Hello, my dears…
It’s time I fess up: I am a nerd for history. Specifically, art history. Art history is my favorite class I have ever taken in my life, and I thought it would be fun to share my favorite art pieces. Enjoy!
Water Lilies, Claude Monet: Of all artwork, Monet’s Water Lilies series has to be my favorite. I did a project on Monet in the fifth grade, which meant I read countless biographies on him and even recreated one of his paintings. Every time I visit the CMA, I spend a good amount of time marveling over this masterpiece. Impressionism for the win!
Cupid and Psyche, Jacques-Louise David: This painting resides opposite the Rotunda in the CMA, and not only was it created by a master painter, but the subject is entertaining. I love the smug grin of Cupid, and the story of Love and Psyche is romantic.
Guernica, Pablo Picasso: I saw this painting in person in Madrid, and I sobbed. First of all, it is absolutely massive: it has its own wall in its own room, with about a dozen guards surrounding it and a crowd of observers huddling to view its magnificence. Second, there are so many symbols throughout the painting that explain the horror of the bombing of Guernica. The second I saw it, I felt my heart break and so I had an emotional episode in a room full of people who snickered at the dramatic American girl.
Seated Scribe: The Seated Scribe lives in the Louvre, and he is one of the most famous pieces of Egyptian art. I love the way he looks, especially because he was depicted like a regular human while most Egyptian art only showed idealized rulers. The Seated Scribe is adorable!
The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali: I went to the Dali museum in Figureres and actually saw his tomb. It was haunting. But this painting will always be one of my favorites, because I love how creepy and cool it is.
Las Meninas, Diego Velazquez: I saw this painting on my trip to Spain as well (I tend to hold art I’ve seen in person closer to my heart) and what’s cool is that when you view it in the museum, the subject changes depending on where you stand in the room. And, Velazquez painted himself into the portrait.
The Monkey and the Cat, Abraham Hondius: This painting hangs in the Dutch room at the CMA, and it’s super chaotic and a little disturbing to look at. It represents the dangers of flattery, and I honestly think it’s marvelous.
Stonehenge: I love Stonehenge for many reasons: it has been standing since prehistoric times, those stones were hauled from God knows where, it functions as a type of calendar, and no one knows what in the world it was used for. Was it Merlin the Wizard? Did the Druids conduct rituals here? No. One. Knows. I would love to visit there some time!
Arnolfini Wedding Portrait, Jan Van Eyck: There is just so much symbolism in this painting and it really gives insight into the time period. And, once again, the artist painted himself into the portrait- he can be seen in the mirror. I love that artists did this in older artwork.
The Swing, Jean-Honore Fragonard: This painting comes from the French Rococo period, and shows a day in the life of the aristocracy. The wispy, fairy-like colors are beautiful, and the wife is flirting with a man who is not her husband. It’s quite amusing to look at.
And those are my top ten favorite pieces of art! I love going to museums and appreciating what we can learn about history from art. What’s your favorite piece of art? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!