On Thursdays, the Museum of Fine Arts is free. Just for the love of it, and the effort to get there, on Thursdays, they let everyone in free of charge.
Not having been in a few weeks, to my delight, they had re-arranged some of the permanent collection. I LOVED IT! There's nothing better than seeing things in a new light, on a new wall, or next to an oldie but goodie.
On a tip from one of my docent friends, I heard that the Suzanne Valadon self portrait was back. Argh. I couldn't find it. I loosely based my own self portrait on the Suzanne Valadon piece. Suzanne Valadon was an artist model, featured in several Renoir, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec paintings. On the advice and suggestion of one of her many art friends, she, too, tried her hand at painting. The result of which is truly magnificent, her self portrait. Her gaze is direct, and the piece as a whole is moody.
And there was a Matisse that I don't remember from the collection. Called "Olga Merson," it clearly demonstrated the frustration of trying to find a balance between the image and the self expression an artist portrays. It is a huge relief to know that an artist as great as Matisse had to re-work his paintings.
And one of my favorite treats every time I go to the museum is seeing the Mary Cassatt of "Susan Comforting the Baby." Mary Cassatt has a way of focusing on the focal point, in this case Susan's gentle countenance. Though her brush strokes are very loose in the rest of the painting, she brings our eyes, and a bit of our hearts to this tender scene.