Some works from the Phillips’s permanent collection have been on a world tour over the past year, and visitors from have been sharing their creative photos from abroad! In this month’s ArtGrams, check out some of our favorite Instagram photos of these works as they visit Fundación “la Caixa” in Barcelona, Spain.
This is not my first time seeing Monet’s famous water lilies. I remember going to the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris as a child—first with my father, later with my grandparents. At the Orangerie, the water lilies hang in a circular room, towering over you as you sit in the middle of the room. It almost seems as if you’re sitting in the middle of the pond.
When I saw the water lilies for the first time, my eyesight was like that of a hawk. Now, the colors come together in a blur; I can hardly discern where the green from the water lilies ends and where the green of the pond begins. The shapes and the strokes melt away. When I was a child, I could see each stroke from across the room. Like Monet, my eyesight grows worse. Like Monet, my vision blurs. If I were to paint, like Monet my paintings would become more and more abstract.
Olivia Bensimon, Marketing & Communications Intern
One gallery in Seeing Nature is dedicated to Jan Brueghel the Younger’s The Five Senses series. Painted in 1625, this series is a close copy of five paintings by Brueghel’s father, Jan Brueghel the Elder (who painted the backgrounds) and Peter Paul Rubens (who painted the figures) in 1617–18, now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Each painting focuses on one of the five senses, providing a platform for visitors to consider their own encounters with nature. Today we focus on Touch.
In Touch, Jan Brueghel the Younger contrasts the tender caress shared by Venus and Cupid with a bristling pile of armor and weapons of war. This painting is the only one of the five that does not have an idealized landscape: the room opens out to a hilly view with ruined walls, a reminder of the Thirty Years’ War that was ravaging the Lowlands when the artist was painting these works.