Monday, March 26, 2007

Have We Met?

Reese was my date last Tuesday. We went to see the "Masterpieces of French Painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:1800 - 1920" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. There was a lot to see (over 130 works), and it was crowded, and we were tired. We're still tired. We were both a little under the weather, and I think it dampened our thorough enjoyment of the exhibit. Such a privilege as Houston is the only US venue to host this exhibit, and yet we felt blah.

One time Hilary and Joy convinced Reese and me to take them to a midnight showing of a movie that we likely would have enjoyed more during daylight hours. As it was, we were too exhausted to appreciate anything about the movie.

Going to see the Met exhibit was almost an exact duplicate of that movie experience. Had we felt chipper, our reaction might have been more glowing. Our encounter with the paintings was an example of high expectations combined with feeling unwell which produced less than enthusiastic results. We stayed just under an hour, and were both ready to go at the end.

It was enough time to see the reality of some paintings that I have only seen in books. For instance, a Degas ballet scene painting, "The Dancing Class"... was tiny, almost miniature. And the thickness of the paint on one of Cezanne's portraits was almost overwhelming. Interesting, too, to see Jean-Francois Millet paintings knowing that Van Gogh held him in high regard and re-interpreted some of his work.

Through no fault of it's own, the Met exhibit didn't leave a good first impression (so to speak.) Some day soon, I plan to return to be re-introduced under better circumstances and better health.

1 comment:

shanna said...

but hurray for free thursdays at the MFAH! Mark and I used to do those about once a month :)