Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Membership Has It’s Privileges

The other night I went to an opening at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Actually, I went with Marisa, because she is a member of the museum, and the event was free to members and their guests. The whole thing was FAN-tastic. The artist was Jan Lievens whose story I found rather interesting.

Jan Livens was a Dutch painter who lived at the same time and in the same area as Rembrandt -- they even studied under the same master. Lievens work was known for being very progressive and highly varied. In fact, many experts argue that Lievens was the initiator of some artistic developments that were later attributed to Rembrandt. Lievens also had a special ability to paint faces and became a highly sought after portrait artist. He spent much of his career traveling around Europe painting commissions for royalty. I heard one docent say that all of his traveling might be the reason why he was not well know after he died -- he didn't stay in one place long enough to get a real following, whereas Rembrandt did. Anyway, that's pretty much what I know about him. If you're interested, there's a lot more information on the museums website.

So here’s how the evening went. When we got there, people were mingling enjoying the music being played by high school and elementary students. They weren’t perfect, but they were very cute.

Here is Marisa enjoying the ambiance.

Since we couldn’t take pictures inside, I got this picture just before going into the gallery. (The following four pictures can from the museum’s website.)

One of Lievens specialties was portraits. This is "Boy in Cape and Turban" and I have to admit that it is pretty good. I wonder what I would look like if Lievens painted my portrait.

The model for this painting of a lute player was none other that Rembrandt himself.

This is a painting of Prince Charles Louis and his tutor, but Lievens “dressed them up” as the young Alexander the Great with his tutor Aristotle. This was one of my favorites – the prince's cape shimmers. Beautiful. (Also, look at the size of the book he’s reading.)

This piece is a representation of Samson and Delilah. Wow. That is not how I would have pictured the biblical seductress. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Marisa left early to go to a class, so I wandered around the gallery alone for quite a while. After I emerged from the exhibit and made a short stop in the gift shop, I found the most beautiful appetizer bar -- complimentary of course.
I had … this stuff.

After attending a lecture, I stopped to pose with the artist.

Jan Lievens – self portrait.

Total Cost: $0
Membership really does have its privileges.

Thanks Marisa!

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