing something other being folded in front - perhaps very early in the portrait business artists got bored of folded hands.

Friedrich Overbeck (1789-1869)
Italia and Germania 1828

Overbeck and his confederates became known among friends and enemies by the descriptive epithet "The Nazarenes". The characteristics of the style thus educed were nobility of idea, precision and even hardness of outline, scholastic composition, with the addition of light, shade and color. The theme of this painting is that Italy and Germany should be as close as sisters. One notes the layout of many ancient Bavarian towns follow the model of Italian towns.
Marie-Gabrielle Capet (1761-1818)
Studio Scene 1808

Marie-Gabrielle Capet studied under the famous woman painter of her day, Labille-Guiard, and was her most accomplished disciple in the art of miniature portrait painting. After the French Revolution, the public exhibitions of the Salons were opened to women and Capet exhibited works numerous times in these displays. I find making a painting of the behind the scene look at making a painting interesting. To quote the Monty Python skit, "So who's painting us now?"
Joseph Stieler (1781-1858)
King Ludwig I in Coronation Robes 1826

Here is the man who began the art collection that eventually found it's way into the New Pinakothek. Son of King Maximilian I and Wilhelmine of Hessen-Darmstadt, Ludwig married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in October, 1810. The wedding was the basis for the popular Oktoberfest celebration. Stieler worked mainly in the service of the Bavarian court. His painted likenesses in Schloss Nymphenburg, Schö®¨¥itengalerie, the so-called Gallery of Beauties, were commissioned by King Ludwig I.

Ludwig was a benefactor of the arts, and under his reign, Munich became a cultural center of Germany. Ludwig brought composers, poets, and writers to Munich, as well as scientists and architects.

a2f.jpg Ludwig I was king of Bavaria from 1825 until his forced abdication in 1848, following a scandal with his mistress, Lola Montez, who was one of women in the Gallery of Beauties. Ludwig I's downfall When Ludwid came to the throne of Bavaria in 1825, most of his political policies were quite liberal. As time progressed, however, he began to impose censorship and high taxes upon his subjects. The Revolution of 1848 imposed new restrictions on the office of the king, and forced Ludwig to abdicate. Ludwig tried several unsuccessful attempts to leave Bavaria and live in exile with Lola. Ludwig died in 1868, at the age of 81. For the last twenty years he wandered his estates alone, nearly deaf, no longer King of Bavaria.


Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865)
The Expected One 1860

Waldmüller later became interested in nature and thus started painting landscapes. His most notable work lies in the depiction of nature, where his sense for colors and large knowledge of nature helped him to achieve masterly skills. It seems to me the depiction of nature in this picture reaches almost the same level of detail that you would find in a photo. What makes the photo is the chaste appearance of the young woman and the eager, joyous body language of the young man. When the society was more agrarian I suppose many more meetings of young lovers would take place out away from prying eyes.
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August Riedel (1799-1883)
Felice Berardi from Albano 1842 (l)
A Mother from Alvito 1848 (r)

Riedel, who is also known for his psychologically sensitive portraits, is primarily appreciated for his Italian genre scenes, which, early on, displayed a characteristically heightened and luminous coloration.
Carl Theodor von Piloty (1824-1886)
Thusnelda Led in Germanicus' Triumph 1873/74

Karl Theodor von Piloty became famous for his large-format history paintings showing emotional scenes. Here captive and pregnant Thusnelda, wife of the Arminius who led a coalition of Germanic tribes to victory over the romans in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, is led in front of Emperor during the roman triumph of Germanicus, the nephew of Tiberius. Her young son Thumelicus would be trained at the gladiator school in Ravenna and is believed to have died in a gladiator show at a fairly young age.
Seni at the Dead Body of Wallenstein 1855

Wallenstein was a Catholic Bohemian soldier and politician who gave his services (an army of 30,000 to 100,000 men) during the Danish Period of the Thirty Years' War to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II for no charge except the right to plunder the territories that he conquered. The emperor turned against him and Wallenstein, realizing the extent of his danger, hoped to switch sides. Certain senior Scottish and Irish officers in his force killed him, probably at the orders of the emperor. Notice in the painting how Wallenstein is bathed in light.


Me (1957-?)
Anonymous Man and Rectangles in the New Pinakothek 2007

A plethora of rectangles encompass this anonymous man inside the New Pinakothek. The museum was not crowded at all, which added to the viewing enjoyment.

Glass roofs allow the rooms to be illuminated by natural light.

Hans Makart (1840-1884)
The Falconer c. 1880

Makart is considered by many as being the first art star, referred to by contemporaries an "artist prince", but his reputation diminished after his death in 1884. Unfortunately Makart was in the habit of using pigments and mediums that caused the vast majority of his large paintings to practically perish. The blues have turned into green; the thickly applied paint has cracked and in some instances crumbled away. This painting seems no worse for wear. What caught my eye was the eyes of women in the painting. I find something quite appealing about them.
Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
Munich Beer Garden 1884

I like this painting for a personal reason. On a weeknight in the summer of 2003 we sat in a Munich beer garden on a very hot summer night. The beer garden was a large public park with lots of mature trees to shade it. It got to be late at night, but while most people certainly had work in the morning, the beer garden remained packed.


Max Slevogt (1868-1932)
The Day's Work Done 1900

Every husband understands this picture.
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Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Monet Painting on His Studio Boat 1874
Luncheon in the Studio 1868

My cousin the art teacher says the painting Luncheon in the Studio is about Manet's illegitimate son, who is the young man in the picture. None of the people in the painting are looking at each other, the boy is oblivious to the fact that Manet is his father. The woman is the mother.

From beggars to prostitutes to the bourgeoisie Monet sought to be true to himself and to reproduce "not great art, but sincere art." Manet was not a radical artist, such as Courbet; nor was he a bohemian, as the critics had thought. The well mannered and well bred Manet was an immaculately groomed member of high society. But Manet's unique technical innovations intrigued the likes of Pierre Renoir and Claude Monet and set free the traditional and conservative reigns of academic painting.

By 1874 Manet's reputation as experimental artist and leader of the Impressionists was firmly established. The Cafe Guerbois, near Manet's studio became the gathering spot for Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Degas and Pissaro and although Manet presided over the regular meeting and debates held at the cafe, he was not enthusiastic about his role as leader of the avant-garde. In 1874, when the Impressionists held their first exhibition at Nadar's studio, Manet refused to participate. He chose instead to remain focused on the Salon. He never exhibited in any of the eight Impressionist exhibitions and yet by no means did Manet abandon the Impressionists. He worked closely with Monet in Argenteuil during 1874 and often gave financial support to his friends who needed it. It was during this time that Manet came closest to painting in the Impressionist style. The painting Monet's Boat Studio (above) approaches the notion and atmosphere of Impressionism, but Manet never becomes assimilated into the true Impressionist style.

Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Water-Lilies c. 1915

Monet is considered the founder of the impressionistic painting mode and himself took part in 1874 in the first independent exhibition of Impressionism in Paris with his painting "Impression, soleil levant" ("Impression, sunrise") - whose title was to lend its name to an entire art epoch. Impressionism is characterized by concentration on the immediate visual impression produced by a scene and by the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Plain near Auvers 1890

Van Gogh spent his early adult life working for a firm of art dealers. After a brief spell as a teacher, he became a missionary worker in a very poor mining region. He did not embark upon a career as an artist until 1880. His choice of squalid living conditions did not endear him to the appalled church authorities, who dismissed him for "undermining the dignity of the priesthood."
Vase with Twelve Sunflowers 1888

He began to paint sunflowers to decorate a bedroom for his friend Paul Gauguin. The series of sunflower paintings was made possible by the innovations in manufactured pigments in the 19th Century. Without the vibrancy of the new colors, such as chrome yellow, Van Gogh may never have achieved the intensity of Sunflowers. These sunflowers hold at their heart a simple parable about the brevity of life; they are at varying stages in the life cycle, from withered and wilting to vibrant full bloom. Initially, van Gogh worked only with sombre colors, until he encountered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism in Paris. He incorporated their brighter colors and style of painting into a uniquely recognizable style, which was fully developed during the time he spent at Arles, France. He produced more than 2,000 works, including around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches, during the last ten years of his life.
View of Arles 1889

Most of his best-known works were produced in the final two years of his life, during which time he cut off part of his left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin. After this he suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness, which led to his suicide.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Four Breton Women 1886

In this picture Gauguin's style has moved away from Impressionism (although not completely). The picture was created using sketches he made while living in Brittany. My take on this choice of subject is simple innocence.


Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)
Café Scene 1899

Vuillard was best known for intimate, indoor looks at the private lives of his subjects. Vuillard was part of an artistic group called the Nabis, a word from Hebrew and Arabic that means "prophet." Unlike the Impressionists, who sought to capture the fleeting effects of light in the outdoors, the Nabis used art to communicate interior feelings and to convey emotion.
Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)
Ploughing 1890

Segantini is known as the painter of the Alps. I liked this particular painting because of the background and because it shows the interaction of man and beast while ploughing - who in the modern age has ever seen this activity?
Max Sievogt (1868-1932)
Sunny Corner of a Garden 1921

I like the woman with the umbrella standing off to the right garden - I think the artist made her blend in with the tall plants leaving her hidden for us to discover.
Leo Putz (1869-1940)
Frieda with Florentine Hat 1909

I liked this because it depicts dress of the early twentieth century, and the subject has and odd, tight-lipped expression. In keeping with the portraits at the top of this web page, note the artist has something going on with each of the subject's hands - one holds a hat while the other has some lace covering the back.


Franz von Stuck (1863-1928)
The Sin 1893

Stuck's subject matter was primarily drawn from mythology. Large, heavy forms dominate most of his paintings and point toward his proclivities for sculpture. His seductive female nudes, in the role of the femme fatale, are a prime example of popular Symbolist content. At his funeral address he was memorialized as "the last prince of art of Munich's great days".

As for this painting, I am drawn more to the odd-reflective composition, not (just?) the female nudity. I think it is of the modern era and should be in The Modern Art Gallery, not here.


Bavaria and Paris 2/18    New Pinakothek

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