Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Trip to Crystal Bridges - Parrish's Lantern Bearers

Last weekend I was lucky enough to make a trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. This incredibly museum houses some of the most famous American art you could ever hope to see, and it has so much of it I was nearly reeling from awe by the time we went through it all. Normally I see one or two good pieces in a museum and I'm ready to leave- it's just overload. But this museum had so many of my heroes in it -Whistler, Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent- that I felt like a kid in a candy store, disovering one wonderful piece after another.

The crowning piece though- and the whole reason I made the trip- was Maxfield Parrish's The Lantern Bearers. No, not Durand's Kindred Spirits or Heade's Cattleya Orchid; it was The Lantern Bearers that I stood in front of for as long as I could, reveling in how the lanterns glow like they have real lights in them and soaking in the incredible "Parrish blue" of the sky, my favorite color in the world. Art snobs pointedly overlook Parrish as an American painter because of his status as an illustrator, but this painting is just as skillfully executed, just as brilliant in its use of color and light, as any other piece in the museum- and far surpasses several pieces that didn't deserve to be in that museum but are more highly regarded. Such is the way of the art world though, and it doesn't dim my enjoyment of this piece one bit. So take a look at the photos I captured of this exquisite piece and be amazed. I'll post up more art later.

Unfortunately, no photo can capture can capture the luminosity of this painting.

Detail of a foot. 

Is it a lantern... or the moon? 

 The little cracks in the paint are lovely.

No comments:

Post a Comment