Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: May 22

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2015

In a view that seems like an uncomposed snapshot, summer villas hug the cliffs above the English Channel at Trouville, France. Beyond, sailboats racing in the Trouville-Deauville regatta dot the sea, some of them composed of only one or two strokes of paint. The atmospheric effects of sunlight, water, and moisture-laden haze where sea transitions […]

Artwork of the Week: May 15

Posted on Friday, May 15th, 2015

This life-size figure is a fine example of the sculpture of the Kamakura period in Japan, which is characterized by a strong sense of movement, large free-flowing elements, and a sense of realism. Bishamonten is one of the four guardian figures placed at the corners of the main altar in a Buddhist temple, which correspond […]

Artwork of the Week: May 8

Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2015

How did 16th-century viewers of this panel know which of these saints was which? Martyred Christian saints were depicted with identifying objects (attributes) usually associated with their death. These attributes were well known to Medieval and Renaissance audiences. The wheel and sword identify Catherine of Alexandria, who was tortured on spiked wheels before being beheaded. […]

Artwork of the Week: May 1

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2015

Venetian maestro Lino Tagliapietra created this sculptural glass vessel in May 2006 at the Hot Shop in the Museum’s Glass Pavilion. The relationship of the sculpture to its title may not be immediately apparent, but Tagliapietra considers dinosaurs to be strong but gentle aquatic animals: “Since I live in a place surrounded by lagoons and […]

Artwork of the Week: April 24

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2015

Drawn to colorful scenes of people enjoying themselves at the beach or at the park, Maurice Prendergast often sketched at the coastal resort of Nahant, near Boston. He adapted some of these sketches into paintings. Here he captures the excitement, the whirl of movement, and burst of color of a carousel with his broad brushstrokes […]

Artwork of the Week: April 17

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

French Neoclassicism revived the fashion for wearing a tiara, a head ornament based on an ancient Greek diadem. Tiaras of varying degrees of intrinsic value were worn by every woman from the middle classes to royalty. Coral, which was believed to possess protective powers, was often used in jewelry for children and young adults. Most […]

Artwork of the Week: April 10

Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2015

At the turn of the 20th century, the Civil War still lingered as the most stunning event in American history. The drive to memorialize the war induced artists to create definitive images of its famous figures. Regarded by his contemporaries as the foremost American sculptor of his generation, Augustus Saint-Gaudens set the standard in portraiture […]

Artwork of the Week: April 3

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This seemingly simple arrangement engages the eye in so many complex and subtle ways. The painting is composed of contrasts and comparisons: the artist juxtaposes small, smooth, red grapes with large, rough, ridged melons. Spiky chestnut pods contrast with the sheen of a pair of exposed chestnuts. Unexpectedly, amongst these fruits and nuts of the […]

Artwork of the Week: March 27

Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2015

Children fish and cattle wander through the English countryside in Arundel Mill and Castle, John Constable’s last painting. Constable captured the ever-changing effects of light and weather in his paintings like few before him: clouds move across the sky, causing the light to shift; a breeze blows through the trees; and sunlight sparkles on moving […]

Artwork of the Week: March 20

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015

This sculpture, carved out of an unidentified hard, black stone, depicts a stylized duck with compact features. The small scale of the figure implies that it probably was meant to be seen at close range, which suggests an intimate relationship between the owner and the object. Although precise date and place of manufacture are unknown, […]