Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My Blue Gowns

I went to the Frick today. While in the gift shop looking to purchase a writing pad, I noticed a book filled with pictures of the Frick Collection because on the cover was a mesmerizing picture. I knew it had to be Ingres, but I didn't know who the painting was of and was shocked to realize I hadn't seen it. The woman behind the counter directed me to the North Hall (I passed it my first time), where the painting was hanging.

Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, The Comtesse D'Haussonville

I think I was drawn to the painting for the same reason I was drawn to my favorite painting when I was about eight years-old. Here's my favorite painting:

Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, Princesse de Broglie

I'll be honest. The two paintings confused me. Since the second was painted years later than the first, and the first, too, says "Princesse de Broglie" on the Frick website, I wondered if perhaps I was seeing the same subject in different years. As it turns out, according to a site I read before and can't seem to locate again, Ingres painted the Comtesse and was then recommended to paint her sister-in-law, the Princesse. So there.

4 original thoughts out there

Blogger MC Aryeh said...

What was the reason you were drawn to the paintings?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

I wasn't going to say. :) Should I try the "I don't like questions," or just tell you?

I think I loved Princesse because when I was about seven or so, there was nothing I wanted more than to wear a gown like the one she has on. Ingres painted the dress so realistically with the way the light falls, that I really thought that if I'd touch the canvas, I'd feel her. You can't really see in this picture, but in real life, you'll see that the pearl bracelet she wears with the diamond clasp is so real that you have to actually go up very close to the painting to see that it is just paint. And I could be wrong--but this is my opinion now, so I won't be--but there's something in how he paints faces that makes me what to know the subject he painted. Look at Princesse de Broglie's face. She has more of a "knowing half-smile" than a real "cheese smile." I love that. She's so intelligent looking. And while she looks challenging, she doesn't look in-your-face challanging. She looks like she knows where and when to be quiet and where and when it's okay to let loose and be an intellectual force. As it turns out, she published about two books (well, her husband published them after her death)! So, I was right all along about her being an independent woman. As for the Comtesse, I will say the same goes for the detail, and that you have to remember that this copy doesn't do the real one any justice. She is amazingly beautiful. You look at her and you think she's really just in the next room, looking at you through a framed hole in the wall. I don't know how Ingres does it, but his women have the most amazing faces. Look at the Comtesse's smile. What is she trying to say? Don't her eyes look like she's contemplating whether to just move her arm to tease the painter or not? I think so. I think she looks like a trouble-maker. I think I love these paintings and that my ramblings made no sense. :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 7:43:00 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Glad you chose the just tell me option. Thanks. Love your explanation. Made sense to me, but then I am very fond of ramblings...

Thursday, September 08, 2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Zoe Strickman said...

Funny story re: Frick -- I once decided that Frick would be the ideal place to take a shidduch date. We spent over an hour trying to find parking. I later learned that there was a parking garage nearby. We ended up going somewhere else, and I never saw inside, but I've always wanted to visit. -Zoe

Monday, September 12, 2005 12:14:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger Listed on BlogShares