Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Art Meme III: Art to see before you die

Via Crooked Timber comes news that the Guardian has started a blog on the arts. In its inaugural post on art, Jonathan Jones has a post called "The works of art that matter most," its intention being the generation of a list of the 50 works of art one must see in person before dying. Jones kicks things off with his personal list of 20 works (the list and an accompanying slideshow are below the fold), and he solicits recommendations from his readers. He notes as a sort of pre-emptive strike that his list is exceedingly Euro-centric and Renaissance/Baroque-heavy; still, though, he says that these are the works that he alsways finds himself returning to--which, I suppose, would be the one criterion for works for this list. Not fame, not "beauty;" what works, finally, can you not get enough of, no matter how many times you see them?

Jones includes a Vermeer on his list, but my personal addition would be the one you see here, The Milkmaid. Long, long ago, I blogged about this painting, if you're curious, here and here in an attempt to get at why it may be my favorite Vermeer and one of my very favorite paintings, period.

Honestly, though, I'd have to think a bit before I add some others. I mean, we all have our personal favorites, but do we feel so strongly about them that we would have the temerity to insist to total strangers that they will be lesser human beings if they do not make time to see them in person? I'm pretty sure I can say that about The Milkmaid.

How about you? Jones is soliciting suggestions at his post, but you're welcome to comment here or, even better, take a hint from this post's title.


slideshow (Be warned that the order here doesn't correspond to that of the list below.)

Jan van Eyck, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, c.1435, Musée du Louvre, Paris

Caravaggio, The Burial of St. Lucy (1608), Museo di Palazzo Bellomo, Syracuse, Sicily

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer (1654), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

San Rock Art, South African National Museum, Cape Town

Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire from Les Lauves (1904 - 6), Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

Michelangelo, Moses (installed 1545), Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

Leonardo da Vinci, The Adoration of the Magi, (c. 1481), Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Mark Rothko, The Rothko Chapel (paintings 1965-66; chapel opened 1971), Houston, Texas

Vermeer, View of Delft (c.1660-61), Mauritshuis, The Hague

Matthias Grünewald, The Isenheim Altarpiece (c.1509-15), Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France

Hans Holbein, The Dead Christ, (1521-2), Kunstmuseum, Basel

Velázquez, Las Meninas (1656), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Funerary Mask of Tutankhamun (1333-1323BC), Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Jackson Pollock, One: Number 31, 1950, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Masaccio, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise (c.1427), Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

Pablo Picasso, Guernica (1937), Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid

Titian, Danaë (c. 1544-6), Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

Raphael, The School of Athens (1510-11), Stanza della Signatura, Vatican Palace, Rome

Parthenon Sculptures ("Elgin Marbles"), c. 444 BC, British Museum, London

Henri Matisse, The Dance (1910), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

EDIT: As is usually the case with me, it belatedly occurs to me that some of you might want to see the other art meme posts in this blog--and even play along at home, if you wish. Here is the first one; and here is the second one.


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2 comments:

emawkc said...

Well, I can check off three of them (The Adoration of the Magi, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin and The Elgin Marbles).

John B. said...

Thanks for reminding me. I had forgotten to mention the ones on Jones's list that I've seen: the Vermeer, the Rothkos, and the Matisse.